Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 244

Activity-Based Costing in the Hospitality Industry: A Case Study in a Hotel

The purpose of this study is to provide some empirical evidence about implementing Activity-Based Costing (ABC) in the hospitality industry in Iran. For this purpose, we consider the Tabriz International Hotel as our sample hotel and then gather the relevant data from its cost accounting system in 2012. Then, we use ABC as our costing method and compare the cost of each service unit with that cost which had been extracted for the traditional costing method. The results show a different cost per unit for two methods. Also, because of its more precise and detailed provided information, an ABC system facilitates the decision-making process for managers on decisions related to profitability analysis, budgeting, pricing, and so on.

Human Behavior Modeling in Video Surveillance of Conference Halls
In this paper, we present a human behavior modeling approach in videos scenes. This approach is used to model the normal behaviors in the conference halls. We exploited the Probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis technique (PLSA), using the 'Bag-of-Terms' paradigm, as a tool for exploring video data to learn the model by grouping similar activities. Our term vocabulary consists of 3D spatio-temporal patch groups assigned by the direction of motion. Our video representation ensures the spatial information, the object trajectory, and the motion. The main importance of this approach is that it can be adapted to detect abnormal behaviors in order to ensure and enhance human security.
The Effect of Physical Activity and Responses of Leptin

In modern life, daily physical activity is relatively reduced, which is why the incidence of some diseases associated with overweight and obesity, such as hypertension, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, even in young people are observed. Obesity and overweight is one of the most common metabolic disorders in industrialized countries and in developing countries. One consequence of pathological obesity is cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. In the past, it was believed that adipose tissue was ineffective and served only for storing triglycerides. In this review article, it was tried to refer to the esteemed scientific sources about physical activity and responses of leptin.

Effect of Fat Percentage and Prebiotic Composition on Proteolysis, ACE-Inhibitory and Antioxidant Activity of Probiotic Yogurt
In recent years, the consumption of functional foods, including foods containing probiotic bacteria, has come to notice. Milk proteins have been identified as a source of angiotensin-I-converting enzyme )ACE( inhibitory peptides and are currently the best-known class of bioactive peptides. In this study, the effects of adding prebiotic ingredients (inulin and wheat fiber) and fat percentage (0%, 2% and 3.5%) in yogurt containing probiotic Lactobacillus casei on physicochemical properties, degree of proteolysis, antioxidant and ACE-inhibitory activity within 21 days of storage at 5 ± 1 °C were evaluated. The results of statistical analysis showed that the application of prebiotic compounds led to a significant increase in water holding capacity, proteolysis and ACE-inhibitory of samples. The degree of proteolysis in yogurt increases as storage time elapses (P < 0.05) but when proteolysis exceeds a certain threshold, this trend begins to decline. Also, during storage time, water holding capacity reduced initially but increased thereafter. Moreover, based on our findings, the survival of Lactobacillus casei in samples treated with inulin and wheat fiber increased significantly in comparison to the control sample (P < 0.05) whereas the effect of fat percentage on the survival of probiotic bacteria was not significant (P = 0.095). Furthermore, the effect of prebiotic ingredients and the presence of probiotic cultures on the antioxidant activity of samples was significant (P < 0.05).
Improvement of Antibacterial Activity for Ceftazidime by Partially Purified Tannase from Penicillium expansum

Tannase has wide applications in food, beverage, brewing, cosmetics and chemical industries and one of the major applications of tannase is the production of gallic acid. Gallic acid is used for manufacturing of trimethoprim. In the present study, a local fungal strain of Penicillium expansum A4 isolated from spoilt apple samples gave the highest production level of tannase. Tannase was partially purified with a recovery yield of 92.52% and 6.32 fold of purification by precipitation using ammonium sulfate at 50% saturation. Tannase led to increased antimicrobial activity of ceftazidime against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and S. aureus and had a synergism effect at low concentrations of ceftazidime, and thus, tannase may be a useful adjuvant agent for the treatment of many bacterial infections in combination with ceftazidime.

