The Scientific World Journal The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Grooming Behavior in American Cockroach is Affected by Novelty and Odor Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:02:46 +0000 The main features of grooming behavior are amazingly similar among arthropods and land vertebrates and serve the same needs. A particular pattern of cleaning movements in cockroaches shows cephalo-caudal progression. Grooming sequences become longer after adaptation to the new setting. Novelty related changes in grooming are recognized as a form of displacement behavior. Statistical analysis of behavior revealed that antennal grooming in American cockroach, Periplaneta americana L., was significantly enhanced in the presence of odor. Marianna I. Zhukovskaya Copyright © 2014 Marianna I. Zhukovskaya. All rights reserved. Palaeoenvironment and Its Control on the Formation of Miocene Marine Source Rocks in the Qiongdongnan Basin, Northern South China Sea Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:57:04 +0000 The main factors of the developmental environment of marine source rocks in continental margin basins have their specificality. This realization, in return, has led to the recognition that the developmental environment and pattern of marine source rocks, especially for the source rocks in continental margin basins, are still controversial or poorly understood. Through the analysis of the trace elements and maceral data, the developmental environment of Miocene marine source rocks in the Qiongdongnan Basin is reconstructed, and the developmental patterns of the Miocene marine source rocks are established. This paper attempts to reveal the hydrocarbon potential of the Miocene marine source rocks in different environment and speculate the quality of source rocks in bathyal region of the continental slope without exploratory well. Our results highlight the palaeoenvironment and its control on the formation of Miocene marine source rocks in the Qiongdongnan Basin of the northern South China Sea and speculate the hydrocarbon potential of the source rocks in the bathyal region. This study provides a window for better understanding the main factors influencing the marine source rocks in the continental margin basins, including productivity, preservation conditions, and the input of terrestrial organic matter. Wenhao Li, Zhihuan Zhang, Weiming Wang, Shuangfang Lu, Youchuan Li, and Ning Fu Copyright © 2014 Wenhao Li et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (Roselle) in Maintenance of Ex Vivo Murine Bone Marrow-Derived Hematopoietic Stem Cells Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:20:58 +0000 Hematopoietic stem cells- (HSCs-) based therapy requires ex vivo expansion of HSCs prior to therapeutic use. However, ex vivo culture was reported to promote excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), exposing HSCs to oxidative damage. Efforts to overcome this limitation include the use of antioxidants. In this study, the role of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (Roselle) in maintenance of cultured murine bone marrow-derived HSCs was investigated. Aqueous extract of Roselle was added at varying concentrations (0–1000 ng/mL) for 24 hours to the freshly isolated murine bone marrow cells (BMCs) cultures. Effects of Roselle on cell viability, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, glutathione (GSH) level, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and DNA damage were investigated. Roselle enhanced the survival of BMCs at 500 and 1000 ng/mL, increased survival of Sca-1+ cells (HSCs) at 500 ng/mL, and maintained HSCs phenotype as shown from nonremarkable changes of surface marker antigen (Sca-1) expression in all experimental groups. Roselle increased the GSH level and SOD activity but the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was unaffected. Moreover, Roselle showed significant cellular genoprotective potency against H2O2-induced DNA damage. Conclusively, Roselle shows novel property as potential supplement and genoprotectant against oxidative damage to cultured HSCs. Zariyantey Abdul Hamid, Winnie Hii Lin Lin, Basma Jibril Abdalla, Ong Bee Yuen, Elda Surhaida Latif, Jamaludin Mohamed, Nor Fadilah Rajab, Chow Paik Wah, Muhd Khairul Akmal Wak Harto, and Siti Balkis Budin Copyright © 2014 Zariyantey Abdul Hamid et al. All rights reserved. Pleomorphic Adenoma of the Parotid: Extracapsular Dissection Compared with Superficial Parotidectomy—A 10-Year Retrospective Cohort Study Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:41:35 +0000 The purpose of this study was to investigate the complication rates and effectiveness of extracapsular dissection compared with superficial parotidectomy for pleomorphic adenomas of the parotid gland from 2002 to 2012. The authors carried out a retrospective cohort study of 198 patients with pleomorphic adenomas of the parotid gland. Extracapsular dissection (ED) or superficial parotidectomy (SP) was performed. The recurrence rate and complications of the two surgical techniques were measured with a univariate analysis of each variable using the appropriate statistical analysis (chi-squared test or t-test). A total of 198 patients were enrolled between January 2003 and December 2012. The study included 97 females (48.99%) and 101 males (51.01%) whose mean age was 50.97 years (range 14–75). The type of surgery performed was ED in 153 patients (77.27%, 80 males and 73 females) and SP in 45 patients (22.73%, 21 males and 24 females). The mean follow-up time was 61.02 +/− 4.9 months for the patients treated with ED and 66.4 +/− 4.5 months for the patients treated with SP. Transient facial nerve injury and facial paralysis were significantly more frequent after SP than after ED ( and , resp.). No significant differences in capsular