Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 20

Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering

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  • 20
    Health and Greenhouse Gas Emission Implications of Reducing Meat Intakes in Hong Kong
    High meat and especially red meat intakes are significantly and positively associated with a multiple burden of diseases and also high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This study investigated population meat intake patterns in Hong Kong. It quantified the burden of disease and GHG emission outcomes by modeling to adjust Hong Kong population meat intakes to recommended healthy levels. It compared age- and sex-specific population meat, fruit and vegetable intakes obtained from a population survey among adults aged 20 years and over in Hong Kong in 2005-2007, against intake recommendations suggested in the Modelling System to Inform the Revision of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE-2011-MS) technical document. This study found that meat and meat alternatives, especially red meat intakes among Hong Kong males aged 20+ years and over are significantly higher than recommended. Red meat intakes among females aged 50-69 years and other meat and alternatives intakes among aged 20-59 years are also higher than recommended. Taking the 2005-07 age- and sex-specific population meat intake as baselines, three counterfactual scenarios of adjusting Hong Kong adult population meat intakes to AGHE-2011-MS and Pre-2011 AGHE recommendations by the year 2030 were established. Consequent energy intake gaps were substituted with additional legume, fruit and vegetable intakes. To quantify the consequent GHG emission outcomes associated with Hong Kong meat intakes, Cradle-to-ready-to-eat lifecycle assessment emission outcome modelling was used. Comparative risk assessment of burden of disease model was used to quantify the health outcomes. This study found adjusting meat intakes to recommended levels could reduce Hong Kong GHG emission by 17%-44% when compared against baseline meat intake emissions, and prevent 2,519 to 7,012 premature deaths in males and 53 to 1,342 in females, as well as multiple burden of diseases when compared to the baseline meat intake scenario. Comparing lump sum meat intake reduction and outcome measures across the entire population, and using emission factors, and relative risks from individual studies in previous co-benefit studies, this study used age- and sex-specific input and output measures, emission factors and relative risks obtained from high quality meta-analysis and meta-review respectively, and has taken government dietary recommendations into account. Hence evaluations in this study are of better quality and more reflective of real life practices. Further to previous co-benefit studies, this study pinpointed age- and sex-specific population and meat-type-specific intervention points and leverages. When compared with similar studies in Australia, this study also showed that intervention points and leverages among populations in different geographic and cultural background could be different, and that globalization also globalizes meat consumption emission effects. More regional and cultural specific evaluations are recommended to promote more sustainable meat consumption and enhance global food security.
    Freshwater Lens Observation: Case Study of Laura Island, Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands

    Atolls are low-lying small islands with highly permeable ground that does not allow rivers and lakes to develop. As the water resources on these atolls basically rely on precipitation, groundwater becomes a very important water resource during droughts. Freshwater lenses develop as groundwater on relatively large atoll islands and play a key role in the stable water supply. Atoll islands in the Pacific Ocean sometimes suffer from drought due to El Nino. The global warming effects are noticeable, particularly on atoll islands. The Republic of the Marshall Islands in Oceania is burdened with the problems common to atoll islands. About half of its population lives in the capital, Majuro, and securing water resources for these people is a crucial issue. There is a freshwater lens on the largest, Laura Island, which serves as a water source for the downtown area. A serious drought that occurred in 1998 resulted in excessive water intake from the freshwater lens on Laura Island causing up-coning. Up-coning mixes saltwater into groundwater pumped from water-intake wells. Because up-coning makes the freshwater lens unusable, there was a need to investigate the freshwater lens on Laura Island. In this study, we observed the electrical conductivities of the groundwater at different depths in existing monitoring wells to determine the total storage volume of the freshwater lens on Laura Island from 2010 to 2013. Our results indicated that most of the groundwater that seeped into the freshwater lens had flowed out into the sea.

