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Religious Practices and Its Impacts on a Sustainable Urban Environment in Nigeria: The Way Forward
A sustainable and serene environment is a prerequisite and a driver of human productivity in space and time. The quality of a human environment, however, is under threat always partly as a result of various human cultural activities such as festivities and religious practices. This work specifically investigated various ways religious activities have impacted the urban environment in two cities in the southwestern part of Nigeria together as a case study. Data for the work were generated through the administration of 250 copies of the structured questionnaire, out of which 232 were completed and retrieved. The data were subjected to data adequacy tests (i.e., Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin (KMO) and Bartlett’s test of sphericity (BTS)). The test showed 67.6% at a significance level of < 0.001 The results showed that 52.6% were of secondary school level, 52.2 were of Christian faith, and 61.6% were also of the male gender who were mostly in the age category of 46 to 65 years. The factor analysis identified 11 out of 23 variables as significant ones which explained 72.052% of the ways religious activities have negatively impacted the urban environment. Of the 11 variables, the first six alone offered 45.248%, namely, (i) contribution to climate change, (ii) night worships, (iii) noise pollution caused, (iv) use of the public address system, (v) quest for expansion, and (vi) religious uses of natural resources, especially water. In view of this, it is recommended that efforts should be made to check the extracted variables for a sustainable serene environment. However, there is a need to put in place relevant legislation/policies to control the activities of various religious bodies and mechanisms to enlighten religious practitioners on practices that will not jeopardize a serene urban environment. Further studies in other places to affirm or otherwise the findings here are suggested.
Production of Biodiesel from Nonedible Parkia biglobosa Oil under Acidic Condition
In this study, biodiesel was produced from Parkia biglobosa oil via optimization of transesterification reaction conditions, (methanol to oil ratio, catalyst concentration, reaction temperature, and reaction time) under sulphuric acid catalyst (H2SO4). The oil was first extracted from Parkia biglobosa seeds using the Soxhlet extraction method. The physicochemical properties of the biodiesel were analysed and then compared to international standards. Subsequently, the oil was then used to produce biodiesel at optimized transesterification reaction conditions. The free fatty acid (FFA) content of the oil was 1.61% w/w, while the saponification value (mgKOH/g) was 191.65. The maximum yield (percentage weight) of the biodiesel produced was 93.4% at the maximum transesterification conditions of methanol-to-oil molar ratio of 6 : 1, sulphuric acid catalyst amount of 3 wt%, reaction temperature of 65°C, and reaction time of 1.5 h. The biodiesel produced was within the limits of international standards as per the specification by ASTM D6751 (American standard), EN 14241 (European standard), and Ghana Standard Authority. It was therefore recommended that biodiesel from Parkia biglobosa seed oil under acidic catalytic condition is a potential new substitute for petroleum diesel for commercialization purposes.
Prevalence and Triggering Factors of Headache among Jordanian Adolescents in Al-Mafraq Region
Aims. This study evaluates the epidemiology of headache and migraine among adolescents aged 12 to 15. Methods. A school-based cross-sectional study was conducted to collect and analyze data from students in grades 7–10 over the course of one month, using a simple random sampling method. The overall number of participants in this study was 692, with an average age of 13.9 years (SD = 1.3). Descriptive measures and Fisher’s exact test were computed. Multivariate regression was calculated to assess the predictors of headache and migraine. Findings. Approximately one-half of the students reported having headaches: tension-type headaches (10.3%), migraines (4.8%), and other headache types (31.5%). Moreover, girl students in the age group of 14-15 reported more headaches and migraines. Conclusion. The prevalence of headache and migraine in Jordan is high and increasing as students grow older. Health education programs led by school nurses and other healthcare practitioners are urgently needed.
Exploring the Factors That Influence Stakeholder Participation in Decision-Making for the Moat System Restoration Project in Tianchang City, China
The driving factors have a critical effect on shaping stakeholder behavior toward participating in decision-making for river restoration initiatives. The participation of stakeholders is a vital determinant for increasing public confidence in the government and enhancing the acceptance of government decisions. Conversely, insufficient stakeholder participation in decision-making may lead to resistance to decisions on river restoration projects. Thus, the primary purpose of this investigation is to shed light on the complex interactions between the various drivers that underpin stakeholder participation in the context of the Moat System Restoration Project (MSRP). The extended Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) describes the relationships between seven drivers that have positively influenced stakeholder participation behaviors: stakeholder attitude, priority, risk perception, trust in government decisions, motivation, intention, and knowledge. The empirical underpinning of this research was obtained through a questionnaire survey conducted in Tianchang, China, encompassing a sample size of 473. The empirical findings discern that stakeholder attitudes vis-à-vis the MSRP favorably influence stakeholder participation behaviors. Additionally, stakeholder motivation and intention have been discerned as catalysts for heightened stakeholder participation behavior. These findings promise to furnish invaluable insights, benefit forthcoming river restoration initiatives, and equip decision-makers with a profound understanding of strategies to enhance stakeholder participation.
