Improving Accuracy of Malaria Diagnosis in Underserved Rural and Remote Endemic Areas of Sub-Saharan Africa: A Call to Develop Multiplexing Rapid Diagnostic TestsRead the full article
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Strategic Planning of Rural Development Based on Foresight Methodologies
The purpose of the study is to establish scientific rational for the use of the foresight methodology in the strategic planning of rural development. The scientific novelty of the study is determined by the development of an algorithm for strategic planning of rural development based on the foresight methodology and by the formation of a set of practical recommendations for the use of foresight tools at the municipal level of management in rural areas. The paper states that modern foresight methodology is quite flexible and multifaceted. It can be widely applied at different hierarchical levels of management. In our research, we consistently analyzed foresight projects and programs used in the rural management and development forecasting. The use of a systematic approach in combination with foresight technologies allows developing strategic plans for the rural areas development from the perspective of improvement of their economic and social component. The research presents the foresight algorithm of the rural development strategic planning and its implementation mechanism at the municipal level. The main components of the foresight testing procedure of the rural areas economic development were determined on the example of such a classic agricultural region of the Russian Federation as the Republic of Bashkortostan. The results of a comprehensive foresight analysis of alternative scenarios of the rural development have been formed. We summarized that the foresight technologies should be used as a system tool for the formation and implementation of the strategy of the sustainable rural areas development. The main results of the study include summarizing the experience of foresight studies on the rural areas development; design of an algorithm of strategic planning of the rural areas development based on the foresight methodology; the formation of alternative scenarios of the rural areas development at the regional level.
Adoption and Impact of the Maize Hybrid on the Livelihood of the Maize Growers: Some Policy Insights from Pakistan
Despite hybrids being grown on 30–40 percent of the maize area in Pakistan, the retail price of hybrid maize seed is high in Pakistan compared with its neighbors in South Asia and beyond. Hence, this paper analyzes the adoption and impact of hybrid maize on livelihoods using a cross-sectional dataset collected from 822 maize growers in Pakistan. The data were collected from two types of farmers: adopters and nonadopters of hybrid maize, from four major provinces of Pakistan (Punjab, Sindh, KPK, and Balochistan). We use the bivariate probit to analyze the factors influencing the adoption of hybrid maize and the propensity score-matching (PSM) approach to analyze the impact of hybrid maize adoption on livelihood of maize growers, as PSM helps correct sample selection biasedness. The empirical result shows that farm size, farm and household assets, the level of education of farmers, access to market, and social networks positively influence the adoption of hybrid maize in Pakistan. The results from PSM revealed that hybrid maize adopters had higher grain yields in the range of 94–124 kgs per hectare as compared with nonadopters. Similarly household income levels were more in the range of Pakistani rupees 2,176–3,518, while the poverty levels were lower in the range of 2-3 percent for hybrid maize adopters. As hybrid maize adoption has had a positive impact on the livelihood of farmers, policies should aim to scale up the adoption of hybrid maize through enhancing the supply and lowering the seed cost through research and subsidy programs, thereby enabling poor farmers in remote areas to adopt hybrid maize varieties.
Costus afer: A Systematic Review of Evidence-Based Data in support of Its Medicinal Relevance
Costus afer (C. afer) is a plant commonly known as ginger lily, spiral ginger, or bush cane. It is reportedly used in traditional medicine practice (TMP) to treat and manage many ailments including diabetes mellitus, stomach ache, arthritis, inflammation, and gout. These purported ethnomedicinal uses have triggered many research studies on the plant to amass scientific evidence. However, these research reports are scattered, and thus, this systematic review seeks to provide a comprehensive update on it covering its traditional uses, phytochemical and nutritional constituents, pharmacological activities, and toxicological effects. An online search was done using search engines such as Google Scholar, PubMed, and ScienceDirect from the period 1970 to 2019. The online search included the use of keywords, “Costus afer Ker-Gawl” or “Costus afer.” The search revealed that the stem and leaves of the plant contain substantial amounts of micronutrients and macronutrients. The leaves, stem, rhizomes, and roots of C. afer contain several steroidal sapogenins, aferosides, dioscin, and paryphyllin C and flavonoid glycoside kaempferol-3-O-α-L-rhamnopyranoside. Experimental studies on various parts of the plant showed bioactivities such as antihyperglycemic, hepatocellular protection, cardioprotection, nephroprotection, testicular protection, CNS depressant, analgesic, antiarthritis, antibacterial, and antioxidant. Based on these evident data, it is concluded that the plant could be used as an alternative and complementary therapy for many oxidative stress-related diseases, provided further scientific studies on the toxicological and pharmacological aspects are carried out.