    Comparison of Selected Behavioural Patterns of German Shepherd Puppies in Open-Field Test by Practical Assessment Report

    Over the past 80 years, open-field method has evolved as a commonly used tool for the analysis of animal behaviour. The study was carried out using 50 kennel-reared purebred puppies of the German Shepherd dog breed. All dogs were tested in 5th, 7th, and 9th week of age. For the purpose of behavioural analysis, an open-field evaluation report was designed prior to testing to ensure the most convenient, rapid, and suitable way to assess selected behavioural patterns in field conditions. Onset of vocalisation, intensity of vocalisation, level of physical activity, response to sound, and overall behaviour was monitored in the study. Correlations between measures of height, weight and chest circumference, and behavioural characteristics in the 5th, 7th, and 9th week of age were not statistically significant. Onset of vocalisation, intensity of vocalisation, level of physical activity and response to sound differed on statistically significant level between 5th, 7th, and 9th week of age. Results suggest that our practical assessment report may be used as an applicable method to evaluate the suitability of service dog puppies for future working roles.

    Haematology and Serum Biochemical Profile of Laying Chickens Reared on Deep Litter System with or without Access to Grass or Legume Pasture under Humid Tropical Climate
    There has been a growing interest on the effects of access to pasture on poultry health status. However, there is a paucity of data on the relative benefits of grass and legume pastures. An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of rearing systems {deep litter system (DL), deep litter with access to legumes (LP) or grass (GP) pastures} haematology and serum chemistry of ISA Brown layers. The study involved the use of two hundred and forty 12 weeks old pullets. The birds were reared until 60 weeks of age. Eighty birds were assigned to each treatment; each treatment had four replicates of 20 birds each. Blood samples (2.5 ml) were collected from the wing vein of two birds per replicate and serum chemistry and haematological parameters were determined. The results showed that there were no significant differences between treatments in all the parameters considered at 18 weeks of age. At 24 weeks old, the percentage of heterophyl (HET) in DL and LP were similar but higher than that of GP. The ratio of H:L was higher (P<0.05) in DL than those of LP and GP while LP and GP were comparable. At week 38 of age, the percentage of PCV in the birds in LP and GP were similar but the birds in DL had significantly lower level than that of GP. In the early production phase, serum total protein of the birds in LP was similar to that of GP but higher (P<0.05) than that of DL. At the peak production phase (week 38), the total protein in GP and DL were similar but significantly lower than that of LP. The albumin level in LP was greater (P<0.05) than GP but similar to that of DL. In the late production phase, the total protein in LP was significantly higher than that of DL but similar to that of GP. It was concluded that rearing chickens in either grass or legume pasture did not have deleterious effects on the health of laying chickens but improved some parameters including blood protein and HET/lymphocyte.
    The Use of SD Bioline TB AgMPT64® Detection Assay for Rapid Characterization of Mycobacteria in Nigeria

    Performing culture and characterization of mycobacteria in low resource settings like Nigeria is a very difficult task to undertake because of the very few and limited laboratories carrying out such an experiment; this is a largely due to stringent and laborious nature of the tests. Hence, a rapid, simple and accurate test for characterization is needed. The “SD BIOLINE TB Ag MPT 64 Rapid ®” is a simple and rapid immunochromatographic test used in differentiating Mycobacteria into Mycobacterium tuberculosis (NTM). The 100 sputa were obtained from patients suspected to be infected with tuberculosis and presented themselves to hospitals for check-up and treatment were involved in the study. The samples were cultured in a class III Biosafety cabinet and level III biosafety practices were followed. Forty isolates were obtained from the cultured sputa, and there were identified as Acid-fast bacilli (AFB) using Zeihl-Neelsen acid-fast stain. All the isolates (AFB positive) were then subjected to the SD BIOLINE Analyses. A total of 31 (77.5%) were characterized as MTBC, while nine (22.5%) were NTM. The total turnaround time for the rapid assay was just 30 minutes as compared to a few days of phenotypic and genotypic method. It was simple, rapid and reliable test to differentiate MTBC from NTM.

