The Scientific World Journal The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Fuzzy Logic for Incidence Geometry Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:01:17 +0000 The paper presents a mathematical framework for approximate geometric reasoning with extended objects in the context of Geography, in which all entities and their relationships are described by human language. These entities could be labelled by commonly used names of landmarks, water areas, and so forth. Unlike single points that are given in Cartesian coordinates, these geographic entities are extended in space and often loosely defined, but people easily perform spatial reasoning with extended geographic objects “as if they were points.” Unfortunately, up to date, geographic information systems (GIS) miss the capability of geometric reasoning with extended objects. The aim of the paper is to present a mathematical apparatus for approximate geometric reasoning with extended objects that is usable in GIS. In the paper we discuss the fuzzy logic (Aliev and Tserkovny, 2011) as a reasoning system for geometry of extended objects, as well as a basis for fuzzification of the axioms of incidence geometry. The same fuzzy logic was used for fuzzification of Euclid’s first postulate. Fuzzy equivalence relation “extended lines sameness” is introduced. For its approximation we also utilize a fuzzy conditional inference, which is based on proposed fuzzy “degree of indiscernibility” and “discernibility measure” of extended points. Alex Tserkovny Copyright © 2016 Alex Tserkovny. All rights reserved. Cats in Positive Energy Balance Have Lower Rates of Adipose Gain When Fed Diets Containing 188 versus 121 ppm L-Carnitine Mon, 29 Aug 2016 11:05:54 +0000 L-carnitine (LC) is included in select adult feline diets for weight management. This study investigated whether feeding adult cats with diets containing either 188 ppm of LC (LC188) or 121 ppm of LC (LC121) and feeding them 120% of maintenance energy requirement (MER) resulted in differences in total energy expenditure (EE), metabolic fuel selection, BW, body composition, and behavior. Cats (,  yrs) were stratified for BCS and randomly assigned to one of two dietary treatments and fed for 16 weeks. BW was measured weekly, and indirect calorimetry, body composition, physical activity, play motivation, and cognition were measured at baseline and throughout the study. A mixed, repeated measures, ANCOVA model was used. Cats in both treatments gained BW () throughout the study, with no differences between treatments at any time point (). There were no differences in body composition between groups at baseline; however, body fat (g) and body fat : lean mass ratio were greater in cats fed LC121 in contrast to cats fed LC188 () on week 16. No other outcomes differed between treatments (). Supplying dietary LC at a dose of at least 188 ppm may be beneficial for the health and well-being of cats fed above MER. M. A. Gooding, D. L. Minikhiem, and A. K. Shoveller Copyright © 2016 M. A. Gooding et al. All rights reserved. Transactional Sex among Noninjecting Illicit Drug Users: Implications for HIV Transmission Sun, 28 Aug 2016 14:00:30 +0000 Noninjecting illicit drug users (NIDUs) present high risk for HIV infection, due especially to transactional sex. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and risk factors for transactional sex among NIDUs in the Southwest region of Goiás State, Central Brazil. The prevalence of self-reported transactional sex was 22.8%. Prevalence in women and men was 52.7% and 16.8%, respectively, a significant difference (). Crack use and history of sexually transmitted infections (STI) were risk factors for transactional sex in men. Homelessness, crack use, sex under the influence of drugs, and history of sexual violence were risk factors for transactional sex in women. A high prevalence of transactional sex was observed among NIDUs. This risk behavior may contribute to the high rates of HIV among this population and their social networks and in the general population. Rafael Alves Guimarães, Aurélio Goulart Rodovalho, Inaina Lara Fernandes, Graciele Cristina Silva, Rodrigo Lopes de Felipe, Ivânia Vera, Valéria Duarte Gregório, and Roselma Lucchese Copyright © 2016 Rafael Alves Guimarães et al. All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “Content Patterns in Topic-Based Overlapping Communities” Tue, 23 Aug 2016 16:26:46 +0000 Sebastián A. Ríos and Ricardo Muñoz Copyright © 2016 Sebastián A. Ríos and Ricardo Muñoz. All rights reserved. Retracted: Epidemiological Pattern of Newly Diagnosed Children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, Taif, Saudi Arabia Thu, 18 Aug 2016 12:27:00 +0000 The Scientific World Journal Copyright © 2016 The Scientific World Journal. All rights reserved. Hepatitis C Virus in