The Scientific World Journal The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Study on Drive System of Hybrid Tree Harvester Sun, 28 May 2017 09:15:06 +0000 Hybrid tree harvester with a 60 kW diesel engine combined with a battery pile could be a “green” forest harvesting and transportation system. With the new design, the diesel engine maintains a constant engine speed, keeping fuel consumption low while charging the batteries that drive the forwarder. As an additional energy saving method, the electric motors work as generators to charge the battery pile when the vehicle moves downhill. The vehicle is equipped with six large wheels providing high clearance over uneven terrain while reducing ground pressure. Each wheel is driven via a hub gear by its own alternating current motor, and each of the three wheel pairs can be steered independently. The combination of the diesel engine and six electric motors provides plenty of power for heavy lifting and pulling. The main component parameters of the drive system are calculated and optimized with a set of dynamics and simulated with AVL Cruise software. The results provide practical insights for the fuel tree harvester and are helpful to reduce the structure and size of the tree harvester. Advantage Environment provides information about existing and future products designed to reduce environmental impacts. Shen Rong-feng, Zhang Xiaozhen, and Zhou Chengjun Copyright © 2017 Shen Rong-feng et al. All rights reserved. New Mathematical Model for the Surface Area of the Left Ventricle by the Truncated Prolate Spheroid Thu, 04 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The main aim of this study was the formula application of the superficial area of a truncated prolate spheroid (TPS) in Cartesian coordinates in obtaining a cardiac parameter that is not so much discussed in literature, related to the left ventricle (LV) surface area of the human heart, by age and sex. First we obtain a formula for the area of a TPS. Then a simple mathematical model of association of the axes measures of a TPS with the axes of the LV is built. Finally real values of the average dimensions of the humans LV are used to measure surface areas approximations of this heart chamber. As a result, the average superficial area of LV for normal patients is obtained and it is observed that the percentage differences of areas between men and women and their consecutive age groups are constant. A strong linear correlation between the obtained areas and the ventricular volumes normalized by the body areas was observed. The obtained results indicate that the superficial area of the LV, besides enabling a greater knowledge of the geometrical characteristics of the human LV, may be used as one of the normality cardiac verification criteria and be useful for medical and biological applications. José Sérgio Domingues, Marcos de Paula Vale, and Carlos Barreira Martinez Copyright © 2017 José Sérgio Domingues et al. All rights reserved. Cancer Is to Embryology as Mutation Is to Genetics: Hypothesis of the Cancer as Embryological Phenomenon Wed, 03 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Despite numerous advances in cell biology, genetics, and developmental biology, cancer origin has been attributed to genetic mechanisms primarily involving mutations. Embryologists have expressed timidly cancer embryological origin with little success in leveraging the discussion that cancer could involve a set of conventional cellular processes used to build the embryo during morphogenesis. Thus, this “cancer process” allows the harmonious and coherent construction of the embryo structural base, and its implementation as the embryonic process involves joint regulation of differentiation, proliferation, cell invasion, and migration, enabling the human being recreation of every generation. On the other hand, “cancer disease” is the representation of an abnormal state of the cell that might happen in the stem cells of an adult person, in which the mechanism for joint gene regulating of differentiation, proliferation, cell invasion, and migration could be reactivated in an entirely inappropriate context. Jaime Cofre and Eliana Abdelhay Copyright © 2017 Jaime Cofre and Eliana Abdelhay. All rights reserved. An Optimal Current Controller Design for a Grid Connected Inverter to Improve Power Quality and Test Commercial PV Inverters Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Grid connected inverters play a crucial role in generating energy to be fed to the grid. A filter is commonly used to suppress the switching frequency harmonics produced by the inverter, this being passive, and either an L- or LCL-filter. The latter is smaller in size compared to the L-filter. But choosing the optimal values of the LCL-filter is challenging due to resonance, which can affect stability. This paper presents a simple inverter controller design with an L-filter. The control topology is simple and applied easily using traditional control theory. Fast Fourier Transform analysis is used to compare different grid connected inverter control topologies. The modelled grid connected inverter with the proposed controller complies with the IEEE-1547 standard, and total harmonic distortion of the output current of the modelled inverter has been just 0.25% with an improved output waveform. Experimental work on a commercial PV inverter is then presented, including the effect of strong and weak grid connection. Inverter effects on the resistive load connected at the point of common coupling are presented. Results show that the voltage and current of resistive load, when the grid is interrupted, are increased, which may cause failure or damage for connecting appliances. Ali Algaddafi, Saud A. Altuwayjiri, Oday A. Ahmed, and Ibrahim Daho Copyright © 2017 Ali Algaddafi et al. All rights reserved. Versatility of Chitosan-Based Biomaterials and Their Use as Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration Sun, 16 Apr 2017 09:35:02 +0000 Chitosan is a naturally