rupture, recurrence, and salivary fistula were observed after SP or ED: 2.2% versus 3.9%, 2.2% versus 3.3%, and 2.2% versus 0.65%, respectively. Extracapsular dissection may be considered the treatment of choice for pleomorphic adenomas located in the superficial portion of the parotid gland because this technique showed similar effectiveness and fewer side effects than superficial parotidectomy. Maria Giulia Cristofaro, Eugenia Allegra, Amerigo Giudice, Walter Colangeli, Davide Caruso, Ida Barca, and Mario Giudice Copyright © 2014 Maria Giulia Cristofaro et al. All rights reserved. Suaveolic Acid: A Potent Phytotoxic Substance of Hyptis suaveolens Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:06:28 +0000 Hyptis suaveolens (Lamiaceae) is an exotic invasive plant in many countries. Earlier studies reported that the aqueous, methanol, and aqueous methanol extract of H. suaveolens and its residues have phytotoxic properties. However, to date, the phytotoxic substances of this plant have not been reported. Therefore, the objectives of this study were isolation and identification of phytotoxic substances of H. suaveolens. Aqueous methanol extract of this plant was purified by several chromatographic runs through bioassay guided fractionation using garden cress (Lepidium sativum) as a test plant. Final purification of a phytotoxic substance was achieved by reverse phase HPLC and characterized as 14α-hydroxy-13β-abiet-8-en-18-oic acid (suaveolic acid) by high-resolution ESI-MS, 1H-,13C-NMR, CD, and specific rotation. Suaveolic acid inhibited the shoot growth of garden cress, lettuce (Lactuca sativa), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), and barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli) at concentrations greater than 30 µM. Root growth of all but lettuce was also inhibited at concentrations greater than 30 µM. The inhibitory activities were concentration dependent. Concentrations required for 50% growth inhibition of suaveolic acid for those test plant species were ranged from 76 to 1155 µM. Therefore, suaveolic acid is phytotoxic and may be responsible for the phytotoxicity of H. suaveolens plant extracts. A. K. M. Mominul Islam, Osamu Ohno, Kiyotake Suenaga, and Hisashi Kato-Noguchi Copyright © 2014 A. K. M. Mominul Islam et al. All rights reserved. Sodium Bicarbonate Therapy in Patients with Metabolic Acidosis Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:02:53 +0000 Metabolic acidosis occurs when a relative accumulation of plasma anions in excess of cations reduces plasma pH. Replacement of sodium bicarbonate to patients with sodium bicarbonate loss due to diarrhea or renal proximal tubular acidosis is useful, but there is no definite evidence that sodium bicarbonate administration to patients with acute metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis, lactic acidosis, septic shock, intraoperative metabolic acidosis, or cardiac arrest, is beneficial regarding clinical outcomes or mortality rate. Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease usually show metabolic acidosis due to increased unmeasured anions and hyperchloremia. It has been suggested that metabolic acidosis might have a negative impact on progression of kidney dysfunction and that sodium bicarbonate administration might attenuate this effect, but further evaluation is required to validate such a renoprotective strategy. Sodium bicarbonate is the predominant buffer used in dialysis fluids and patients on maintenance dialysis are subjected to a load of sodium bicarbonate during the sessions, suffering a transient metabolic alkalosis of variable severity. Side effects associated with sodium bicarbonate therapy include hypercapnia, hypokalemia, ionized hypocalcemia, and QTc interval prolongation. The potential impact of regular sodium bicarbonate therapy on worsening vascular calcifications in patients with chronic kidney disease has been insufficiently investigated. María M. Adeva-Andany, Carlos Fernández-Fernández, David Mouriño-Bayolo, Elvira Castro-Quintela, and Alberto Domínguez-Montero Copyright © 2014 María M. Adeva-Andany et al. All rights reserved. Optimization of Biosorptive Removal of Dye from Aqueous System by Cone Shell of Calabrian Pine Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:50:12 +0000 The biosorption performance of raw cone shell of Calabrian pine for C.I. Basic Red 46 as a model azo dye from aqueous system was optimized using Taguchi experimental design methodology. L9 (33) orthogonal array was used to optimize the dye biosorption by the pine cone shell. The selected factors and their levels were biosorbent particle size, dye concentration, and contact time. The predicted dye biosorption capacity for the pine cone shell from Taguchi design was obtained as 71.770 mg g−1 under optimized biosorption conditions. This experimental design provided reasonable predictive performance of dye biosorption by the biosorbent (: 0.9961). Langmuir model fitted better to the biosorption equilibrium data than Freundlich model. This displayed the monolayer coverage of dye molecules on the biosorbent surface. Dubinin-Radushkevich model and the standard Gibbs free energy change proposed physical biosorption for predominant mechanism. The logistic function presented the best fit to the data of biosorption kinetics. The kinetic parameters reflecting biosorption performance were also evaluated. The optimization study revealed that the pine cone shell can be an effective and economically feasible biosorbent for the removal of dye. Fatih Deniz Copyright © 2014 Fatih Deniz. All rights reserved. Security Threat Assessment of an Internet Security System Using Attack Tree and Vague Sets Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:33:46 +0000 Security threat assessment of the Internet security system has become a greater concern in