North Africa: An Emerging Threat Tue, 16 Aug 2016 10:43:48 +0000 Hepatitis C virus is a major public health threat associated with serious clinical consequences worldwide. North Africa is a unique region composed of seven countries that vary considerably in the predisposing factors to microbial diseases both historically and at the present time. The dynamics of HCV in the region are not well documented. The data are both limited and controversial in most of the countries in the region. In North Africa, the epidemiology of HCV is disparate and understanding it has been hampered by regional “epidemiological homogeneity” concepts. As the dynamics of HCV vary from country to country, context-specific research is needed. In this review, we assess studies performed in each country in the general populations as well as among blood donors and groups exposed to the HCV infection. The reported prevalence of HCV ranges from 0.6% to 8.4% in the Maghreb countries and is predominated by genotype 1. In the Nile valley region, it ranges from 2.2% to 18.9% and is dominated by genotype 4. In North African countries, HCV seems to be a serious problem that is driven by different vectors even in different geographical locations within the same country. Efforts should be combined at both the national and regional levels to implement efficient preventive and treatment strategies. Mohamed A. Daw, Abdallah El-Bouzedi, Mohamed O. Ahmed, Aghnyia A. Dau, and Mohamed M. Agnan Copyright © 2016 Mohamed A. Daw et al. All rights reserved. Elevation of Glucose 6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Activity Induced by Amplified Insulin Response in Low Glutathione Levels in Rat Liver Mon, 15 Aug 2016 13:57:09 +0000 Weanling male Wistar rats were fed on a 10% soybean protein isolate (SPI) diet for 3 weeks with or without supplementing 0.3% sulfur-containing amino acids (SAA; methionine or cystine) to examine relationship between glutathione (GSH) levels and activities of NADPH-producing enzymes, glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and malic enzyme (ME), in the liver. Of rats on the 10% SPI diet, GSH levels were lower and the enzyme activities were higher than of those fed on an SAA-supplemented diet. Despite the lower GSH level, -glutamylcysteine synthetase (-GCS) activity was higher in the 10% SPI group than other groups. Examination of mRNAs of G6PD and ME suggested that the GSH-suppressing effect on enzyme induction occurred prior to and/or at transcriptional levels. Gel electrophoresis of G6PD indicated that low GSH status caused a decrease in reduced form and an increase in oxidized form of the enzyme, suggesting an accelerated turnover rate of the enzyme. In primary cultured hepatocytes, insulin response to induce G6PD activity was augmented in low GSH levels manipulated in the presence of buthionine sulfoximine. These findings indicated that elevation of the G6PD activity in low GSH levels was caused by amplified insulin response for expression of the enzyme and accelerated turnover rate of the enzyme molecule. Misako Taniguchi, Nobuko Mori, Chizuru Iramina, and Akira Yasutake Copyright © 2016 Misako Taniguchi et al. All rights reserved. Does Quantitative Research in Child Maltreatment Tell the Whole Story? The Need for Mixed-Methods Approaches to Explore the Effects of Maltreatment in Infancy Thu, 11 Aug 2016 16:12:48 +0000 Background and Aims. Research on child maltreatment has largely overlooked the under-five age group and focuses primarily on quantitative measurement. This mixed-methods study of maltreated children () entering care (age 6–60 months) combines a quantitative focus on the associations between care journey characteristics and mental health outcomes with a qualitative exploration of maltreatment in four different families. Methods. Care journey data was obtained from social care records; mental health and attachment assessments were carried out following entry to care; qualitative data comprised semistructured interviews with professionals, foster carers, and parents. Results. Significant associations were found between suspected sexual abuse and increased DAI inhibited attachment symptoms () and between reported domestic violence and decreased DAI inhibited () and disinhibited () attachment symptoms. Qualitative results: two themes demonstrate the complexity of assessing maltreatment: (1) overlapping maltreatment factors occur in most cases and (2) maltreatment effects may be particularly challenging to isolate. Conclusions. Qualitative exploration has underscored the complexity of assessing maltreatment, indicating why expected associations were not found in this study and posing questions for the quantitative measurement of maltreatment in general. We therefore suggest a new categorisation of maltreatment and call for the complimentary research