Evaluation of the Antimicrobial Activity of Phytochemicals from Tea and Agarwood Leaf Extracts against Isolated Bacteria from Poultry and Curd
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are becoming increasingly common, leading to a global health crisis. The effects of abusing antibiotics not only increase pathogenic resistance but also cause various diseases and syndromes. Gut microbiota contains many beneficial roles for health, while antibiotics kill both pathogens and gut microbiota which is considered one of the major side effects of antibiotics. In fact, new antibiotic compounds are needed in this urgent scenario; phytoremediation is the oldest but most effective method, and research on the antibacterial properties of several types of medicinal plants has already been conducted. Tea and agarwood plants are well known for their economic contribution in both beverage and cosmetic production, as well as for their medicinal value. In this study, tea and agarwood leaf extracts were analyzed for their antimicrobial activity against both pathogenic and beneficial bacteria. Fresh tea (Camellia sinensis) leaves were collected in three varieties, namely, BT-6 from Sylhet, BT-7 from Moulvibazar, and BT-8 from Habiganj; also, green tea (nonfermented tea), black tea (fully fermented tea), and agarwood (Aquilaria malaccensis) were collected from Sylhet region of Bangladesh. Unlike commercial antibiotics, which have side effects on probiotics (beneficiary bacteria), leaf extract activities were analyzed to check if they had positive effects on probiotics that can be found in the gastrointestinal tract as well as dairy products. Potential beneficiary bacteria, Lysinibacillus macroides strain SRU-001 (NCBI accession no. MW665108), and pathogenic bacteria, Aeromonas caviae strain YPLS-62 (NCBI accession no. MW666783), were isolated from the small intestine of poultry and curd, respectively. Tea and agarwood leaves (5 g powder/80 mL methanol) with solvents were kept for seven days at room temperature, and extracts were applied for antimicrobial assays by the disc diffusion assay against the isolated bacteria. 50 µL of each leaf extract was examined against 50 µL of each bacterial culture, where gentamicin was a control. After 24 hours of incubation, tea and agarwood leaf extracts showed an 11–15 mm zone of inhibition against pathogenic A. caviae, while only BT-8 showed 7 mm (disc diameter 6 mm) against probiotic L. macroides. However, compared to leaf extracts, gentamicin showed a 27 mm zone of inhibition against both L. macroides strain SRU-001 and A. caviae strain YPLS-62 bacteria. This research clearly indicates that gentamicin kills both pathogenic and beneficiary bacteria, while leaf extracts from tea and agarwood plants contain antimicrobial activity against only pathogenic A. caviae but no effects on probiotic L. macroides. This outcome indicates not only the potential therapeutic values of tea and agarwood leaves as antibiotics over commercial antibiotics but also the chance of having pathogens in curd and potential beneficial bacteria from the poultry small intestine.
Effect of Fluorohydroxyapatite on Biological and Physical Properties of MTA Angelus
Objectives. This study aimed to assess the effect of addition of fluorohydroxyapatite (FHI) on biological and physical properties of mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) Angelus. Materials and Methods. In this in vitro, experimental study, nano-FHI powder was first synthesized, and the morphology and chemical structure of particles were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Three groups were evaluated in this study: MTA Angelus, MTA modified with 10% FHA, and MTA modified with 15% FHA. After mixing, the materials were applied to ring molds (10 mm diameter, 1 mm height), and the setting time of the three groups was evaluated according to ISO6876 and ASTMC266-03 with a Gillmore needle. The pH was measured using a pH meter at 24 and 48 hours and 7 days after mixing. The cytotoxicity of the materials was assessed in freshly mixed form and after 1 and 7 days using the methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay according to ISO10993-5. Data were analyzed by one-way and repeated measures ANOVA and Tukey’s test (alpha = 0.05). Results. The addition of FHA to MTA significantly decreased the initial setting time ( < 0.05) and had no significant effect on cell viability (compared with pure MTA Angelus) at 1 and 7 days. However, modified MTA groups in freshly mixed form showed significantly lower cell viability ( < 0.05). The pH remained alkaline at all time points. Conclusion. Addition of 15% FHA to MTA Angelus decreased its setting time with no adverse effect on cell viability (except for fresh form) or pH.