Ensete ventricosum: A Multipurpose Crop against Hunger in EthiopiaRead the full article
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Comparison of Toxic Metal Concentrations in Antidiabetic Herbal Preparations (ADHPs) Available in Bangladesh Using AAS and XRF Analytical Tools
Widespread escalation of type 2 diabetes is a concern throughout the world. Developing countries are leading with patients suffering from diabetes-related complications. Plant-based therapeutic, antidiabetic herbal preparations (ADHPs) are being sought for long and the consumption is increasing in in Bangladesh. Plant-based antidiabetic preparations do not go through the screening procedure in terms of safety. Toxic metals in ADHPs have been investigated by two different methods: atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). Then, metal concentrations obtained by AAS and XRF were compared. A total of eleven ADHPs were subjected to nondestructive XRF analysis and destructive AAS analysis. Results from the two methods were analyzed statistically by Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC), . Pearson correlation coefficients were found to be −0.05, 0.94, and 1.00 for Mn, Cu, and Zn, respectively. Zn and Cu had significant strong positive correlation ( = 1.00 and 0.94, respectively); however, very weak negative correlation was observed in Mn ( = −0.05). The concentrations were regressed to observe the presence of linearity. Linear correlation was found for Zn and Cu which indicates a good agreement between AAS and XRF. However, very weak linear correlation in Mn indicates necessitating requirements for further investigation on getting scientific evidence of toxic metal assessment of the antidiabetic herbal preparations for searching and establishing instrumental agreement.
A Multibiomarker Approach to Assess the Health State of Coastal Ecosystem Receiving Desalination Plants in Agadir Bay, Morocco
The present study aims to evaluate the initial health status of two stations receiving seawater desalination plants in Agadir Bay (Tifnit-Douira and Cap Ghir) and to assess their potential environmental impact on the marine ecosystem health. Six pairs of mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were collected at six sampling sites on a monthly basis over two years. Each pair was homogenized to obtain the postmitochondrial fractions (S9). Toxicological effects were measured using a multibiomarker approach based on either acetylcholinesterase (AChE), glutathione S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), and malondialdehyde (MDA) rate. The results show a seasonal variation of the biomarkers: their activities increase in summer and decrease in spring and winter. High activities were recorded during summer in Cap Ghir (17.94 ± 0.88; 5.91 ± 052 nmol/min/mg of protein) for CAT and MDA, respectively. In Tifnit-Douira, low activities were recorded during winter for GST (3.74 ± 0.52 nmol/min/mg of protein) and during spring for the CAT (3.52 ± 0.45 nmol/min/mg of protein). The fluctuations in the activities of measured biomarkers could be attributed to different factors including the changes in environmental parameters, the influence of seasonal variation, and the contamination of the aquatic ecosystem. The data obtained in this study should be taken into account in the monitoring and management of the health of the ecosystems when the desalination plants are established.
Head Loss in Thin-Walled Drip Tapes with Continuous Labyrinth
Thin-walled drip tapes with continuous labyrinth have been used for irrigation of vegetables and other short-cycle crops, especially due to their low cost. The continuous labyrinths welded into the pipe inner wall affect the head loss along such emitting pipes. In addition, the flow cross section of thin-walled pipes may change due to the effects of the operating pressure, which also has consequences for the head loss. The objective of this work was to investigate experimentally the friction factor and the head loss on thin-walled drip tapes with continuous labyrinths operated under various pressures. Two models of commercial thin-walled drip tapes with continuous labyrinths were evaluated. Nonperforated samples were used to determine the head-loss equations. The equations were adjusted as a function of flow rate and pressure head at the pipe inlet. Alternatively, the diameter in the Darcy–Weisbach equation was adjusted as a function of the pressure head by a power-law model. The possibility of using a mean diameter in the Darcy–Weisbach equation was also analyzed. Experimental investigation indicated that the friction factor in the Darcy–Weisbach equation can be accurately described using a power-law model, like the Blasius equation, but characterized by a coefficient for the Turbo Tape and for the Silver Tape. The obtained values of are larger than those generally used and available in the literature. The influence of the operating pressure on the pipe diameter can be neglected for the purpose of calculating the head loss. The two approaches, considering the variation of the diameter with the pressure head and considering an optimum average diameter for the calculation of head loss by the Darcy–Weisbach equation, produce similar results, allowing accurate prediction of head loss. Evaluating the proposed mathematical models, 95% of predictions presented relative errors of head loss smaller than 5%. For the Turbo Tape, the optimum diameter for the purpose of calculating the head loss is 16.01 mm, which is very close to the value indicated by its manufacturer (15.9 mm). For the Silver Drip, the optimum diameter is 15.71 mm, while the manufacturer gives a value of 16.22 mm, which produces considerable error in the calculation of head loss.
