Open Access Short Research Article

UV Blocking Properties of Reactive Dyed Mercerized Fabric

C. W. Kan, Y. L. Lam

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 95-100
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2015/13313

This paper is concerned with the effect of mercerization on the ultraviolet (UV) blocking property of 100% cotton knitted fabrics with different structures. In this study, we proposed that the mercerization process may enhance UV blocking property of 100% cotton knitted fabrics. UV measurement is carried out using a spectrophotometer and the results revealed that mercerization process did not have significant improvement on the UV blocking properties but the fabric structure did.

Open Access Short Research Article

Analysis of Prognostic Significance of Clinical and Paraclinical Indices in Case of Different Types of Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis Course

Iryna Lobanova, Olena Myalovitska, Anatolii Saliuk, Serhii Lobanov

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 101-108
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2015/14243

In most casesacute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is characterized by monophasic course, but occurring relapses of the disease can be interpreted as multiphasic course of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis or its transformation into multiple sclerosis (MS).
This work is aimedat assessing the clinical/ paraclinical predictors of relapses and transformation to MS in patients presenting with ADEM/MDEM.
We have examined 101 patients with the diagnosis ADEM, namely: 28 men and 73 women aged 17 - 53 (average age value 31.7±1.01). Comparison groups included patients with monophasic and multiphasic types of acuted is seminated encephalomyelitis evolved to MS.
The investigated clinical and paraclinical parameters included: the number of points according to EDSS scale,number of demyelination foci and their diameter, the presence of perifocal edema. In case of multiphasic type of course of the disease and its transformation into multiple sclerosis, an increase in the number of points on the EDSS as well as in number of demyelination foci, and decrease of foci diameter and perifocal edema (more pronounced in case of the transformation into multiple sclerosis) were observed. Thus, all the investigated clinical and paraclinical indices andtheir changes during the period of observation have prognostic significance for assessment of the type of ADEM course (monophasic, multiphasic and transformation in multiple sclerosis).

Open Access Original Research Article

Frugivorous Bird Guild Seasonal Patterns in Semiarid Chaco Forests are Linked to Habitat Seasonality but Reveal Phylogenetic Signature

Diana E. Marco, Sergio A. Páez, Gabriel Boaglio

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-15
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2015/14076