Effects and Mechanization of a High Gradient Magnetic Separation Process for Particulate and Microbe Removal from Ballast Water
As a pretreatment process of ballast water treatment, the performance of high gradient magnetic separation (HGMS) technology for the removal of particulates and microorganisms was studied. The results showed that HGMS process could effectively remove suspended particles larger than 5 µm and had ability to resist impact load. Microorganism could also be effectively removed by HGMS process, and the removal effect increased with increasing magnetic field strength. The maximum removal rates for Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) were 4016.1% and 9675.3% higher, respectively, than without the magnetic field. In addition, the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of the microbes decreased by 32.2% when the magnetic field strength was 15.4 mT for 72 min. The microstructure of the stainless steel wool was investigated, and the results showed that particle removal by HGMS has common function by the magnetic force of the high-strength, high-gradient magnetic field on weakly magnetic particles in the water, and on the stainless steel wool.
An Alternative Antimicrobial Approach to Fight Bacterial Pathogens from Phellinus linteus

The objective of this research was focused on investigating in vitro antimicrobial activity of Phellinus linteus fruiting body extracts on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Phellinus linteus fruiting body was extracted with ethanol and ethyl acetate and was vaporized. The disc diffusion assay was used to assess antimicrobial activity against tested bacterial strains. Primary screening of chemical profile of crude extract was determined by using thin layer chromatography. The positive control and the negative control were used as erythromycin and dimethyl sulfoxide, respectively. Initial screening of Phellinus linteus crude extract with the disc diffusion assay demonstrated that only ethanol had greater antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The MIC assay showed that the lower MIC was observed with 0.5 mg/ml of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and 0.25 mg/ml. of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. TLC chemical profile of extract was represented at Rf ≈ 0.71-0.76.

Metal Ship and Robotic Car: A Hands-On Activity to Develop Scientific and Engineering Skills for High School Students

Metal Ship and Robotic Car is one of the hands-on activities in the course, the Fundamental of Engineering that can be divided into three parts. The first part, the metal ships, was made by using engineering drawings, physics and mathematics knowledge. The second part is where the students learned how to construct a robotic car and control it using computer programming. In the last part, the students had to combine the workings of these two objects in the final testing. This aim of study was to investigate the effectiveness of hands-on activity by integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts to develop scientific and engineering skills. The results showed that the majority of students felt this hands-on activity lead to an increased confidence level in the integration of STEM. Moreover, 48% of all students engaged well with the STEM concepts. Students could obtain the knowledge of STEM through hands-on activities with the topics science and mathematics, engineering drawing, engineering workshop and computer programming; most students agree and strongly agree with this learning process. This indicated that the hands-on activity: “Metal Ship and Robotic Car” is a useful tool to integrate each aspect of STEM. Furthermore, hands-on activities positively influence a student’s interest which leads to increased learning achievement and also in developing scientific and engineering skills.

Evaluation of Thrombolytic Activity of Zingiber cassumunar Roxb. and Thai Herbal Prasaplai Formula

The propose of this study was to investigate in vitro thrombolytic activity of Zingiber cassumunar Roxb. and Prasaplai, a Thai herbal formulation of Z. cassumunar Roxb. Herbs were extracted with boiling water and concentrated by lyophilization. To observe their thrombolytic potential, an in vitro clot lysis method was applied where streptokinase and sterile distilled water were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Crude aqueous extracts from Z. cassumunar Roxb. and Prasaplai formula showed significant thrombolytic activity by clot lysis of 17.90% and 25.21%, respectively, compared to the negative control water (5.16%) while the standard streptokinase revealed 64.78% clot lysis. These findings suggest that Z. cassumunar Roxb. exhibits moderate thrombolytic activity and cloud play an important role in the thrombolytic properties of Prasaplai formula. However, further study should be done to observe in vivo clot dissolving potential and to isolate active component(s) of these extracts.

The Profitability Management Mechanism of Leather Industry-Based on the Activity-Based Benefit Approach

Strengthening core competitiveness is the main goal of enterprises in a fierce competitive environment. Accurate cost information is a great help for managers in dealing with operation strategies. This paper establishes a profitability management mechanism that applies the Activity-Based Benefit approach (ABBA) to solve the profitability for each customer from the market. ABBA provides financial and non-financial information for the operation, but also indicates what resources have expired in the operational process. The customer profit management model shows the level of profitability of each customer for the company. The empirical data were gathered from a case company operating in the leather industry in Taiwan. The research findings indicate that 30% of customers create little profit for the company as a result of asking for over 5% of sales discounts. Those customers ask for sales discount because of color differences of leather products. This paper provides a customer’s profitability evaluation mechanism to help enterprises to greatly improve operating effectiveness and promote operational activity efficiency and overall operation profitability.

