Open Access Case study

Capacity Building in Alzheimer's Disease (AD): Lessons Learned from a Pilot Study in Six Distinct Areas of Lebanon

Lama Bazzi, Christina P.C. Borba, Julia Carney, Zeina Chemali

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 185-203
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/3819

Aims: To report the results of a week-long Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) pilot training and capacity building program for community caregivers in Lebanon.
Study Design: Using mixed methods instruments, we collected participant demographics, measured participant understanding of baseline issues affecting the local aging population, the role of caregivers, and confidence in community supports. Knowledge gaps and challenges in AD care were identified.
Place and Duration of Study: Six distinct areas of Lebanon including Tripoli, Keserwan/Jbeil, Beirut, Bekaa Valley, Sarafand and Nabatieh, from August 1-6, 2011.
Methodology: Using mixed methods instruments, we measured participant understanding of baseline issues affecting the local aging population, the role of caregivers, and confidence in community supports. We also examined the usefulness of existing AD resources, identified characteristics of these front-line providers, and elicited details about educational and clinical needs in distinct religious and ethnic regions.
Results: Of workshop participants, 94% were women, of whom 36% were 31 to 40 years-of-age. Of the participants, 80% were social workers or nurses, and 65% were government employees. Participant motivation included a desire to mentor others (71%), improve communication with elders (69%), and better elderly care (61%). Participants said they learned most age-sensitivity training (74.4%), positive behavioral supports (60%), and strategies for difficult behaviors (55.6%). Incomplete evaluations and workshop fatigue negatively impacted data outcomes.
Conclusion: Cross-cultural understanding of AD training in diverse settings is critical to developing appropriate training programs. Results underscore that community workers, the primary caregivers of AD patients in Lebanon, are sensitized to the disease, and through training, felt empowered to advance elders’ quality of care. Study challenges included group heterogeneous backgrounds, unfamiliarity with evaluation methods and the timing of the workshop, the summer heat and time of fasting.

Open Access Case study

Evaluation of the Antibacterial Activity of Methanol and Chloroform Extracts of Alchornea cordifolia Leaves

E. L. Okoye, B. O. Uba, P. C. Uhobo, A. N. Oli, M. N. Ikegbunam

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 255-262
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/4328

Aims: To evaluate the antibacterial activity of the Methanol and Chloroform extracts of the leaves of Alchornea cordifolia and verify the claim that it is used to treat bacterial infections.
Study Design: This is an experimental study involving the extraction of the bioactive agents from Alchornea cordifolia leaf using methanol and chloroform, susceptibility tests (Zones of inhibition) and determination of the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration.
Place and Duration of Study: Study was carried out in Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Agulu Campus between March and June 2012.
Methodology: The leaves of the plant were harvested, dried at room temperature for two weeks and then pulverized. The leaves were divided into two parts of 200mg each. One part was soaked in 500 ml methanol and the other part in 500 ml chloroform (all for 72 hours) to extract the active principles. The extracts were exposed to air to allow the solvents to evaporate completely. The antibacterial activities of the residue against four pathogenic microorganisms (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella typhi) were evaluated using agar diffusion and broth dilution techniques in accordance with Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute.
Results: The result showed that the methanol extract has antibacterial activity against the pathogens tested at concentrations 50 mg/ml and above while the chloroform extracts had activity against the micro organisms tested at 200 mg/ml concentration only.
Conclusion: The methanol extract of Alchornea cordifolia leaves has a more potent antibacterial activity than the chloroform extract. The leaves of Alchornea cordifolia can actually be used in the treatment of infection caused by these organisms aforementioned.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Decision Support System for the Selection of Low-Cost Green Building Materials

Ogunkah Cyril B. Ibuchim, Yang Jun Li

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 17-96
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/5892

