Exploration of Wild Edible Plants Used as Food by Gaddis-A Tribal Community of the Western HimalayaRead the full article
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Development and Usability Testing of an Emergency Alert Device for Elderly People and People with Disabilities
The objectives of this study were to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of an emergency alert device for elderly people and people with disabilities by usability testing. There were two phases in this study: (1) development of a prototype for an emergency alert device and (2) usability testing of the device. Results presented development of the prototype, which comprised parts for sending and receiving signals. There were two kinds of alarms for emergency calls known as conscious and unconscious alerts. Participants in the usability testing phase included 12 specialists and 161 users that comprised 146 elderly people or people with disabilities and 15 caregivers or community health volunteers. The instruments used were a rating scale, usability checklist, and individual interviews regarding the usability, general appearance, and use of the device. The users agreed with the overall aspects regarding usability of the device, its general appearance, and use ( ± SD = 4.24 ± 0.88, 4.11 ± 0.90, and 4.37 ± 0.83, respectively). Most of the participants, both specialists and users, gave their perspectives on improving the size, color of the letters displayed, type of wristband, and method for sending signals.
Zwitterion Effect of Cow Brain Protein towards Efficiency Improvement of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC)
Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC) constitutes a solar cell using natural dyes from plants that are adsorbed in semiconductors to convert solar energy into electrical energy. DSSC has relatively inexpensive fabrication costs, is easy to produce, works in visible light, and is environmentally friendly. The disadvantage of DSSC is that its efficiency is still low compared to silicon solar cells. This low efficiency is due to obstacles in the flow of electric current on DSSC. In this study, DSSC has been successfully fabricated with the deposition of clathrin protein from cow brain. The zwitterions effect of protein on cow brain is able to reduce resistance and increase electric current on DSSC. The zwitterions effect of cow brain protein that fills gaps or empty spaces between TiO2 particles generates acidic reactions (capturing electrons) and bases (releasing electrons); hence, proteins in the cow brain are able to function as electron bridges between TiO2 molecules and generate an increase in electric current in DSSC. The method used in this research was to deposit clathrin protein from cow brain in a porous TiO2 semiconductor with a concentration of 0%, 25%, 50%, and 75%. Tests carried out on DSSC that have been performed were X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD) testing to determine the crystal structure formed, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) testing to determine the functional groups formed on DSSC, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) testing to determine the surface morphological characteristics of the DSSC layer, and testing the efficiency using AM 1.5 G solar simulator (1000 W/m2) to determine the efficiency changes that occur in DSSC. From the XRD test results by increasing the concentration of cow brain protein in DSSC, the structure of amino acid crystals also increased and the crystal size increased with the largest crystal size of 42.25 nm at the addition of 75% of cow brain protein. FTIR test results show that the addition of cow brain protein will form functional protein-forming amino groups on DSSC. FTIR analysis shows the sharp absorption of energy by protein functional groups in the FTIR spectrum with increasing concentration of cow brain protein in DSSC. The SEM test results show that the concentration of additional molecules of protein deposited into TiO2 increases and the cavity or pore between the TiO2 molecules decreases. The reduction of cavities in the layers indicates that protein molecules fill cavities that exist between TiO2 molecules. From the results of testing using AM 1.5 G solar simulator (1000 W/m2), the highest efficiency value is 1.465% with the addition of 75% brain protein concentration.
Phytochemical Study of Eight Medicinal Plants of the Lamiaceae Family Traditionally Used as Tea in the Sharri Mountains Region of the Balkans
In the present study, eight plant species belonging to Lamiaceae family were identified as ingredients for herbal teas in the region of Sharri Mountains: Thymus serpyllum, Rosmarinus officinalis, Melissa officinalis, Origanum vulgare, Mentha longifolia, Ocimum basilicum, Teucrium chamaedrys, and Sideritis scardica, respectively. Chemical composition of essential oils obtained from these species was analyzed using GC-MS and GC-FID with the aim of examining their volatile compound profiles, responsible for their respective flavors and fragrance. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was performed with the aim of grouping plant species under study on the basis of their chemical composition. Experimental data revealed the typical volatile constituent pattern for the Lamiaceae family. Monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, responsible for flavor and medicinal use of these plants, were the most abundant groups of the volatile constituents. PCA data analysis resulted in the grouping of these analyzed species in four principal clusters.
