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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 374 journals)
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The Scientific World Journal
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 1537-744X
Published by Hindawi Homepage  [339 journals]
  • 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
  • Composting for a More Sustainable Palm Oil Waste Management: A Systematic
           Literature Review

    • Abstract: Palm oil production has increased significantly, specifically in Indonesia and Malaysia. However, this growth has raised environmental concerns due to the high discharge of empty fruit bunches, palm oil mill effluents, and other solid wastes. Therefore, this study aims to examine the treatment of palm oil waste by composting and systematically review insights into its application through a systematic literature review approach. Among the 1155 articles, a total of 135 were selected for a systematic review of palm oil waste management developments and their applications, while 14 were used for determining compost quality according to the criteria and requirements established in the systematic literature review. Moreover, using Egger’s test, JAMOVI 1.6.23 software was used to analyze random effects models with 95% confidence intervals and publication bias. The results showed that palm oil waste was optimally treated by composting, which is considered as a sustainable technology for protecting the environment, human safety, and economic value. The in-vessel method with a controlled composting chamber is the best system with a minimum time of 14 days. However, it requires tight control and provides a final product with a high microbial colony form outdoors and indoors compared to the windrow system. This study is useful to see the bias of research results and helps to find new studies that need to be developed, especially in this case related to the management of palm oil waste into organic compost fertilizer and its application methods in the field. It is suggested that applying palm oil waste or compost is mainly performed by mulching. In contrast, new challenges for better processing to produce organic fertilizers and applicable technologies for sustainable waste management are recommended. The method must be affordable, efficient, and practical, combining compost quality with maximum nutrient recovery.
      PubDate: Thu, 10 Nov 2022 06:20:01 +000
  • Physicochemical Equivalence and Quality Assessment of Various Brands of
           Gastro-Resistant Omeprazole Capsules in the Kumasi Metropolis

    • Abstract: The proliferation of counterfeit and poor-quality drugs is a major public health problem, especially in developing countries such as Ghana where there are inadequate resources to effectively monitor their prevalence. Most of these drugs, which are counterfeited, are drugs, which are in high demand and will reap huge profits for the unscrupulous people who engage in such activities. The introduction of Omeprazole as one of the first-line therapies in the management of peptic and duodenal ulcers in the treatment guidelines of Ghana has resulted in many generics being introduced onto the market. The pharmaceutical quality of fifteen randomly sampled Omeprazole capsule brands in the Kumasi metropolis was assessed using the innovator brand as a comparator to confirm their suitability for patient use and to provide data for drug regulatory agencies in Ghana concerning poor quality omeprazole brands. All the sampled brands complied with the official specifications for identification with good primary and secondary packaging characteristics. Ninety-four (94%) of the sampled brands passed the uniformity of weight test. All the brands (n = 16) representing 100% passed the disintegration tests. Sixty percent (60%) of the sampled brands passed the drug content test. Ten brands (66.7%) met the specification for in vitro dissolution test. From f2 analysis, the dissolution profiles of only five brands (31%) were similar to that of the reference brand which indicated that they could be used interchangeably in clinical practice. Conclusively, ten out of the fifteen sampled brands were of good quality and only five could be used as a substitute for the innovator. Thus, regulatory agencies will need to strengthen their postmarket surveillance to ensure that generic brands of good quality are allowed onto the market.
      PubDate: Wed, 09 Nov 2022 09:35:01 +000
  • Impact of Different Nanoparticles on Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
           Plants, Course, and Intensity of Photosynthesis

    • Abstract: The size of nanoparticles (NPs) allows them to accumulate in plants, and they affect plant growth by altering the size of leaves and roots and affecting their photosynthetic reactions by altering the composition of proteins in the electron transport chain, chlorophyll biosynthesis, and carbohydrate synthesis reactions. Plants play an important role on Earth as nutrient producers in all trophic food webs by producing oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide, and synthesizing edible carbohydrates during photosynthesis. In this study, Fe3O4 and ZnO NPs at various concentrations (0, 1, 2, and 4 mg/l) were used to investigate the effect of NPs on plant morphological parameters and photosynthesis intensity, determining the amount of chlorophyll and the absorption of their light spectrum in common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Fe3O4 (25 nm, 2 mg/l, and 4 mg/l) and ZnO (32 nm, 4 mg/l) significantly increased the leaf length of common wheat seedlings. However, Fe3O4 NPs (25 nm, 1 mg/l, and 4 mg/l) significantly reduced light absorption at 645 and 663 nm and the content of chlorophyll b, chlorophyll a, and total chlorophyll, but Fe3O4 (25 nm, 2 mg/l) significantly reduced the chlorophyll a content. In addition, ZnO NPs (32 nm, 1 mg/l) significantly increased the chlorophyll b content. This study has made a major contribution to understanding the effect of low concentrations of NPs on plant seedlings. Currently, NPs with high concentrations, starting at 10 mg/l, have been analysed in other studies, but in the environment, NPs enter plants in low concentrations as dust or through water droplets. Therefore, it is important to determine the potential impact of small concentrations of NPs on crops that are important for agriculture.
      PubDate: Wed, 09 Nov 2022 06:20:01 +000
  • Physical Inactivity and Food Insecurity Are Associated with Social
           Capital: A Large-Scale Population-Based Study in Tehran