Background: For the past ten years, researchers have sought effective ways of exploring the possibilities of constructing homes more efficiently by using low-cost green building materials and components, as they produce less toxic waste and also perform very well in terms of cost and energy reduction in use, over their life cycle. Yet, despite these efforts and the benefits that associate their use, the patronage in housing construction appears to be relatively low when compared to conventional building products. The analysis of the literature study showed little evidence to justify the assumption that there are tools of demonstrable reliability for designers to assess the sustainability of such materials or their applicability and utility in the design of low-cost green housing projects. Nevertheless, questions remain regarding how designers should evaluate their relative impacts in the presence of multidimensional factors; hence underscores the need to investigate how informed decision-making in the material selection process could reduce decision-making failures, and encourage greater industry acceptance during the planning and design stage(s) of residential housing projects.
Aims: This article set(s) out to determine how the understanding of the principles of best practices associated with the impacts of low-cost green building materials could be improved to fulfill the objective of their greater use in mainstream housing. To achieve this aim, a DSS is presented in this paper as a means to aid and inform design and building professionals in their choice of materials for low-cost green residential housing projects.
Study Design: The study employed exploratory study design approach using literature reviews, and networking with domain experts and practitioners. This was followed by a series of questionnaire surveys and knowledge-mining interviews.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was carried out in some selected housing construction firms in the UK over a two-month period of March and April 2012.
Methodology: The study conducted in-depth interviews that consisted of 10 participants, involving a sample of practicing architects, engineers, material specifiers, and a host of building professionals that influence material choice decisions in the UK housing construction industry. In order to elicit the ‘‘most important’’ factors, a semi-structured questionnaire survey was conducted among 480 executives of some selected expert builder and developer companies, with an overall response rate of 52.1%.
Results: The analysis of the questionnaire survey provided a list of ‘‘most important’’ decision factors having significant impacts on the process of material selection for low-cost green residential housing development. The value for Cronbach’s alpha was estimated at 0.781, showing strong evidence that all reliability coefficients of 55 out of 60 factors were acceptable, and internally consistent.
Conclusion: This study posits that an improved approach for integrating data associated with the impacts of low-cost green materials from heterogeneous databases and other information sources may likely reduce decision-making failures in the selection process; hence engender their wider-scale use in mainstream housing.

Open Access Original Research Article

Cancer Drugs Inhibit Germ Tube Elongation in Candida albicans

Madhushree M. Routh, Nitin M. Chauhan, Sandeep B. Rajput, S. Mohan Karuppayil

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 97-109
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/4914

Aim: Hyphal forms of human fungal pathogen Candida albicans play a major role in infection process. During mucosal infections, they invade epithelial and endothelial cells and cause damage probably through the release of hydrolytic enzymes. Targeting yeast to hyphal form morphogenetic switching may be useful against invasive candidiasis. In this study, we report the germ tube elongation inhibitory properties of thirty cancer drugs from 12 different classes.
Methodology: Candida albicans, ATCC 90028 was used throughout the study and Candida filamentation assay was performed on polystyrene coated 96-well microtitre plates.
Results: Most of the drugs inhibited elongation at concentrations lower than their minimum Inhibitory Concentration. These concentrations were much lower than prescribed doses. The drugs were found to inhibit Candida growth at higher concentrations, suggesting that chemotherapy with anticancer drugs may not favor invasive candidiasis caused by C. albicans.
Conclusion: Our study indicates the possibility of repositioning cancer drugs as anti-morphogenetic agents in C. albicans.

Open Access Original Research Article

Pseudomonas putida Biofilm Facilitates Fine Solids, Water and Oil Separation from Oil Sands Tailings

Victoria Kostenko, Robert John Martinuzzi, Geir Hareland

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 110-129
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/6338