recent years because of the progress and diversification of information technology. Traditionally, the failure probabilities of bottom events of an Internet security system are treated as exact values when the failure probability of the entire system is estimated. However, security threat assessment when the malfunction data of the system’s elementary event are incomplete—the traditional approach for calculating reliability—is no longer applicable. Moreover, it does not consider the failure probability of the bottom events suffered in the attack, which may bias conclusions. In order to effectively solve the problem above, this paper proposes a novel technique, integrating attack tree and vague sets for security threat assessment. For verification of the proposed approach, a numerical example of an Internet security system security threat assessment is adopted in this paper. The result of the proposed method is compared with the listing approaches of security threat assessment methods. Kuei-Hu Chang Copyright © 2014 Kuei-Hu Chang. All rights reserved. Seasonality of Water Chemistry, Carbonate Production, and Biometric Features of Two Species of Chara in a Shallow Clear Water Lake Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:33:18 +0000 The objective of this study was to analyze the temporal variability of biometric features and the carbonate production of two charophytes: Chara polyacantha A. Braun and Chara rudis A. Braun against the background of the physical-chemical properties of water. The investigation was carried out in a small, mid-forest Lake Jasne (western Poland). It is a polymictic, mesotrophic, hardwater ecosystem dominated by charophyte vegetation. Each month, 10 individuals of each species were characterized in terms of morphometric features, fresh and dry weight, and the percentage of calcium carbonate. Additionally, physical-chemical parameters of the water were studied. The results of physical-chemical analyses indicated similar habitat conditions for both species. Despite smaller dry weight C. polyacantha was characterized by greater morphological variability and higher rates of growth and percentage share of calcium carbonate in dry mass than C. rudis. The percentage of calcium carbonates in dry mass did not differ significantly between the species and exceeded 60%, reaching the maximum (76% in C. polyacantha) in July and August. For both species, distinct correlations between the structure of biomass and morphological features were found. The obtained results show the great importance of charophyte vegetation in carbon cycling and functioning of lake ecosystems. Andrzej Pukacz, Mariusz Pełechaty, Marcin Frankowski, Artur Kowalski, and Kinga Zwijacz-Koszałka Copyright © 2014 Andrzej Pukacz et al. All rights reserved. Analysis of Factors Influencing Telephone Call Response Rate in an Epidemiological Study Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:18:53 +0000 Descriptive epidemiology research involves collecting data from large numbers of subjects. Obtaining these data requires approaches designed to achieve maximum participation or response rates among respondents possessing the desired information. We analyze participation and response rates in a population-based epidemiological study though a telephone survey and identify factors implicated in consenting to participate. Rates found exceeded those reported in the literature and they were higher for afternoon calls than for morning calls. Women and subjects older than 40 years were the most likely to answer the telephone. The study identified geographical differences, with higher RRs in districts in southern Spain that are not considered urbanized. This information may be helpful for designing more efficient community epidemiology projects. Jorge Matías-Guiu, Pedro Jesús Serrano-Castro, José Ángel Mauri-Llerda, Francisco José Hernández-Ramos, Juan Carlos Sánchez-Alvarez, and Marisa Sanz Copyright © 2014 Jorge Matías-Guiu et al. All rights reserved. Asexual Reproduction in Holothurians Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:18:42 +0000 Aspects of asexual reproduction in holothurians are discussed. Holothurians are significant as fishery and aquaculture items and have high commercial value. The last review on holothurian asexual reproduction was published 18 years ago and included only 8 species. An analysis of the available literature shows that asexual reproduction has now been confirmed in 16 holothurian species. Five additional species are also most likely capable of fission. The recent discovery of new fissiparous holothurian species indicates that this reproduction mode is more widespread in Holothuroidea than previously believed. New data about the history of the discovery of asexual reproduction in holothurians, features of fission, and regeneration of anterior and posterior fragments are described here. Asexual reproduction is obviously controlled by the integrated systems of the organism, primarily the nervous system. Special molecular mechanisms appear to determine the location where fission occurs along the anterior-posterior axis of the body. Alteration of the connective tissue strength of the body wall may play an important role during fission of holothurians. The basic mechanism of fission is the interaction of matrix metalloproteinases, their inhibitors, and enzymes forming cross-link complexes between fibrils of collagen. The population dynamics of fissiparous holothurians are discussed. Igor Yu. Dolmatov Copyright © 2014 Igor Yu. Dolmatov. All rights reserved. Ethnoveterinary Study of Medicinal Plants in a Tribal Society of Sulaiman Range Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:31:42 +0000 The aims of the present study were (i) to document ethnoveterinary plants and their formulation techniques in an unexplored region of Pakistan and (ii) to select candidate medicinal plants with high consensus factor and fidelity value for further in vitro investigation. A total of 60 informants were interviewed using semistructured questionnaire. A total of 41 plants belonging to 30 families were used to treat livestock ailments in study area. Mostly leaves (47%) were used in recipes formulation mostly in the form of decoction. Gastrointestinal infections were found more common and majority of the plants were used against cow (31) and buffaloes (24) ailments. Recovery time of majority of the recipes was three to four days. Informant consensus factor (Fic) results have shown a high degree of consensus for gastrointestinal, respiratory, and reproductive (0.95 each) ailments. Fidelity level (FL) results showed that Asparagus gracilis ranked first with FL value 93% followed by Rumex hastatus ranked second (91%) and Tinospora cordifolia ranked third (90%). Aged farmers and nomads had more traditional knowledge as compared to younger ones. Plants with high Fic and FL values could be further investigated in vitro for the search of some novel bioactive compounds and young generation should be educated regarding ethnoveterinary practices. Akash Tariq, Sakina Mussarat, Muhammad Adnan, Naser M. AbdElsalam, Riaz Ullah, and Abdul Latif Khan Copyright © 2014 Akash Tariq et al. All rights reserved. Comparison of Two Techniques for the Detection of Flea Faeces in Canine and Feline Coat Brushings Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:29:02 +0000 Flea infestation is diagnosed after the detection of either adult parasites or flea faeces in the fur. The latter is generally tested with the wet blotting paper technique (WBPT). However, microscopical examination (MT) of the coat brushing material is sometimes suggested as an alternative. This study aimed to compare the efficiency of the two techniques. In dogs, the entire body was hand-brushed and cats were combed. One half of the collected material was mounted in liquid paraffin on a glass slide and examined microscopically at low magnification. The second half was placed on a blotting paper and sterile water was added. After drying, reddish aureoles were counted. 255 animals (158 dogs and 97 cats) were included. 119 (47%) and 94 (37%) samples were revealed to be positive with WBPT and MT, respectively. 13 cases (5%) were positive with MT only and 38 cases (15%) were positive with WBPT only. 81 cases (32%) were positive and 123 (48%) were negative with both techniques. More positive cases were detected by WBPT than MT . Amongst the 51 samples which were found positive with a sole technique, infestation was considered low in 43 cases and WBPT detected significantly more positive samples (31) than MT (12), . Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Caroline Cabaret-Mandin, and Chloé Solatges Copyright © 2014 Marie-Christine Cadiergues et al. All rights reserved. Phytochemical Analysis, Antioxidant, Antistress, and Nootropic Activities of Aqueous and Methanolic Seed Extracts of Ladies Finger (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) in Mice Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:16:36 +0000 Abelmoschus esculentus L. (ladies finger, okra) is a well-known tropical vegetable, widely planted from Africa to Asia and from South Europe to America. In the present study, we investigated the in vitro antioxidant capacity and in vivo protective effect of the aqueous and methanolic seed extracts of Abelmoschus esculentus against scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment using passive avoidance task and acute restraining stress-induced behavioural and biochemical changes using elevated plus maze (EPM) and forced swimming test (FST) in mice. Our results demonstrated that the pretreatment of mice with aqueous and methanolic seed extracts of Abelmoschus esculentus (200 mg/kg, p.o.) for seven days significantly attenuated scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment in the passive avoidance test. In addition, these extracts significantly reduced the blood glucose, corticosterone, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels elevated by acute restraint stress and also significantly increased the time spent in open arm in EPM and decreased the immobility time in FST. It has also been revealed that these extracts showed a significant antioxidant activity and no signs of toxicity or death up to a dose of 2000 mg/kg, p.o. These results suggest that the seed extracts of Abelmoschus esculentus L. possess antioxidant, antistress, and nootropic activities which promisingly support the medicinal values of ladies finger as a vegetable. Sathish Kumar Doreddula, Srinivasa Reddy Bonam, Durga Prasad Gaddam, Brahma Srinivasa Rao Desu, Nadendla Ramarao, and Vijayapandi Pandy Copyright © 2014 Sathish Kumar Doreddula et al. All rights reserved. Identification and Evaluation of Strain B37 of Bacillus subtilis Antagonistic to Sapstain Fungi on Poplar Wood Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:52:06 +0000 Devaluation of poplar products by sapstain accounts for huge and unpredictable losses each year in China. We had isolated four poplar sapstain fungi, Ceratocystis adiposa Hz91, Lasiodiplodia theobromae YM0737, L. theobromae Fx46, and Fusarium sp. YM05, from five poplar varieties and 13 antagonistic bacteria from nine diverse varieties. After being experimented with agar plates, wood chips, and enzyme activities, strain B37 was identified as the best poplar sapstain biocontrol bacterium. The strain B37 was identified as Bacillus subtilis using sequences of the 16S rRNA gene, physiological biochemical, and morphological characteristics. XiaoHua Zhang, GuiHua Zhao, DeWei Li, ShunPeng Li, and Qing Hong Copyright © 2014 XiaoHua Zhang et al. All rights reserved. SOPROLIFE System: An Accurate Diagnostic