International Scholarly Research Notices The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Superoptimal Rate of Convergence in Nonparametric Estimation for Functional Valued Processes Tue, 16 Sep 2014 06:00:25 +0000 We consider the nonparametric estimation of the generalised regression function for continuous time processes with irregular paths when the regressor takes values in a semimetric space. We establish the mean-square convergence of our estimator with the same superoptimal rate as when the regressor is real valued. Christophe Chesneau and Bertrand Maillot Copyright © 2014 Christophe Chesneau and Bertrand Maillot. All rights reserved. Correlates and Predictors of Increasing Waist Circumference in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Cross-Sectional Study Mon, 15 Sep 2014 06:47:40 +0000 Type 2 diabetes mellitus (type 2 DM) has become a disease of public health concern worldwide. Obesity and elevated blood pressure have been shown to be comorbidities of type 2 DM. In this cross-sectional study in Tamale, Ghana, we determined the prevalence of abdominal obesity among type 2 DM patients. Furthermore, we examined the demographic, clinical, and anthropometric predictors of increasing waist circumference in this population. Three hundred type 2 DM patients attending the outpatient diabetes clinic of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana, were recruited for the study. Waist circumference (WC) and hip circumferences were measured appropriately. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) were taken from the personal health record files of patients. Demographic data were obtained. Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression models were employed to identify predictors of increasing WC. The prevalence of abdominal obesity was 77.0% and was significantly higher in women than in men. A positive correlation was observed between waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and WC (, ), female gender (, ), and age (, ). A high prevalence of abdominal obesity was observed. Predictors of increasing WC were gender, age, FPG, and WHR. Victor Mogre, Robert Abedandi, and Zenabankara S. Salifu Copyright © 2014 Victor Mogre et al. All rights reserved. Entrapment of -Amylase in Agar Beads for Biocatalysis of Macromolecular Substrate Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:58:51 +0000 Attempts have been made to optimize immobilization parameters, catalytic property, and stability of immobilized α-amylase in agar. The work compares natural entrapment efficiency of agar with the ionotropically cross-linked agar hydrogel, with the advantage of easy scale-up and cost and time effectiveness. Beads prepared with 3% (w/v) agar and 75 mM calcium chloride and hardened for 20 minutes were selected for further studies on the basis of entrapment efficiency (80%) and physical stability. Following entrapment, pH and temperature optima of enzyme were shifted from 6 to 6.5 and 50 to 55°C, respectively. Michaelis constant () for both free and entrapped enzymes remained the same (0.83%) suggesting no change in substrate affinity. However, of entrapped enzyme decreased ~37.5-fold. The midpoint of thermal inactivation for entrapped enzyme increased by 8 ± 1°C implying its higher thermal stability. The entrapped enzyme in calcium agar bead had an Ea value of 27.49 kcal/mol compared to 17.6 kcal/mol for free enzyme indicating increased stability on entrapment. Half-life of enzyme increased ~2.2 times after entrapment in calcium agar at 60°C indicating stabilization of enzyme. The reusability of beads was size dependent. Beads with diameter <710 μm were stable and could be reused for 6 cycles with ~22% loss in activity. Manu Sharma, Vinay Sharma, and Dipak K. Majumdar Copyright © 2014 Manu Sharma et al. All rights reserved. Proteomic Characterization of Lytic Bacteriophages of Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Sewage Affluent of India Sun, 14 Sep 2014 07:58:41 +0000 Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive bacterium that causes a variety of diseases, including bovine mastitis, which has severe economic consequences. Standard antibiotic treatment results in selection of resistant strains, leading to need for an alternative treatment such as bacteriophage therapy. Present study describes isolation and characterization of a staphylococcal phage from sewage samples. S. aureus isolates obtained from microbial type culture collection (MTCC), Chandigarh, India, were used to screen staphylococcal phages. A phage designated as ΦMSP was isolated from sewage samples by soft agar overlay method. It produced clear plaques on tryptone soya agar overlaid with S. aureus. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the phage had an icosahedral symmetry. It had 5 major proteins and possessed a peptidoglycan hydrolase corresponding to 70 kDa. ΦMSP infection induced 26 proteins to be uniquely expressed in S. aureus. This phage can be proposed as a candidate phage to treat staphylococcal infections. Kamalpreet Kaur Sangha, B. V. Sunil Kumar, Ravi Kant Agrawal, Dipak Deka, and Ramneek Verma Copyright © 2014 Kamalpreet Kaur Sangha et al. All rights reserved. Construction and Evaluation of Rainwater Harvesting System for Domestic Use in a Remote and Rural Area of Khulna, Bangladesh Sun, 14 Sep 2014 06:02:51 +0000 Scarcity of pure drinking water during the dry season (November–March) is a major problem in Bangladesh, which needs to be addressed. This crisis has been further aggravated due to surging populations. Rainwater can provide some of the cleanest naturally occurring water and can hold a great potential in dealing with the current challenge of acute arsenic poisoning as well as physical water scarcity in many parts of Bangladesh. In this connection, rainwater harvesting (RWH) system has been constructed in a very remote and rural village in Khulna, Bangladesh, for a 4-membered household. It consists of a concrete catchment of 40 m2 area, a supporting and collection system made of PVC pipes, and two locally available plastic storage tanks having capacity of 2000 L each. The study also investigates the quality aspects of the stored rainwater, which include measurement of pH, alkalinity, hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS), iron, chloride, nitrate, and turbidity, using standard methods. The results showed that not only the quality of harvested rainwater is good but also the amount of water is enough for a 4-membered household to meet its domestic use throughout the year. Biplob Kumar Biswas and Bablu Hira Mandal Copyright © 2014 Biplob Kumar Biswas and Bablu Hira Mandal. All rights reserved. Ion Slip Effect on Viscoelastic Fluid Flow past an Impulsively Started Infinite Vertical Plate Embedded in a Porous Medium with Chemical Reaction Thu, 11 Sep 2014 08:26:47 +0000 This paper presents the study of convective heat and mass transfer characteristics of an incompressible MHD viscoelastic fluid past an infinite vertical plate immersed in a porous medium with chemical reaction and ion slip effects. Highly nondimensional governing equations are solved analytically by perturbation scheme. The analytical expressions for velocity, shearing stress, temperature, concentration, rate of heat transfer, and mass transfer are obtained. Also, graphical representations have been carried out for velocity field and shearing stress to investigate the effects of viscoelasticity and the effects of ion slip on the fluid flow in combination with other physical parameters involved in the solution. Rita Choudhury and Paban Dhar Copyright © 2014 Rita Choudhury and Paban Dhar. All rights reserved. False-Positive Clostridium difficile in Negative-Control Reactions Peak and Then Decrease with Repetitive Refrigeration of Immunoassay Thu, 11 Sep 2014 07:20:45 +0000 Aberrant false-positive reactions in negative-controls during ELISA testing for Clostridium difficile indicated the potential for false-diagnoses. Experiments with 96-well products showed a maximum peak of false-positive immunoassay reactions with the provided negative-control reagents after 5 refrigeration-to-room temperature cycles (), decreasing thereafter with additional refrigeration cycles. Because repetitive refrigeration causes a peak of false-positives, the use of single negative-controls per ELISA run might be insufficient to monitor aberrant preanalytical false-positives if immunoassays are subject to repetitive refrigeration. Alexander Rodriguez-Palacios, Henry R. Stämpfli, and Yung-Fu Chang Copyright © 2014 Alexander Rodriguez-Palacios et al. All rights reserved. Comment on “A Biochemical Evaluation on Inflammatory Markers after Ureteroscopic Lithotripsy” Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:53:40 +0000 Petros Sountoulides and Athanasios Bantis Copyright © 2014 Petros Sountoulides and Athanasios Bantis. All rights reserved. Comparative Hepatoprotective Activity of Ethanolic Extracts of Cuscuta australis against Acetaminophen Intoxication in Wistar Rats Wed, 10 Sep 2014 07:39:26 +0000 This study investigates the comparative hepatoprotective activity of crude ethanol extracts of Cuscuta australis against acetaminophen (APAP) intoxication. Thirty-six rats were randomly divided into six groups of 6 replicates: Group 1 which served as control received water. Group 2 was orally administered 835 mg/kg body wt. of paracetamol on day 8. Groups 3 and 4 were orally administered ethanolic extracts of the seed of Cuscuta australis in doses of 125 mg/kg and 250 mg/kg, respectively, for 7 days and then intoxicated as in Group 2 on the 8th day. Groups 5 and 6 received similar oral doses of Cuscuta australis stem extracts for 7 days and then intoxicated as in Groups 3 and 4. Group 2 rats showed severe periportal hepatic necrosis, significantly elevated serum hepatic injury markers, markedly increased lipid peroxidation, and decreased hepatic antioxidant enzymes