Aims: The generation of the tailings, poor settling slurry contaminated with emulsified bitumen, significantly increases the negative impact of oil sands operations on the environment and human health (contamination of surface and ground water with hydrocarbons and naphthenic acids, methane emission), as well as operation cost. Poor effectiveness of conventional tailings settling and clean-up technologies contributes to the daily increase of the quantity of tailings deposited in ponds covering now more than 130 km2. There is an urgent need for development of novel tailings settling technologies. The aim of the present study is a comparative analysis of the impact of Pseudomonas putida planktonic and biofilm populations on oil, solids and water separation in tailings, and the investigation of the mechanisms involved in bioseparation.
Methodology: Mature fine tailings (MFT) were exposed to Pseudomonas putida planktonic populations and biofilms at agitation followed by static conditions for settling. Oil-solids-water separation was determined by water and oil release from MFT in comparison with untreated tailings. Interaction of tailings with microbial populations was investigated with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM) and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDAX) spectroscopy.
Results: The exposure of mature fine tailings to microbial cultures, and especially to biofilms, significantly increase tailings densification, dewatering and bitumen release. The separation efficiency is associated with fine clay aggregation due to the interaction with the microbial cells, biofilm colonies and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS).
Conclusion: The mechanism driving the observed biodensification is the aggregation of fine solids via flocculation by biofilm-produced EPS and bacterial cells. Microorganisms were also observed to destabilize emulsions and enhanced residual bitumen release from tailings.

Open Access Original Research Article

An Investigation of Statistical Behaviors of the Stock Market Fluctuations in the Colombo Stock Market: ARMA & PCA Approach

R. M. Kapila Tharanga Rathnayaka, D. M. K. N. Seneviratna, Zhong-jun Wang

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 130-138
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/5409

Throughout the world, Equity markets have been advanced as the main forms of investment for numerous organizations and individuals arraying large investments and funds to the general public. The nature of the stock market becomes highly volatile. The demeanor of aggregate stock prices and trade volume behaviors play a significant role in stock market fluctuations. The main goal of this study is to investigate the directions and movements of market prices and trade volume rates in Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) during 2007 to 2012. The results reveal that both micro and macro-economic factors directly impact on market volatility. The unit root test results found that, all the sectors in the CSE are highly stationary under the 0.05 level of significance. Moreover, results forecast suggest that Bank Finance and Insurance, Beverage Food and Tobacco, and Investment Trust sectors are most suitable sectors for investing capitals over a period of several months in the future.

Open Access Original Research Article

Valuing Water Recharge in the Face of Damming the Farin Ruwa Wetlands for Electricity Generation in the Benue Trough of Central Nigeria

Ibrahim Gerarh Umaru

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 139-157
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/6064

Nasarawa, a state authority in Nigeria has planned a hydro-electric dam upstream of Farin Ruwa wetlands which has the potential of directly disrupting the natural flow of the Farin Ruwa River and by extension the Dep river system in the Benue trough. It is therefore important not only to identify this potential but to quantify it in economic terms so as to serve as a basis for policy to protect the environment. Data on dry-season farming were sourced from irrigated floodplain farmers occupying an area of 2,500 ha. From the data collected, an economic valuation of per hectare agricultural production of irrigated land was conducted. The survey was conducted around the Farin Ruwa segment of the Dep river system in Nasarawa State of Nigeria between September and December 2009. Using two welfare change measures, it valued the recharge function based on estimated production functions and assumed changes in groundwater recharge and levels. The study found out that that irrigation agriculture using water from the shallow groundwater aquifer was 41,233 Naira (US$ 278.6) per hectare and the total potential welfare loss for the whole wetlands as a result a potential drop in groundwater levels by 1m in depth due to the damming of the Dep river system was 1,062,832,391.06 Naira (US $ 7,181,299.94). The study also found out that groundwater recharge is immense importance to wetland farming in the region. It also confirmed that reduced recharge resulting from lower levels of groundwater due to the damming of the Dep river system to generate electricity has the potential of generating high welfare losses for farmers who rely on the floodplains for dry season farming.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Relationship between Cash Flow Uncertainty and Payout Dividend Policy

Roya Darabi, Faezeh Pourahmadian, Arefeh Vahmiyan, Behrad Saleh

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 158-169
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/4443