Aims: This work aims to explain seasonal changes in frugivorous bird species richness, abundance and diversity, addressing climatic and habitat variables (rainfall, Photosynthetically Active Radiation as PPDF) and species´ trait factors (diet), while considering the effect of phylogenetic constraints.
Place and Duration of Study: Forest Reserve of Chancaní, Córdoba Province, Argentina (31º 2' S and 65º 25' W), during 1995-1996.
Methodology: In the study area two randomly located sampling points separated each other by two km were established. Phenological records for seven forest plant species producing fruits were taken monthly, along with habitat and climatic variables (PPDF, rainfall). Bird sampling was done monthly. Fourteen transects, each of 50 m long were permanently marked from randomly located points in N-S direction. While slowly walking along each transect, all bird sightings as well as hearings both to right and left sides were recorded. The bird species and the vegetation stratum where the sighting occurred were also recorded.
Statistical Analysis: For all the bird species and for frugivorous species, bird species richness (S), species abundance as sightings, diversity (Shannon Index H´) and evenness (H´/lnS) were calculated for each sampling date. Friedman test was used to test differences in species richness and sightings among dates. For frugivorous bird data analysis, two approaches were used, one with the species values taken as independent data points, and the other removing phylogenetic effects by means of the analysis of independent contrasts. Categorical Principal Component Analysis (CATPCA) was used to explore the relationships among species dates of sighting initiation, duration of the sighting period and abundances at peak dates, using species values and independent contrasts. CATPCA (with species values) was also used to explore the relationships among frugivorous bird species richness, abundance and diversity, and climatic (rainfall) and habitat (PPDF and fruit abundance) variables.
Results: A total of 67 species were recorded during the sampling period. Richness rose in spring, peaked during summer and then declined smoothly to winter. In contrast, abundance maintained fluctuating values during the sampling period, with a small peak in autumn. There were no significant differences in vegetation strata occupancy by different species of birds, although some groups showed a degree of preference.
Considering frugivorous birds, a total of 29 frugivorous species were recorded during the sampling period. The temporal trend of species richness and diversity was similar to the pattern showed by all the species, although abundance showed a bimodal trend. CATPCA using species values and independent contrasts showed common overall results for the variables initiation and maximum of frugivorous species abundance, that were inversely or not correlated with duration of sightings, maximum abundance and total abundance along the sampling period. However, the behaviour of the variable Diet changed when independent contrasts were used. From a closer relationship with sighting initiation and peak and a greater importance with species values data, Diet showed a more distant relationship with these sightings variables and a negligible value when independent contrasts were used. Besides, using independent contrasts many species were differently related with the variables and the dispersion of the species was greater in the ordination space.
Regarding climatic and habitat variables, rainfall and PPDF showed an overall similar seasonal pattern, although PPFD began rising earlier during the dry season. Rainfall and PPDF were temporally correlated. Fruits began appearing in spring, peaked during this season, and then decreased sharply to disappear during winter. Fruit abundance was highly correlated with PPFD but not with rainfall. CATPCA of climatic, habitat, and frugivorous bird variables (richness, abundance and diversity) separated spring, summer and autumn sampling dates from the last autumn date and winter dates. PPDF and fruit abundance explained most of the variance in bird richness and diversity but not in abundance. Rainfall did not explain the behaviour of any bird variable.
Conclusion: We conclude that habitat characteristics, mainly PPFD and fruit abundance, are shaping the seasonal species composition (richness and diversity), although not abundance, of frugivorous bird assemblages in semiarid Chaco forests. The importance of the frugivorous diet diversification, as a species´ trait factor that could be contributing to shape the seasonal arrangement of frugivorous birds, was secondary and mainly related to the timing of appearance in the favourable season. However, even this modest contribution of diet diminished when the phylogeny were taken into account, showing a strong phylogenetic signal.

Open Access Original Research Article

Modelling the Perspective of Agricultural Land Use Trajectories in a Peri-Urban District of Ghana

Divine Odame Appiah, John Tia Bugri, Eric Kwabena Forkuo

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 16-31
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2015/13669

Aim: To analyze the perspectives of agriculture land use trajectories for 10 years due to peri-urbanization in the Bosomtwe district of the Asante region, Ghana.
Methodology: Using a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative Design, 270 household respondents were proportionately sampled from 14 selected communities on the basis of population, in the district, for questionnaires administration to collect data. The data was subjected to the Pearson’s Chi-square, Nigelkerk R and Cramer’s V, and step-wise binary logistic regression analyses embedded in the SPSS V.16.
Results: A chi-square test of association between the peri-urban land uses and agriculture land use conversions revealed that at a significant level of .05, the Pearson Chi-square value of χ2 =17.355, 4 degree of freedom, was significant at a p-value of p < .05. The logistic regression model reported that at confidence intervals of (CIs) of 1.358 ≤ CI ≤ 4.517 and 1.039 ≤ CI ≤ 11.486 for the two main predictors of ground rent per plot and criteria in determining land prices, the β(EXP) > 1, rang from 2.477 to 3.455. This implies the odds of respondents being more likely to convert their land from arable uses to other uses given the appropriate grounds rent on the land market, is about 3 times whenever any of the two main predictor variables increase by one unit.
Conclusion: The increasing rate of peri-urbanization in the district is as a result of increasing demand for residential and commercial land uses at the expense of agricultural land uses. This has resulted in substantial conversion of prime agricultural lands into other land uses particularly residential and commercial. These outcomes have perceived negative implications on food security in the district. The District assembly’s land use schemes should be monitored strictly to regulate physical development on agricultural lands.

