Open Access Original Research Article

Climate Change, Soil Fertility Management and the Nexus: A Knowledge and Opinions Study in Western Cameroon

Georges K. Kome, Roger K. Enang, Fritzgerald K. Bine

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-16
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2017/31730

Aims: Climate change/variability and soil degradation are environmental concerns that are currently, and will certainly hamper the development of most developing countries. These menaces will be exacerbated if there is limited knowledge about them, especially with young adults, who constitute one of the most vulnerable categories of the human population. Motivated by the aforesaid, a survey was carried out to assess knowledge and opinions about these threats.

Methodology: Paper questionnaires were administered randomly to 327 young adults in the West Region of Cameroon over a period of three months. Data collected was subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics using Microsoft Excel 2007 and SPSS (version 19).

Results: Our findings revealed that more than 93% of respondents affirm that climate change is presently occurring, while a majority of respondents (about 75%) have correct ideas on climate change and soil fertility notions. With regards to climate change, most of the respondents had good ideas on causes and impacts of climate change, and possible mitigation strategies to be used. As on soil fertility management, most young people had good knowledge on practices that reduce soil fertility, and practical methods of soil conservation. Additionally, about 87% of respondents expressed willingness to become environmental activists.

Conclusion: Given that knowledge gaps were observed on some key environmental concepts, we recommend to environmentalists, educationists, teachers and policy makers in developing countries and sub-Saharan African countries in particular, that environmental science curricula be implemented or reinforced at all levels of formal education, and should be competency-based, so as to enhance skills and competences that will favour climate change preparedness and environmental conservation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Phytochemical Properties, Proximate and Mineral Composition of Curcuma longa Linn. and Zingiber officinale Rosc.: A Comparative Study

A. Abdulsalam Taoheed, A. Adeniran Tolulope, Adamu Bio Saidu, Olaifa Gabriel Odewumi, Rita Maneju Sunday, Memunetu Usman

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2017/32623

Aims: To investigate the phytochemical property, proximate and mineral composition of Curcuma longa and Zingiber officinale dried rhizomes.

Study Design: Activity directed phytochemical screening, proximate analysis and mineral composition investigation of C. longa and Z. officinale rhizomes using in vitro methods.

Place and Duration of Study: Medicinal Plants Section, Bioresources Development Centre, Ogbomoso, Nigeria between October and November, 2016.

Methodology: C. longa and Z. officinale rhizomes were separately washed dried (at room temperature) and pulverized. The powdered rhizomes were then used for phytochemical screening, proximate analysis and mineral composition investigation.

Results: Phytochemistry of the rhizomes of the two plants revealed the presence of eleven diverse classes of secondary metabolites of plants. C.longa rhizomes were rich in steroids, anthraquinones and terpenes metabolites when compared with those of Z. officinale. Values obtained for the proximate analysis of C. longa and Z. officinale were; moisture (76.02% and 75.84%), carbohydrate (16.37% and 16.23%), ash (3.04% and 3.28%), crude fibre (1.95% and 2.03%), proteins (1.83% and 1.91%), and fat (0.80% and 0.83%) respectively. There was also a significant increase (P<0.05) in the percentage moisture content of C. longa rhizome when compared with those of Z. officinale. Mineral composition analysis of the rhizomes of both plants gave the following values; iron (0.57% and 0.54%) > potassium (0.42% and 0.42%) > magnesium (0.05% and 0.04%) > phosphorus (0.03% and 0.03%) > calcium (0.02% and 0.02%) > sodium (0.01% and 0.01%) respectively.

Conclusion: The current study revealed that C. longa rhizomes have high moisture content and is rich in steroids, anthraquinones and terpenes phytochemicals than Z. officinale. Therefore, C. longa could be screened and investigated for novel pharmacologically active compounds to combat degenerative diseases for possible integration into the healthcare.