Enhancer Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:39:54 +0000 Objectives. The aim of this study was to evaluate a light-emitting diode fluorescence tool, the SOPROLIFE light-induced fluorescence evaluator, and compare it to the international caries detection and assessment system-II (ICDAS-II) in the detection of occlusal caries. Methods. A total of 219 permanent posterior teeth in 21 subjects, with age ranging from 15 to 65 years, were examined. An intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was computed to assess the reliability between the two diagnostic methods. Results. The results showed a high reliability between the two methods (ICC = 0.92; IC = 0.901–0.940; ). The SOPROLIFE blue fluorescence mode had a high sensitivity (87%) and a high specificity (99%) when compared to ICDAS-II. Conclusion. Compared to the most used visual method in the diagnosis of occlusal caries lesions, the finding from this study suggests that SOPROLIFE can be used as a reproducible and reliable assessment tool. At a cut-off point, categorizing noncarious lesions and visual change in enamel, SOPROLIFE shows a high sensitivity and specificity. We can conclude that financially ICDAS is better than SOPROLIFE. However SOPROLIFE is easier for clinicians since it is a simple evaluation of images. Finally in terms of efficiency SOPROLIFE is not superior to ICDAS but tends to be equivalent with the same advantages. Mona Zeitouny, Mireille Feghali, Assaad Nasr, Philippe Abou-Samra, Nadine Saleh, Denis Bourgeois, and Pierre Farge Copyright © 2014 Mona Zeitouny et al. All rights reserved. Brain AVMs: An Endovascular, Surgical, and Radiosurgical Update Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) are complex vascular lesions. Despite multiple studies, several classifications, and a great interest of the scientific community, case selection in AVM patients remains challenging. During the last few years, tremendous advancements widened therapeutic options and improved outcomes spreading indications for patients harboring lesions deemed inoperable in the past. Anatomical and biological case specific features, and natural history with a focus on presenting symptoms should be evaluated case by case and always kept in mind while planning a therapeutic management for a bAVMs. A multidisciplinary approach is strongly recommended when dealing with bAVMs and should involve physicians expertise in this kind of challenging lesions. The goal of this paper is to provide a focused review of the most recent acquisitions and therapeutic strategies regarding surgical, endovascular, and radiosurgical treatment. Simone Peschillo, Alessandro Caporlingua, Claudio Colonnese, and Giulio Guidetti Copyright © 2014 Simone Peschillo et al. All rights reserved. The Response of Durum Wheat to the Preceding Crop in a Mediterranean Environment Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Crop sequence is an important management practice that may affect durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) production. Field research was conducted in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons in a rain-fed cold Mediterranean environment to examine the impact of the preceding crops alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), maize (Zea mays L.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), and bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) on yield and N uptake of four durum wheat varieties. The response of grain yield of durum wheat to the preceding crop was high in 2007-2008 and was absent in the 2008-2009 season, because of the heavy rainfall that negatively impacted establishment, vegetative growth, and grain yield of durum wheat due to waterlogging. In the first season, durum wheat grain yield was highest following alfalfa, and was 33% lower following wheat. The yield increase of durum wheat following alfalfa was mainly due to an increased number of spikes per unit area and number of kernels per spike, while the yield decrease following wheat was mainly due to a reduction of spike number per unit area. Variety growth habit and performance did not affect the response to preceding crop and varieties ranked in the order Levante > Saragolla = Svevo > Normanno. Laura Ercoli, Alessandro Masoni, Silvia Pampana, Marco Mariotti, and Iduna Arduini Copyright © 2014 Laura Ercoli et al. All rights reserved. Effect of CPP/ACP on Initial Bioadhesion to Enamel and Dentin In Situ Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The present in situ study investigated the influence of a preparation containing CPP/ACP (caseinphosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate) (GC Tooth mousse) on initial bacterial colonization of enamel and dentin. Therefore, pellicle formation was performed in situ on bovine enamel and dentin specimens fixed to individual upper jaw splints worn by 8 subjects. After 1 min of pellicle formation GC Tooth mousse was used according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Rinses with chlorhexidine served as positive controls. Specimens carried without any rinse served as negative controls. After 8 h overnight exposure of the splints, bacterial colonization was quantified by fluorescence microscopy (DAPI and BacLight live/dead staining). Additionally, the colony forming units (CFU) were determined after desorption. Furthermore, the effects on Streptococcus mutans bacteria were tested in vitro (BacLight). There was no significant impact of CPP/ACP on initial bacterial colonization proved with DAPI and BacLight. Determination of CFU showed statistical significance for CPP/ACP to reduce bacterial adherence on enamel. The in vitro investigation indicated no antimicrobial effects for CPP/ACP on Streptococcus mutans suspension. Under the chosen conditions, CPP/ACP (GC Tooth mousse) had no significant impact on initial