Open Access Original Research Article

Soil Fertility and Crop Yield Variability under Major Soil and Water Conservation Technologies in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania

S. B. Mwango, B. M. Msanya, P. W. Mtakwa, D. N. Kimaro, J. Deckers, J. Poesen, J. L. Meliyo, S. Dondeyne

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 32-46
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2015/13692

Indigenous soil and water conservation (SWC) technologies such as miraba (rectangular grass strip bounds that do not necessarily follow contours) and micro ridges have been used widely in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. However, their strengths and limitations to crop productivity have not been investigated. This study aimed to determine soil fertility and crop yield variability under miraba, micro ridges and bench terraces as a way to explore and compare these SWC technologies. A survey was carried out in Majulai watershed (with Acrisols as dominant soils) which is highly affected by soil degradation due to water erosion. Composite soil samples were collected from 0 - 30 cm depth in upper, middle and lower segments within bench terraces, micro ridges and miraba at the upper, mid and lower slopes of the watershed. Contents of most soil nutrients (e.g. available P, K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+) and maize grain yields varied significantly (P=.05) between SWC technologies, with the trend: bench terraces > micro ridges >miraba>control (fields with no SWC measures). Similarly under all SWC technologies soil fertility and maize grain yields varied significantly (P=.05) with slope position, showing the trend: lower slopes > mid slopes > upper slopes. Moreover, soil fertility and maize grain yields varied significantly (P=.05) between segments of the studied SWC technologies except for bench terraces. The trends for both soil fertility and maize grain yields were as follows: lower segments > middle segments > upper segments under micro ridges; lower segments > upper segments > middle segments under miraba. These observations call for management strategies and technological adjustments that would reduce pattern and magnitude of spatial variations of soil nutrients and crop yields under miraba and micro ridges for improved crop production in the Usambara Mountains.

Open Access Original Research Article

Biochemical Properties and Nutrient Composition of Some Indigenous Tropical Fruits as Affected by Coating/Waxing Preservation

C. O. Orishagbemi, J. L. Opega, L. Amanabo, A. M. Abuh

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 47-57
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2015/11204

The fruits of avocado (local variety), banana (giant cavendish), cashew (yellow skin variety), mango (Julie variety) and sweet orange (improved variety) at firm ripe stage were obtained, preserved by waxing method and storage effects on biochemical properties, reducing sugar, vitamin C and soluble solid contents investigated. Four different edible fats/oils (animal fat – ANF, Bleached palm oil – BPO, sheabutter – SHB and vegetable oil – VGO) were separately used to wax each fruit commodity in triplicates, including uncoated fruits in storage and fresh samples as control. Then, samples were packaged in perforated plastic baskets, kept in storage at tropical ambient conditions for seven days. After storage moisture, vitamin C, sugar contents, hydrogen ion concentration (pH) and total titratable acidity (TTA) values determined. Moisture losses of 5.3±0.41; 14.7±1.1, 6.2±0.5, 6.7±0.3 and 45.1±1.0% in avocado, banana, mango, sweet orange and cashew apple respectively were recorded by using ANF, SHB and VGO edible fats/oils. On the other hand, moisture losses in the respective uncoated fruits were 22.9±1.9; 23.2±0.9; 66.2±1.5; 9.1±0.3 and 12.7±0.2%. The moisture content loss was based on the original moisture of the fresh fruits. TTA generally reduced among all the preserved fruits regardless of fat/oil used for coating (avocado, 0.010 to 0.014; banana, 0.018 to 0.024; mango, 0.018 to 0.030 and sweet orange 0.016 to 0.039 mg citric/100g) which showed evidence of further ripening during storage. There was also reduction in pH values of fruits which varied among edible fats/oils. The pH values for avocado, banana, mango and sweet orange reduced from 5.94 to 4.05; 5.36 to 4.25; 5.12 to 3.30 and 4.90 to 3.52 respectively. SHB and BPO contributed the least reduction in most of the fruits, showing no significant difference (p < 0.05) between fresh, ripe fruit before storage. Apparently, reduction in total soluble solid and reducing sugar contents of fruit followed the same pattern, while BPO, SHB and VGO contributed the least reduction in banana, mango and sweet orange. Most vitamin C contents 0.084-0.242 mg/100g pulp (65.0-87.5%) were retained in sweet orange, avocado, banana and mango with SHB and BPO. Sheabutter and vegetable oil were found most suitable edible fat/oil as coating agent for retention of moisture, vitamin C, soluble solids and preservation of freshness of ripe banana, sweet orange, avocado and mango for the purpose of shelf - life extension to prevent spoilage during distribution prior to consumption.