activities. Remarkably, Cuscuta australis (seed and stem) extract pretreatments in Groups 3, 4, 5, and 6, most especially, the stem extract pretreatment in Groups 5 and 6, improved better the hepatic histoarchitecture, the hepatocellular, and the oxidative stress injury markers in a dose-dependent manner. Conclusively, ethanol extractions of Cuscuta australis stem appear to protect the liver from acetaminophen intoxication better than the seed counterpart. Rachael O. Folarin, Jamiu O. Omirinde, Ronald Bejide, Tajudeen O. Isola, Levi I. Usende, and Afisu Basiru Copyright © 2014 Rachael O. Folarin et al. All rights reserved. Exact Solutions for the Integrable Sixth-Order Drinfeld-Sokolov-Satsuma-Hirota System by the Analytical Methods Tue, 09 Sep 2014 11:31:14 +0000 We establish exact solutions including periodic wave and solitary wave solutions for the integrable sixth-order Drinfeld-Sokolov-Satsuma-Hirota system. We employ this system by using a generalized -expansion and the generalized tanh-coth methods. These methods are developed for searching exact travelling wave solutions of nonlinear partial differential equations. It is shown that these methods, with the help of symbolic computation, provide a straightforward and powerful mathematical tool for solving nonlinear partial differential equations. Jalil Manafian Heris and Mehrdad Lakestani Copyright © 2014 Jalil Manafian Heris and Mehrdad Lakestani. All rights reserved. Protective Effects of Tualang Honey against Oxidative Stress and Anxiety-Like Behaviour in Stressed Ovariectomized Rats Tue, 09 Sep 2014 05:44:58 +0000 The present study aims to evaluate the antioxidant and anxiolytic-like effect of Tualang honey in stressed ovariectomized (OVX) rats. The animals were divided into; (i) nonstressed sham-operated control rats, (ii) sham-operated control rats exposed to stress, (iii) nonstressed OVX rats, (iv) OVX rats exposed to stress, (v) OVX rats exposed to stress and treated with 17 β-oestradiol (E2) (20 g daily, sc), and (vi) OVX rats exposed to stress and treated with Tualang honey (0.2 g/kg body weight, orally). The open field test was used to evaluate the anxiety-like behaviour and ELISA kits were used to measure oxidant/antioxidant status of the brain homogenates. The result showed that anxiety-like behavior was significantly increased in stressed OVX compared to other groups, and administering either E2 or Tualang honey significantly decreased anxiety-like behaviour in stressed OVX rats. The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl (PCO) were significantly decreased while the levels/activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione S-transferases (GST), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR) were significantly increased in the brain homogenates of treated stressed OVX groups compared to untreated stressed OVX. In conclusion, Tualang honey has protective effects against brain oxidative stress and may be useful alternative anxiolytic agent especially for postmenopausal women. Badriya Al-Rahbi, Rahimah Zakaria, Zahiruddin Othman, Asma’ Hassan, and Asma Hayati Ahmad Copyright © 2014 Badriya Al-Rahbi et al. All rights reserved. Ensemble Nonlinear Autoregressive Exogenous Artificial Neural Networks for Short-Term Wind Speed and Power Forecasting Mon, 08 Sep 2014 07:56:14 +0000 Short-term wind speed and wind power forecasts (for a 72 h period) are obtained using a nonlinear autoregressive exogenous artificial neural network (ANN) methodology which incorporates either numerical weather prediction or high-resolution computational fluid dynamics wind field information as an exogenous input. An ensemble approach is used to combine the predictions from many candidate ANNs in order to provide improved forecasts for wind speed and power, along with the associated uncertainties in these forecasts. More specifically, the ensemble ANN is used to quantify the uncertainties arising from the network weight initialization and from the unknown structure of the ANN. All members forming the ensemble of neural networks were trained using an efficient particle swarm optimization algorithm. The results of the proposed methodology are validated using wind speed and wind power data obtained from an operational wind farm located in Northern China. The assessment demonstrates that this methodology for wind speed and power forecasting generally provides an improvement in predictive skills when compared to the practice of using an “optimal” weight vector from a single ANN while providing additional information in the form of prediction uncertainty bounds. Zhongxian Men, Eugene Yee, Fue-Sang Lien, Zhiling Yang, and Yongqian Liu Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved. Purification and Characterization of Haloalkaline, Organic Solvent Stable Xylanase from Newly Isolated Halophilic Bacterium-OKH Mon, 08 Sep 2014 07:41:01 +0000 A novel, alkali-tolerant halophilic bacterium-OKH with an ability to produce extracellular