lenses of further mixed-methods approaches. Samuel Glass, Ruchika Gajwani, and Fiona Turner-Halliday Copyright © 2016 Samuel Glass et al. All rights reserved. Essential Oil Composition of Pinus peuce Griseb. Needles and Twigs from Two National Parks of Kosovo Mon, 08 Aug 2016 16:34:38 +0000 The principal aim of this study was to analyze the chemical composition and qualitative and quantitative variability of essential oils obtained from seven naturally grown populations of the Pinus peuce Grisebach, Pinaceae in Kosovo. Plant materials were collected from three populations in the Sharri National Park and from four other populations in the Bjeshkët e Nemuna National Park, in Kosovo. Essential oils were obtained by steam distillation and analyzed by GC-FID (Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detection) and GC-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry). The results showed that the yield of essential oils (v/w dry weight) varied depending on the origin of population and the plant organs and ranged from 0.7 to 3.3%. In total, 51 compounds were identified. The main compounds were α-pinene (needles: 21.6–34.9%; twigs: 11.0–24%), β-phellandrene (needles: 4.1–27.7; twigs: 29.0–49.8%), and β-pinene (needles: 10.0–16.1; twigs: 6.9–20.7%). HCA (Hierarchical Cluster Analysis) and PCA (Principal Component Analyses) were used to assess geographical variations in essential oil composition. Statistical analysis showed that the analyzed populations are grouped in three main clusters which seem to reflect microclimatic conditions on the chemical composition of the essential oils. Avni Hajdari, Behxhet Mustafa, Dashnor Nebija, Hyrmete Selimi, Zeqir Veselaj, Pranvera Breznica, Cassandra Leah Quave, and Johannes Novak Copyright © 2016 Avni Hajdari et al. All rights reserved. Energy Harvesting from the Stray Electromagnetic Field around the Electrical Power Cable for Smart Grid Applications Sun, 07 Aug 2016 12:00:11 +0000 For wireless sensor node (WSN) applications, this paper presents the harvesting of energy from the stray electromagnetic field around an electrical power line. Inductive and capacitive types of electrodynamic energy harvesters are developed and reported. For the produced energy harvesters, solid core and split-core designs are adopted. The inductive energy harvester comprises a copper wound coil which is produced on a mild steel core. However, the capacitive prototypes comprise parallel, annular discs separated by Teflon spacers. Moreover, for the inductive energy harvesters’ wound coil and core, the parametric analysis is also performed. A Teflon housing is incorporated to protect the energy harvester prototypes from the harsh environmental conditions. Among the inductive energy harvesters, prototype-5 has performed better than the other harvesters and produces a maximum rms voltage of 908 mV at the current level of 155 A in the power line. However, at the same current flow, the capacitive energy harvesters produce a maximum rms voltage of 180 mV. The alternating output of the prototype-5 is rectified, and a super capacitor (1 F, 5.5 V) and rechargeable battery (Nickel-Cadmium, 3.8 V) are charged with it. Moreover, with the utilization of a prototype-5, a self-powered wireless temperature sensing and monitoring system for an electrical transformer is also developed and successfully implemented. Farid Ullah Khan Copyright © 2016 Farid Ullah Khan. All rights reserved. Current Psychopathological Symptoms in Children and Adolescents Who Suffered Different Forms of Maltreatment Thu, 04 Aug 2016 10:05:06 +0000 The aim of the present study is to evaluate the current psychopathological problems of different forms associated with maltreatment on children’s and adolescents’ mental health. Ninety-five females and ninety males with a mean age of 8.8 years who have suffered in the last six months different forms of abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional) and neglect were included in the study. The current reaction to trauma as directly observed by clinical instruments was examined. Differences in gender, age at the time of medical examination, familial psychiatric disorders, neuropsychiatric status, and type of maltreatment were also taken into account. Results documented that 95.1% of abused children and adolescents developed a psychiatric disorder or a subclinical form of a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Moreover, our data demonstrate a role for gender, age, and familial psychiatric comorbidity in the current psychopathological problems associated with maltreatment. Overall, our findings can help clinicians make a diagnosis and provide efficient treatment and prevention strategies for child maltreatment and abuse. Paola De Rose, Fortunata Salvaguardia, Paola Bergonzini, Flavia Cirillo, Francesco Demaria, Maria