Open Access Original Research Article

Environmental Assessment and Legal Approach of Qaraoun Artificial Lake, Lebanon

Nadine Nassif, Imane Maatouk, Rachad Saliba

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 58-84
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2015/14193

The Qaraoun artificial Lake, being one of the biggest water resources in Lebanon, is subject to pollution from different sources. The Qaraoun artificial Lake has recently become a wastewater collector from the river upstream. Human activities that exist near the lake exaggerate the problem.
In addition to analysis of water and field verification, modern techniques of remote sensing and statistical study were applied to facilitate identification of the main pollutants governing the lake water, and comparing the results of each parameters with the international and national guidelines for drinking water to induce the anomalous values in this study.
The study looks to the Qaraoun artificial Lake as one part, for this reason physico-chemical, organic chemical and inorganic non-metallic samples were collected monthly between 2007 and 2012 from the same site of the lake, and analyzed in order to determine water quality and the correlation between each parameter.
Moreover there is no effect of year between 2007 and 2012 for all parameters except for nitrates and sulfates that makes respectively 2011 and 2008 two special years, therefore we studied the month effect of all parameters that shows: ammonia, nitrites, dissolved oxygen, phosphates and pH are not within the recommended guidelines suggested by LIBNOR, EU and WHO.
A legal approach was conducted to put adopted recommendations. The solution will be in the application of the environmental laws in general and the promulgation of environmental decrees in particular, because these decrees are still in their embryonic stage.

Open Access Original Research Article

Antithrombin-III Reduces Intestinal Ischemia/Reperfusion Deleterious Effects on Kidney: A Study in Rats

Theodore Tsachalis, Emmanouil Christoforidis, Kokkona Kouzi-Koliakou, Elena Kostidou, Konstantinos Vasiliadis, Konstantinos Blouhos, Louiza Andriopoulou-Oikonomou, Charalampos N. Lazaridis

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 85-94
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2015/14392

Background: Mesenteric ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) is a well-known cause for both local and remote organ injuries. A natural inhibitor of serine proteases, Antithrombin-III, was previously shown to attenuate the tissue damage after local I/R in several organ systems. Here, we examined the effects of Antithrombin-III on renal injury, after mesenteric I/R.
Methods: Female Wistar Albino rats weighing 250-350g underwent median laparotomy and were randomized into 3 groups: (1) sham-operated group, with no mesenteric I/R, (group I, n=12), (2) control group, with mesenteric I/R, (group II, n=12), and (3) experimental group, with mesenteric I/R but Antithrombin-III treated (group III, n=12). At the end of a six hours reperfusion period animals were killed and renal tissue samples were examined for myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity levels, and for the presence of certain types of mitochondrial lesions, both of which have been proved to be reliable indicators of the severity of local and systematic post-perfusion deleterious effects.
Results: There was a significant increase in observed renal tissue mitochondrial defects (P<0.001) and MPO activity in the_I/R control group when compared with the sham operated group (P<0.001).
The treatment of animals with Antithrombin-III significantly decreased the amount of mitochondrial damage (P<0.001) and MPO activity (P=0.018) compared with the control group.
Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that mesenteric ischemia and reperfusion induce renal injury. A significant attenuation of intestinal I/R-related renal injury with the use of Antithrombin-III concentrate, warrants further studies to elucidate the potential role of this natural serine protease inhibitor in clinical settings.