Teaching Light Polarization by Putting Art and Physics Together

Light Polarization has many technological applications, and its discovery was crucial to reveal the transverse nature of the electromagnetic waves. However, despite its fundamental and practical importance, in high school, this property of light is often neglected. This is a pity not only for its conceptual relevance, but also because polarization gives the possibility to perform many brilliant experiments with low cost materials. Moreover, the treatment of this matter lends very well to an interdisciplinary approach between art, biology and technology, which usually makes things more interesting to students. For these reasons, we have developed, and in this work, we introduce a laboratory on light polarization for high school and undergraduate students. They can see beautiful pictures when birefringent materials are set between two crossed polarizing filters. Pupils are very fascinated and drawn into by what they observe. The colourful images remind them of those ones of abstract painting or alien landscapes. With this multidisciplinary teaching method, students are more engaged and participative, and also, the learning process of the respective physics concepts is more effective.

Formation of Volatile Iodine from Cesium Iodide Aerosols: A DFT Study

Periodic DFT calculations were performed to study the chemistry of CsI particles and the possible release of volatile iodine from CsI surfaces for nuclear safety interest. The results show that water adsorbs at low temperature associatively on the (011) surface of CsI, while water desorbs at higher temperatures. On the other hand, removing iodine species from the surface requires oxidizing the surface one time for each removed iodide atom. The activation energy of removing I2 from the surface in the presence of two OH is 1,2 eV.

A Concept to Assess the Economic Importance of the On-Site Activities of ETICS

Construction technology and on-site construction activities have a direct influence on the life cycle costs of energy efficiently renovated apartment buildings. The systematic inadequacies of the External Thermal Insulation Composite System (ETICS) which occur during the construction phase increase the risk for all stakeholders, reduce mechanical durability and increase the life cycle costs of the building. The economic effect of these shortcomings can be minimised if the risk of the most significant on-site activities is recognised. The objective of the presented ETICS economic assessment concept is to evaluate the economic influence of on-site shortcomings and reveal their significance to the foreseeable future repair costs. The model assembles repair techniques, discusses their direct cost calculation methods, argues over the proper usage of net present value over the life cycle of the building, and proposes a simulation tool to evaluate the risk of on-site activities. As the technique is dependent on the selected real interest rate, a sensitivity analysis is anticipated to determine the validity of the recommendations. After the verification of the model on the sample buildings by the industry, it is expected to increase economic rationality of resource allocation and reduce high-risk systematic shortcomings during the construction process of ETICS.