Salivary Metabolomics Fingerprint of Chronic Apical Abscess with Sinus Tract: A Pilot Study
Chronic apical abscess (CAA) is a lesion of apical periodontitis mostly characterized by areas of liquefactive necrosis with disintegrating polymorphonuclear neutrophils surrounded by macrophages. Its presence leads to local bacterial infection, systemic inflammatory response, pain, and swelling. The use of a novel approach for the study of CAA, such as metabolomics, seems to be important since it has proved to be a powerful tool for biomarkers discovery which could give novel molecular insight on CAA. So, the aim of this study was to verify the possibility to identify the metabolic fingerprint of CAA through the analysis of saliva samples. Nineteen patients were selected for this study: eleven patients affected by CAA with a sinus tract constituted the study group whereas eight patients without clinical and radiographic signs of CAA formed the healthy control group. Saliva samples were collected from each subject and immediately frozen at −80°C. Metabolomic profiles were obtained using a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry instrument. Subsequently, in order to compare the two groups, a multivariate statistical model was built that resulted to be statistically significant. The class of metabolites characterizing the CAA patients was closely related to the bacterial catabolism, tissue necrosis, and presence of a sinus tract. These preliminary results, for the first time, indicate that saliva samples analyzed by means of GC/MS metabolomics may be useful for identifying the presence of CAA, leading to new insights into this disease.
Malaria Prevention Measures among Pregnant Women: A Population-Based Survey in Nnewi, Nigeria
We examined factors related to the uptake of two malaria prevention measures, insecticide-treated bed-nets and prophylactic sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), among pregnant women in Nnewi, Nigeria. The survey had a quantitative and qualitative part. For each part, the subjects meeting our inclusion criteria were systematically identified in a population-based manner. For the qualitative part, focused group discussions, in-depth interviews with a wide variety of stakeholders (e.g., health workers, males whose wives are pregnant, and drug and net sellers), and key informants including doctors and nurses were held. All data covered various aspects related to the topics. A total of 384 subjects participated. The mean age was 28.9 years (95% CI 23.4–34.5). The primigravidae (odds 1.8–2.3) and illiterates (odds 4.1–13.5) were less likely to sleep under the net. Primigravidae were 2.0x less likely to uptake adequate SP. The uptake was also associated with having adequate knowledge on SP (2.4x), completing usual (≥4 visits) antenatal visits (3.9x), and being in the best (≥9 visits) antenatal visit scenario (10.5x). Other barriers identified were thermal discomfort, lack of availability, cost, and unsupervised uptake of SP. Based on a representative sample, systematic procedures, and within current evaluation limits, we conclude that primigravidae and those with no formal education and inadequate antenatal visits should be the foremost group for encouraging uptake of malaria prevention measures. The policymakers should resolve issues of thermal discomfort, availability, cost, unsupervised uptake, and inadequate awareness and confidence on SP prophylaxis. The solutions are available and should be actively sought.
GC/MS Analysis of Fatty Acids on Pliek U Oil and Its Pharmacological Study by Molecular Docking to Filaggrin as a Drug Candidate in Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
Analysis of fatty acid contents and pharmacological properties of Pliek U oil was performed. Fatty acids were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and pharmacological properties based on its potential on filament-aggregating protein (filaggrin) were studied with bioinformatics approach by the reverse docking technique using palmitic acid as a control compound. Two Pliek U extracts, namely, Pliek U oil (PUO) and ethanolic Pliek U oil extract (EPUOE), were prepared. The GC-MS results revealed that lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid are the predominant fatty acids, with lauric acid being the abundant one in all Pliek U oil extracts. The reverse docking technique results showed that oleic acid had the most stable interaction to filaggrin with the lowest binding affinity (−6.1 kcal/mol). Oleic acid and palmitic acid have one same side binding to filaggrin on amino acid LEU D75. These findings indicated that oleic acid has the best potential to be used as a drug candidate in atopic dermatitis treatment.