    In vitro Effects of Salvia officinalis on Bovine Spermatozoa
    In vitro storage and processing of animal semen represents a risk factor to spermatozoa vitality, potentially leading to reduced fertility. A variety of substances isolated from natural sources may exhibit protective or antioxidant properties on the spermatozoon, thus extending the lifespan of stored ejaculates. This study compared the ability of different concentrations of the Salvia officinalis extract on the motility, mitochondrial activity, viability and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by bovine spermatozoa during different time periods (0, 2, 6 and 24 h) of in vitro culture. Spermatozoa motility was assessed using the Computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system. Cell viability was examined using the metabolic activity MTT assay, the eosin-nigrosin staining technique was used to evaluate the sperm viability and ROS generation was quantified using luminometry. The CASA analysis revealed that the motility in the experimental groups supplemented with 0.5-2 µg/mL Salvia extract was significantly lower in comparison with the control (P<0.05; Time 24 h). At the same time, a long-term exposure of spermatozoa to concentrations ranging between 0.05 µg/mL and 2 µg/mL had a negative impact on the mitochondrial metabolism (P<0.05; Time 24 h). The viability staining revealed that 0.001-1 µg/mL Salvia extract had no effects on bovine male gametes, however 2 µg/mL Salvia had a persisting negative effect on spermatozoa (P<0.05). Furthermore 0.05-2 µg/mL Salvia exhibited an immediate ROS-promoting effect on the sperm culture (P>0.05; Time 0 h and 2 h), which remained significant throughout the entire in vitro culture (P<0.05; Time 24 h). Our results point out to the necessity to examine specific effects the biomolecules present in Salvia officinalis may have individually or collectively on the in vitro sperm vitality and oxidative profile.
    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.
    The Effect of Acute Toxicity and Thyroid Hormone Treatments on Hormonal Changes during Embryogenesis of Acipenser persicus
    Production of high quality fish eggs with reasonable hatching rate makes a success in aquaculture industries. It is influenced by the environmental stimulators and inhibitors. Diazinon is a widely-used pesticide in Golestan province (Southern Caspian Sea, North of Iran) which is washed to the aquatic environment (3 mg/L in the river). It is little known about the effect of this pesticide on the embryogenesis of sturgeon fish, the valuable species of the Caspian Sea. Hormonal content of the egg is an important factor to guaranty the successful passes of embryonic stages. In this study, the fate of Persian sturgeon embryo to 24, 48, 72, and 96-hours exposure of diazinon (LC50 dose) was tested. Also, the effect of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) on these embryos was tested concurrently or separately with diazinon LC 50 dose. Fertilized eggs are exposed to T3 (low dose: 1 ng/ml, high dose: 10 ng/ml), T4 (low dose: 1 ng/ml, high dose: 10 ng/ml). Six eggs were randomly selected from each treatment (with three replicates) in five developmental stages (two cell- division, neural, heart present, heart beaten, and hatched larvae). The possibility of changing T3, T4, and cortisol contents of the embryos were determined in all treated groups and in every mentioned embryonic stage. The hatching rate in treated groups was assayed at the end of the embryogenesis to clarify the effect of thyroid hormones and diazinon. The results indicated significant differences in thyroid hormone contents, but no significant differences were recognized in cortisol levels at various early life stages of embryos. There was also significant difference in thyroid hormones in (T3, T4) + diazinon treated embryos (P˂0.05), while no significant difference between control and treatments in cortisol levels was observed. The highest hatching rate was recorded in HT3 treatment, while the lowest hatching rate was recorded for diazinon LC50 treatment. The result confirmed that Persian sturgeon embryo is less sensitive to diazinon compared to teleost embryos, and thyroid hormones may increase hatching rate even in the presence of diazinon.
    Biosynthesis of Silver-Phosphate Nanoparticles Using the Extracellular Polymeric Substance of Sporosarcina pasteurii
    Silver ions (Ag+) and their compounds are consequentially toxic to microorganisms, showing biocidal effects on many species of bacteria. Silver-phosphate (or silver orthophosphate) is one of these compounds, which is famous for its antimicrobial effect and catalysis application. In the present study, a green method was presented to synthesis silver-phosphate nanoparticles using Sporosarcina pasteurii. The composition of the biosynthesized nanoparticles was identified as Ag3PO4 using X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS). Also, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed that Ag3PO4 nanoparticles was synthesized in the presence of biosurfactants, enzymes, and proteins. In addition, UV-Vis adsorption of the produced colloidal suspension approved the results of XRD and FTIR analyses. Finally, Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) images indicated that the size of the nanoparticles was about 20 nm.