In vivo Therapeutic Potential of Biologically Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles
Nowadays, nanoparticles are being used in pharmacological studies for their exclusive properties such as small size, more surface area, biocompatibility and enhanced solubility. In view of this, the present study aimed to evaluate the antihyperglycemic potential of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles (BSSNPs) and Gymnema sylvestre (GS) extract. The SEM and SEM analysis divulges that the BSSNPs were spherical in shape. EDAX spectrum exhibits peaks for the presence of silver, carbon, and oxygen atoms in the range of 1.0-3.1 keV. FT-IR reveals the binding properties of active bio-constituents responsible for capping and stabilizing BSSNPs. The results showed increased blood glucose, huge loss in body weight and downturn in plasma insulin. The GS extract (200 mg/kg, 400 mg/kg), BSSNPs (100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg) and metformin 50 mg/kg were administered to the diabetic rats. BSSNPs at a dose level of 200 mg/kg (b.wt.p.o.) showed significant inhibition of (p<0.001) blood glucose levels as compared with GS extract treated group. The results obtained from study indicate that the BSSNP shows potent anti-diabetic activity.
Nuclear Fuel Safety Threshold Determined by Logistic Regression Plus Uncertainty
Analysis of the uncertainty quantification related to nuclear safety margins applied to the nuclear reactor is an important concept to prevent future radioactive accidents. The nuclear fuel performance code may involve the tolerance level determined by traditional deterministic models producing acceptable results at burn cycles under 62 GWd/MTU. The behavior of nuclear fuel can simulate applying a series of material properties under irradiation and physics models to calculate the safety limits. In this study, theoretical predictions of nuclear fuel failure under transient conditions investigate extended radiation cycles at 75 GWd/MTU, considering the behavior of fuel rods in light-water reactors under reactivity accident conditions. The fuel pellet can melt due to the quick increase of reactivity during a transient. Large power excursions in the reactor are the subject of interest bringing to a treatment that is known as the Fuchs-Hansen model. The point kinetic neutron equations show similar characteristics of non-linear differential equations. In this investigation, the multivariate logistic regression is employed to a probabilistic forecast of fuel failure. A comparison of computational simulation and experimental results was acceptable. The experiments carried out use the pre-irradiated fuels rods subjected to a rapid energy pulse which exhibits the same behavior during a nuclear accident. The propagation of uncertainty utilizes the Wilk's formulation. The variables chosen as essential to failure prediction were the fuel burnup, the applied peak power, the pulse width, the oxidation layer thickness, and the cladding type.
In vitro Effects of Viscum album on the Functionality of Rabbit Spermatozoa
This study aimed to assess the in vitro effects of different concentrations of the Viscum album extract on the motility, viability, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by rabbit spermatozoa during different time periods (0, 2, and 8h). Spermatozoa motility was assessed by using the CASA (Computer aided sperm analysis) system. Cell viability was evaluated by using the metabolic activity MTT assay, and the luminol-based luminometry was applied to quantify the ROS formation. The CASA analysis revealed that low Viscum concentrations were able to prevent a rapid decline of spermatozoa motility, especially in the case of concentrations ranging between 1 and 5 µg/mL (P<0.05 with respect to time 8h). At the same time, concentrations ranging between 1 and 100 µg/mL of the extract led to a significant preservation of the cell viability (P<0.05 in case of 5, 50 and 100 µg/mL; P<0.01 with respect to 1 and 10 µg/mL, time 8h). 1 and 5 µg/mL of the extract exhibited antioxidant characteristics, translated into a significant reduction of the ROS production, particularly notable at time 8h (P<0.01). The results indicate that the Viscum extract is capable of delaying the damage inflicted to the spermatozoon by the in vitro environment.
Beijerinckia indica Extracellular Extract Mediated Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles with Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities against Clinical Pathogens

This work investigated the use of Beijerinckia indica extracellular extract for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles using AgNO3. The formation of nanoparticles was confirmed by different methods, such as UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, XRD, FTIR, EDX, and TEM analysis. The formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was confirmed by the change in color from light yellow to dark brown. The absorbance peak obtained at 430 nm confirmed the presence of silver nanoparticles. The XRD analysis showed the cubic crystalline phase of the synthesized nanoparticles. FTIR revealed the presence of groups that acts as stabilizing and reducing agents for silver nanoparticles formation. The synthesized silver nanoparticles were generally found to be spherical in shape with size ranging from 5 to 20 nm, as evident by TEM analysis. These nanoparticles were found to inhibit pathogenic bacterial strains. This work proved that the bacterial extract is a potential eco-friendly candidate for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles with promising antibacterial and antioxidant properties. 

Micropower Composite Nanomaterials Based on Porous Silicon for Renewable Energy Sources
The original controlled technology for power active nanocomposite membrane-electrode assembly engineering on the basis of porous silicon is presented. The functional nanocomposites were studied by electron microscopy and cyclic voltammetry methods. The application possibility of the obtained nanocomposites as high performance renewable energy sources for micro-power electronic devices is demonstrated.
Physicochemical Stability of Pulse Spreads during Storage after Sous Vide Treatment and High Pressure Processing

Pulses are high in plant protein and dietary fiber, and contain slowly digestible starches. Innovative products from pulses could increase their consumption and benefit consumer health. This study was conducted to evaluate physicochemical stability of processed cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. cv. Fradel) and maple pea (Pisum sativum var. arvense L. cv. Bruno) spreads at 5 °C temperature during 62-day storage. Physicochemical stability of pulse spreads was compared after sous vide treatment (80 °C/15 min) and high pressure processing (700 MPa/10 min/20 °C). Pulse spreads were made by homogenizing cooked pulses in a food processor together with salt, citric acid, oil, and bruschetta seasoning. A total of four different pulse spreads were studied: Cowpea spread without and with seasoning, maple pea spread without and with seasoning. Transparent PA/PE and light proof PET/ALU/PA/PP film pouches were used for packaging of pulse spreads under vacuum. The parameters investigated were pH, water activity and mass losses. Pulse spreads were tested on days 0, 15, 29, 42, 50, 57 and 62. The results showed that sous-vide treatment and high pressure processing had an insignificant influence on pH, water activity and mass losses after processing, irrespective of packaging material did not change (p>0.1). pH and water activity of sous-vide treated and high pressure processed pulse spreads in different packaging materials proved to be stable throughout the storage. Mass losses during storage accounted to 0.1% losses. Chosen sous-vide treatment and high pressure processing regimes and packaging materials are suitable to maintain consistent physicochemical quality of the new products during 62-day storage.