occurring polysaccharide obtained from chitin, present in abundance in the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects. It has aroused great interest as a biomaterial for tissue engineering on account of its biocompatibility and biodegradation and its affinity for biomolecules. A significant number of research groups have investigated the application of chitosan as scaffolds for tissue regeneration. However, there is a wide variability in terms of physicochemical characteristics of chitosan used in some studies and its combinations with other biomaterials, making it difficult to compare results and standardize its properties. The current systematic review of literature on the use of chitosan for tissue regeneration consisted of a study of 478 articles in the PubMed database, which resulted, after applying inclusion criteria, in the selection of 61 catalogued, critically analysed works. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of chitosan-based biomaterials in 93.4% of the studies reviewed, whether or not combined with cells and growth factors, in the regeneration of various types of tissues in animals. However, the absence of clinical studies in humans, the inadequate experimental designs, and the lack of information concerning chitosan’s characteristics limit the reproducibility and relevance of studies and the clinical applicability of chitosan. José Carlos Viana Ribeiro, Rodrigo Silveira Vieira, Iracema Matos Melo, Vilana Maria Adriano Araújo, and Vilma Lima Copyright © 2017 José Carlos Viana Ribeiro et al. All rights reserved. Brazilian Morus nigra Attenuated Hyperglycemia, Dyslipidemia, and Prooxidant Status in Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Rats Sun, 16 Apr 2017 07:12:42 +0000 Morus nigra has been used popularly for several proposes, including diabetic. In an attempt to support medicinal value, the acute hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant effects of the ethanolic extract of Morus nigra (EEMn 200 or 400 mg/kg b.w.) were evaluated in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic treated for 14 days. Serum biochemical and antioxidant analysis were performed at the end of experiment. Oral glucose tolerance test was performed at 10th and 15th days. Chromatographic analysis by HPLC-DAD of EEMn was performed. Insulin was used as positive control to glycemic metabolism as well as fenofibrate to lipid metabolism. EEMn (400 mg/kg/day) reduced fasting and postprandial glycaemia, improved oral glucose tolerance, and reduced lipolysis and proteolysis in diabetic rats. EEMn decreased the blood levels of total cholesterol and increased HDL level when compared to the diabetic control rats. At higher levels, EEMn reduced triglycerides and VLDL levels in diabetic rats. Also, EEMn reduced malondialdehyde and increased the reduced glutathione levels in liver of diabetic rats. Chromatographic analysis identified the presence of the flavonoids rutin, isoquercetin, and kaempferitrin. Acute EEMn treatment reduced hyperglycemia, improved oral glucose tolerance, and minimized dyslipidemia and oxidative stress leading to a reduction in atherogenic index in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Ivanildo I. da S. Júnior, Humberto de Moura Barbosa, Débora C. R. Carvalho, Ruideglan de Alencar Barros, Flávia Peixoto Albuquerque, Dionísio Henrique Amaral da Silva, Grasielly R. Souza, Nathália A. C. Souza, Larissa A. Rolim, Flaviane M. M. Silva, Glória I. B. P. Duarte, Jackson R. G. da S. Almeida, Flávio Monteiro de Oliveira Júnior, Dayane A. Gomes, and Eduardo C. Lira Copyright © 2017 Ivanildo I. da S. Júnior et al. All rights reserved. A Qualitative Inquiry into Nursing Students’ Experience of Facilitating Reflection in Clinical Setting Tue, 04 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background and Aim. Reflection is known as a skill that is central to nursing students’ professional development. Due to the importance and the role of reflection in clinical areas of nursing, it is important to know how to achieve it. However, nursing trainers face the challenge of how to help their students to improve reflection in clinical settings. The aim of this study was to investigate the nursing students’ experiences of facilitating reflection during clinical practice. This qualitative study was conducted by qualitative content analysis approach. Twenty nursing students during the second to eighth semester of their educational program were selected for participation using purposive sampling. Data were collected through in-depth semistructured interviews. The interview was transcribed verbatim, and qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the data. From the data analysis, four main themes were extracted. Motivation to reflect, complex experiences, efficient trainer, and effective relations were four main themes obtained from study that, in interaction with each other, had facilitating roles in students’ reflective process on experiences. The findings revealed that the nursing students’ reflection in clinical settings is effective in personal and professional level. Reflection of nursing students depends on motivational and educational factors and these factors increase the quality of care in patients. Furthermore, nursing educators need to create nurturing climate as well as supporting reflective behaviors of nursing students. Shahnaz Karimi, Fariba Haghani, Nikoo Yamani, and Majid Najafi Kalyani Copyright © 2017 Shahnaz Karimi et al. All rights reserved. FEM and Von Mises Analysis on Prosthetic Crowns Structural Elements: Evaluation of Different Applied Materials Mon, 03 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The aim of this paper is to underline the mechanical properties of dental single crown prosthodontics materials in order to differentiate the possibility of using each material for typical clinical condition and masticatory load. Objective of the investigation is to highlight the stress distribution over different common dental crowns by using