    Effect of Poultry Manure and Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (15:15:15) Soil Amendment on Growth and Yield of Carrot (Daucus carota)
    This present experiment was carried out during the 2012 cropping season, at the Farming for the Future Experimental Field of the University for Development Studies, Nyankpala Campus in the Northern Region of Ghana. The objective of the experiment was to determine the carrot growth and yield responses to poultry manure and N.P.K (15:15:15). Six treatments (Control (no amendment), 20 t/ha poultry manure (PM), 40 t/ha PM, 70 t/ha PM, 35 t/ha PM + 0.11t/ha N.P.K and 0.23 t/ha N.P.K) with three replications for each were laid in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Data were collected on plant height, number of leaves per plant, canopy spread, root diameter, root weight, and root length. Microsoft Excel and Genstat Statistical Package (9th edition) were used for the data analysis. The treatment means were compared by using Least Significant Difference at 10%. Generally, the results showed that there were no significant differences (P>0.1) among the treatments with respect to number of leaves per plant, root diameter, root weight, and root length. However, significant differences occurred among plant heights and canopy spreads. Plant height treated with 40 t/ha PM at the fourth week after planting and canopy spread at eight weeks after planting and ten weeks after planting by 70 t/ha PM and 20 t/ha PM respectively showed significant difference (P<0.1). The study recommended that any of the amended treatments can be applied at their recommended rates to plots for carrot production, since there were no significant differences among the treatments.
    Biogas Control: Methane Production Monitoring Using Arduino
    Extracting energy from biomass is an important alternative to produce different types of energy (heat, electricity, or both) assuring low pollution and better efficiency. It is a new yet reliable approach to reduce green gas emission by extracting methane from industry effluents and use it to power machinery. We focused in our project on using paper and mill effluents, treated in a UASB reactor. The methane produced is used in the factory’s power supply. The aim of this work is to develop an electronic system using Arduino platform connected to a gas sensor, to measure and display the curve of daily methane production on processing. The sensor will send the gas values in ppm to the Arduino board so that the later sends the RS232 hardware protocol. The code developed with processing will transform the values into a curve and display it on the computer screen.
    Influence of Canola Oil and Lysine Supplementation Diets on Growth Performance and Fatty Acid Composition of Meat in Broiler Chicks
    A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of diets containing different levels of lysine and canola oil on growth performance and fatty acid composition of meat of broilers chicks. 240-day old Ross broiler chicks were used in a 3×2 factorial arrangement with canola oil (1, 3, and 5%) and lysine (recommended, and 25% more than recommended by Ross broiler manual) in completely randomized design with four replicates and 10 birds per each. The experimental diets were iso-caloric and iso-nitrogenous. Feed intake and body weight gain were recorded at the end of starter (10 d), grower (24 d) and finisher (42 d) periods, and feed conversion ratio was calculated. The results showed that the weight gain of chickens fed diets containing 5% canola oil were greater than those of birds fed on other diets (P<0.05). The dietary lysine had significant effect on feed intake and diets with 25% more than recommended, increased feed intake significantly (P<0.05). The canola oil×lysine interaction effects on performance were not significant. Among all treatment birds, those fed diets containing 5% canola oil had the highest meristic acid and oleic acid content in their meat. Broilers fed diets containing 3 or 5% canola oil possessed the higher content of linolenic acid and lower content of arachidonic acid in their meat (P<0.05). The results of the present experiment indicated that the diets containing canola oil (5%) and lysine at 25% higher than requirement, improve the growth performance, carcass and breast yield of broiler, and increase the accumulation of Omega-3 fatty acids in breast meat.
    Radiation Usage Impact of on Anti-Nutritional Compounds (Antitrypsin and Phytic Acid) of Livestock and Poultry Foods