Effects of Centrifugation, Encapsulation Method and Different Coating Materials on the Total Antioxidant Activity of the Microcapsules of Powdered Cherry Laurels

Encapsulation protects sensitive food ingredients against heat, oxygen, moisture and pH until they are released to the system. It can mask the unwanted taste of nutrients that are added to the foods for fortification purposes. Cherry laurels (Prunus laurocerasus) contain phenolic compounds which decrease the proneness to several chronic diseases such as types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The objective of this research was to study the effects of centrifugation, different coating materials and homogenization methods on microencapsulation of powders obtained from cherry laurels. In this study, maltodextrin and mixture of maltodextrin:whey protein with a ratio of 1:3 (w/w) were chosen as coating materials. Total solid content of coating materials was kept constant as 10% (w/w). Capsules were obtained from powders of freeze-dried cherry laurels through encapsulation process by silent crusher homogenizer or microfluidization. Freeze-dried cherry laurels were core materials and core to coating ratio was chosen as 1:10 by weight. To homogenize the mixture, high speed homogenizer was used at 4000 rpm for 5 min. Then, silent crusher or microfluidizer was used to complete encapsulation process. The mixtures were treated either by silent crusher for 1 min at 75000 rpm or microfluidizer at 50 MPa for 3 passes. Freeze drying for 48 hours was applied to emulsions to obtain capsules in powder form. After these steps, dry capsules were grounded manually into a fine powder. The microcapsules were analyzed for total antioxidant activity with DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) radical scavenging method. Prior to high speed homogenization, the samples were centrifuged (4000 rpm, 1 min). Centrifugation was found to have positive effect on total antioxidant activity of capsules. Microcapsules treated by microfluidizer were found to have higher total antioxidant activities than those treated by silent crusher. It was found that increasing whey protein concentration in coating material (using maltodextrin:whey protein 1:3 mixture) had positive effect on total antioxidant activity for both silent crusher and microfluidization methods. Therefore, capsules prepared by microfluidization of centrifuged mixtures can be selected as the best conditions for encapsulation of cherry laurel powder by considering their total antioxidant activity. In this study, it was shown that capsules prepared by these methods can be recommended to be incorporated into foods in order to enhance their functionality by increasing antioxidant activity.