computer-aided design software and a three-dimensional virtual model. By using engineering systems of analyses like FEM and Von Mises investigations it has been highlighted the strength over simulated lower first premolar crowns made by chrome cobalt alloy, golden alloy, dental resin, and zirconia. The prosthodontics crown models have been created and put on simulated chewing stresses. The three-dimensional models were subjected to axial and oblique forces and both guaranteed expected results over simulated masticatory cycle. Dental resin presented the low value of fracture while high values have been recorded for the metal alloy and zirconia. Clinicians should choose the better prosthetic solution for the teeth they want to restore and replace. Both prosthetic dental crowns offer long-term success if applied following the manufacture guide limitations and suggestions. Ennio Bramanti, Gabriele Cervino, Floriana Lauritano, Luca Fiorillo, Cesare D’Amico, Sergio Sambataro, Deborah Denaro, Fausto Famà, Gaetano Ierardo, Antonella Polimeni, and Marco Cicciù Copyright © 2017 Ennio Bramanti et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Initial Moisture Content on Heat and Moisture Transfer in Firefighters’ Protective Clothing Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 This paper presents a model for heat and moisture transfer through firefighters’ protective clothing (FPC) during radiation exposure. The model, which accounts for air gaps in the FPC as well as heat transfer through human skin, investigates the effect of different initial moisture contents on the thermal insulation performance of FPC. Temperature, water vapor density, and the volume fraction of liquid water profiles were monitored during the simulation, and the heat quantity absorbed by water evaporation was calculated. Then the maximum durations of heat before the wearer acquires first- and second-degree burns were calculated based on the bioheat transfer equation and the Henriques equation. The results show that both the moisture weight in each layer and the total moisture weight increase linearly within a given environmental humidity level. The initial moisture content in FPC samples significantly influenced the maximum water vapor density. The first- and second-degree burn injury time increase 16 sec and 18 sec when the RH increases from 0% to 90%. The total quantity of heat accounted for by water evaporation was about 10% when the relative humidity (RH) is 80%. Finally, a linear relationship was identified between initial moisture content and the human skin burn injury time before suffering first- and second-degree burn injuries. Dongmei Huang and Song He Copyright © 2017 Dongmei Huang and Song He. All rights reserved. Electrochemical and Morphological Investigations of Ga Addition to Pt Electrocatalyst Supported on Carbon Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:11:48 +0000 This paper is consisted in the synthesis of platinum-based electrocatalysts supported on carbon (Vulcan XC-72) and investigation of the addition of gallium in their physicochemical and electrochemical properties toward ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR). PtGa/C electrocatalysts were prepared through thermal decomposition of polymeric precursor method at a temperature of 350°C. Six different compositions were homemade: Pt50Ga50/C, Pt60Ga40/C, Pt70Ga30/C, Pt80Ga20/C, Pt90Ga10/C, and Pt100/C. These electrocatalysts were electrochemically characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV), chronoamperometry (CA), chronopotentiometry (CP), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) in the presence and absence of ethanol 1.0 mol L−1. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were also carried out for a physicochemical characterization of those materials. XRD results showed the main peaks of face-centered cubic Pt. The particle sizes obtained from XRD and TEM analysis range from 7.2 nm to 12.9 nm. The CV results indicate behavior typical of Pt-based electrocatalysts in acid medium. The CV, EIS, and CA data reveal that the addition of up to 31% of gallium to the Pt highly improves catalytic activity on EOR response when compared to Pt100/C. Giordano T. Paganoto, Deise M. Santos, Tereza C. S. Evangelista, Marco C. C. Guimarães, Maria Tereza W. D. Carneiro, and Josimar Ribeiro Copyright © 2017 Giordano T. Paganoto et al. All rights reserved. SEM and AFM Studies of Two-Phase Magnetic Alkali Borosilicate Glasses Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:39:26 +0000 The morphology and composition of four types of two-phase alkali borosilicate glasses with magnetic atoms prepared by inductive melting have been studied. The results of scanning electron microscopy point to uniform distribution of Na, Si, and O atoms in these samples while magnetic iron atoms form ball-shaped agglomerates. The magnetic properties of these agglomerates have been confirmed by magnetic force microscopy. Atomic force microscopy had shown that in these samples two different morphological structures, drop-like and dendrite net, are formed. The formation of dendrite-like structure is a necessary condition for production of porous magnetic glasses. The obtained results allow us to optimize the melting and heat treatment processes leading to production of porous alkali borosilicate glasses with magnetic properties. The first results for nanocomposite materials on the basis of magnetic glasses containing the embedded ferroelectrics KH2PO4 demonstrate the effect of applied magnetic field on the ferroelectric phase transition. N. Andreeva, M. Tomkovich, A. Naberezhnov, B. Nacke, A. Filimonov, O. Alekseeva, P. Vanina, and V. Nizhankovskii Copyright © 2017 N. Andreeva et al. All rights reserved. Detection of Human Papillomavirus Genotypes and Epstein-Barr Virus in Nasopharyngeal Carcinomas at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPC) are endemic in Far East Asia and commonly harbour Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) which is known to serve as a key oncogenic promoter. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to contribute to the pathogenesis of NPC. However, in Ghana these two viruses have not been linked to NPC prevalence. This study was designed to determine the HPV genotypes and EBV involved in NPC tissue biopsies. A retrospective study design involving 72 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue (FFPET) samples of NPC from 2006 to 2012 were retrieved from the Department of Pathology, University of Ghana School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences. Sections were taken for histological analysis and for DNA lysate preparation. The DNA lysates were subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis to determine the presence of HPV genotypes and EBV. HPV specific primers were used to type for fourteen HPV genotypes (HPV-16, 18, 6/11, 31, 33, 35, 44, 42, 43, 45, 56, 52, 58, and 59). Out of the 72 NPC biopsies analyzed by PCR, EBV DNA was present in 18 (25%) cases and HPV DNA in 14 (19.23%). High risk HPV (HR-HPV) genotypes 18 and 31 were associated with the NPC. There were 3 (4.2%) cases of coinfection by both viruses. The EBV DNA present in the undifferentiated variant of the NPC and the histopathology of the NPC in Ghana is similar to the type described in endemic areas. Du-Bois Asante, Richard Harry Asmah, Andrew Anthony Adjei, Foster Kyei, David Larbi Simpong, Charles Addoquaye Brown, and Richard Kwasi Gyasi Copyright © 2017 Du-Bois Asante et al. All rights reserved. Allelopathic Activity of Extracts from Different Brazilian Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Cultivars on Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and Weed Plants Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is the fourth most consumed oleaginous plant in the world, producing seeds with high contents of lipids, proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates. Biological activities of different extracts of this species have already been evaluated by many researchers, including antioxidant, antitumoral, and antibacterial. In this work, the allelopathic activity of extracts from different Brazilian peanut cultivars against lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and two weed plants (Commelina benghalensis and Ipomoea nil) was studied. Aerial parts, roots, seeds, and seed coats were used for the preparation of crude extracts. Seed extract partitioning was performed with n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and aqueous residue. Germination and growth of hypocotyls and rootlets were evaluated after one and five days of incubation with plant extracts, respectively. Crude seed extract and its dichloromethanic partition displayed highest allelopathic activity. These results contribute for the study of new potential natural herbicides. G. S. Casimiro, E. Mansur, G. Pacheco, R. Garcia, I. C. R. Leal, and N. K. Simas Copyright © 2017 G. S. Casimiro et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Medication Use among University Students in Ethiopia Tue, 14 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background. The extent, nature, and determinants of medication use of individuals can be known from drug utilization studies. Objectives. This study intended to determine medication consumption, sharing, storage, and disposal practices of university students in Northwest Ethiopia. Methods. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on 404 university students selected through stratified random sampling technique. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaire and analyzed with SPSS version 20 statistical software. Pearson’s Chi-square test of independence was conducted with taken as statistically significant. Results. At 95.3% response rate, the prevalences of medication consumption and sharing were 35.3% () and 38.2% (), respectively. One hundred (26%) respondents admitted that they often keep leftover medications for future use while the rest (, 74%) discard them primarily into toilets (, 44.2%). Evidence of association existed between medication taking and year of study (), medication sharing and sex (), and medication sharing and year of study (). Conclusion. There is a high prevalence of medication consumption, medication sharing, and inappropriate disposal practices which are influenced by sex and educational status of the university students. Thus medication use related educational interventions need to be given to students in general. Dessalegn Asmelashe Gelayee and Gashaw Binega Copyright © 2017 Dessalegn Asmelashe Gelayee and Gashaw Binega. All rights reserved. Preliminary Phytochemical Screening, Quantitative Analysis of Alkaloids, and Antioxidant Activity of Crude Plant Extracts from Ephedra intermedia Indigenous to Balochistan Mon, 13 Mar 2017 08:29:27 +0000 The aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant activity, screening the phytogenic chemical compounds, and to assess the alkaloids present in the E. intermedia to prove its uses in Pakistani folk medicines for the treatment of asthma and bronchitis. Antioxidant activity was analyzed by using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl-hydrate assay. Standard methods were used for the identification of cardiac glycosides, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, anthraquinones, and alkaloids. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used for quantitative purpose of ephedrine alkaloids in E. intermedia. The quantitative separation was confirmed on Shimadzu 10AVP column (Shampack) of internal diameter (id) 3.0 mm and 50 mm in length. The extract of the solute in flow rate of 1 ml/min at the wavelength 210 nm and methanolic extract showed the antioxidant activity and powerful oxygen free radicals scavenging activities and the IC50 for the E. intermedia plant was near to the reference standard ascorbic acid. The HPLC method was useful for the quantitative purpose of ephedrine (E) and pseudoephedrine (PE) used for 45 samples of one species collected from central habitat in three districts (Ziarat, Shairani, and Kalat) of Balochistan. Results showed that average alkaloid substance in E. intermedia was as follows: PE (0.209%, 0.238%, and 0.22%) and E (0.0538%, 0.0666%, and 0.0514%). Rahman Gul, Syed Umer Jan, Syed Faridullah, Samiullah Sherani, and Nusrat Jahan Copyright © 2017 Rahman Gul et al. All rights reserved. Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, and Antioxidant Activities of Byrsonima duckeana W. R. Anderson (Malpighiaceae) Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background. Byrsonima is a promising neotropical genus, rich in flavonoids and triterpenes, with several proven pharmacological properties. Nevertheless, Byrsonima duckeana W. R. Anderson is an Amazonian species almost not studied. Objective. To assess the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic activities of Byrsonima duckeana leaves. Materials and Methods. We analyzed an ethanol extract and its fractions for polyphenol content and UHPLC-MS/MS, phosphomolybdenum, DPPH, TBARS antioxidant tests, formalin-induced pain, carrageenan-induced peritonitis, acetic acid-induced abdominal writhings, and hot plate assays. Results. All the samples showed high polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity in the phosphomolybdenum, DPPH, and TBARS tests. We identified ethyl gallate, quinic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, quercetrin, and quercetin in the samples. B. duckeana was able to reduce leukocyte migration in the carrageenan-induced peritonitis by 43% and the licking time in the formalin test by 57%. In the acetic acid-induced writhing test, the chloroform (FCL) and ethyl acetate (FEA) fractions were the most active samples. FEA was selected for the hot plate test, where all the dosages tested (5, 50, and 200 mg·kg−1) showed significant analgesic activity. Conclusion. B. duckeana has interesting analgesic and antioxidant activities, due to its high phenolic content, especially phenolic acids. Maria Christina dos Santos Verdam, Fernanda Guilhon-Simplicio, Kleyton Cardoso de Andrade, Karina Lorena Meira Fernandes, Tallita Marques Machado, Felipe Moura Araújo da Silva, Mayane Pereira de Souza, Hector Henrique Ferreira Koolen, Cristiane da Silva Paula, Beatriz Cristina Konopatzki Hirota, Vinícius Bednarczuk de Oliveira, Cristina Mayumi Sasaki Miyazaki, Milena Kalegari, Marilis Dallarmi Miguel, Patricia Maria Stuelp-Campelo, and Obdulio Gomes Miguel Copyright © 2017 Maria Christina dos Santos Verdam et al. All rights reserved. Alpha-Amylase Inhibition and Antioxidative Capacity of Some Antidiabetic Plants Used by the Traditional Healers in Southeastern Nigeria Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Oxidative stress plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome including diabetes mellitus (DM). The inhibition of alpha-amylase is an important therapeutic target in the regulation of postprandial increase of blood glucose in diabetic patients. The present study investigated the alpha-amylase inhibitory and antioxidant potential of selected herbal drugs used in the treatment of DM by the traditional healers in Isiala Mbano and Ikwuano regions of southeastern Nigeria. Antioxidant activity was evaluated in terms of free radical scavenging, reducing power, and total phenolic (TPC) and flavonoid content (TFC) in consonance with the TLC profiling. The results showed that methanol crude extracts from Anacardium occidentale (AO) and Ceiba pentandra (CP) recorded higher TPC and TFC, potent free radical scavenging, and efficient reducing power (RP) as compared with other plant samples. All the plant extracts exhibited a relative alpha-amylase inhibition apart from Strophanthus hispidus (SH) extract with a negative effect. We discovered a mild to weak correlation between alpha-amylase inhibition or antioxidative capacity and the total phenol or flavonoid content. At least in part, the results obtained in this work support the traditional use of certain plant species in the treatment of patients with DM. Sunday O. Oyedemi, Blessing O. Oyedemi, Ifeoma I. Ijeh, Princemartins E. Ohanyerem, Roger M. Coopoosamy, and Olayinka A. Aiyegoro Copyright © 2017 Sunday O. Oyedemi et al. All rights reserved. Heating Has No Effect on the Net Protein Utilisation from Egg Whites in Rats Sun, 26 Feb 2017 06:29:05 +0000 Egg whites (EW) are a good source of protein; however, they are typically heated prior to consumption. Therefore, we investigated the effects of different heating conditions on the protein utilisation rate of EW. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (,  g) were divided into six groups and fed American Institute of Nutrition-76 chow containing unheated EW, soft-boiled EW, boiled EW, milk whey protein, soybean protein, or no protein over a 10-day period using pair-feeding. Urine and faeces were sampled daily beginning on day 5 to measure nitrogen content and the net protein utilisation (NPU) rate. The soybean protein group had a significantly lower level of food intake and was thus excluded from subsequent analyses. The NPU value was similar among the unheated, soft-boiled, and boiled EW groups (, , and , resp.). The EW group values were significantly higher than the whey group values (). These results show that EW serve as a good source of protein, irrespective of heating. Ryosuke Matsuoka, Yayoi Takahashi, Mamoru Kimura, Yasunobu Masuda, and Masaaki Kunou Copyright © 2017 Ryosuke Matsuoka et al. All rights reserved. Effects of a Supraseasonal Drought on the Ecological Attributes of Plagioscion squamosissimus (Heckel, 1840) (Pisces, Sciaenidae) in a Brazilian Reservoir Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a supraseasonal drought on the ecological attributes of Plagioscion squamosissimus. The fish were caught quarterly from February 2010 to November 2014 using gill nets in the reservoir of Santa Cruz, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. The abundance of the species was evaluated with the catch per unit effort (CPUE) metric