Preoperative Bowel Preparation in Minimally Invasive and Vaginal Gynecologic Surgery
Bowel preparation traditionally refers to the removal of bowel contents via mechanical cleansing measures. Although it has been a common practice for more than 70 years, its use is based mostly on expert opinion rather than solid evidence. Mechanical bowel preparation in minimally invasive and vaginal gynecologic surgery is strongly debated, since many studies have not confirmed its effectiveness, neither in reducing postoperative infectious morbidity nor in improving surgeons’ performance. A comprehensive search of Medline/PubMed and the Cochrane Library Database was conducted, for related articles up to June 2019, including terms such as “mechanical bowel preparation,” “vaginal surgery,” “minimally invasive,” and “gynecology.” We aimed to determine the best practice regarding bowel preparation before these surgical approaches. In previous studies, bowel preparation was evaluated only via mechanical measures. The identified randomized trials in laparoscopic approach and in vaginal surgery were 8 and 4, respectively. Most of them compare different types of preparation, with patients being separated into groups of oral laxatives, rectal measures (enema), low residue diet, and fasting. The outcomes of interest are the quality of the surgical field, postoperative infectious complications, length of hospital stay, and patients’ comfort during the whole procedure. The results are almost identical regardless of the procedure’s type. Routine administration of bowel preparation seems to offer no advantage to any of the objectives mentioned above. Taking into consideration the fact that in most gynecologic cases there is minimal probability of bowel intraluminal entry and, thus, low surgical site infection rates, most scientific societies have issued guidelines against the use of any bowel preparation regimen before laparoscopic or vaginal surgery. Nonetheless, surgeons still do not use a specific pattern and continue ordering them. However, according to recent evidence, preoperative bowel preparation of any type should be omitted prior to minimally invasive and vaginal gynecologic surgeries.
Old and Recent Advances in Life Cycle, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of Malaria Including Perspectives in Ethiopia
Malaria, caused by apicomplexan parasite, is an old disease and continues to be a major public health threat in many countries. This article aims to present different aspects of malaria including causes, pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment in an articulate and comprehensive manner. Six Plasmodium species are recognized as the etiology of human malaria, of which Plasmodium falciparum is popular in East and Southern Africa. Malaria is transmitted mainly through Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus, the two most effective malaria vectors in the world. Half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria infection. Globally, the morbidity and mortality rates of malaria have become decreased even though few reports in Ethiopia showed high prevalence of malaria. The malaria parasite has a complex life cycle that takes place both inside the mosquito and human beings. Generally, diagnosis of malaria is classified into clinical and parasitological diagnoses. Lack of clear understanding on the overall biology of Plasmodium has created a challenge in an effort to develop new drugs, vaccines, and preventive methods against malaria. However, three types of vaccines and a lot of novel compounds are under perclinical and clinical studies that are triggered by the occurrence of resistance among commonly used drugs and insecticides. Antiadhesion adjunctive therapies are also under investigation in the laboratory. In addition to previously known new targets for diagnostic tool, vaccine and drug discovery scientists from all corner of the world are in search of new targets and chemical entities.
EEG Analysis in Structural Focal Epilepsy Using the Methods of Nonlinear Dynamics (Lyapunov Exponents, Lempel–Ziv Complexity, and Multiscale Entropy)
This paper analyzes a case with the patient having focal structural epilepsy by processing electroencephalogram (EEG) fragments containing the “sharp wave” pattern of brain activity. EEG signals were recorded using 21 channels. Based on the fact that EEG signals are time series, an approach has been developed for their analysis using nonlinear dynamics tools: calculating the Lyapunov exponent’s spectrum, multiscale entropy, and Lempel–Ziv complexity. The calculation of the first Lyapunov exponent is carried out by three methods: Wolf, Rosenstein, and Sano–Sawada, to obtain reliable results. The seven Lyapunov exponent spectra are calculated by the Sano–Sawada method. For the observed patient, studies showed that with medical treatment, his condition did not improve, and as a result, it was recommended to switch from conservative treatment to surgical. The obtained results of the patient’s EEG study using the indicated nonlinear dynamics methods are in good agreement with the medical report and MRI data. The approach developed for the analysis of EEG signals by nonlinear dynamics methods can be applied for early detection of structural changes.