    Review was carried out on important anti-nutritional compounds of livestock and poultry foods and the effect of radiation usage. Nowadays, with advancement in technology, different methods have been considered for the optimum usage of nutrients in livestock and poultry foods. Steaming, extruding, pelleting, and the use of chemicals are the most common and popular methods in food processing. Use of radiation in food processing researches in the livestock and poultry industry is currently highly regarded. Ionizing (electrons, gamma) and non-ionizing beams (microwave and infrared) are the most useable rays in animal food processing. In recent researches, these beams have been used to remove and reduce the anti-nutritional factors and microbial contamination and improve the digestibility of nutrients in poultry and livestock food. The evidence presented will help researchers to recognize techniques of relevance to them. Simplification of some of these techniques, especially in developing countries, must be addressed so that they can be used more widely.

    Cadmium Filter Cake of a Hydrometallurgical Zinc Smelter as a New Source for the Biological Synthesis of CdS Quantum Dots
    The cadmium sulfide nanoparticles were synthesized from the nickel-cadmium cake of a hydrometallurgical zinc producing plant and sodium sulfide as Cd2+ and S-2 sources, respectively. Also, the synthesis process was performed by using the secretions of Bacillus licheniformis as bio-surfactant. Initially, in order to obtain a cadmium rich solution, two following steps were carried out: 1) Alkaline leaching for the removal of zinc oxide from the cake, and 2) acidic leaching to dissolve cadmium from the remained solid residue. Afterward, the obtained CdSO4 solution was used for the nanoparticle biosynthesis. Nanoparticles were characterized by the energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) to confirm the formation of CdS crystals with cubic structure. Also, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was applied to determine the particle sizes which were in 2-10 nm range. Moreover, the presence of the protein containing bio-surfactants was approved by using infrared analysis (FTIR). In addition, the absorbance below 400 nm confirms quantum particles’ size. Finally, it was shown that valuable CdS quantum dots could be obtained from the industrial waste products via environment-friendly biological approaches.
    The Contribution of the PCR-Enzymatic Digestion in the Positive Diagnosis of Proximal Spinal Muscular Atrophy in the Moroccan Population
    The proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a group of neuromuscular disorders characterized by progressive muscle weakness due to the degeneration and loss of anterior motor neurons of the spinal cord. Depending on the age of onset of symptoms and their evolution, four types of SMA, varying in severity, result in a mutations of the SMN gene (survival of Motor neuron). We have analyzed the DNA of 295 patients referred to our genetic counseling; since January 1996 until October 2014; for suspected SMA. The homozygous deletion of exon 7 of the SMN gene was found in 133 patients; of which, 40.6% were born to consanguineous parents. In countries like Morocco, where the frequency of heterozygotes for SMA is high, genetic testing should be offered as first-line and, after careful clinical assessment, especially in newborns and infants with congenital hypotonia unexplained and prognosis compromise. The molecular diagnosis of SMA allows a quick and certainly diagnosis, provide adequate genetic counseling for families at risk and suggest, for couples who want prenatal diagnosis. The analysis of the SMN gene is a perfect example of genetic testing with an excellent cost/benefit ratio that can be of great interest in public health, especially in low-income countries. We emphasize in this work for the benefit of the generalization of molecular diagnosis of SMA by the technique of PCR-enzymatic digestion in other centers in Morocco.
    Factors Determining Selection of Essential Nutrition Supplements
    There are numerous nutritional supplements, such as multivitamins and nutrition drinks, in the market today. Many of these supplements are expensive and tend to be driven commercially by business decisions and big marketing budgets. Many of the costs are ultimately borne by the end user in the quest for keeping to a healthy lifestyle. This paper proposes a system with a list of ten determinants to gauge how to decide the value of various supplements. It suggests variables such as composition, safety, efficacy and bioavailability, as well as several other considerations. These guidelines can help to tackle many of the issues that people of all ages face in the way that they receive essential nutrients. The system also aims to promote and improve the safety and choice of foods and supplements. In so doing, the system aims to promote the individual’s or population’s control over their own health and reduce the growing health care burden on the society.
    Nutrition and Food Safety as Strategic Assets

    The world is facing a growing food crisis. The concerns of food nutritional value, food safety and food security are becoming increasingly real. There is also a direct relationship to the risk of diseases, particularly chronic diseases, to the food we consume. So, there are increasing concerns about the modern day food ecosystem creating foods that can provide the nutritional components for organ function sustenance, as well as, taking a serious view on diet-related diseases. This paper addresses some of the above concerns and gives an overview of the current global situation relating to food nutrition and safety. The paper reviews nutritional aspects of food today compared to those of the last century, compares whole foods found in supermarkets versus those organically grown, as well as population behaviour towards food choices. It provides scientific insights into the effects of some of the global trends such as climate change and other changes environmental changes, and presents what individuals and corporations are doing to use the latest nutritional technologies as strategic assets. Finally, it briefly highlights some of the innovative solutions that are being applied to address several of the above concerns.