Pia Casini, Deny Menghini, and Stefano Vicari Copyright © 2016 Paola De Rose et al. All rights reserved. Dimethoate Induced Behavioural Changes in Juveniles of Cyprinus carpio var. communis under Temperate Conditions of Kashmir, India Wed, 03 Aug 2016 14:26:33 +0000 The present study was designed to investigate acute toxicity of dimethoate on juvenile Cyprinus carpio var. communis. Fishes weighing  gms were selected and mortality data was statistically evaluated by Finney’s Probit Method. The 96-hour LC50 value for Cyprinus carpio was found as 1.1 ppm in static bioassay system. Mean values of physicochemical parameters of aquarium waters determined during bioassay depicted slight variation indicating that the mortality in aquarium fishes occurred due to pesticide exposure and not suffocation. Lab. temperature ranged from 12 to 13°C; water temperature ranged from 11 to 12°C; dissolved oxygen ranged from 3.90 to 4.56 mg/L; pH ranged from 6.90 to 7.05; total dissolved solids ranged from 2.66 to 3.0 × 103 mg/L, while CO2 remained at a constant value of 2.0 mg/L. The fishes elicited various behavioural responses such as uncoordinated movements, convulsions, excessive mucus secretion, and imbalanced swimming which ended in a collapse to the bottom of the aquarium. Prior to death, the clinical signs like scale erosion, pale body colour, and hemorrhagic patches over the body were noticed which became more vivid up to the termination of experiments. Results of the study indicate potential toxicity of dimethoate in fingerlings of common carp for which the natural waterbodies must be continuously monitored to reduce its impact across food chains. Imtiyaz Qayoom, Feroz A. Shah, Malik Mukhtar, Masood H. Balkhi, Farooz A. Bhat, and Bilal A. Bhat Copyright © 2016 Imtiyaz Qayoom et al. All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “Effects of Presowing Pulsed Electromagnetic Treatment of Tomato Seed on Growth, Yield, and Lycopene Content” Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:13:40 +0000 Aspasia Efthimiadou, Nikolaos Katsenios, Anestis Karkanis, Panayiota Papastylianou, Vassilios Triantafyllidis, Ilias Travlos, and Dimitrios J. Bilalis Copyright © 2016 Aspasia Efthimiadou et al. All rights reserved. Ingestive Behavior of Ovine Fed with Marandu Grass Silage Added with Naturally Dehydrated Brewery Residue Thu, 28 Jul 2016 11:31:37 +0000 The objective was to evaluate the ingestive behavior of ovine fed Marandu grass silage with dehydrated brewery residue added. The experiment had a completely randomized design with five treatments and four repetitions, with the treatments levels of inclusion being of 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40% natural matter of naturally dehydrated brewery residue for 36 hours to the marandu grass silage. 20 ovines were used and the experimental period was 21 days, 15 being for adaptation to diets. The use of brewery byproduct promoted quadratic effect () for the consumption of dry matter with maximum point value estimated at adding 23.25% additive. Ingestion efficiency and rumination efficiency of dry matter (g DM/hour) were significant (), by quadratic behavior, and NDF ingestion and rumination efficiency showed crescent linear behavior. The DM and NDF consumption expressed in kg/meal and in minutes/kg were also significant (), showing quadratic behavior. Rumination activity expressed in g DM and NDF/piece was influenced () by the adding of brewery residue in marandu grass silage in quadratic way, with maximum value estimated of 1.57 g DM/bolus chewed in inclusion of 24.72% additive in grass silage. The conclusion is that intermediary levels adding of 20 to 25% dehydrated brewery residue affects certain parameters of ingestive behavior. Daniele de Jesus Ferreira, Anderson de Moura Zanine, Rogério de Paula Lana, Alexandre Lima de Souza, Marinaldo Divino Ribeiro, Fagton Mattos Negrão, Wanderson José Rodrigues Castro, Henrique Nunes Parente, Luiz Juliano Valério Geron, and Larissa Rodrigues de Azevedo Câmara Copyright © 2016 Daniele de Jesus Ferreira et al. All rights reserved. On a New Class of -Valent Meromorphic Functions Defined in Conic Domains Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:16:25 +0000 We define a new class of multivalent meromorphic functions using the generalised hypergeometric function. We derived this class related to conic domain. It is also shown that this new class of functions, under certain conditions, becomes a class of starlike functions. Some results on inclusion and closure properties are also derived. Mohammed Ali Alamri and Maslina Darus Copyright © 2016 Mohammed Ali Alamri and Maslina Darus. All rights reserved. Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Potential of Palm Leaf Extracts from Babaçu (Attalea speciosa), Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), and Macaúba (Acrocomia aculeata) Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:41:44 +0000 Babaçu (A. speciosa), Buriti (M. flexuosa), and Macaúba (A. aculeata) are palm trees typical of the ecotone area between Cerrado and the Amazon rainforest. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial potential of the extracts prepared from the leaves of those palms as well as determine their chemical compositions. The ethanol extracts were prepared in a Soxhlet apparatus and tested by disk diffusion and agar dilution technique against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and Candida parapsilosis. However, there was no significant activity at concentrations of 25, 50, and 100 mg·Ml−1. Moreover, the phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, catechins, steroids, triterpenes, and saponins. Gas chromatography (GC/MS) analysis also identified organic acids, such as capric (decanoic) acid, lauric (dodecanoic) acid, myristic (tetradecanoic) acid, phthalic (1,2-benzenedicarboxylic) acid, palmitic (hexadecanoic) acid, stearic (octadecanoic) acid, linoleic (9,12-octadecadienoic) acid (omega-6), linolenic (octadecatrienoic) acid (omega-3), and the terpenes citronellol and phytol. Based on the chemical composition in the palm leaf extracts, the palms have the potential to be useful in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. Adriana Idalina Torcato de Oliveira, Talal Suleiman Mahmoud, Guilherme Nobre L. do Nascimento, Juliana Fonseca Moreira da Silva, Raphael Sanzio Pimenta, and Paula Benevides de Morais Copyright © 2016 Adriana Idalina Torcato de Oliveira et al. All rights reserved. Retracted: Electroadsorption Desalination with Carbon Nanotube/PAN-Based Carbon Fiber Felt Composites as Electrodes Mon, 25 Jul 2016 14:12:55 +0000 The Scientific World Journal Copyright © 2016 The Scientific World Journal. All rights reserved. An Adaptive Fuzzy-Logic Traffic Control System in Conditions of Saturated Transport Stream Tue, 19 Jul 2016 14:22:07 +0000 This paper considers the problem of building adaptive fuzzy-logic traffic control systems (AFLTCS) to deal with information fuzziness and uncertainty in case of heavy traffic streams. Methods of formal description of traffic control on the crossroads based on fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic are proposed. This paper also provides efficient algorithms for implementing AFLTCS and develops the appropriate simulation models to test the efficiency of suggested approach. N. R. Yusupbekov, A. R. Marakhimov, H. Z. Igamberdiev, and Sh. X. Umarov Copyright © 2016 N. R. Yusupbekov et al. All rights reserved. A Rosenzweig-MacArthur (1963) Criterion for the Chemostat Mon, 18 Jul 2016 16:46:33 +0000 The Rosenzweig-MacArthur (1963) criterion is a graphical criterion that has been widely used for elucidating the local stability properties of the Gause (1934) type predator-prey systems. It has not been stated whether a similar criterion holds for models with explicit resource dynamics (Kooi et al. (1998)), like the chemostat model. In this paper we use the implicit function theorem and implicit derivatives for proving that a similar graphical criterion holds under chemostat conditions, too. Torsten Lindström and Yuanji Cheng Copyright © 2016 Torsten Lindström and Yuanji Cheng. All rights reserved. Spatiotemporal Gait Parameters as Predictors of Lower-Limb Overuse Injuries in Military Training Wed, 13 Jul 2016 12:05:55 +0000 The study objective was to determine whether spatiotemporal gait parameters could predict lower-limb overuse injuries in cohort of combat soldiers during first year of military service. Newly recruited infantry soldiers walked on a treadmill at a 15° incline with a fixed speed of 1.67 m/sec while wearing a standard military vest with a 10 kg load. Stride time variability, stride length variability, step length asymmetry, and the duration of the loading response phase of the gait cycle were measured. Injury data on 76 soldiers who did not report musculoskeletal complaints at initial screening were collected one year after recruitment. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the predictive effect of the gait parameters on lower-limb injuries. Twenty-four soldiers (31.6%) had overuse injuries during the first year after recruitment. Duration of the loading response was a significant predictor of general lower-limb injury (), as well as of foot/ankle and knee injuries (, , resp.). A cutoff value of less than 12.15% for loading response duration predicted knee injuries with 83% sensitivity and 67% specificity. This study demonstrates the utility of spatiotemporal gait evaluation, a simple screening tool before military training, which may help to identify individuals at risk of lower-limb overuse injuries. Shmuel Springer, Uri Gottlieb, and Mariya Lozin