    • Abstract: Background. There are limited studies on food security, physical activity, and social capital in the Iranian population. This study aimed to evaluate the social capital’s associations with physical inactivity and food insecurity in a large-scale study in Iran, Urban HEART-2. Methods. This cross-sectional study was conducted in 22 districts of Tehran, the capital of Iran. Residents of Tehran who were 15 years or older were selected by a multi-stage, stratified, and random sampling method. Food insecurity and physical activity were evaluated using Household Food Security Scale and Global Physical Activity Questionnaire, respectively, and their associations with social capital were evaluated. Results. A total of 5030 individuals were included in this study, with 3139 (62.4%) males. The mean age of participants was 44.08 years (SD = 16.33, range = 15–90). Participation in social events (OR = 0.893, 95% CI = 0.819–0.974,  = 0.011), social network (OR = 0.849, 95% CI = 0.786,  
      PubDate: Tue, 08 Nov 2022 07:05:01 +000
  • Woody Species Diversity, Composition, and Regeneration Status of Abbo
           Sacred Forest, Southern Ethiopia

    • Abstract: This study was conducted in Abbo Sacred Forest in Wonsho district, Sidama Zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR), southern Ethiopia, to investigate the woody species diversity, vegetation structure, and regeneration status of the forest. A systematic sampling design was employed to collect vegetation data. Sixty quadrats of 20 m × 20 m were laid at every 200 m interval between each quadrat and 400 m apart between each line transect following the altitudinal gradient. Quadrats of 20 m × 20 m were used to record DBH and the height of all woody plant species reaching a height of ≥2 m and a DBH of ≥2 cm. For the inventory of seedlings and saplings, five subplots of 2 m × 2 m, one at the center and the other four on each corner of the main quadrat, were used. DBH, height, seedling, and sapling density of woody species were recorded in each quadrat. The data were analyzed by using Shannon–Wiener diversity and equitability indices, and the structural analysis was carried out based on frequency, density, DBH, height, and basal area/ha−1. The importance value index was also computed. Regeneration status was computed by comparing the density data of saplings and seedlings with those of mature trees. A total of 63 woody species belonging to 56 genera and 35 families were identified. Three endemic species to Ethiopia were recorded. Analysis of selected woody species showed diverse population structures. The findings of this study revealed that small trees and shrubs dominated the forest, suggesting its status under a secondary stage of development. Some woody species require urgent conservation measures. Therefore, local and regional stakeholders should integrate and work together to develop and implement sound conservation and management strategies that encourage the sustainable utilization of forest resources.
      PubDate: Fri, 04 Nov 2022 11:05:02 +000
  • Isolation and Identification of Endophytic Fungi from Syzygium cumini Linn
           and Investigation of Their Pharmacological Activities

    • Abstract: This study was conducted to isolate and identify the endophytic fungi from the bark and leaves of the Syzygum cumini plant and investigate the pharmacological activities of endophytic fungi along with plant parts. After isolation, endophytic fungi were identified based on morphological characteristics and molecular identification. Antimicrobial, antioxidant, and cytotoxic activities were studied by a disc diffusion method, free radical scavenging DPPH assay, and brine shrimp lethality bioassay, respectively. A total of eight endophytic fungi were isolated and identified up to the genus level based on morphological characteristics and confirmed by molecular identification techniques. Among the eight isolates, three isolates were identified as Colletotrichum sp. (SCBE-2, SCBE-7, and SCLE-9), while the rest of the isolates belonged to Diaporthe sp. (SCBE-1), Pestalotiopsis sp. (SCBE-3), Penicillium sp. (SCBE-4), Phyllosistica sp. (SCLE-7), and Fusarium sp. (SCLE-8). The presence of flavonoids, anthraquinones, coumarins, and isocoumarins was assumed by the preliminary screening of the fungal and plant extracts by a thin-layer chromatographic technique under UV light. Fungal extracts of Pestalotiopsis sp. Penicillium sp. were found sensitive to all test bacteria, but only extracts from the leaf and bark showed significant antifungal activity along with their antimicrobial activity. Penicillium sp. The fungal extract showed the highest free radical scavenging activity (2.43 μg/mL) near that of ascorbic acid (2.42 μg/mL). Some fungal extracts showed cytotoxic activity that, in general, suggests their probable abundance of biological metabolites. This is the first approach to investigate the endophytic fungi of Syzygium cumini Linn. in Bangladesh, to find the pharmacological potential of endophytes, and to explore novel compounds from those endophytes.
      PubDate: Thu, 03 Nov 2022 06:20:00 +000
  • Perihelion Precessions of Inner Planets in Einstein’s Theory and
           Predicted Values for the Cosmological Constant