Aims: The determinant of dividend policy is one of the biggest challenges that has long been the center of accounting and financial researcher and theoreticians’ attention. In this study, four effects, namely, cash-flow uncertainty, earned/contributed capital mix, agency conflict and investment opportunities in payout dividend policy are simultaneously investigated in Tehran exchange stock.
Study Design: Many factors are proved to have an essential impact on the dividend policy; nevertheless, there are a lot of other potential factors, the effect thereof on the dividend policy has not been studied yet.
Place and Duration of study: The sample firms consisting of 140 TSE firms were studied in a 5-year period within 2007-2011.
Methodology: The method of this research is applied science based on the observations in order to find the correlation and relation between the parameters. The hypotheses of this study include 4 above parameters which have been tested according to the panel and consolidated regression. In this study, the simultaneous effects of four factors including cash-flow uncertainty, earned/contributed capital mix, agency conflict and investment opportunities on the payout dividend policy are investigated.
Results: The findings of the study indicated that in these two foregoing tests, no evidences supporting the effect of cash flow uncertainty on the payout dividend policy were found and earned/contributed capital mix and estimation of investment opportunities have positive and significant effects on dividend payout. In addition, the summary of two regression tests implies the inverse and significant effect of agency conflict on the dividend payout.
Conclusion: The results of this research are useful for companies in decision making procedure, specifically when it comes to payout dividend.

Open Access Original Research Article

Attributes of Topographic Mapping of a Fast Urbanising Area in Nigeria, Using Remote Sensing and GIS

Olarewaju O. Ifatimehin, Fanan Ujoh, Patrick S. U. Eneche

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 170-184
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/3999

Aims: To produce an updated 1:25,000 topographic map of Anyigba through the application of geospatial technologies – GIS techniques, Remote Sensing data, GPS and other ancillary hardware and software.
Study Design: Application of satellite imageries and GIS software for the production of updated topographic map of Anyigba Town in Nigeria.
Place and Duration of Study: GIS Laboratory, Department of Geography and Planning, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria, between April and July 2012.
Methodology: Satellite image processing, classification and vectorization, visually-aided interpretation, digitization and geocoding of features, using ArcGIS 9.2, ILWIS 3.3 Academia, AutoCAD 2010 and Microsoft Excel 2010 software.
Results: Topographic map created through the integration of point map, contour line map, land use classification map, planimetric map, digital elevation model (DEM) and digital terrain model (DTM). The built-up area has grown in an omni-directional pattern, annexing most surrounding villages. It was discovered that Anyigba is characterized by a gentle undulating landscape architecture, with some areas of marked elevation and depression as against what was reflected in the old toposheets (248 NW and 268 SW) produced in 1973. The DEM and DTM generated from the 1973 toposheets and the satellite imageries of 2001, 2005 and 2008 showed that changes in the topography is a direct result of unplanned expansion of the built-up area.
Conclusion: The method is considered relatively cheaper and time-effective for updating topographic maps in Developing Countries where resources are scarce. The study suggests periodic research to update the topographic map of Anyigba as part of contributions towards building the much required National Elevation Dataset (NED) and Geospatial Data Infrastructure (GDI) in Nigeria for updating environmental planning and management.

Open Access Original Research Article

Ionospheric Anomaly after the 11 April, 2012, Mw =8.6 Indonesia’ Sumatra Earthquake Using Two-Dimensional Principal Component Analysis (2DPCA)

Jyh-Woei Lin

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 204-226
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/5923

Two-dimensional Principal Component Analysis (2DPCA) and principal component analysis (PCA) were performed to determine two-dimensional ionospheric total electron content (TEC) anomaly after Indonesia’s Sumatra earthquake on 11 April, 2012 (UT) (Mw =8.6). The earthquake occurred at 08:38:37UT with vibrated duration time of 2 minutes and therefore the TEC data at the time 08:40 to 08: 50 (UT) after the earthquake were examined using both PCA and 2DPCA. The TEC anomaly was more intense localized at 08:40 to 08: 45 (UT) but the range was outside the epicenter. Potential cause of the TEC anomaly, which may be a density variance, was rising high speed slanted acoustic shock wave, which had small horizontal component, resulted by the mainshock of the earthquake. The duration time of this TEC anomaly was at least 5 minutes.