Open Access Original Research Article

Low Dimensional Oxide and Silicon Nanostructures for Promoting Photoelectrochemical Energy Conversion

Kyle Hirakawa, David Rodriguez, Ryan N. Gan, Kevin R. Anderson, Yong X. Gan

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2017/32691

Electrospun titanium dioxide nanofibers can be applied to the surface of titanium dioxide nanotube photoanode to create a multiple component catalyst anode. The electrospinning process was found as a simple way to create the titanium oxide nanofibers with varying diameters ranging from 50 to 500 nm when polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) was used as the precursor for making the composite titanium oxide nanofiber with high surface area while perserving the intrinsic semiconductor properties of TiO2. Photoelectrochemical decomposition of ethanol was tested on the composite photoanode. Different nanostructured photoanodes including silicon nanowire anode were designed and tested to determine which photocatalyst had the fastest response time. The effect of ethanol fuel concentration on the photovoltaic response of the photoanode was also studied.

Open Access Original Research Article

Properties of Fired Clay Bricks Mixed with Waste Glass

Hisham H. Abdeen, Samir M. Shihada

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2017/32174

This study is to investigate the effect of adding waste glass on the properties of fired clay bricks. Two different particle sizes (smaller than 150 μm and 600 μm ) of waste glass are added to clay mixes at contents of 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40% per weight. Brick samples are fired at 900, 1000 and 1100°C in an electrical furnace for 6 hours, at a heating rate of 5°C/min. The physical and mechanical properties of fired clay bricks are studied. The firing shrinkage, bulk density and compressive strength of the bricks increase as the amount of waste glass content increases and as firing temperature increases. The apparent porosity and water absorption decrease with the increase of the amount of waste glass and firing temperature. The particle size of waste glass powder was very important and had a significant effect on the properties of fired clay bricks; the finer the particle size, the higher the compressive strength. Based on the executed testing program, it is found that the optimal properties of fired bricks are achieved at 30% content of waste glass and a firing temperature of 1100°C. The results also prove that it is possible to make bricks with compressive strength in excess of 95 MPa and water absorption not more than 6%.

Open Access Original Research Article

Antioxidant Vitamins Status in Wistar Rats with Induced Thyroid Dysfunction

Mohammed Haruna Yeldu, Zainab Yakubu

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2017/32063

Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of thyroid disorders. Major effects of thyroid hormones are the acceleration of mitochondrial respiration which is accompanied by excessive production of reactive oxygen species leading to oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation. The current study examined the status of serum antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E in rats with induced thyroid dysfunction. Twenty-one (21) rats were divided into three groups of 7 each: euthyroid (control), hypothyroid and hyperthyroid groups. Hypothyroidism was induced using 6-propyl-2-thiouracil (5 mg/100 g orally); hyperthyroidism was induced by daily intraperitoneal injection of L-thyroxine (0.1 µg/g). At the end of the experiment, rats were fasted for 12 hours and blood samples were collected under chloroform anaesthesia for the estimation of serum total triidothyronine (tT3), total tetraiodothyronine (tT4), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and antioxidant vitamins A (retinol), C (ascorbic acid), E (α-tocopherol) using standard techniques. The results indicated significant decrease in tT3 (0.95±0.06ng/ml), tT4 (0.54±0.07 µg/dl) and increase TSH (0.13±0.00 µIU/ml) in hypothyroid, while there were significant increase in tT3 (2.60±0.21 ng/ml), tT4 (12.91±0.57 µg/dl) and decrease TSH (0.020±0.00 µIU/ml) in hyperthyroid compared with euthyroid rats (1.53±0.05 ng/ml, 3.62±0.25 µg/dl and 0.05±0.001 µIU/ml respectively). The serum levels of antioxidant vitamins A (1.77±0.07 µmol/L, 1.20±0.48 µmol/L), C (13.87±2.11 µmol/L, 25.63±1.59 µmol/L), and E (9.30±1.50 µmol/L, 12.34±1.82 µmol/L) were significantly (p<0.001) lower in both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid respectively compared with euthyroid rats (2.28±0.07 µmol/L, 44.69±1.62 µmol/L, 44.51±2.96 µmol/L respectively). A significant negative correlation was established between antioxidant vitamin A and tT3, and also between vitamin E and tT4 in hyperthyroid rats. The results confirmed the role of oxidative stress in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism and underscores the role of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E in delaying the consequence of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism or otherwise.