    • Abstract: In this paper, we obtain the approximate value of 42.9815 arcsec/century for Mercury’s perihelion precession by solving both numerically and analytically the nonlinear ordinary differential equation derived from the geodesic equation in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. We also compare our result with known results, and we illustrate graphically the way Mercury’s perihelion moves. The results we obtained are applicable to any body that moves around the Sun. We give predictions about the value of the Cosmological Constant. Simple algebraic formulas allow to estimate perihelion shifts with high accuracy.
      PubDate: Fri, 28 Oct 2022 12:35:01 +000
  • Geochemical, Mineralogical, and Geomorphological Characterization of Ash
           Materials as a Tracer for the Origin of Shifting Sands near Oldupai Gorge,
           Ngorongoro, Tanzania

    • Abstract: Shifting sand (SS) is a single dune-shaped mass of black ash material moving across western Ngorongoro in northern Tanzania. The moving sand has become an important tourist destination for several decades. Despite being part of the important geosites at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the nature, origin, and behaviors demonstrated by SS remain poorly understood. This work contributes toward understanding the nature and identification of the possible origin of the SS through the correlation of geochemical, mineralogical, and geomorphological data of ash material from four selected locations in the study area. To achieve this goal, elemental, mineralogical, and morphological characterization of ash samples was performed by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence, polarized petrographic microscopy, automated sieve shaker, and binocular microscopy techniques, respectively. Correlation studies were based on magnesian-ferriferous associations, similarities in mineralogy, particle size, shape, and distribution patterns of ash materials, and weather data. There are close similarities in the chemical compositions among ash samples of SS, Ootun area, and Oldoinyo Lengai. Augite and magnetite minerals appear only in samples of SS, Ootun area, and Oldoinyo Lengai, while hornblende appears only in the samples from the Ngorongoro crater. Oldoinyo Lengai rock petrography revealed significant amounts of augite minerals. Blocky and elongated-shaped ash particles dominate the samples from SS, Ootun area, and Oldoinyo Lengai. The particle size of ash materials decreases westwards across the study site. The distribution patterns of ash material align with the west-south-west wind direction. Based on these findings, the study concludes that SS and Ootun ash could be tephra depositions resulting from past volcanic eruptions of Oldoinyo Lengai.
      PubDate: Fri, 28 Oct 2022 06:35:01 +000
  • Elaboration of the Al-Al3Ni Alloy Eutectic by a Carbothermal Process

    • Abstract: The present study develops an elaborate method of materials Al-Al3Ni by carbothermic reduction of nickel oxide from the decomposition of Ni(NO3)2.4H2O mixed with aluminum powder. This nitrate salt represents the source of nickel for an elaboration of these materials. The thermodynamic parameters adopted in the experimental study were defined based on the liquid-solid phase equilibrium diagram of the binary system Al-Ni and the Ellingham approach. Throughout this study, the metal Ni is elaborated by carbothermic reduction of nickel oxide resulting from nitrate salt decomposition at 900°C under a nitrogen atmosphere. The heat treatment at 900 °C of a mixture of nitrate salt with aluminum powder under an inert gas atmosphere leads to the formation of phases Al2O3, Al4C3, Al, and Ni. The annealing of these obtained phases during 1 h and under a nitrogen flow atmosphere at the temperature of 600°C allowed us to obtain the Al-Al3Ni alloy devoid of oxides. The characterization of these obtained solid phases was carried out by the XRD analysis, the SEM-EDS, the DTA, and the DSC.
      PubDate: Wed, 26 Oct 2022 10:50:02 +000
  • The Effect of an Extract and Fractions of Date Pits on Some Plasma
           Constituents, Reproductive Hormones, and Testicular Histology in Male Mice

    • Abstract: Pits of dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.) have numerous nutritional benefits that could have wide-ranging applications. This study aimed to examine the effects of administering three extracts from powdered date pits on some basic physiological parameters, plasma constituents, reproductive hormones, and testicular histology in CD1 male mice. Three groups received doses of 100 mg/kg/day of lyophilized extract, a nonpolar fraction, and a polar fraction of date pits by oral gavage for 28 consecutive days. For the control, one group was administered a 1 mL/kg concentration of distilled water. The three different extracts significantly increased the plasma testosterone level but showed no significant effect on estradiol or luteinizing hormone levels, except for estradiol reduction in the polar extract group. The measured physiological or biochemical parameters or testicular histology also demonstrated no significant differences between the control mice and those mice treated with the three extracts, except for reductions in plasma urea in all extracts and in total protein in the nonpolar extract. Therefore, date pit extracts may potentially be used as a safe and effective dietary supplement. However, further investigation is needed.
      PubDate: Tue, 25 Oct 2022 08:05:01 +000
  • Cellular Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Activities of Bamboo Sasa