halophilic, alkali-tolerant, organic solvent stable, and moderately thermostable xylanase was isolated from salt salterns of Mithapur region, Gujarat, India. Identification of the bacterium was done based upon biochemical tests and 16S rRNA sequence. Maximum xylanase production was achieved at pH 9.0 and 37°C temperature in the medium containing 15% NaCl and 1% (w/v) corn cobs. Sugarcane bagasse and wheat straw also induce xylanase production when used as carbon source. The enzyme was active over a range of 0–25% sodium chloride examined in culture broth. The optimum xylanase activity was observed at 5% sodium chloride. Xylanase was purified with 25.81%-fold purification and 17.1% yield. Kinetic properties such as Km and Vmax were 4.2 mg/mL and 0.31 μmol/min/mL, respectively. The enzyme was stable at pH 6.0 and 50°C with 60% activity after 8 hours of incubation. Enzyme activity was enhanced by Ca2+, Mn2+, and Mg2+ but strongly inhibited by heavy metals such as Hg2+, Fe3+, Ni2+, and Zn2+. Xylanase was found to be stable in organic solvents like glutaraldehyde and isopropanol. The purified enzyme hydrolysed lignocellulosic substrates. Xylanase, purified from the halophilic bacterium-OKH, has potential biotechnological applications. Gaurav Sanghvi, Mehul Jivrajani, Nirav Patel, Heta Jivrajani, Govinal Badiger Bhaskara, and Shivani Patel Copyright © 2014 Gaurav Sanghvi et al. All rights reserved. Notable Stabilization of α-Chymotrypsin by the Protic Ionic Additive, [ch][dhp]: Calorimetric Evidence for a Fine Enthalpy/Entropy Balance Sun, 07 Sep 2014 11:27:37 +0000 An impact of 0.5 to 3 M choline dihydrogen phosphate, [ch][dhp], the biotechnologically relevant ionic substance, on the thermal stability of a model globular protein, α-chymotrypsin (α-CT), has been studied exploiting the highly sensitive differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) technique. The notable overall stabilizing effect of  K regarding the thermal transition (melting) temperature, , has been detected. For this kind of series, for the first time, the calorimetric melting enthalpy and transition entropy parameters have been determined simultaneously throughout. The first analysis indicated a two-phase impact implying (a) the initial, dramatic drop in both and , obviously connected to specific, direct interaction between the [ch][dhp] components and α-CT’s charged groups (within 0 to 1 mol/L [ch][dhp]), leading to the essential rearrangement of the interfacial hydrogen-bonded (HB) network; and (b) the follow-up (within 1 to 3.0 mol/L [ch][dhp]), modest changes in and lack of changes in , seemingly connected with a subsequent steady strengthening of already reformed HB network, respectively. These changes, presumably, are primarily facilitated by Coulombic interactions between the [dhp] anions and solvent-exposed positively charged amino groups of α-CT. Sophio Uchaneishvili, Maya Makharadze, Mikhael Shushanyan, Rudi van Eldik, and Dimitri E. Khoshtariya Copyright © 2014 Sophio Uchaneishvili et al. All rights reserved. A Comparative Study between Karydakis Flap Reconstruction and Double Z-Plasty in Patients with Sacrococcygeal Pilonidal Disease Sun, 07 Sep 2014 11:26:31 +0000 The most difficult problems that follow surgery for pilonidal disease are persistent unhealed midline wound and recurrence. Various innovations were proposed to deal with these problems. The adipocutaneous flap of Karydakis was devised to shift the natal cleft, while Z-plasty involves fasciocutaneous flap. The present prospective randomized trial was conducted on 50 cases of symptomatic or recurrent pilonidal sinuses divided randomly into two equal groups undergoing Karydakis procedure and Z-plasty. The duration of hospitalization for Karydakis procedure was found significantly lesser than that for double Z-plasty (). Similar observations are obtained for duration of wound healing (), work off period (), and the duration of presence of significant pain postoperatively (). The overall complications were more in double Z-plasty. Recurrence developed in 32% of the cases in double Z-plasty group comparable to no recurrence seen in Karydakis procedure. Thus, Karydakis flap was found superior to double Z-plasty having less seroma formation, no local hematoma, and no flap necrosis. Statistically, this comparison was highly significant (). Karydakis flap has some added advantages over double Z-plasty technique like keeping scar away from the midline and flattening of the natal cleft, thus reducing local recurrence rates. Ankit Kayal, Akhlak Hussain, Anil Choudhary, and Ashok Meghwal Copyright © 2014 Ankit Kayal et al. All rights reserved. Single Dose of Levofloxacin versus Three Dosages for Prophylaxis in Prostate Biopsy Wed, 03 Sep 2014 13:08:09 +0000 Transrectal ultrasound-guided core prostate biopsy is a key event in the diagnosis of prostate cancer, transient side events such as local pain, haematuria, haematospermia, dysuria, and rectal bleeding are reported in a large