In vitro Effects of Amygdalin on the Functional Competence of Rabbit Spermatozoa
The present in vitro study was designed to reveal whether amygdalin (AMG) is able to cause changes to the motility, viability and mitochondrial activity of rabbit spermatozoa. New Zealand White rabbits (n = 10) aged four months were used in the study. Semen samples were collected from each animal and used for the in vitro incubation. The samples were divided into five equal parts and diluted with saline supplemented with 0, 0.5, 1, 2.5 and 5 mg/mL AMG. At times 0h, 3h and 5h spermatozoa motion parameters were assessed using the SpermVision™ computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) system, cell viability was examined with the metabolic activity (MTT) assay, and the eosin-nigrosin staining technique was used to evaluate the viability of rabbit spermatozoa. All AMG concentrations exhibited stimulating effects on the spermatozoa activity, as shown by a significant preservation of the motility (P<0.05 with respect to 0.5 mg/mL and 1 mg/mL AMG; Time 5 h) and mitochondrial activity (P< 0.05 in case of 0.5 mg/mL AMG; P< 0.01 in case of 1 mg/mL AMG; P < 0.001 with respect to 2.5 mg/mL and 5 mg/mL AMG; Time 5 h). None of the AMG doses supplemented had any significant impact of the spermatozoa viability. In conclusion, the data revealed that short-term co-incubation of spermatozoa with AMG may result in a higher preservation of the sperm structural integrity and functional activity.
Socio-Economic Determinants of Physical Activity of Non-Manual Workers, Including the Early Senior Group, from the City of Wroclaw in Poland
Physical activity as a part of people’s everyday life reduces the risk of many diseases, including those induced by lifestyle, e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, degenerative arthritis, and certain types of cancer. That refers particularly to professionally active people, including the early senior group working on non-manual positions. The aim of the study is to evaluate the relationship between physical activity and the socio-economic status of non-manual workers from Wroclaw—one of the biggest cities in Poland, a model setting for such investigations in this part of Europe. The crucial problem in the research is to find out the percentage of respondents who meet the health-related recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning the volume, frequency, and intensity of physical activity, as well as to establish if the most important socio-economic factors, such as gender, age, education, marital status, per capita income, savings and debt, determine the compliance with the WHO physical activity recommendations. During the research, conducted in 2013, 1,170 people (611 women and 559 men) aged 21–60 years were examined. A diagnostic poll method was applied to collect the data. Physical activity was measured with the use of the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire with extended socio-demographic questions, i.e. concerning gender, age, education, marital status, income, savings or debts. To evaluate the relationship between physical activity and selected socio-economic factors, logistic regression was used (odds ratio statistics). Statistical inference was conducted on the adopted ex ante probability level of p<0.05. The majority of respondents met the volume of physical effort recommended for health benefits. It was particularly noticeable in the case of the examined men. The probability of compliance with the WHO physical activity recommendations was highest for workers aged 21–30 years with secondary or higher education who were single, received highest incomes and had savings. The results indicate the relations between physical activity and socio-economic status in the examined women and men. People with lower socio-economic status (e.g. manual workers) are physically active primarily at work, whereas those better educated and wealthier implement physical effort primarily in their leisure time. Among the investigated subjects, the youngest group of non-manual workers have the best chances to meet the WHO standards of physical activity. The study also confirms that secondary education has a positive effect on the public awareness on the role of physical activity in human life. In general, the analysis of the research indicates that there is a relationship between physical activity and some socio-economic factors of the respondents, such as gender, age, education, marital status, income per capita, and the possession of savings. Although the obtained results cannot be applied for the general population, they show some important trends that will be verified in subsequent studies conducted by the authors of the paper.
Comparative Efficacy of Pomegranate Juice, Peel and Seed Extract in the Stabilization of Corn Oil under Accelerated Conditions
Antioxidant-rich extracts were prepared from pomegranate peels, seeds and juice using methanol and ethanol and their antioxidant activity was evaluated by the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazine (DPPH) radical scavenging and Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) method. Both analytical methods indicated a higher antioxidant activity in extracts prepared from peels, which was comparable to that of butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Furthermore, the antioxidant activity was correlated to the phenolic and flavonoid content of the various extracts. The antioxidant effectiveness of the extracts was also assessed using corn oil as the oxidation substrate. More specifically, preheated corn oil samples stabilized with extracts at a concentration of 250 ppm, 500 ppm or 1,000 ppm were subjected to accelerated aging (100 oC, 10 days) and the extent of oxidative alteration was followed by the measurement of the peroxide, conjugated dienes and trienes, as well as p-aniside value. BHT at its legal limit (200 ppm) served as standard besides the control sample. Results from the different parameters were in agreement with each other suggesting that pomegranate extracts can stabilize corn oil effectively under accelerated conditions, at all concentrations tested. However, the magnitude of oil stabilization depended strongly on the amount of extract added and this was positively correlated with their phenolic content. Pomegranate peel extracts, which exhibited the highest not only phenolic and flavonoid content but also antioxidant activity, were more potent in inhibiting oxidative deterioration. Both methanolic and ethanolic peel extracts at a concentration of 500 ppm exerted a stabilizing effect comparable to that of BHT, while at a concentration of 1000 ppm they exhibited higher stabilization efficiency in comparison to BHT. Finally, heating oil samples resulted in a time dependent decrease in their antioxidant capacity. Samples containing peel extracts appeared to retain their antioxidant capacity for a longer period, indicating that these extracts contained active compounds that offered superior antioxidant protection to corn oil.
Investigating Activity Recognition Using 9-Axis Sensors and Filters in Wearable Devices
In this paper, we analyze major components of activity recognition (AR) in wearable device with 9-axis sensors and sensor fusion filters. 9-axis sensors commonly include 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis magnetometer. We chose sensor fusion filters as Kalman filter and Direction Cosine Matrix (DCM) filter. We also construct sensor fusion data from each activity sensor data and perform classification by accuracy of AR using Naïve Bayes and SVM. According to the classification results, we observed that the DCM filter and the specific combination of the sensing axes are more effective for AR in wearable devices while classifying walking, running, ascending and descending.
Blind Speech Separation Using SRP-PHAT Localization and Optimal Beamformer in Two-Speaker Environments
This paper investigates the problem of blind speech separation from the speech mixture of two speakers. A voice activity detector employing the Steered Response Power - Phase Transform (SRP-PHAT) is presented for detecting the activity information of speech sources and then the desired speech signals are extracted from the speech mixture by using an optimal beamformer. For evaluation, the algorithm effectiveness, a simulation using real speech recordings had been performed in a double-talk situation where two speakers are active all the time. Evaluations show that the proposed blind speech separation algorithm offers a good interference suppression level whilst maintaining a low distortion level of the desired signal.
Waste Generation in Iranian Building Industry: Addressing a Theory
Construction waste has been gradually increased as a result of upsizing construction projects which are occurred within the lifecycle of buildings. Since waste management is a major priority and has profound impacts on the volume of waste generated in construction stage, the majority of efforts have been attempted to reuse, recycle and reduce waste. However, there is still room to study on lack of sufficient knowledge about waste management in construction industry. This paper intends to provide an insight into the effect of project management knowledge areas on waste management solely on construction stage. To this end, a survey among Iranian building construction industry contractors was conducted to identify the effectiveness of project management knowledge areas on three jobsite key factors including ‘Site activity’, ‘Training’, and ‘Awareness’. As a result, four management disciplines were identified as most influential ones on amount of construction waste. These disciplines were Project Cost Management, Quality Management, Human Resource Management, and Integration Management. Based on the research findings, a new model was presented to develop effective construction waste strategies.
Fatty Acid Extracts of Sea Pen (Virgularia gustaviana) and Their Potential Applications as Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Anti-Inflammatory Agents