Copyright © 2016 Shmuel Springer et al. All rights reserved. An Economic Analysis of Pigeonpea Seed Production Technology and Its Adoption Behavior: Indian Context Wed, 13 Jul 2016 11:31:40 +0000 The present study was based on primary data collected from 100 farmers in Gulbarga district of Karnataka, India, during the agricultural year 2013-2014. Study shows that average land holding size of pigeonpea seed farmers was higher in comparison to grain farmers and district average. The study illustrates a ratio of 32 : 68 towards fixed and variable costs in pigeonpea certified seed production with a total cost of 39436 and the gross and net returns were 73300 and 33864 per hectare, respectively. The total cost of cultivation, gross return, and net return in pigeonpea seed production were higher by around 23, 32, and 44 percent than grain production, respectively. Hence, production of certified seed has resulted in a win-win situation for the farmers with higher yield and increased returns. The decision of the farmer on adoption of seed production technology was positively influenced by his education, age, land holding, irrigated land, number of crops grown, and extension contacts while family size was influencing negatively. Higher yield and profitability associated with seed production can be effectively popularized among farmers, resulting in increased certified seed production. Govind Pal, Radhika Channanamchery, R. K. Singh, Udaya Bhaskar Kethineni, H. Ram, and S. Rajendra Prasad Copyright © 2016 Govind Pal et al. All rights reserved. Strategies to Improve Meat Quality and Safety Sun, 03 Jul 2016 06:30:06 +0000 Agostino Sevi, Rosaria Marino, José M. Lorenzo, Brigitte Picard, and Angelica Simone Cravo Pereira Copyright © 2016 Agostino Sevi et al. All rights reserved. Technological Potential of Lactobacillus Strains Isolated from Fermented Green Olives: In Vitro Studies with Emphasis on Oleuropein-Degrading Capability Thu, 30 Jun 2016 16:47:23 +0000 Technological properties of two strains of Lactobacillus plantarum (B3 and B11) and one of Lactobacillus pentosus (B4), previously isolated from natural fermented green olives, have been studied in vitro. Acidifying ability, salt, temperature, and pH tolerances of all strains were found in the range reported for similar strains produced in Italy and optimal growth conditions were found to be 6.0–8.0 pH, 15–30°C temperature, and less than 6% NaCl. Moreover, all strains showed very good tolerance to common olive phenol content (0.3% total phenol) and high oleuropein-degrading capability. It was found that medium composition affected the bacterial oleuropein degradation. B11 strain grown in a nutrient-rich medium showed a lower oleuropein-degrading action than when it was cultivated in nutrient-poor medium. Furthermore, enzymatic activity assays revealed that oleuropein depletion did not correspond to an increase of hydroxytyrosol, evidencing that bacterial strains could efficiently degrade oleuropein via a mechanism different from hydrolysis. Massimo Iorizzo, Silvia Jane Lombardi, Vincenzo Macciola, Bruno Testa, Giuseppe Lustrato, Francesco Lopez, and Antonella De Leonardis Copyright © 2016 Massimo Iorizzo et al. All rights reserved. Genetic Diversity of Namibian Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. BR. (Pearl Millet) Landraces Analyzed by SSR and Morphological Markers Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:48:07 +0000 Current Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. BR. cultivars in Namibia have overall poor performance posing a threat to the nation’s food security because this crop is staple for over 70% of the Namibian population. The crop suffers from undesirable production traits such as susceptibility to diseases, low yield, and prolonged reproductive cycle. This study aimed to understand the genetic diversity of the crop in Namibia by simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and morphology analysis. A total of 1441 genotypes were collected from the National Gene Bank representing all the Namibian landraces. A sample of 96 genotypes was further analyzed by SSR using Shannon-Wiener diversity index and revealed a value of 0.45 indicating low genetic diversity. Ordination using Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCoA) on SSR data confirmed clusters generated by UPGMA for the 96 P. glaucum accessions. UPGMA phenograms of 29 morphological characterized genotypes were generated for SSR and morphology data and the two trees revealed 78% resemblance. Lodging susceptibility, tillering attitude, spike density, fodder yield potential, early vigour, and spike shape were the phenotypic characters upon which some clusters were based in both datasets. It is recommended that efforts should be made to widen the current gene pool in Namibia. Billy McBenedict, Percy