number of patients. Antimicrobial agents lower the incidence of postbiopsy infectious complications. The timing and duration of the regimen and the route of administration remain controversial. We developed a standard prophylactic regimen, in which safety and efficiency were maximized, while costs and variability were minimized. Accordingly we prospectively evaluated 425 consecutive patients, who underwent outpatient transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy after a single dose versus three doses of levofloxacin. Edgar Linden-Castro, Marcela Pelayo-Nieto, Alejandro Alias-Melgar, and Fernando Carreño-de la Rosa Copyright © 2014 Edgar Linden-Castro et al. All rights reserved. MHD Flow of the Micropolar Fluid between Eccentrically Rotating Disks Wed, 03 Sep 2014 07:22:50 +0000 This analytical investigation examines the magnetohydrodynamic flow problem of an incompressible micropolar fluid between the two eccentrically placed disks. Employing suitable transformations, the flow governing partial differential equations is reduced to ordinary differential equations. An exact solution representing the different flow characteristic of micropolar fluid has been derived by solving the ordinary differential equations. Analysis of the flow characteristics of the micropolar fluid has been done graphically by varying the Reynolds number and the Hartmann number. This analysis has been carried out for the weak and strong interactions. Neetu Srivastava Copyright © 2014 Neetu Srivastava. All rights reserved. Quantitative Analysis of Resorcinol from Marketed Hair Tonic Using Liquid Chromatographic Technique Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:49:02 +0000 Quantitative estimation of resorcinol from marketed pharmaceutical formulation has been reported in this study. Resorcinol as a pharmaceutical ingredient has a broad spectrum of application but its application is limited due to its toxic side effects. Method for the accurate estimation of resorcinol is therefore essential. In the current study we have developed a chromatographic technique for its estimation from a marketed hair tonic meant for the treatment of several dermatological diseases of the scalp. A stainless steel column 25 cm in length and 4 mm internal diameter packed with octadecylsilane (5 m) was used for this purpose. The mobile phase was a mixture of phosphate buffer of pH 2.8 and acetonitrile. The flow rate was 0.6 mLmin−1 and the detection wavelength was 280 nm. The method was found to be linear between concentration range 10.28 gmL−1 to 71.96 gmL−1 with r2 value 0.999. The accuracy of the method and the intraday and interday precession study presents the applicability of the method for the estimation of resorcinol from any pharmaceutical and cosmetic product containing resorcinol. Amit Kumar De, Partha Pratim Chowdhury, and Shyamaprasad Chattapadhyay Copyright © 2014 Amit Kumar De et al. All rights reserved. Detection and Assay of Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) in Alkaline Borate Buffer with UV/Visible Spectrophotometry Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:47:46 +0000 The detection and assay of vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) was accomplished under aqueous conditions using sodium borate buffering at pH 7.52 conditions. The absorbance spectrum of riboflavin was determined at different pH values utilizing several buffers. The buffer at pH at 7.52 is followed by accurate and sensitive assay of riboflavin by spectrophotometer at 440 nm wavelength. Where indicated an origin solution (stock) was employed by dissolving sufficient vitamin to make a stock solution of molar concentrations. Measurements of various aqueous solutions containing riboflavin were accomplished that included aqueous test samples, vitamin capsules/tablets, and water vitamin mixtures. A standard curve extended from molar to molar (a 154 folds spread in concentration). The equation of the line was = 12545 (intercept at origin) with Pearson correlation of 1.000 (). Concentration of riboflavin assayed ranged from gram per liter (0.30 ppm) to 0.0463 gram per liter (46.35 ppm). The B vitamin riboflavin can be assayed by UV/VIS spectrophotometer at 440 nm in aqueous media and using sodium borate buffer at pH 7.52. The assay can reach as low as 0.30 parts per million with high levels of accuracy and sensitivity. Ronald Bartzatt and Tasloach Wol Copyright © 2014 Ronald Bartzatt and Tasloach Wol. All rights reserved. The Study of Analgesic Effects of Leonurus cardiaca L. in Mice by Formalin, Tail Flick and Hot Plate Tests Mon, 01 Sep 2014 13:20:08 +0000 Leonurus cardiaca, commonly known as motherwort, is a member of the Lamiaceae family. It has a number of interesting biological activities, for example, sedative and hypotensive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of alcoholic extract of aerial part of Leonurus cardiaca on nociceptive response using formalin, tail flick, and hot plate