The Effect of Toileting Position in Uroflow Curves in Young Healthy Nulliparous Women
The objective of our study was to determine the effect of voiding positions on uroflow parameters in young, healthy nulliparous women with no pelvic floor disorders. Material and Methods. From December 2017 to February 2018, we performed a single-institution cross-sectional study with 30 healthy volunteers comparing uroflow curves in sitting and hovering positions. 49 participants were initially prescreened with a validated tool questionnaire for pelvic floor disorders and 30 participants who had absent symptoms were included for the final analysis. From the selected participants, demographics were collected and comparisons between the sitting and hovering position groups regarding the maximum flow rate (Qmax), average flow rate (Qave), voided volume (VV), and time to peak flow (TQmax) were conducted using either the paired t-test or the Wilcoxon rank sum test. In addition, linear regression analysis was performed to determine whether height, BMI, and age have significant impact on the log-transformed average of the pre- and postvalues of either Qmax, Qave, VV, or TQmax, as the average of these values are not normally distributed. Results. There were no statistical differences between the hovering and sitting position groups on the maximum flow rate (), average flow rate (), voided volume (), and time to peak flow (). BMI had borderline significant impact on Qave with value = 0.0531. Conclusion. Different voiding toileting habits do not affect the most commonly used uroflow parameters in young healthy nulliparous patients. Results need to be corroborated by a larger scale study considering the small sample size of our study.
Morphological Diversity of Gracilaria blodgettii Harvey 1853 (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta) from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo
Gracilaria red algae are notable for their economic importance as agrophytes, sold as salad vegetable, and used as the base for selected food and nonalcoholic beverages. A wild population of Gracilaria exists in coastal areas of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, but there is only limited knowledge on species diversity and its abundance leaving the untapped economic potential of this resource. This study was carried out to determine diversity of wild Gracilaria populations in Lawas, Santubong, and Asajaya, Sarawak, using the combination of morphological character examination and 5′ region of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 (CO1-5P) gene analysis. Identification of the species using morphological characters revealed three species, namely, Gracilaria changii, G. blodgettii, and G. arcuata, had been collected from the sampling sites. However, based on 672 bp CO1-5P gene sequence analysis, all the three species were identified as G. blodgettii; besides, low genetic divergence values (0.17%–0.34%) were scored between samples in this study with the same species in GenBank. In the phylogenetic trees, all samples in this study group together with other G. blodgettii have high bootstrap values; thus, this species is monophyletic. This study implies that species identification of Gracilaria and other seagrass taxa which have a phenotypic plasticity problem should include the CO1-5P gene analysis as it is a reliable gene marker for species diversity assessment.
Ecotype-Level Genetic Biodiversity of Five Italian Traditional Crops
Italy displays a high level of agrobiodiversity due to its diversified pedoclimatic zones. The Administrative Region of Campania includes several and divergent biomes, occurring close to each other. In fact, the distance between a sea level environment and that of high mountains can be less than 20 km. These environmental conditions allow the cultivation of many different crops and vegetables, represented by diverse ecotypes and varieties that are well adapted to the distribution range where they have been selected and grown. Efforts to maintain and further increase biodiversity in farming systems require a better understanding of the existing diversity created by traditional farming practices. The aim of our study was to identify and molecularly characterize several ecotypes belonging to five horticultural species commonly cultivated in Campania. In particular, we analysed five ecotypes of maize, two of garlic, four of onion, one of escarole, and two of courgette by means of simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers in order to evaluate their level of genetic biodiversity. The results reveal, for the first time, the high genetic biodiversity of horticultural ecotypes of the Campania Region. This feature is very important to improve the quality and productivity of agroecosystems.