    • Abstract: Background. Hot water extract of Sasa albomarginata (Kumazasa) leaves is commercially available and used as a dietary supplement or skincare cream. The extract possesses anti-inflammatory activity on the mouse atopic dermatitis model. To elucidate the mechanism of in vivo activity, we have studied the cellular anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of the extract and its constituents. Methods. Secretion of mouse and human IL-6 was measured by ELISA. ROS production was measured by a fluorescent reagent. Ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC)/MS was used for the ingredient analysis. Results. The Sasa albomarginata extract inhibited inflammatory mediators such as LPS-induced NO, IL-6, and ROS production in mouse monocyte leukemia RAW264.7 cells. It also inhibited iNOS, IL-6, and IL-1β expressions. Moreover, it inhibited LPS-induced IL-6 expression and production in human monocyte leukemia THP-1 cells differentiated into macrophages. The HPLC analysis of the extract revealed the existence of coumaric acid, ferulic acid, and coumaric acid methyl ester. Coumaric acid methyl ester but not coumaric acid or ferulic acid inhibited LPS-induced NO, IL-6, and ROS production in RAW264.7 cells and IL-6 production in differentiated THP-1 cells. Conclusion. The hot water extract of Sasa albomarginata leaves and one of its constituents possess cellular anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.
      PubDate: Tue, 25 Oct 2022 06:20:02 +000
  • Retracted: Correlations of Ezrin Expression with Pathological
           Characteristics and Prognosis of Osteosarcoma: A Meta-Analysis

    • PubDate: Mon, 24 Oct 2022 14:35:01 +000
  • Bio-Tribocorrosion of Titanium Dental Implants and Its Toxicological
           Implications: A Scoping Review

    • Abstract: Bio-tribocorrosion is a phenomenon that combines the essentials of tribology (friction, wear, and lubrication) and corrosion with microbiological processes. Lately, it has gained attention in implant dentistry because dental implants are exposed to wear, friction, and biofilm formation in the corrosive oral environment. They may degrade upon exposure to various microbial, biochemical, and electrochemical factors in the oral cavity. The mechanical movement of the implant components produces friction and wear that facilitates the release of metal ions, promoting adverse oro-systemic reactions. This review describes the bio-tribocorrosion of the titanium (Ti) dental implants in the oral cavity and its toxicological implications. The original research related to the bio-tribo or tribocorrosion of the dental implants was searched in electronic databases like Medline (Pubmed), Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science. About 34 studies included in the review showed that factors like the type of Ti, oral biofilm, acidic pH, fluorides, and micromovements during mastication promote bio-tribocorrosion of the Ti dental implants. Among the various grades of Ti, grade V, i.e., Ti6Al4V alloy, is most susceptible to tribocorrosion. Oral pathogens like Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis produce acids and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) that cause pitting corrosion and degrade the TiO2. The low pH and high fluoride concentration in saliva hinder passive film formation and promote metal corrosion. The released metal ions promote inflammatory reactions and bone destruction in the surrounding tissues resulting in peri-implantitis, allergies, and hyper-sensitivity reactions. However, further validation of the role of bio-tribocorrosion on the durability of the Ti dental implants and Ti toxicity is warranted through clinical trials.
      PubDate: Fri, 21 Oct 2022 05:50:00 +000
  • Characterization and Strength Quality of the Oryctolagus cuniculus Leather
           Compared to Oreochromis niloticus Leather