tests in mice. The acute treatment of mice with an ethanolic extract at doses of 500 and 250 mg/kg by intraperitoneal administration produced a significant antinociceptive in the first and second phases of formalin test, respectively. The hot plate and tail flick tests showed an increase in the antinociceptive effect at dose 500 mg/kg. These results suggest that Leonurus cardiaca possesses central and peripheral antinociceptive actions. Masoume Rezaee-Asl, Mandana Sabour, Vahid Nikoui, Sattar Ostadhadi, and Azam Bakhtiarian Copyright © 2014 Masoume Rezaee-Asl et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Allelochemicals from Leaf Leachates of Gmelina arborea on Inhibition of Some Essential Seed Germination Enzymes in Green Gram, Red Gram, Black Gram, and Chickpea Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:02:16 +0000 The present work focused on identification of allelochemicals from the leaf leachates of Gmelina arborea and analyzing its influence on the germination of red gram, green gram, black gram, and chickpea in terms of the levels of some important germination enzymes like acid phosphatase, catalase, peroxidase, and amylase. The study showed that allelopathic effects were more predominant in chickpea with 80% followed by red gram, green gram, and black gram where the inhibition ranged between 26% and 75%. The vigor index in the seed lots is also considerably reduced. Total chlorophyll content was also reduced by allelopathic effect in all treated seeds ranging between 0.7 and 7.5 μg/g dry weight. The effect of allelochemicals drastically reduced the relative water content in red gram followed by the other seed lots. The total protein content varied considerably in the control and the treated seed lots. Allelochemicals inhibited the expression and activity of the enzymes required for efficient germination. The present study also threw limelight on the effective use of this tree, wherein planting this tree amidst pulse related herb plantations could affect the growth of the economically viable plants, but this tree can very well adapt to diversified soil conditions and rainfall zones. Ramakrishnan Madhan Shankar, Shanmugham Veeralakshmi, Abdul Razack Sirajunnisa, and Ramasamy Rajendran Copyright © 2014 Ramakrishnan Madhan Shankar et al. All rights reserved. Vitamin D and Its Role as a Protective Factor in Allergy Sun, 31 Aug 2014 13:23:46 +0000 The relationship between vitamin D status and asthma has been subject to several studies in the last decade. Epidemiological data suggest that incidence of asthma and atopic diseases increased significantly in most Westernized countries. The significant variation between countries suggests that besides genetic factors, environmental aspects play a role in the pathogenesis of atopy. The prevalence of hypovitaminosis D is high in many industrialized countries. In addition to its relationship with bone metabolism, vitamin D is recognized as an immunomodulator, with important effects on both adaptive and innate immunity. Correlations between vitamin D status and asthma have been formulated, with a considerable interest in assessing whether this vitamin protects against or reduces asthma morbidity. In this review, we discuss recent findings regarding vitamin D status throughout Europe and its influence over asthma and allergic rhinitis prevalence. Geographical latitude and dietary habits may explain the lower prevalence of allergic disease in Albania. We also consider the effects of vitamin D supplementation in allergic disease. Several clinical trials are under way and their results are needed in order to make definitive recommendations about the optimal dose of vitamin D for prevention and treatment of asthma and allergic disease. Mehmet Hoxha, Maria Zoto, Leonard Deda, and Gentian Vyshka Copyright © 2014 Mehmet Hoxha et al. All rights reserved. Electrochemical Synthesis of Magnesium Hexaboride by Molten Salt Technique Sun, 31 Aug 2014 06:41:13 +0000 The present work reports electrochemical synthesis of MgB6 from molten salts using the precursor consists of LiF–B2O3–MgCl2. An attempt has been made to synthesize metastable phase MgB6 crystal by electrolysis method. DTA/TGA studies were made to determine the eutectic point of the melt and it was found to be around 900°C. The electrolysis was performed at 900°C under argon atmosphere, at current density of 1.5 A/cm2. The electrodeposited crystals were examined using XRD, SEM, and XPS. From the above studies, the electrochemical synthesis method for hypothetical MgB6 from chloro-oxy-fluoride molten salt system is provided. Mechanism for the formation of magnesium hexaboride is discussed. S. Angappan, N. Kalaiselvi, R. Sudha, and A. Visuvasam Copyright © 2014 S. Angappan et al. All rights reserved. Predictors of Compliance to Gluten-Free Diet in Children with Celiac Disease Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:09:44 +0000 Aim. To identify the predictors of compliance to gluten free diet in children with celiac disease. Methods. 