and then correlated with the accumulated rainfall and water volume of the reservoir. The diet of the fish was evaluated using the feeding index (IAi). The proportional similarity index (PSi) was used to evaluate the variation in the niches of the fish. The body condition was inferred through the relative condition factor, and its variation was assessed with ANOVA. A reduction in the abundance of the species that were positively correlated with the reservoir water volume was observed. The diet of the fish comprised shrimp, gastropods, fish, insects, shrimp larvae, and vegetable matter, with shrimp being the major component. PSi showed the occurrence of individual specialization during November 2013 and November 2014. The relative condition factor was not correlated with a reduction in the water volume of the reservoir. The supraseasonal drought did not affect the relative condition factor, diet, and the trophic niche, but it did affect the species abundance. Antonia E. F. Souza, Jônnata F. Oliveira, Danielle Peretti, Rodrigo Fernandes, Rodrigo S. Costa, and José Luis Costa Novaes Copyright © 2017 Antonia E. F. Souza et al. All rights reserved. Statistical Downscaling for Rainfall Forecasts Using Modified Constructed Analog Method in Thailand Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:31:11 +0000 The simulations of rainfall from historical data were created in this study by using statistical downscaling. Statistical downscaling techniques are based on a relationship between the variables that are solved by the General Circulation Models (GCMs) and the observed predictions. The Modified Constructed Analog Method (MCAM) is a technique in downscaling estimation, suitable for rainfall simulation accuracy using weather forecasting. In this research, the MCAM was used to calculate the Euclidean distance to obtain the number of analog days. Afterwards, a linear combination of 30 analog days is created with simulated rainfall data which are determined by the corresponding 5 days from the adjusted weights of the appropriate forecast day. This method is used to forecast the daily rainfall and was received from the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) from the period during 1979 to 2010 at thirty stations. The experiment involved the use of rainfall forecast data that was combined with the historical data during the rainy season in 2010. The result showed that the MCAM gave the correlation value of 0.8 resulting in a reduced percentage error of 13.66%. The MCAM gave the value of 1094.10 mm which was the closest value to the observed precipitation of 1119.53 mm. Patchalai Anuchaivong, Dusadee Sukawat, and Anirut Luadsong Copyright © 2017 Patchalai Anuchaivong et al. All rights reserved. Gabapentin Inhibits Protein Kinase C Epsilon Translocation in Cultured Sensory Neurons with Additive Effects When Coapplied with Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) Thu, 16 Feb 2017 08:57:17 +0000 Gabapentin is a well-established anticonvulsant drug which is also effective for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Although the exact mechanism leading to relief of allodynia and hyperalgesia caused by neuropathy is not known, the blocking effect of gabapentin on voltage-dependent calcium channels has been proposed to be involved. In order to further evaluate its analgesic mechanisms, we tested the efficacy of gabapentin on protein kinase C epsilon (PKCε) translocation in cultured peripheral neurons isolated from rat dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). We found that gabapentin significantly reduced PKCε translocation induced by the pronociceptive peptides bradykinin and prokineticin 2, involved in both inflammatory and chronic pain. We recently showed that paracetamol (acetaminophen), a very commonly used analgesic drug, also produces inhibition of PKCε. We tested the effect of the combined use of paracetamol and gabapentin, and we found that the inhibition of translocation adds up. Our study provides a novel mechanism of action for gabapentin in sensory neurons and suggests a mechanism of action for the combined use of paracetamol and gabapentin, which has recently been shown to be effective, with a cumulative behavior, in the control of postoperative pain in human patients. Vittorio Vellani and Chiara Giacomoni Copyright © 2017 Vittorio Vellani and Chiara Giacomoni. All rights reserved. New Records of Hyphoderma (Meruliaceae, Polyporales) for India Mon, 06 Feb 2017 06:30:17 +0000 An account of eight species of genus Hyphoderma (H. clavatum, H. definitum, H. echinocystis, H. litschaueri, H. nemorale, H. subpraetermissum, H. tibia, and H. transiens) is presented, which is based on collections made from Uttarakhand state during 2009–2014. All these species are cited and fully described for the first time from India. Sanjeev Kumar Sanyal, Ritu Devi, and Gurpaul Singh Dhingra Copyright © 2017 Sanjeev Kumar Sanyal et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Harvesting Stage on Sweet Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) Genotypes in Western Kenya Wed, 01 Feb 2017 09:55:49 +0000 Harvesting stage of sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) cane is an important aspect in the content of sugar for production of industrial alcohol. Four sweet sorghum genotypes were evaluated for harvesting stage in a randomized complete block design. In order to determine sorghum harvest growth stage for bioethanol production, sorghum canes were harvested at intervals of seven days after anthesis. The genotypes were evaluated at different stages of development for maximum production of bioethanol from flowering to physiological maturity. The canes were crushed and juice fermented to produce ethanol. Measurements of chlorophyll were taken at various stages as well as panicles from the harvested canes. Dried kernels at 14% moisture content were also weighed at various stages. Chlorophyll, grain weight, absolute ethanol volume, juice volume, cane yield, and brix showed significant () differences