    • Abstract: This study aimed to compare the resistance of the Oryctolagus cuniculus L. (rabbit) and Oreochromis niloticus L. (Nile tilapia) skins, as well as to observe the design of the flower of these skins and the morphology of the dermis. Tilapia and rabbit skins were placed inside the same equipment (tannery machine) for the chromium salt tanning process. The flower design of the fish leather distinguishes it from the rabbit leather, the latter being constituted by the opening of the hair follicles and pores, while the fish leather is constituted by the presence of protective lamellae and insertion of the scales. The dermis of rabbit skin consists of thick bundles of collagen fibers arranged in all directions, which differs from the morphology observed in the dermis of fish skin. However, in the Nile tilapia skin dermis, overlapping and parallel layers of longitudinal collagen fiber bundles are observed, these layers are interspersed with fiber bundles crossing the sking surface (transversely), tying the fibers together and providing greater strength, which can be proven by the strength test. The fish leathers, despite having less thickness (1.0 mm), demonstrated significantly greater tensile strength (13.52 ± 1.86 N mm−2) and tear strength (53.85 ± 6.66 N mm−2) than rabbit leathers, that is, (8.98 ± 2.67 N mm−2) and (24.25 ± 4.34 N mm−2). However, rabbit leather demonstrated higher elasticity (109.97 ± 13.52%) compared to Nile tilapia leather (78.97 ± 8.40%). It can be concluded that although the rabbit leather is thicker due to the histological architecture of the dermis (thick bundles of collagen fibers arranged in all directions with no pattern of organization of collagen fibers), it shows less resistance than Nile tilapia leather, which demonstrates an organization of overlapping and parallel layers and intercalating collagen fiber bundles transversally to the surface, functioning as tendons for the swimming process. It is recommended to use a piece of fabric (lining) together with the fleshy side of the rabbit leather, to increase resistance when used in clothing and footwear, as these products require greater tensile strength. Thus, it minimizes this restriction for the use of rabbit leather in the aforementioned purposes.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Oct 2022 09:05:01 +000
  • Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors of Intestinal Parasites and Enteric
           Bacterial Infections among Selected Region Food Handlers of Ethiopia
           during 2014–2022: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    • Abstract: Food-borne disease due to intestinal parasites (IPs) and enteric bacterial infections (EBIs) remain a major public health problem. Food handlers, individuals involved in preparing and serving food, working with poor personal hygiene could pose a potential threat of spreading IPs and EBIs to the public. The aim of this study was to examine the overall prevalence and risk factors of IPs and EBIs among food handlers in four selected regions of Ethiopia. Scientific articles written in English were recovered from PubMed, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Cochrane Library, and other sources from Google Engine and University Library Databases. “Prevalence,” “Intestinal Parasites,” “Enteric Bacterial Infections,” “Associated Factors,” “Food Handlers,” and “Ethiopia” were the search terms used for this study. For critical appraisal, PRISMA 2009 was applied. Stata software version 16 was used to perform the meta-analysis. Heterogeneity and publication bias were evaluated using Cochran’s Q, inverse variance (I2), and funnel plot asymmetry tests. A random-effects model was used to calculate the pooled burden of IPs and EBIs and its associated factors among food handlers, along with the parallel odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). For this meta-analysis, a total of 5844 food handlers were included in the 20 eligible studies. The overall pooled prevalence of IPs and EBIs among food handlers in four selected regions of Ethiopia was 29.16% (95% CI: 22.61, 35.71), with covering (25.77%) and (3.39%) by IPs and EBIs, respectively. Ascaris lumbricoides, Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Giardia lamblia, and hookworm were the most prevalent IPs among food handlers with a pooled prevalence of 7.58%, 6.78%, 3.67%, and 2.70%, respectively. Salmonella and Shigella spp. were the most prevalent EBIs among food handlers with a pooled prevalence of 2.78% and 0.61%, respectively. A high prevalence of IPs and EBIs among food handlers was observed in Oromia (38.56%; 95% CI: 29.98, 47.14), while a low prevalence was observed in the Tigray region (19.45%; 95% CI: 6.08, 32.82). Food handlers who had not taken food hygiene training (OR: 0.68, 95% CI: −0.34, 1.69), untrimmed finger nail (OR: 2.23, 95% CI: 1.47, 2.99), lack of periodic medical checkup (OR: 1.52, 95% CI: 0.41, 2.64), lack of handwashing habits (OR: 1.97, 95% CI: 0.53, 3.41), and eating raw vegetables and meat (OR: 2.63, 95% CI: 0.92, 4.34) were factors significantly associated with the prevalence of IPs and EBIs. The prevalence of IPs and EBIs was high in the selected Ethiopian region (Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, and Tigray) food handlers along an increasing prevalence trend from 2014 to 2022. Therefore, this study recommends the provision of proper health education and training regarding personal hygiene, hand washing, food handling, medical checks, as well as raw vegetable and meat safety.
      PubDate: Wed, 12 Oct 2022 05:50:01 +000
  • In Silico Analysis on the Interaction of Haloacid Dehalogenase from
           Bacillus cereus IndB1 with 2-Chloroalkanoic Acid Substrates

    • Abstract: Recently, haloacid dehalogenases have gained a lot of interest because of their potential applications in bioremediation and synthesis of chemical products. The haloacid dehalogenase gene from Bacillus cereus IndB1 (bcfd1) has been isolated, expressed, and Bcfd1 enzyme activity towards monochloroacetic acid has been successfully studied. However, the structure, enantioselectivity, substrate range, and essential residues of Bcfd1 have not been elucidated. This research performed computational studies to predict the Bcfd1 protein structure and analyse the interaction of Bcfd1 towards several haloacid substrates to comprehend their enantioselectivity and substrates’ range. Structure prediction revealed that Bcfd1 protein consist of two domains. The main domain consists of seven β-sheets connected by six α-helices and four 310-helices forming a Rossmannoid fold. On the other hand, the cap domain consists of five β-sheets connected by five α-helices. The docking simulation showed that 2-chloroalkanoic acids bind to the active site of Bcfd1 with docking energy decreases as the length of their alkyl chain increases. The docking simulation also indicated that the docking energy differences of two enantiomers of 2-chloroalkanoic acids substrates were not significant. Further analysis revealed the role of Met1, Asp2, Cys33, and Lys204 residues in orienting the carboxylic group of 2-chloroalkanoic acids in the active site of this enzyme through hydrogen bonds. This research proved that computational studies could be used to figure out the effect of substrates enantiomer and length of carbon skeleton to Bcfd1 affinity toward 2-chloroalkanoic acids.
      PubDate: Sat, 08 Oct 2022 19:05:04 +000
  • Analysis of Phenolic and Flavonoid Content, α-Amylase Inhibitory and Free
           Radical Scavenging Activities of Some Medicinal Plants

