Open Access Original Research Article

Molecular Identification of Aspergillus Strains and Quick Detection of Aflatoxin from Selected Common Spices in Tanzania

Gladness Elibariki Temu

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2016/26102

Twenty three Aspergillus species isolated from nine commonly used spices in Tanzania were characterized to determine presence of potential aflatoxin producers. PCR of one regulatory (aflR) and three structural (aflD, aflM and aflO) aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway genes followed by nucleotide sequence analysis of 5.8S ITS rDNA region identified the potential aflatoxin producing strains.  Four Aspergillus strains had all four genes which were missing in two strains while the other strains had 1 to 3 genes. Among the four strains having all four genes, three were identified as A. flavus and one A. parasiticus.  Red chill was contaminated with three potential aflatoxin producer strains: A. flavus, A. parasiticus and A. tamarii. A. flavus was identified from red chill, black pepper and ginger. Using lateral flow immune-chromatographic assay, red chill tested positive with detectable ≥ 4 ppb of total aflatoxins. These results demonstrated that A. flavus is the most contaminant strain in the spices tested and thus may have risk implications based on their potential to produce aflatoxin. Further, both PCR of genes involved in aflatoxin production pathway and quick detection of total aflatoxin can be used to assess the quality of spices and predict its safety to consumers. 

Open Access Original Research Article

Open Access Original Research Article

Household Solid Waste Generation and Composition in Njoro Division, Nakuru County, Kenya

J. M. Kariuki , D. N. Kinyanjui

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2016/26051

Aim: The objective of the study was to establish the waste per capita per day and the composition of solid waste generated in the study area.

Study Design: The study was a descriptive, cross sectional survey.

Place and Duration: The study was carried out within Egerton University and the neighbouring community located in Njoro and Mukungugu sub-location, in Njoro Division, Nakuru County, Kenya. The study was carried out in the middle of January – May 2009 semester within a period of seven day as recommended by Pfammatter and Schertenleib (1996).

Methodology: The sample size was 103 households and household equivalent units, drawn from students within the Egerton University halls of residence, tenants within and outside the University and farmers outside the University.

Results: Waste per day per capita generated was generally low being 105.87±15.54 g which was lower than the average generated in low income areas of urban centres of developing countries. Food waste was the largest fraction of total waste at 55%, followed by fines (22%) and plastics 11%.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the study findings established that the waste composition was largely in agreement with what is expected in developing countries whereby the largest fraction was food waste however, the waste amounts were lower than the average expected for developing countries.

Open Access Original Research Article

Peer Mentoring as Intervention Strategy towards Improving Secondary Teachers’ Interaction and Attitude in Secondary Schools

Elizabeth Y. Gyuse , Joel O. Eriba , Regina M. Samba , Emmanuel E. Achor

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-25
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2016/24750

This study centred on peer mentoring as an intervention strategy for improving classroom interaction and attitude towards teaching among Benue State secondary school science teachers. The study employed two research designs: the survey and the quasi experimental designs. The survey design was relevant in the determination of the kind of classroom interactions that teachers engage in as well as how to persuade the teachers to develop positive attitude to teaching science. The quasi experimental design was the pre-test, post-test type to determine efficacy of the mentoring procedure in teachers’ classroom interaction while they underwent mentoring. A total of 36 science teachers participated in mentorship that lasted 4 months. Four instruments were used: The Mentoring Guide (MG), the Mentees Attitude Questionnaire (MAQ), a Modified Flander’s Interaction Analysis Category (MFIAC) and the Mentees Evaluation Comments Questionnaire (MECQ). Reliability of MAQ was found to be 0.86 using Cronbach Alpha and that of MFIAC was 0.69 using Phi coefficient. The MG was researcher-designed and all other mentors were trained on how to use it effectively. The findings showed that biology, chemistry and physics teachers’ classrooms shifted from being lecture-dominated as recorded before mentoring to students’ non-verbal activity-dominated especially in setting and washing apparatus, writing tests, and filling workbooks. Thus the reduction in interaction under direct teacher behaviour led to increase in interaction under students’ non-verbal behaviour. The teachers’ non-verbal behaviour equally reduced after mentoring since the classes became less teacher-dominated. Mentoring had significant effect on the attitude of science teachers exposed to it. The male teachers had greater change in attitude after mentoring compared to the females though this was not statistically significant. Mentoring was found to assist science teachers develop positive attitude towards the teaching profession. Both male and female science teachers enjoyed the mentoring relationship and indicated their willingness to become mentors to other teachers. Majority of the mentees prefer a longer (3 years and above) period for mentoring. Inadequate visitations by mentors as well as inadequate time for contacts were the major challenges. Reasons for recommending mentoring as one positive way to help science teachers grow were: For knowledge acquisition, improving teaching skills, building confidence in teachers and encouragement of hard work. It is recommended among others, that mentorship of beginning science teachers should be integrated into the state policy as done elsewhere outside Nigeria to guarantee its regularity, financing and effectiveness. As a gradual process, the duration of mentoring should be steadily increased until it comes to a time when it will be a policy matter in the state. Teacher training institutions as a matter of policy and in collaboration with government should ensure internship (or mentorship as may be called in this study) for all graduating teachers for one year before they go for national service (NYSC).