In this study, the crude extracts of Virgularia gustavina were examined as antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory agent. To assess inflammation, Xylene was applied to the ear of mice. The mice of the experimental group were fed with doses of 10 mg/kg, 20 mg/kg, and 40 mg/kg of lipid extract of chloroform and hexane as a separate group and then statistical analysis was performed on the results. Chloroform and hexane extracts of sea pen have strong anti-inflammatory effects even at low doses which is probably due to 54% arachidonic acid. Antibacterial and antifungal effects of hexane and chloroform extracts were measured with MIC and MBC methods and it is shown that chloroform extract has best activity against Staphylococcus aureus on 125 µg/ml doze in MIC method.

Green Synthesis of Nanosilver-Loaded Hydrogel Nanocomposites for Antibacterial Application

Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) or hydrogels with three-dimensional hydrophilic network structure are high-performance water absorbent and retention materials. The in situ synthesis of metal nanoparticles within polymeric network as antibacterial agents for bio-applications is an approach that takes advantage of the existing free-space into networks, which not only acts as a template for nucleation of nanoparticles, but also provides long term stability and reduces their toxicity by delaying their oxidation and release. In this work, SAP/nanosilver nanocomposites were successfully developed by a unique green process at room temperature, which involves in situ formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) within hydrogels as a template. The aim of this study is to investigate whether these AgNPs-loaded hydrogels are potential candidates for antimicrobial applications. Firstly, the superabsorbents were prepared through radical copolymerization via grafting and crosslinking of acrylamide (AAm) onto chitosan backbone (Cs) using potassium persulfate as initiator and N,N’-methylenebisacrylamide as the crosslinker. Then, they were hydrolyzed to achieve superabsorbents with ampholytic properties and uppermost swelling capacity. Lastly, the AgNPs were biosynthesized and entrapped into hydrogels through a simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective method using aqueous silver nitrate as a silver precursor and curcuma longa tuber-powder extracts as both reducing and stabilizing agent. The formed superabsorbents nanocomposites (Cs-g-PAAm)/AgNPs were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), UV-visible Spectroscopy, Attenuated Total reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). Microscopic surface structure analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) has showed spherical shapes of AgNPs with size in the range of 3-15 nm. The extent of nanosilver loading was decreased by increasing Cs content into network. The silver-loaded hydrogel was thermally more stable than the unloaded dry hydrogel counterpart. The swelling equilibrium degree (Q) and centrifuge retention capacity (CRC) in deionized water were affected by both contents of Cs and the entrapped AgNPs. The nanosilver-embedded hydrogels exhibited antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These comprehensive results suggest that the elaborated AgNPs-loaded nanomaterials could be used to produce valuable wound dressing.