    • Abstract: In Nepal, about 700 plant species have been reported to be used for the primary care of different diseases. However, many of them have not been studied yet for their scientific evidence. The main aim of this study is the quantitative analysis of flavonoids and phenolic content, antioxidant, and antidiabetic activities of the extracts of four different medicinal plants, namely, Pogostemon benghalensis, Aleuritopteris bicolor, Crateva unilocularis, and Rungia pectinata growing in Nepal. The methanol extracts of plant samples were prepared by the hot percolation method using the Soxhlet apparatus. The phytochemicals of the plant extracts were analysed by colour differentiation methods using different analytical reagents. The phenolic content was estimated by using Folin–Ciocalteu’s phenol reagent and the flavonoid was estimated by the aluminium chloride colorimetric method. The 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay was used to evaluate the antioxidant potential. The α-amylase enzyme inhibition activity was performed to evaluate the antidiabetic activity of plant extracts. The amount of total phenolics and flavonoids content was found to be the highest in Pogostemon benghalensis (169.43 ± 3.58 mg GAE/g and 65.2 ± 2.0 mg QE/g), respectively, which also showed the most potent free radical scavenging activity (IC50 35.92 ± 0.65 μg/mL). The extract of Aleuritopteris bicolor showed the highest α-amylase inhibitory activity (IC50 651.58 ± 10.32 μg/mL) whereas Crateva unilocularis and Pogostemon benghalensis exhibited moderate activity. The extract of Rungia pectinata showed the least activity towards α-amylase inhibition. Some of the medicinal plants selected in this study showed high TPC and TFC values with potent biological activities. To the best of our knowledge, these medicinal plants have the least exposure to their biological activities, and the results provide scientific evidence for the traditional uses of these plants against diabetes and infectious diseases. However, a detailed study can be performed in these plants to isolate the active chemical compounds and to evaluate in vivo pharmacological activities to know the active drug candidates for the future drug development process.
      PubDate: Mon, 03 Oct 2022 06:35:03 +000
  • A Bibliometric Perspective on AI Research for Job-Résumé

    • Abstract: The search for the right person for the right job, or in other words the selection of the candidate who best reflects the skills demanded by employers to perform a specific set of duties in a job appointment, is a key premise of the personnel selection pipeline of recruitment departments. This task is usually performed by human experts who examine the résumé or curriculum vitae of candidates in search of the right skills necessary to fit the vacant position. Recent advances in AI, specifically in the fields of text analytics and natural language processing, have sparked the interest of research on the application of these technologies to help recruiters accomplish this task or part of it automatically, applying algorithms for information extraction, parsing, representation, and matching of résumés and job descriptions, or sections within. In this study, we aim to better understand how the research landscape in this field has evolved. To do this, we follow a multifaceted bibliometric approach aimed at identifying trends, dynamics, structures, and visual mapping of the most relevant topics, highly cited or influential papers, authors, and universities working on these topics, based on a publication record retrieved from Scopus and Google Scholar bibliographic databases. We conclude that, unlike a traditional literature review, the bibliometric-guided approach allowed us to discover a more comprehensive picture of the evolution of research in this subject and to clearly identify paradigm shifts from the earliest stages to the most recent efforts proposed to address this problem.
      PubDate: Mon, 03 Oct 2022 04:50:00 +000
  • Seasonal Dynamics in Bacteriological and Physicochemical Water Quality of
           the Southern Gulf of Lake Tana

    • Abstract: Freshwater lakes are important sources of water for domestic, agricultural, and industrial uses. Lake Tana offers a range of ecosystem services to the surrounding communities. However, this lake is facing deterioration in water quality due to pollution caused by anthropogenic influences. Therefore, regular monitoring of key water quality parameters is critical to understanding the water quality status of the lake. This study aimed to assess the seasonal fluctuation of water quality of the Southern Gulf of Lake Tana using indicator bacteria and some physicochemical parameters. A total of 48 water samples were collected in dry and wet seasons from eight sites in the study area. Total coliforms (TC), faecal coliforms (FC), and some physicochemical parameters (pH, temperature, turbidity, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, ammonium, nitrate, and phosphate) were determined following standard methods. The results revealed that coliform counts were above the permissible level set by Ethiopian Standards and varied significantly among sites (). FC counts ranged from 1 to 1600 MPN/100 ml (with the lowest and highest mean value of 1 at site 8 to 1076.5 ± 3.1 at site 4) and again TC counts ranged from 1 to 1600 MPN/100 ml (with a mean value of 4.8 ± 1.81 at site 6 to 1600 at site 4 and site 8). The findings also confirmed that the highest counts of coliforms were observed during the wet season. The high counts are attributed to the discharge of human excreta and animal wastes during the rainy season from the different anthropogenic activities near the Gulf. Significant variations in most of the physicochemical parameters were also observed between sites and seasons. FC and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) in most sites did not meet the EPA standard for surface water. Corrective measures are highly recommended for anthropogenic activities driving high pollution loads in the lake.
      PubDate: Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:05:03 +000
  • Prevalence of Cyberchondria among Outpatients with Metabolic Syndrome in a
           Tertiary Care Hospital in Southern India