Chimwamurombe, Ezekeil Kwembeya, and Gillian Maggs-Kölling Copyright © 2016 Billy McBenedict et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Calcium Phosphate and Apatite Containing Products on Enamel Erosion Sun, 26 Jun 2016 10:47:12 +0000 For the purpose of erosion prevention the present study aimed to compare the efficacy of two biomimetic products and a fluoride solution to optimize the protective properties of the pellicle. After 1 min of in situ pellicle formation on bovine enamel slabs, 8 subjects adopted CPP-ACP (GC Tooth Mousse), a mouthwash with hydroxyapatite microclusters (Biorepair), or a fluoride based mouthwash (elmex Kariesschutz) for 1 min each. Afterwards, samples were exposed in the oral cavity for 28 min. Native enamel slabs and slabs exposed to the oral cavity for 30 min without any rinse served as controls. After oral exposure, slabs were incubated in HCl (pH values 2, 2.3, and 3) for 120 s and kinetics of calcium and phosphate release were measured photometrically; representative samples were evaluated by SEM and TEM. The physiological pellicle reduced demineralization at all pH values; the protective effect was enhanced by fluoride. The biomimetic materials also reduced ion release but their effect was less pronounced. SEM indicated no layer formation after use of the different products. However, TEM confirmed the potential accumulation of mineral components at the pellicle surface. The tested products improve the protective properties of the in situ pellicle but not as effectively as fluorides. A. Kensche, S. Pötschke, C. Hannig, G. Richter, W. Hoth-Hannig, and M. Hannig Copyright © 2016 A. Kensche et al. All rights reserved. The Feasibility of a Land Ferry System to Reduce Highway Maintenance Cost and Associated Externalities Wed, 22 Jun 2016 08:42:48 +0000 This study provides an economic evaluation for a Land Ferry, which is a rail system capable of carrying trucks and all other types of vehicles, passengers, and cargo. The Land Ferry system involves a sliding loading system to roll heavy loads onto a flatbed; as a result, loading and unloading of all vehicles and cargo could be accomplished simultaneously. The evaluation for this system included (1) the design of a new track alignment over which the Land Ferry system would run, (2) evaluation of various sources of power, (3) estimation of how many local jobs the Land Ferry would generate, and (4) a benefit-cost analysis. It was estimated that the Land Ferry would create over 45,788 temporary jobs in Nevada during the three-year construction period and 318 permanent jobs during operation. The majority of the benefits were attributed to savings in travel time ($356.4 M), vehicle operating costs ($1000.4 M), reduction of accidents ($544.6 M), and pavement maintenance ($503.2 M). These benefits would be a consequence of the shift of trucks from the highway, thus resulting in higher speeds, decrease fuel consumption, and decrease vehicle maintenance costs. The overall benefit-cost ratio of 1.7 implies a cost-effective project. Steve J. Merrill, Alexander Paz, Victor Molano, Pramen P. Shrestha, Pankaj Maheshwari, Haroon Stephen, and Hanns de la Fuente-Mella Copyright © 2016 Steve J. Merrill et al. All rights reserved. Production and Catalytic Properties of Amylases from Lichtheimia ramosa and Thermoascus aurantiacus by Solid-State Fermentation Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:44:03 +0000 The present study compared the production and the catalytic properties of amylolytic enzymes obtained from the fungi Lichtheimia ramosa (mesophilic) and Thermoascus aurantiacus (thermophilic). The highest amylase production in both fungi was observed in wheat bran supplemented with nutrient solution (pH 4.0) after 96 hours of cultivation, reaching 417.2 U/g of dry substrate (or 41.72 U/mL) and 144.5 U/g of dry substrate (or 14.45 U/mL) for L. ramosa and T. aurantiacus, respectively. The enzymes showed higher catalytic activity at pH 6.0 at 60°C. The amylases produced by L. ramosa and T. aurantiacus were stable between pH 3.5–10.5 and pH 4.5–9.5, respectively. The amylase of L. ramosa was stable at 55°C after 1 hour of incubation, whereas that of T. aurantiacus maintained 60% of its original activity under the same conditions. Both enzymes were active in the presence of ethanol. The enzymes hydrolyzed starch from different sources, with the best results obtained with corn starch. The enzymatic complex produced by L. ramosa showed dextrinizing and saccharifying potential. The enzymatic extract produced by the fungus T. aurantiacus presented only saccharifying potential, releasing glucose monomers as the main hydrolysis product. Ana Paula Aguero de Oliveira, Maria Alice Silvestre, Nayara Fernanda Lisboa Garcia, Heloíza Ferreira Alves-Prado, André Rodrigues, Marcelo Fossa da Paz, Gustavo