for genotypes as well as the stages of harvesting. Results from this study showed that harvesting sweet sorghum at stages IV and V (104 to 117 days after planting) would be appropriate for production of kernels and ethanol. EUSS10 has the highest ethanol potential (1062.78 l ha−1) due to excellent juice volume (22976.9 l ha−1) and EUSS11 (985.26 l ha−1) due to its high brix (16.21). Moses Owuor Oyier, James O. Owuoche, Maurice E. Oyoo, Erick Cheruiyot, Betty Mulianga, and Justice Rono Copyright © 2017 Moses Owuor Oyier et al. All rights reserved. Wound Myiasis Caused by Sarcophaga (Liopygia) Argyrostoma (Robineau-Desvoidy) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae): Additional Evidences of the Morphological Identification Dilemma and Molecular Investigation Sun, 29 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 In Mediterranean countries, Sarcophaga (Liopygia) crassipalpis, Sarcophaga (L.) argyrostoma, and Sarcophaga (L.) cultellata share the same ecological niche and can be responsible of myiasis. In this study, the main morphological characters of a larva found in a hospitalized woman were described and illustrated by light and SEM microscopy and the features discussed. Then, a fragment within the mitochondrial encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (coxI) gene of ~735 bp was amplified and sequenced. The molecular investigation was necessary to confirm the species Sarcophaga (Liopygia) argyrostoma (99% of identity). Our findings showed that morphological descriptions of larvae of three Mediterranean species of Liopygia available in several papers might not be clear enough to allow for comparison and correct identification. Until results of reliable comparative studies of larvae of all three species will be available, the use of molecular tools is crucial, to avoid misleading or incomplete identification, and in particular when a myiasis becomes a legal issue. Annunziata Giangaspero, Marianna Marangi, Antonio Balotta, Claudio Venturelli, Krzysztof Szpila, and Antonella Di Palma Copyright © 2017 Annunziata Giangaspero et al. All rights reserved. A Design of a New Column-Parallel Analog-to-Digital Converter Flash for Monolithic Active Pixel Sensor Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The CMOS Monolithic Active Pixel Sensor (MAPS) for the International Linear Collider (ILC) vertex detector (VXD) expresses stringent requirements on their analog readout electronics, specifically on the analog-to-digital converter (ADC). This paper concerns designing and optimizing a new architecture of a low power, high speed, and small-area 4-bit column-parallel ADC Flash. Later in this study, we propose to interpose an S/H block in the converter. This integration of S/H block increases the sensitiveness of the converter to the very small amplitude of the input signal from the sensor and provides a sufficient time to the converter to be able to code the input signal. This ADC is developed in 0.18 μm CMOS process with a pixel pitch of 35 μm. The proposed ADC responds to the constraints of power dissipation, size, and speed for the MAPS composed of a matrix of 64 rows and 48 columns where each column ADC covers a small area of 35 × 336.76 μm2. The proposed ADC consumes low power at a 1.8 V supply and 100 MS/s sampling rate with dynamic range of 125 mV. Its DNL and INL are 0.0812/−0.0787 LSB and 0.0811/−0.0787 LSB, respectively. Furthermore, this ADC achieves a high speed more than 5 GHz. Mostafa Chakir, Hicham Akhamal, and Hassan Qjidaa Copyright © 2017 Mostafa Chakir et al. All rights reserved. Development and Reliability of the Basic Skill Assessment Tool for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder Sun, 22 Jan 2017 09:13:35 +0000 The purpose of this study was to improve upon the first version of the basic work skills assessment tool for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and examine interrater and intrarater reliability using Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). The modified tool includes 2 components: (1) three tasks measuring work abilities and work attitudes and (2) a form to record the number of verbal and nonverbal prompts. 26 participants were selected by purposive sampling and divided into 3 groups—group 1 (10 subjects, aged 11–13 years), group 2 (10, aged 14–16 years), and group 3 (6, aged 17–19 years). The results show that interrater reliabilities of work abilities and work attitudes were high in all groups except that the work attitude in group 1 was moderate. Intrarater reliabilities of work abilities in group 1 and group 2 were high. Group 3 was moderate. Intrarater reliabilities of work attitudes in group 1 and group 3 were high but not in group 2 in which they were moderate. Nevertheless, interrater and intrarater reliabilities in the total scores of all groups were high, which implies that this tool is applicable for adolescents aged 11–19 years with consideration of relevance for each group. Maethisa Pongsaksri, Suchitporn Lersilp, and Sumana Suchart Copyright © 2017 Maethisa Pongsaksri et al. All rights reserved. Antimutagenic Effect of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Aqueous Extract on Rats Treated with Monosodium Glutamate Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Hibiscus sabdariffa L. is a plant of the Malvaceae family, commonly known as roselle. H. sabdariffa is known to contain antioxidant, cholesterol-lowering, antiobesity, insulin resistance reduction, antihypertensive, and skin cancer chemopreventive properties. This study evaluated the effects of H. sabdariffa aqueous extract against cyclophosphamide (CPA, 25 mg/Kg) induced damage to DNA in male Wistar rats by micronucleus test. Samples of H. sabdariffa calyx were obtained in the municipality of Barra do Garças, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The aqueous extract was prepared by infusion and each animal received a daily dose of 400 mg/Kg by gavage for 15 consecutive days of treatment. The presence of anthocyanins was confirmed by