    • Abstract: Background. In today’s world, Internet-based medical information plays a significant role in patient education. There are several accessible health-related websites. It has become common to search Internet before going for a medical consultation. The main objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of cyberchondriasis and its association with demographic variables. Methods. A cross-sectional study was carried out among metabolic syndrome patients attending the cardiology, endocrinology, and neurology outpatient departments of a tertiary care hospital in South India. The prevalence of cyberchondriasis and its constructs were measured using the cyberchondria severity scale (CSS). Inferential statistics revealed no statistically significant difference in the average CSS scores across sociodemographic variables. Spearman correlation was conducted to determine the relationship between the constructs. Results. A total of 379 participants with metabolic syndrome were included in the study. 42.5% of them were severely affected, and 28.0% were moderately affected by cyberchondriasis. Among the constructs studied, compulsion (85.7%), distress (91.8%), excessiveness (96.6%), and reassurance (76.1%) constructs had an impact on a greater number of study participants, compared to mistrust of medical professional construct (33.0%). Cyberchondriasis had a significant relationship with the history of myocardial infarction (p value = 0.03). There was a statistically significant positive linear relationship between mistrust and reassurance (rs = 0.169, p value
      PubDate: Mon, 26 Sep 2022 15:05:04 +000
  • Daily Activity Pattern of Geladas (Theropithecus gelada, Ruppell 1835) in
           Kotu Forest, Northern Ethiopia

    • Abstract: Gelada (Theropithecus gelada) is one of the endemic primates of Ethiopia. The ecology of meta populations of geladas outside protected areas is less studied, and their population status is uncertain. As a result, we conducted a study to investigate the daily activity pattern of gelada in Kotu forest and associated grasslands in northern Ethiopia from August 2017 to February 2018 covering both wet and dry seasons. The instantaneous scan sampling method was employed to collect behavioral data. The activity pattern of three selected focal groups of geladas was studied, and predominant behavioral activities were scanned in 15 minutes intervals from dawn 7:00 h to dusk at 18:00 h. Feeding comprised 61.65% of the total scan, followed by moving 18.49%. Feeding activity was more frequent during the dry season (about 65%) than in the wet season (58.20%). On the other hand, moving activity was more frequent during the dry season (about 22%) than in the wet season (about 14%). The daily activity pattern of gelada showed a feeding peak early in the morning and in the late afternoon. The time allocated by geladas for feeding and moving in the study area is higher than other activities. Therefore, there is a need for further in-depth research on diet availability and quality to justify why geladas allocate more time for feeding and moving nexus for conservation interventions.
      PubDate: Mon, 26 Sep 2022 10:05:01 +000
  • Potentials of Natural Preservatives to Enhance Food Safety and Shelf Life:
           A Review

    • Abstract: Food-borne illnesses are a significant concern for consumers, the food industry, and food safety authorities. Natural preservatives are very crucial for enhancing food safety and shelf life. Therefore, this review aimed to assess the literature regarding the potential of natural preservatives to enhance food safety and extend the shelf life of food products. The review paper indicated that natural antimicrobial agents that inhibit bacterial and fungal growth for better quality and shelf life have been of considerable interest in recent years. Natural antimicrobials are mainly extracted and isolated as secondary metabolites of plants, animals, and microorganisms. Plants, especially herbs and spices, are given more attention as a source of natural antimicrobials. Microorganisms used in food fermentation also produce different antimicrobial metabolites, including organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, and diacetyl, in addition to bacteriocins. Products of animal origin, such as tissues and milk, contain different antimicrobial agents. Natural antimicrobials are primarily extracted and purified before utilization for food product development. The extraction condition and purification of natural preservatives may change their structure and affect their functionality. Selecting the best extraction method coupled with minimal processing such as direct mechanical extraction seems to preserve active ingredients. The activity of natural antimicrobials could also be influenced by the source, time of harvesting, and stage of development. The effectiveness of natural antimicrobial compounds in food applications is affected by different factors, including food composition, processing method, and storage conditions. Natural antimicrobials are safe because they can limit microbial resistance and meet consumers’ demands for healthier foods.
      PubDate: Fri, 23 Sep 2022 12:05:01 +000
  • Bacterial Milk Quality along the Value Chain in Smallholder Dairy