134 children in the study group were assessed for dietary compliance followed by a questionnaire based interview. Psychosocial parameters were assessed by standard Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC). Dietary compliant and noncompliant groups were compared and assessed for factors affecting the dietary compliance. Predictability of all of these factors was assessed using binary logistic regression analysis with backward elimination to find out the best predictors of compliance. Results. In the study group, 88 (65.67%) were found to be strictly compliant. Factors that were found to be significantly associated with compliance were age at presentation, nuclear families, mother’s education, and parents having better knowledge of celiac disease. Parents’ and child’s attitude towards his having to follow a restrictive diet and child’s feelings were also shown to be significantly associated with compliance. Binary logistic regression analysis with backward elimination demonstrated that age at presentation, family type, child’s attitude, and child’s behaviour made a significant contribution to prediction. Conclusions. These results will contribute to the current body of research by providing health care practitioners with a framework for better dietary instruction to ensure maximum adherence to GFD. Anu Garg and Rajkumar Gupta Copyright © 2014 Anu Garg and Rajkumar Gupta. All rights reserved. Comparative Study between the Surgeon’s Intraoperative Evaluation and Histopathology for Diagnosis of Laryngeal Lesions Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:33:39 +0000 Objective. To compare the surgeon’s evaluation and histopathology for diagnosis of laryngeal lesions. Material. A clinical survey was distributed to laryngeal surgeons, ENT clinicians, and students in 2013 at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology in Rostock. Participants were asked to anonymously identify laryngeal pathologies and to assess the severity of the lesion starting from hyperplasia and inflammation over moderate dysplasia to early laryngeal cancer. Images of similar clinical laryngeal lesions were demonstrated in a multiple-choice modus to assess the surgeon’s intraoperative evaluation. The questionnaires were digitally processed and evaluated. The results were correlated with histopathology and compared between experienced laryngeal surgeons, clinicians inexperienced in laryngeal surgery, and medical students from the Medical Faculty of the University of Rostock. Results. Sensitivity and specificity varied among the various groups, being highest in experienced laryngeal surgeons. In this group, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value, and accuracy were 85%, 56%, 44%, 90%, and 65%, respectively. In 4% and 31%, laryngeal disease was underdiagnosed and overdiagnosed, respectively. In this group, Kappa statistics resulted in Kappa 0.32 (). Conclusion. This clinical survey clearly demonstrates that conformity between histopathology and evaluation of the laryngeal lesion depends on the surgeon’s experience. Benjamin von Stülpnagel, Robert Hagen, Bernhard Olzowy, Gabriele Witt, Hans Wilhelm Pau, and Tino Just Copyright © 2014 Benjamin von Stülpnagel et al. All rights reserved. Damage Location and Quantification Indices of Shear Structures Based on Changes in the First Two or Three Natural Frequencies Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:00:35 +0000 This study proposes damage detection algorithms for multistory shear structures that only need the first two or three natural frequencies. The methods are able to determine the location and severity of damage on the basis of damage location indices (DLI) and damage quantification indices (DQI) consisting of the changes in the first few squared natural frequencies of the undamaged and damaged states. The damage is assumed to be represented by a reduction in stiffness. This stiffness reduction causes a shift in the natural frequencies of the structure. The uncertainty associated with system identification methods for obtaining natural frequencies is also carefully considered. The methods are accurate and cost-effective means only requiring the changes in the natural frequencies. Hien HoThu and Akira Mita Copyright © 2014 Hien HoThu and Akira Mita. All rights reserved. Transendothelial Transport and Its Role in Therapeutics Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:24:48 +0000 Present review paper highlights role of BBB in endothelial transport of various substances into the brain. More specifically, permeability functions of BBB in transendothelial transport of various substances such as metabolic fuels, ethanol, amino acids, proteins, peptides, lipids, vitamins, neurotransmitters, monocarbxylic acids, gases, water, and minerals in the peripheral circulation and into the brain have been widely explained. In addition, roles of various receptors, ATP powered