ferric chloride test and phenolic compounds using high-performance liquid chromatography, with emphasis on the identification of rutin. The animals were sacrificed by deepening of anaesthesia to obtain bone marrow and determination of the frequency of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes. The group treated with the aqueous extract of H. sabdariffa revealed a 91% reduction in micronucleus frequency when compared with the positive control group. Under the conditions tested, H. sabdariffa L. presented a protective effect to CPA-induced damage to DNA of the treated animals, and it is a potential candidate as a chemopreventive agent against carcinogenesis. Ana Carla Guidini Valentini Gheller, Jacqueline Kerkhoff, Gerardo Magela Vieira Júnior, Kleber Eduardo de Campos, and Marina Mariko Sugui Copyright © 2017 Ana Carla Guidini Valentini Gheller et al. All rights reserved. Role of Alexithymia, Anxiety, and Depression in Predicting Self-Efficacy in Academic Students Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:38:15 +0000 Objective. Little research is available on the predictive factors of self-efficacy in college students. The aim of the present study is to examine the role of alexithymia, anxiety, and depression in predicting self-efficacy in academic students. Design. In a cross-sectional study, a total of 133 students at Babol University of Medical Sciences (Medicine, Dentistry, and Paramedicine) participated in the study between 2014 and 2015. All participants completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), College Academic Self-Efficacy Scale (CASES), and 14 items on anxiety and depression derived from the 28 items of the General Health Questionnaire (28-GHQ). Results. Pearson correlation coefficients revealed negative significant relationships between alexithymia and the three subscales with student self-efficacy. There was no significant correlation between anxiety/depression symptoms and student self-efficacy. A backward multiple regression analysis revealed that alexithymia was a negative significant predictor of self-efficacy in academic students (, ). The prevalence of alexithymia was 21.8% in students. Multiple backward logistic analysis regression revealed that number of passed semesters, gender, mother’s education, father’s education, and doctoral level did not accurately predict alexithymia in college students. Conclusion. As alexithymia is prevalent in college students and affects self-efficacy and academic functioning, we suggest it should be routinely evaluated by mental physicians at universities. Mahbobeh Faramarzi and Soraya Khafri Copyright © 2017 Mahbobeh Faramarzi and Soraya Khafri. All rights reserved. Chemical Composition and In Vitro Antioxidant, Cytotoxic, Antimicrobial, and Larvicidal Activities of the Essential Oil of Mentha piperita L. (Lamiaceae) Sun, 01 Jan 2017 11:11:15 +0000 The essential oil was obtained by hydrodistillation and the identification and quantification of components were achieved with the use of GC-MS analysis. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by the method of sequestration of DPPH. Essential oils were used for study the cytotoxic front larvae of Artemia salina. In the evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of essential oils, we employed the disk-diffusion method. The potential larvicide in mosquito larvae of the third stage of development of Aedes aegypti to different concentrations of essential oils was evaluated. The major compounds found in the essential oils of M. piperita were linalool (51.8%) and epoxyocimene (19.3%). The percentage of antioxidant activity was %. The essential oil showed LC50 = 414.6 μg/mL front of A. saline and is considered highly toxic. It shows sensitivity and halos significant inhibition against E. coli. The essential possessed partial larvicidal efficiency against A. aegypti. Ryan da Silva Ramos, Alex Bruno Lobato Rodrigues, Ana Luzia Ferreira Farias, Ranggel Carvalho Simões, Mayara Tânia Pinheiro, Ricardo Marcelo dos Anjos Ferreira, Ledayane Mayana Costa Barbosa, Raimundo Nonato Picanço Souto, João Batista Fernandes, Lourivaldo da Silva Santos, and Sheylla Susan Moreira da Silva de Almeida Copyright © 2017 Ryan da Silva Ramos et al. All rights reserved. Optimized Extraction of Resveratrol from Arachis repens Handro by Ultrasound and Microwave: A Correlation Study with the Antioxidant Properties and Phenol Contents Tue, 27 Dec 2016 15:39:44 +0000 The vegetal species Arachis repens, commonly known as peanut grass, was studied and, for the first time, we detected the presence of the bioactive compound trans-resveratrol (-RSV). We compared the efficiency of three different methodologies (conventional maceration [CM], ultrasound-assisted extractions [UAE], and microwave-assisted extractions [MAE]) concerning total phenolics (TP) and resveratrol (-RSV) content, followed by antioxidant activity (AA) evaluation. By CM, at 1 h, the highest RSV content ( mg/L) and, correspondingly, the highest DPPH capture (%) were found. The TP contents, at 1 h, presented the highest value ( mg/g GAE). By the UAE, the maximum yields of TP (357.18 mg/g GAE) and RSV (2.14 mg/L), as well as, the highest AA (70.95%), were obtained by 5 min after a maceration pretreatment, on the solid-solvent ratio 1 : 40 w/v. For MAE, a central composite rotatable design (CCRD) was applied followed by the FFD design in order to evaluate the statistical effects of four independent variables on the extraction of RSV. The optimal conditions established for obtaining the highest recovery (2.516 mg/g) were 20 min; 90% MeOH aq.; 120 rpm; 60°C; and solid-solvent ratio: 1 : 35 w/v. Relevant correlations were established considering the TP and RSV contents, as well as the AA, corroborating obvious advantages of such techniques in terms of high extraction efficiency in shorter times. Leonardo Garcia, Renata Garcia, Georgia Pacheco, Felipe Sutili, Rodrigo De Souza, Elisabeth Mansur, and Ivana Leal Copyright © 2016 Leonardo Garcia et al. All rights reserved.