Open Access Original Research Article

Suitability Assessment of Surface Water for Irrigation in Galma Floodplain, Zaria, Kaduna State North Western, Nigeria

J. Aliyu , W. B. Malgwi , I. A. Jimoh , A. B. Shobayo , M. M. Ibrahim

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2016/24188

This study was conducted so as to determine the suitability of these surface waters for irrigation activities within the Galma irrigation scheme. Surface water was sampled from nine locations along Galma river in 2014 and analyzed for various irrigation water quality parameters. Electrical conductivity, Total dissolved solid, Total hardness, Sodium adsorption ratio, Soluble sodium percentage and Residual sodium bicarbonate were used to assess the quality of water for irrigation. Descriptive statistical methods were applied to data on the physico-chemical parameters of water from Galma river. The water samples analyzed had pH range (6.75 to 7.04) within the normal range for crop production and very low (electrical conductivity 0.15-0.72 dSm-1). The sodium adsorption ratio values in all the samples were also very low (<0.4), indicating very low sodicity hazards. Soluble sodium percentage and Residual sodium bicarbonate ranged from 2.48 to 3.53 and -15.2 to -11.52 respectively. Base on Electrical conductivity, Total dissolved solid, Total hardness, Sodium adsorption ratio, Soluble sodium percentage and Residual sodium bicarbonate, Galma river was considered suitable for irrigation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Starting Age Zero-Based Excel Automation of Optimal Policy Prescriptions and Returns for Machine Replacement Problems with Stationary Data and Age Transition Perspectives

Ukwu Chukwunenye

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2016/26134

Aim: This investigation aimed at automating the computations of optimal replacement policies and rewards for a class of equipment replacement problems with zero starting age, based on age perspectives and stationary pertinent data.

Methodology: The aim was achieved by the exploitation of the structure of the states given as functions of the decision periods, in age-transition dynamic programming recursions.

Results: Optimal Excel interface and solution implementation templates were designed and automated for the determination of the optimal replacement policies in machine replacement problems, with pertinent data given only as a function of machine age.

Conclusion: The automation of these templates obviates the need for manual inputs of the states and stage numbering, as well as the inherent tedious and prohibitive manual computations associated with dynamic programming formulations and may be optimally exploited for sensitivity analyses on such models, paving the way for the solutions of practical and large-scale problems.

Open Access Original Research Article

Health Problems and Social Implications of Night Shift Duties among Nurses in a General Hospital in Uyo, Southern Nigeria

Ofonime E. Johnson , Daniel O. Okeke

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2016/26142

Background: Night shift duty distorts the natural sleep pattern of those who engage in it with attendant consequences. The aim of this study was to identify the health problems and social implications of night shift duties among nurses in a general hospital in Uyo, Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional descriptive study. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on socio-demographic characteristics, job history and common complaints resulting from night shift. A sample of 143 nurses was used for the study.  Data analysis was done using descriptive and inferential statistics with the aid of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. Level of significance was set at 0.5.

Results: The mean age of respondents was 32.86±12.06 years. Majority, 132 (92.3%) were females, 54.5% were single and 63.6% had less than 5 years working experience. Majority, 131 (91.6%) were on rotating night shift. Up to 42% reported sleeping <3 hours after night duty. The top 5 problems reported were fatigue, (65%), headache,  (50.3%), body pains, (48.2%), reduced family time, (41.3%) and falling asleep on duty, (25.2%). Fatigue was highest among those aged 51-60 years (p<0.05). Twenty eight, (19.6%) felt their work performance during the night was less than day duties, while 80 (55.9%) felt more fatigued and 78 (54.5%) reported breaking down more frequently after night than day duties. The proportion breaking down increased from 37.5% among those who did <5 nights monthly to 66.7% among those who did >10. The difference was however not significant (p>0.05).

Conclusion: It was advocated that health education on good sleep hygiene and introduction of naps during duty hours may be useful in reducing the negative impact of night shift duties.

Open Access Review Article

European Eel: Ecology, Threats and Conservation Status

Ogunola Oluniyi Solomon, Onada Olawale Ahmed

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2016/25850

The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) stock was very abundant in the European waters until approximately over three decades ago when the stock began to decline drastically. Causes of the decline are believed to be a combination of overfishing of the eel in all its continental life stages: Glass eels, yellow eels and silver eels, deterioration of habitat by constructing hydropower plants, drainage of wetlands and pollution as well as climate change and introduced alien species, parasites and diseases. The purpose of this paper is to review the ecology, anti-demographic factors and various conservation efforts geared towards rebuilding the depleted stock.