biofilm formation on dental hard tissues. The tested preparation cannot be recommended for biofilm management. Susann Grychtol, Sabine Basche, Matthias Hannig, and Christian Hannig Copyright © 2014 Susann Grychtol et al. All rights reserved. Strength of Footing with Punching Shear Preventers Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The punching shear failure often governs the strength of the footing-to-column connection. The punching shear failure is an undesirable failure mode, since it results in a brittle failure of the footing. In this study, a new method to increase the strength and ductility of the footing was proposed by inserting the punching shear preventers (PSPs) into the footing. The validation and effectiveness of PSP were verified through a series of experimental studies. The nonlinear finite element analysis was then performed to demonstrate the failure mechanism of the footing with PSPs in depth and to investigate the key parameters that affect the behavior of the footing with PSPs. Finally, the design recommendations for the footing with PSPs were suggested. Sang-Sup Lee, Jiho Moon, Keum-Sung Park, and Kyu-Woong Bae Copyright © 2014 Sang-Sup Lee et al. All rights reserved. Establishment of an Efficient In Vitro Regeneration Protocol for Rapid and Mass Propagation of Dendrobium chrysotoxum Lindl. Using Seed Culture Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:40:50 +0000 An efficient in vitro regeneration protocol from seed culture has been established successfully for Dendrobium chrysotoxum, an epiphytic orchid having tremendous ornamental and medicinal values. Seed germination response was encouraging in Mitra (M) medium enriched with different combinations of auxins and cytokinins. Medium supplemented with 0.4% activated charcoal (AC), 2 mg/L 6-benzyl amino purine (BAP), and 2 mg/L indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) produced best seed germination percentage in 2 weeks of culture. Incorporation of higher concentration of kinetin (KN) or BAP in combination with low auxin in medium induced pronounced shooting and leaf formation. Reduction in leaf development was evident when cytokinins exist singly in medium indicating synergistic effect of auxin and cytokinin in leaf induction. Presence of elevated level of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) or 1-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) with low cytokinin content in medium generated more in vitro rooting, though IBA was found to be more effective in rooting induction as compared to NAA. The in vitro protocol for asymbiotic seed germination developed from the present investigation can be used for rapid mass propagation of this highly important Dendrobium orchid species. Potshangbam Nongdam and Leimapokpam Tikendra Copyright © 2014 Potshangbam Nongdam and Leimapokpam Tikendra. All rights reserved. Connecting Soil Organic Carbon and Root Biomass with Land-Use and Vegetation in Temperate Grassland Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:08:52 +0000 Soils contain much of Earth’s terrestrial organic carbon but are sensitive to land-use. Rangelands are important to carbon dynamics and are among ecosystems most widely impacted by land-use. While common practices like grazing, fire, and tillage affect soil properties directly related to soil carbon dynamics, their magnitude and direction of change vary among ecosystems and with intensity of disturbance. We describe variability in soil organic carbon (SOC) and root biomass—sampled from 0–170 cm and 0–100 cm, respectively—in terms of soil properties, land-use history, current management, and plant community composition using linear regression and multivariate ordination. Despite consistency in average values of SOC and root biomass between our data and data from rangelands worldwide, broad ranges in root biomass and SOC in our data suggest these variables are affected by other site-specific factors. Pastures with a recent history of severe grazing had reduced root biomass and greater bulk density. Ordination suggests greater exotic species richness is associated with lower root biomass but the relationship was not apparent when an invasive species of management concern was specifically tested. We discuss how unexplained variability in belowground properties can complicate measurement and prediction of ecosystem processes such as carbon sequestration. Devan Allen McGranahan, Aaron L. Daigh, Jessica J. Veenstra, David M. Engle, James R. Miller, and Diane M. Debinski Copyright © 2014 Devan Allen McGranahan et al. All rights reserved. The Relationship between Alexithymia, Anxiety, Depression, and Internet Addiction Severity in a Sample of Italian High School Students Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:13:19 +0000 We aimed to assess whether Internet addiction (IA) severity was related to alexithymia scores among high school students, taking into account the role of gender differences and the possible effect of anxiety, depression, and age. Participants in the study were 600 students (ages ranging from 13 to 22; 48.16% girls) recruited from three high schools in two cities from Southern Italy. Participants completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Internet Addiction Test, the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, and the Hamilton Depression Scale. The findings of the study showed that IA scores were associated with alexithymia scores, over and above the effect of negative emotions and age. Students with pathological levels of alexithymia reported higher scores on IA severity. In particular, results showed that difficulty in identifying feelings was significantly associated with higher scores on IA severity. No effect of gender was found. Implications for clinicians were discussed. Giuseppe Scimeca, Antonio Bruno, Lucia Cava, Gianluca