    • Abstract: This study aimed to evaluate the microbial quality of raw milk along the milk value chain at Africa University (AU). Eighteen Holstein-Friesian cows were used in this experiment. A total of 270 milk samples were collected for laboratory analysis at three different stages, during milking (DM), from the bulk tank (BT), and at the dining hall (DH), to determine the total bacterial count (TBC), Escherichia coli, and Salmonella enterica. Samples were cultured in Petri dishes using an appropriate medium for 48 hours. The plate count method was used to determine the quantity of bacteria. Data were analyzed using GLM SPSS. The results indicated that TBC increased ( 
      PubDate: Wed, 21 Sep 2022 03:50:01 +000
  • Antimicrobial Bioactivity and GC-MS Analysis of Different Extracts of
           Corchorus olitorius L Leaves

    • Abstract: Background and Aim. Plants have been used for the treatment of infectious diseases among various communities worldwide with undeniable success. Corchorus olitorius L is used to treat various ailments including infections. However, there are limited data regarding its antimicrobial spectrum in Uganda. In the bid to bridge this gap, we investigated the antimicrobial bioactivity of Corchorus olitorius L against Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Mycobacteria tuberculosis. Methods. Corchorus olitorius L leaves were harvested, air-dried, and serially extracted using diethyl ether, methanol, and distilled water (aqueous). The crude extracts and their components separated by TLC were assayed for bioactivity against the organisms mentioned above using the agar well diffusion technique. Chloramphenicol was used as a positive control. Observation of a zone of inhibition indicated bioactivity. Finally, the components that displayed bioactivity were subjected to GC-MS analysis to establish their chemical composition using the MS library database. Results. Crude extracts of Corchorus olitorius L leaves and their TLC-separated components demonstrated bioactivity against Staphylococcus aureus (14 mm), Streptococcus pneumoniae (16 mm), and Escherichia coli (11 mm) but neither against Candida albicans nor Mycobacteria tuberculosis. However, the overall zones of inhibition were smaller compared to the positive control (≥18 mm). GC-MS analysis of the active components revealed the presence of methyl esters. Conclusion. Corchorus olitorius L is bioactive against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria but neither against fungi nor mycobacteria. The bioactivity is attributable to the presence of methyl esters. Since methyl esters already have proven bioactivity in some studies, they could be further studied and optimized for possible pharmaceutical use. Further, to provide a more comprehensive antimicrobial spectrum of Corchorus olitorius L in Uganda, purified active components could be investigated using a wider range of organisms.
      PubDate: Tue, 20 Sep 2022 05:50:02 +000
  • Analysis of Land Use/Land Cover Change and Its Implication On Natural
           Resources of the Dedo Watershed, Southwest Ethiopia

    • Abstract: This study analyzed the land use/land cover (LULC) change and their causes and implications on the natural resources of the Dedo Watershed, Ethiopia. The study used 1984, 2000, and 2017 satellite images to detect the trends of land use/land cover change. Moreover, key informant interviews and focus group discussions were used to identify the driving forces linked to the changes and their impact on the natural resources of the watershed. The study identified five LULC types as follows: cultivation, settlement, dense forest, light vegetation, and grassland. Over the last 33 years, cultivation and settlement land expanded by 15.7% and 0.34%, whereas dense forest, light vegetation, and grazing land declined by 9.2%, 4.97%, and 1.85%, respectively. The establishment of the resettlement program and population pressure and associated demands were the major driving forces behind the land use/cover change. Whereas increased soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and decline in water resources are identified as the major impacts of land use land cover changes in the study watershed for the last 33 years. The study concludes that if these trends of cultivation and settlement land expansion allowed continuing, there will be no dense forest vegetation will remain. So, the finding of this study is significant.
      PubDate: Tue, 20 Sep 2022 04:35:01 +000
  • Efficacy and Tolerability of Hybrid Complexes of High- and
           Low-Molecular-Weight Hyaluronan Intradermal Injections for the Treatment
           of Skin Roughness and Laxity of the Neck

    • Abstract: This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a well-characterized formulation of hyaluronic acid (HA), Profhilo®, in the treatment of roughness and laxity of the neck skin. The study was performed on 25 subjects ranging in age from 40 to 65 years. Two injections of the studied product at 30-day intervals were performed, with evaluations conducted 1 and 4 months after the first injection. The efficacy was determined by clinical and multilevel instrumental evaluations. In addition, at the end of the study, the subjects completed a questionnaire related to the efficacy and tolerability of the product. The studied product was shown to induce a clear and statistically significant improvement in the skin of the neck in all the subjects, with concordant results between the clinical, instrumental, and subjects’ evaluations. The positive effects, present after the first injection, were further increased in the second and last evaluation. Notably, the product was reported to have a very high tolerability by both clinicians and subjects. In conclusion, two injections of the studied product safely induced skin amelioration in subjects with mild to moderate neck skin roughness and laxity.
      PubDate: Sat, 17 Sep 2022 07:35:02 +000
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