Graciano Fonseca, and Rodrigo Simões Ribeiro Leite Copyright © 2016 Ana Paula Aguero de Oliveira et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Genes Coding Aminoglycoside Modifying Enzymes in E. coli of UTI Patients in India Wed, 15 Jun 2016 11:37:56 +0000 This study is to probe the pattern of antibiotic resistance against aminoglycosides and its mechanism in E. coli obtained from patients from Chennai, India. Isolation and identification of pathogens were done on MacConkey agar. Antimicrobial sensitivity testing was done by disc diffusion test. The identification of genes encoding aminoglycoside modifying enzymes was done by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Out of 98 isolates, 71 (72.45%) isolates were identified as E. coli and the remaining 27 (27.55%) as other bacteria. Disc diffusion method results showed a resistance level of 72.15% for streptomycin, 73.4% for gentamicin, 63.26% for neomycin, 57.14% for tobramycin, 47.9% for netilmicin, and 8.16% for amikacin in E. coli. PCR screening showed the presence of four genes, namely, rrs, aacC2, aacA-aphD, and aphA3, in their plasmid DNA. The results point towards the novel mechanism of drug resistance in E. coli from UTI patients in India as they confirm the presence of genes encoding enzymes that cause resistance to aminoglycoside drugs. This could be an alarm for drug prescription to UTI patients. Abdul Rouf Mir, Yasir Bashir, Firdous Ahmad Dar, and M. Sekhar Copyright © 2016 Abdul Rouf Mir et al. All rights reserved. Nod2-Nodosome in a Cell-Free System: Implications in Pathogenesis and Drug Discovery for Blau Syndrome and Early-Onset Sarcoidosis Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:20:28 +0000 Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein (Nod) 2 is an intracellular pattern recognition receptor, which recognizes muramyl dipeptide (N-Acetylmuramyl-L-Alanyl-D-Isoglutamine: MDP), a bacterial peptidoglycan component, and makes a NF-κB-activating complex called nodosome with adaptor protein RICK (RIP2/RIPK2). Nod2 mutants are associated with the autoinflammatory diseases, Blau syndrome (BS)/early-onset sarcoidosis (EOS). For drug discovery of BS/EOS, we tried to develop Nod2-nodosome in a cell-free system. FLAG-tagged RICK, biotinylated-Nod2, and BS/EOS-associated Nod2 mutants were synthesized, and proximity signals between FLAG-tagged and biotinylated proteins were detected by amplified luminescent proximity homogeneous assay (ALPHA). Upon incubation with MDP, the ALPHA signal of interaction between Nod2-WT and RICK was increased in a dose-dependent manner. The ALPHA signal of interaction between RICK and the BS/EOS-associated Nod2 mutants was more significantly increased than Nod2-WT. Notably, the ALPHA signal between Nod2-WT and RICK was increased upon incubation with MDP, but not when incubated with the same concentrations, L-alanine, D-isoglutamic acid, or the MDP-D-isoform. Thus, we successfully developed Nod2-nodosome in a cell-free system reflecting its function in vivo, and it can be useful for screening Nod2-nodosome-targeted therapeutic molecules for BS/EOS and granulomatous inflammatory diseases. Tomoyuki Iwasaki, Naoe Kaneko, Yuki Ito, Hiroyuki Takeda, Tatsuya Sawasaki, Toshio Heike, Kiyoshi Migita, Kazunaga Agematsu, Atsushi Kawakami, Shinnosuke Morikawa, Sho Mokuda, Mie Kurata, and Junya Masumoto Copyright © 2016 Tomoyuki Iwasaki et al. All rights reserved. Study of Natural Cytotoxicity Receptors in Patients with HIV/AIDS and Cancer: A Cross-Sectional Study Mon, 13 Jun 2016 06:25:25 +0000 The NCR receptors play a fundamental role in the cytotoxicity mediated by NK cells against tumor cells. In the current study, we investigated possible HIV/AIDS-related changes in the expression of the NCR receptors comparing healthy donors, HIV/AIDS patients, and HIV/AIDS patients with cancer (HIV/AIDSWC). The NCRs were quantified in NK cells ( and ) and T lymphocytes from peripheral blood samples by flow cytometry. We found a significant decrease in the frequency of NK cells expressing NKp46 in HIV/AIDS group (). There was a decrease in the frequency of NK cells expressing NKp46 in the HIV/AIDSWC group; however, this was not statistically significant. We found a significant decrease in the frequency of NK cells expressing NKp30 in the HIV/AIDS group (). There was a decrease in the frequency of NK cells expressing NKp30 and in the HIV/AIDSWC group, but this was not statistically significant. There were no changes in the distribution of NK cells and their subtypes in both groups. Orlando Nascimento Terra Junior, Gabriel de Carvalho Maldonado, Guilherme Rohem Alfradique, Vinicius da Cunha Lisboa, Adriano Arnóbio, Dirce Bonfim de Lima, Hilda Rachel Diamond, and Maria Helena Faria Ornellas de Souza Copyright © 2016 Orlando Nascimento Terra Junior et al. All rights reserved.