    Processing and Economic Analysis of Rain Tree (Samanea saman) Pods for Village Level Hydrous Bioethanol Production

    Biofuel is one of the renewable energy sources adapted by the Philippine government in order to lessen the dependency on foreign fuel and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Rain tree pods were seen to be a promising source of bioethanol since it contains significant amount of fermentable sugars. The study was conducted to establish the complete procedure in processing rain tree pods for village level hydrous bioethanol production. Production processes were done for village level hydrous bioethanol production from collection, drying, storage, shredding, dilution, extraction, fermentation, and distillation. The feedstock was sundried, and moisture content was determined at a range of 20% to 26% prior to storage. Dilution ratio was 1:1.25 (1 kg of pods = 1.25 L of water) and after extraction process yielded a sugar concentration of 22 0Bx to 24 0Bx. The dilution period was three hours. After three hours of diluting the samples, the juice was extracted using extractor with a capacity of 64.10 L/hour. 150 L of rain tree pods juice was extracted and subjected to fermentation process using a village level anaerobic bioreactor. Fermentation with yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) can fasten up the process, thus producing more ethanol at a shorter period of time; however, without yeast fermentation, it also produces ethanol at lower volume with slower fermentation process. Distillation of 150 L of fermented broth was done for six hours at 85 °C to 95 °C temperature (feedstock) and 74 °C to 95 °C temperature of the column head (vapor state of ethanol). The highest volume of ethanol recovered was established at with yeast fermentation at five-day duration with a value of 14.89 L and lowest actual ethanol content was found at without yeast fermentation at three-day duration having a value of 11.63 L. In general, the results suggested that rain tree pods had a very good potential as feedstock for bioethanol production. Fermentation of rain tree pods juice can be done with yeast and without yeast.

    Mutation Analysis of the ATP7B Gene in 43 Vietnamese Wilson’s Disease Patients
    Wilson’s disease (WD) is an autosomal recessive disorder of the copper metabolism, which is caused by a mutation in the copper-transporting P-type ATPase (ATP7B). The mechanism of this disease is the failure of hepatic excretion of copper to bile, and leads to copper deposits in the liver and other organs. The ATP7B gene is located on the long arm of chromosome 13 (13q14.3). This study aimed to investigate the gene mutation in the Vietnamese patients with WD, and make a presymptomatic diagnosis for their familial members. Forty-three WD patients and their 65 siblings were identified as having ATP7B gene mutations. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood samples; 21 exons and exon-intron boundaries of the ATP7B gene were analyzed by direct sequencing. We recognized four mutations ([R723=; H724Tfs*34], V1042Cfs*79, D1027H, and IVS6+3A>G) in the sum of 20 detectable mutations, accounting for 87.2% of the total. Mutation S105* was determined to have a high rate (32.6%) in this study. The hotspot regions of ATP7B were found at exons 2, 16, and 8, and intron 14, in 39.6 %, 11.6 %, 9.3%, and 7 % of patients, respectively. Among nine homozygote/compound heterozygote siblings of the patients with WD, three individuals were determined as asymptomatic by screening mutations of the probands. They would begin treatment after diagnosis. In conclusion, 20 different mutations were detected in 43 WD patients. Of this number, four novel mutations were explored, including [R723=; H724Tfs*34], V1042Cfs*79, D1027H, and IVS6+3A>G. The mutation S105* is the most prevalent and has been considered as a biomarker that can be used in a rapid detection assay for diagnosis of WD patients. Exons 2, 8, and 16, and intron 14 should be screened initially for WD patients in Vietnam. Based on risk profile for WD, genetic testing for presymptomatic patients is also useful in diagnosis and treatment.
    Combinatory Nutrition Supplementation: A Case of Synergy for Increasing Calcium Bioavailability

    This paper presents an overview of how calcium interacts with the various essential nutrients within an environment of cellular and hormonal interactions for the purpose of increasing bioavailability to the human body. One example of such interactions can be illustrated with calcium homeostasis. This paper gives an in-depth discussion on the possible interactive permutations with various nutrients and factors leading to the promotion of calcium bioavailability to the body. The review hopes to provide further insights into how calcium supplement formulations can be improved to better influence its bioavailability in the human body.