Open Access Original Research Article

Salmonella spp in Birds from Jamaica

Angel Alberto Justiz Vaillant, Suzette Curtello, Patrick E. Akpaka, Monica P. Smikle, Hellen Asemota

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 227-233
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/5420

The present work was conducted to study the presence of Salmonella and its IgY antibodies in birds from Jamaica. The IgY fraction was isolated from the egg yolks of a variety of birds including chickens, quails, geese and pigeons by the chloroform-polyethylene glycol method. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to test for anti-Salmonella antibodies. High significant levels of antibodies were detected in three serovars and Salmonella species, namely Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Montevideo and Salmonella Yeerongpilly. This preliminary study from Jamaica demonstrates the presence of high levels of anti-Salmonella antibodies that warrants further studies with larger number of samples, since there are large amounts of consumption of eggs from these bird species by the general population in the country.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Morphology of Naturally Enhanced Ion-acoustic Lines Observed in ESR 42m Data

Bashkim Dalipi

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 234-254
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/5695

The Real Time Graph program is capable of generating, as an output, a spectral panel and a power panel, that change in terms of shape and size in response to back-scattered incoherent radar signals. A spectral shape criterion and a power profile criterion are used to evaluate and differentiate between different morphologies for each observed spectra. Analytically, using comparative analysis, four major categories are identified: a normal morphology, a Naturally Enhanced Ion-Acoustic Lines (NEIALs) morphology, a hard object morphology (satellite, space debris, etc.), and a turned-off transmitter morphology. Thirty data dumps are identified as NEIALs, which are investigated in terms of their spectral morphologies and the variations between each type of NEIALs. A “Flambeau”-like spectral shape, along with a “hill”-like power profile, is a distinctive feature of NEIALs. Particular spectra may contain mixed spectral morphologies, such as NEIALs along with hard object(s). NEIALs events may be contained and processed in one single data dump as well in two, three, four, or five consecutive data dumps. The analysis of NEIALs spectral shapes and the corresponding power profiles indicate that the highest intensity of scattered power comes from altitudes between 400 km and 600 km, but most likely about 500 km. We find that the down-shifted ion line shoulder is more often enhanced compared with the up-shifted ion line shoulder. The majority of data dumps show spectral line enhancements that are down-shifted in frequency, while no significant evidence is found for spectral line enhancements that are up-shifted in frequency.

Open Access Review Article

Contamination of Heavy Metals and other Organic Pollutants in Perna viridis from the Coastal Waters of Malaysia: A Review Based on 1998 Data

Chee Kong, YAP

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-16
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/4130

Since 1990s until today, the Asia-Pacific Mussel Watch approach has been widely used for biomonitoring purpose in Malaysia by using the green-lipped mussel Perna viridis in particular. This paper reviewed the concentrations of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn), Linear Alkylbenzenes (LABs), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), phenolic Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) [nonylphenol (NP), octylphenol (OP), and bisphenol A (BPA)] and organochlorine (OC) compounds (PCBs, DDTs, CHLs, HCHs and HCB) in nine mussel populations collected in 1998 (because I involved in the sampling field trip when I was a trainee researcher) from the coastal waters of Malaysia. In fact, all of these data were published separately in five different peer-reviewed journals in the literature (see Yap et al. [6,7]; Tsutsumi et al. [14]; Isobe et al. [15]; Monirith et al. [16]). Since they discussed only based on the group of contaminants which they focused upon, this review paper aimed to see a holistic picture and understanding of the impacts of the different chemical contaminants in relation to the description of the sampling sites. Based on seven mussel populations with complete 11 chemicals (ranging from heavy metals, LABs, PAHs, phenolic EDCs and OCs), a dendrogram was established using single linkage cluster analysis. A dendrogram was established using single linkage cluster analysis showing two major subclusters. The first subcluster comprised Tanjung Rhu, Trayong, Kuala Penyu and Pasir Panjang populations, indicating relatively uncontaminated conditions while the other subcluster consists of Penang, Kg. Pasir Puteh and Anjung Batu which indicated contaminated conditions as it is well supported by the elevated levels of some chemicals. The subcluster combining Penang and Kg. Pasir Puteh populations were mainly due to the elevated levels of LABs and PAHs in both sites while Kg. Pasir Puteh also had elevated levels of Cu, Pb, PCBs and CHLs. Anjung Batu, which is also clustering together with Penang and Kg. Pasir Puteh population can be explained by its elevated levels of three OC compounds namely DDTs, CHLs and HCHs.