Comparative Analysis of Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of Ajuga genevensis L. in in vitro Culture and Intact Plants

One of the tasks in contemporary biotechnology, pharmacology and other fields of human activities is to obtain biologically active substances from plants. They are very essential in the treatment of many diseases due to their actually high therapeutic value without visible side effects. However, sometimes the possibility of obtaining the metabolites is limited due to the reduction of wild-growing plants. That is why the plant cell cultures are of great interest as alternative sources of biologically active substances. Besides, during the monitored cultivation, it is possible to obtain substances that are not synthesized by plants in nature. Isolated culture of Ajuga genevensis with high growth activity and ability of regeneration was obtained using MS nutrient medium. The agar-diffusion method showed that aqueous extracts of callus culture revealed high antimicrobial activity towards various gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis A1WT; B. mesentericus WDCM 1873; Staphylococcus aureus WDCM 5233; Staph. citreus WT) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli WKPM M-17; Salmonella typhimurium TA 100) microorganisms. The broth dilution method revealed that the minimal and half maximal inhibitory concentration values against E. coli corresponded to the 70 μg/mL and 140 μg/mL concentration of the extract respectively. According to the photochemiluminescent analysis, callus tissue extracts of leaf and root origin showed higher antioxidant activity than the same quantity of A. genevensis intact plant extract. A. genevensis intact plant and callus culture extracts showed no cytotoxic effect on K-562 suspension cell line of human chronic myeloid leukemia. The GC-MS analysis showed deep differences between the qualitative and quantitative composition of callus culture and intact plant extracts. Hexacosane (11.17%); n-hexadecanoic acid (9.33%); and 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol (4.28%) were the main components of intact plant extracts. 10-Methylnonadecane (57.0%); methoxyacetic acid, 2-tetradecyl ester (17.75%) and 1-Bromopentadecane (14.55%) were the main components of A. genevensis callus culture extracts. Obtained data indicate that callus culture of A. genevensis can be used as an alternative source of biologically active substances.

Antimicrobial, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activities of Cleoma viscosa Linn. Crude Extracts
The bioactivity studies from the weed ethanolic crude extracts from leaf, stem, pod and root of wild spider flower; Cleoma viscosa Linn. were analyzed for the growth inhibition of 6 bacterial species; Salmonella typhimurium TISTR 5562, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, Staphylococcus aureus TISTR 1466, Streptococcus epidermidis ATCC 1228, Escherichia coli DMST 4212 and Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 with initial concentration crude extract of 50 mg/ml. The agar well diffusion results found that the extracts inhibit only gram positive bacteria species; S. aureus, S. epidermidis and B. subtilis. The minimum inhibition concentration study with gram positive strains revealed that leaf crude extract give the best result of the lowest concentration compared with other plant parts to inhibit the growth of S. aureus, S. epidermidis and B. subtilis at 0.78, 0.39 and lower than 0.39 mg/ml, respectively. The determination of total phenolic compounds in the crude extracts exhibited the highest phenolic content was 10.41 mg GAE/g dry weight in leaf crude extract. Analyzed the efficacy of free radical scavenging by using DPPH radical scavenging assay with all crude extracts showed value of IC50 of leaf, stem, pod and root crude extracts were 8.32, 12.26, 21.62 and 35.99 mg/ml, respectively. Studied cytotoxicity of crude extracts on human breast adenocarcinoma cell line by MTT assay found that pod extract had the most cytotoxicity CC50 value, 32.41 µg/ml. Antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity of crude extracts exhibited that the more increase of extract concentration, the more activities indicated. According to the bioactivities results, the leaf crude extract of Cleoma viscosa Linn. is the most interesting plant part for further work to search the beneficial of this weed.
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