Pandolfo, Maria Rosaria Anna Muscatello, and Rocco Zoccali Copyright © 2014 Giuseppe Scimeca et al. All rights reserved. Intensity-Modulated and Image-Guided Radiotherapy in Patients with Locally Advanced Inoperable Pancreatic Cancer after Preradiation Chemotherapy Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:04:01 +0000 Background. Radiotherapy (RT) in patients with pancreatic cancer is still a controversial subject and its benefit in inoperable stages of locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC), even after induction chemotherapy, remains unclear. Modern radiation techniques such as image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) may improve effectiveness and reduce radiotherapy-related toxicities. Methods. Patients with LAPC who underwent radiotherapy after chemotherapy between 09/2004 and 05/2013 were retrospectively analyzed with regard to preradiation chemotherapy (PRCT), modalities of radiotherapy, and toxicities. Progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated by Kaplan-Meier curves. Results. 15 (68%) women and 7 men (median age 64 years; range 40–77) were identified. Median duration of PRCT was 11.1 months (range 4.3–33.0). Six patients (27%) underwent conventional RT and 16 patients (73%) advanced IMRT and IGRT; median dosage was 50.4 (range 9–54) Gray. No grade III or IV toxicities occurred. Median PFS (estimated from the beginning of RT) was 5.8 months, 2.6 months in the conventional RT group (conv-RT), and 7.1 months in the IMRT/IGRT group (); median OS was 11.0 months, 4.2 months (conv-RT), and 14.0 months (IMRT/IGRT); . Median RT-specific PFS for patients with prolonged PRCT 9 months was 8.5 months compared to 5.6 months for PRCT 9 months (). This effect was translated into a significantly better median RT-specific overall survival of patients in the PRCT 9 months group, with 19.0 months compared to 8.5 months in the PRCT    9 months group (). Conclusions. IGRT and IMRT after PRCT are feasible and effective options for patients with LAPC after prolonged preradiation chemotherapy. M. Sinn, R. Ganeshan, R. Graf, U. Pelzer, J. M. Stieler, J. K. Striefler, M. Bahra, P. Wust, and H. Riess Copyright © 2014 M. Sinn et al. All rights reserved. Land Use Intensification Effects in Soil Arthropod Community of an Entisol in Pernambuco State, Brazil Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:15:29 +0000 The interactions between soil invertebrates and land use and management are fundamental for soil quality assessment but remain largely unaddressed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the changes in soil arthropod community of an entisol brought about by different land use systems under semiarid climate in Pernambuco State, Brazil. The soil invertebrate community was sampled using pitfall traps from areas with eight vegetation types by the end of the austral winter. The land uses studied were native thorn forest plus seven agricultural fields planted with elephant grass, apple guava, passion fruit, carrot, maize, tomato, and green pepper. Native vegetation was considered as a reference, whereas the agricultural fields showed a range of soil use intensities. The abundance of organisms, the total and average richness, Shannon’s diversity index, and the Pielou uniformity index were determined, and all of these were affected by several crop and soil management practices such as residue cover, weed control, and pesticide application. Our study found differences in community assemblages and composition under different land use systems, but no single taxa could be used as indicator of soil use intensity. G. M. Siqueira, E. F. F. Silva, and J. Paz-Ferreiro Copyright © 2014 G. M. Siqueira et al. All rights reserved. Drought Analysis for Kuwait Using Standardized Precipitation Index Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:39:14 +0000 Implementation of adequate measures to assess and monitor droughts is recognized as a major matter challenging researchers involved in water resources management. The objective of this study is to assess the hydrologic drought characteristics from the historical rainfall records of Kuwait with arid environment by employing the criterion of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). A wide range of monthly total precipitation data from January 1967 to December 2009 is used for the assessment. The computation of the SPI series is performed for intermediate- and long-time scales of 3, 6, 12, and 24 months. The drought severity and duration are also estimated. The bivariate probability distribution for these two drought characteristics is constructed by using Clayton copula. It has been shown that the drought SPI series for the time scales examined have no systematic trend component but a seasonal pattern related to rainfall data. The results are used to perform univariate and bivariate frequency analyses for the drought events. The study will help evaluating the risk of future droughts in the region, assessing their consequences on economy, environment, and society, and adopting measures for mitigating the effect of droughts. Jaber Almedeij Copyright © 2014 Jaber Almedeij. All rights reserved. The Epiphytic Fern Elaphoglossum luridum (Fée) Christ. (Dryopteridaceae) from Central and South America: Morphological and Physiological Responses to Water Stress Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:11:57 +0000 Elaphoglossum luridum (Fée) Christ. (Dryopteridaceae) is an epiphytic fern of the Atlantic Forest (Brazil). Anatomical and physiological studies were conducted to understand how this plant responds to water stress. The E. luridum frond is coriaceus and succulent, presenting trichomes, relatively thick cuticle, and sinuous cell walls in both abaxial and adaxial epidermis. Three treatments were analyzed: control, water deficit, and