pumps, channels, and transporters in transport of vital molecules in maintenance of homeostasis and normal body functions have been described in detail. Major role of integral membrane proteins, carriers, or transporters in drug transport is highlighted. Both diffusion and carrier mediated transport mechanisms which facilitate molecular trafficking through transcellular route to maintain influx and outflux of important nutrients and metabolic substances are elucidated. Present review paper aims to emphasize role of important transport systems with their recent advancements in CNS protection mainly for providing a rapid clinical aid to patients. This review also suggests requirement of new well-designed therapeutic strategies mainly potential techniques, appropriate drug formulations, and new transport systems for quick, easy, and safe delivery of drugs across blood brain barrier to save the life of tumor and virus infected patients. Ravi Kant Upadhyay Copyright © 2014 Ravi Kant Upadhyay. All rights reserved. An Analysis on Groundwater Recharge by Mathematical Model in Inclined Porous Media Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:05:06 +0000 The present paper discusses the analysis of solution of groundwater flow in inclined porous media. The problem related to groundwater flow in inclined aquifers is usually common in geotechnical and hydrogeology engineering activities. The governing partial differential equation of one-dimensional groundwater recharge problem has been formed by Dupuit's assumption. Three cases have been discussed with suitable boundary conditions and different slopes of impervious incline boundary. The numerical as well as graphical interpretation has been given and its coding is done in MATLAB. Shreekant P. Pathak and Twinkle Singh Copyright © 2014 Shreekant P. Pathak and Twinkle Singh. All rights reserved. Antioxidant, Larvicidal, and Cytotoxic Studies on Asplenium aethiopicum (Burm. f.) Becherer Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:57:43 +0000 The present study was intended to determine the antioxidant, larvicidal, and cytotoxic potential of various extracts of Asplenium aethiopicum (Burm. f.) Becherer. Antioxidant potential of the extracts was determined by the DPPH radical scavenging, phosphomolybdenum, and scavenging of H2O2. Larvicidal activity of Asplenium aethiopicum was performed against the fourth instar larvae Culex quinquefasciatus. Cytotoxic activity was analysed in terms of brine shrimp lethality bioassay. The best free radical scavenging activity was exerted by methanolic extract of Asplenium aethiopicum (IC50 91.4 μg/mL) followed by acetone extract (IC50 99.8 μg/mL). Highest larval mortality was observed in the crude acetone extracts of Asplenium aethiopicum against Culex quinquefasciatus (LC50 = 166.6 ppm) followed by methanolic extracts. Acetone extract of Asplenium aethiopicum was found to be most effective at which 50% and 90% mortality of brine shrimp nauplii that occurred were found to be 192.8 and 434.3 ppm, respectively. The results of the present study revealed the antioxidant, larvicidal, and cytotoxic potential of Asplenium aethiopicum. Johnson Marimuthu alias Antonysamy, Gowtham Janarthanan, Sivaraman Arumugam, Janakiraman Narayanan, and Narayani Mani Copyright © 2014 Johnson Marimuthu alias Antonysamy et al. All rights reserved. Formulation Development and Characterization of Meclizine Hydrochloride Sublimated Fast Dissolving Tablets Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:01:40 +0000 The intention of present research is to formulate and develop the meclizine hydrochloride fast dissolving tablets using sublimation method to enhance the dissolution rate. In this study an attempt was made to fasten the drug release from the oral tablets by incorporating the superdisintegrants and camphor as sublimating agent. The prepared fast dissolving tablets were subjected to precompression properties and characterized for hardness, weight variation, friability, wetting time, water absorption ratio, and disintegration time. From in vitro release studies, the formulation F9 exhibited fast release profile of about 98.61% in 30 min, and disintegration time 47 sec when compared with other formulations. The percent drug release in 30 min () and initial dissolution rate for formulation F9 was 98.61 ± 0.25%, 3.29%/min. These were very much higher compared to marketed tablets (65.43 ± 0.57%, 2.18%/min). The dissolution efficiency was found to be 63.37 and it is increased by 1.4-fold with F9 FDT tablets compared to marketed tablets. Differential scanning calorimetry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy studies revealed that there was no possibility of interactions. Thus the development of meclizine hydrochloride fast dissolving tablets by sublimation method is a suitable approach to improve the dissolution rate. Sateesh Kumar Vemula and Mohan Vangala Copyright © 2014 Sateesh Kumar Vemula and Mohan Vangala. All rights reserved.