abscisic acid (ABA). Physiological studies were conducted through analysis of relative water content (RWC), photosynthetic pigments, chlorophyll a fluorescence, and malate content. No changes in RWC were observed among treatments; however, significant decreases in chlorophyll a content and photosynthetic parameters, including optimal irradiance () and maximum electron transport rate (ET), were determined by rapid light curves (RLC). No evidence of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) pathway was observed in E. luridum in response to either water deficit or exogenous application of ABA. On the other hand, malate content decreased in the E. luridum frond after ABA treatment, seeming to downregulate malate metabolism at night, possibly through tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle regulation. Bruno Degaspari Minardi, Ana Paula Lorenzen Voytena, Marisa Santos, and Áurea Maria Randi Copyright © 2014 Bruno Degaspari Minardi et al. All rights reserved. Miniaturized Bandpass Filter Using a Meandered Stepped-Impedance Resonator with a Meandered-Line Stub-Load on a GaAs Substrate Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:11:44 +0000 This paper reports a compact bandpass filter with improved skirt selectivity using integrated passive device fabrication technology on a GaAs substrate. The structure of the filter consists of electromagnetically coupled meandered-line symmetric stepped-impedance resonators. The strength of the coupling between the resonators is enhanced by using a meandered-line stub-load inside the resonators to improve the selectivity and miniaturize the size of the filter. In addition, the center frequency of the filter can be flexibly controlled by varying degrees of the capacitive coupling between resonator and stub-load. To verify the proposed concept, a protocol bandpass filter with center frequency of 6.53 GHz was designed, fabricated, and measured, with a return loss and insertion loss of 39.1 dB and 1.63 dB. Z. Chuluunbaatar, C. Wang, and N. Y. Kim Copyright © 2014 Z. Chuluunbaatar et al. All rights reserved. Disparity Map Generation from Illumination Variant Stereo Images Using Efficient Hierarchical Dynamic Programming Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:06:12 +0000 A novel hierarchical stereo matching algorithm is presented which gives disparity map as output from illumination variant stereo pair. Illumination difference between two stereo images can lead to undesirable output. Stereo image pair often experience illumination variations due to many factors like real and practical situation, spatially and temporally separated camera positions, environmental illumination fluctuation, and the change in the strength or position of the light sources. Window matching and dynamic programming techniques are employed for disparity map estimation. Good quality disparity map is obtained with the optimized path. Homomorphic filtering is used as a preprocessing step to lessen illumination variation between the stereo images. Anisotropic diffusion is used to refine disparity map to give high quality disparity map as a final output. The robust performance of the proposed approach is suitable for real life circumstances where there will be always illumination variation between the images. The matching is carried out in a sequence of images representing the same scene, however in different resolutions. The hierarchical approach adopted decreases the computation time of the stereo matching problem. This algorithm can be helpful in applications like robot navigation, extraction of information from aerial surveys, 3D scene reconstruction, and military and security applications. Similarity measure SAD is often sensitive to illumination variation. It produces unacceptable disparity map results for illumination variant left and right images. Experimental results show that our proposed algorithm produces quality disparity maps for both wide range of illumination variant and invariant stereo image pair. Viral H. Borisagar and Mukesh A. Zaveri Copyright © 2014 Viral H. Borisagar and Mukesh A. Zaveri. All rights reserved. The Effects of CO2 Laser with or without Nanohydroxyapatite Paste in the Occlusion of Dentinal Tubules Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:23:03 +0000 The aim of this study was to evaluate a new treatment modality for the occlusion of dentinal tubules (DTs) via the combination of 10.6 µm carbon dioxide (CO2) laser and nanoparticle hydroxyapatite paste (n-HAp). Forty-six sound human molars were used in the current experiment. Ten of the molars were used to assess the temperature elevation during lasing. Thirty were evaluated for dentinal permeability test, subdivided into 3 groups: the control group (C), laser only (L−), and laser plus n-HAp (L+). Six samples, two per group, were used for surface and cross section morphology, evaluated through scanning electron microscope (SEM). The temperature measurement results showed that the maximum temperature increase was 3.2°C. Morphologically groups (L−) and (L+) presented narrower DTs, and almost a complete occlusion of the dentinal tubules for group (L+) was found. The Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric test for permeability test data showed statistical differences between the groups (). For intergroup comparison all groups were statistically different from each other, with group (L+) showing significant less dye penetration than the control group. We concluded that CO2 laser in moderate power density combined with n-HAp seems to be a good treatment modality for reducing the permeability of dentin. Mohammed Abbood Al-maliky, Ali Shukur Mahmood, Tamara Sardar Al-karadaghi, Christoph Kurzmann, Markus Laky, Alexander Franz, and Andreas Moritz Copyright © 2014 Mohammed Abbood Al-maliky et al. All rights reserved.