Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 11

Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering

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  • 11
    Microbiological and Physicochemical Studies of Wetland Soils in Eket, Nigeria
    The microbiological and physicochemical characteristics of wetland soils in Eket Local Government Area were studied between May 2001 and June 2003. Total heterotrophic bacterial counts (THBC), total fungal counts (TFC), and total actinomycetes counts (TAC) were determined from soil samples taken from four locations at two depths in the wet and dry seasons. Microbial isolates were characterized and identified. Particle size and chemical parameters were also determined using standard methods. THBC ranged from 5.2 (+0.17) x106 to 1.7 (+0.18) x107 cfu/g and from 2.4 (+0.02) x106 to 1.4 (+0.04) x107cfu/g in the wet and dry seasons, respectively. TFC ranged from 1.8 (+0.03) x106 to 6.6 (+ 0.18) x106 cfu/g and from 1.0 (+0.04) x106 to 4.2 (+ 0.01) x106 cfu/g in the wet and dry seasons, respectively .TAC ranged from 1.2 (+0.53) x106 to 6.0 (+0.05) x106 cfu/g and from 0.6 (+0.01) x106 to 3.2 (+ 0.12) x106 cfu/g in the wet and dry season, respectively. Acinetobacter, Alcaligenes, Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Beijerinckja, Enterobacter, Micrococcus, Flavobacterium, Serratia, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas species were predominant bacteria while Aspergillus, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, and Rhizopus were the dominant fungal genera isolated. Streptomyces and Norcadia were the actinomycetes genera isolated. The particle size analysis showed high sand fraction but low silt and clay. The pH and % organic matter were generally acidic and low, respectively at all locations. Calcium dominated the exchangeable bases with low electrical conductivity and micronutrients. These results provide the baseline data of Eket wetland soils for its management for sustainable agriculture.
    Environmental Sanitation and Health Risks in Tropical Urban Settings: Case Study of Household Refuse and Diarrhea in Yaoundé-Cameroon
    Health problems linked to urban growth are current major concerns of developing countries. In 2002 and 2005, an interdisciplinary program “Populations et Espaces ├á Risques SANitaires" (PERSAN) was set up under the patronage of the Development and Research Institute. Centered on health in Cameroon-s urban environment, the program mainly sought to (i) identify diarrhoea risk factors in Yaoundé, (ii) to measure their prevalence and apprehend their spatial distribution. The crosssectional epidemiological study that was carried out revealed a diarrheic prevalence of 14.4% (437 cases of diarrhoea on the 3,034 children examined). Also, among risk factors studied, household refuse management methods used by city dwellers were statistically associated to these diarrhoeas. Moreover, it happened that levels of diarrhoeal attacks varied consistently from one neighbourhood to another because of the discrepancy urbanization process of the Yaoundé metropolis.
    SAF: A Substitution and Alignment Free Similarity Measure for Protein Sequences
    The literature reports a large number of approaches for measuring the similarity between protein sequences. Most of these approaches estimate this similarity using alignment-based techniques that do not necessarily yield biologically plausible results, for two reasons. First, for the case of non-alignable (i.e., not yet definitively aligned and biologically approved) sequences such as multi-domain, circular permutation and tandem repeat protein sequences, alignment-based approaches do not succeed in producing biologically plausible results. This is due to the nature of the alignment, which is based on the matching of subsequences in equivalent positions, while non-alignable proteins often have similar and conserved domains in non-equivalent positions. Second, the alignment-based approaches lead to similarity measures that depend heavily on the parameters set by the user for the alignment (e.g., gap penalties and substitution matrices). For easily alignable protein sequences, it's possible to supply a suitable combination of input parameters that allows such an approach to yield biologically plausible results. However, for difficult-to-align protein sequences, supplying different combinations of input parameters yields different results. Such variable results create ambiguities and complicate the similarity measurement task. To overcome these drawbacks, this paper describes a novel and effective approach for measuring the similarity between protein sequences, called SAF for Substitution and Alignment Free. Without resorting either to the alignment of protein sequences or to substitution relations between amino acids, SAF is able to efficiently detect the significant subsequences that best represent the intrinsic properties of protein sequences, those underlying the chronological dependencies of structural features and biochemical activities of protein sequences. Moreover, by using a new efficient subsequence matching scheme, SAF more efficiently handles protein sequences that contain similar structural features with significant meaning in chronologically non-equivalent positions. To show the effectiveness of SAF, extensive experiments were performed on protein datasets from different databases, and the results were compared with those obtained by several mainstream algorithms.
    A General Model for Amino Acid Interaction Networks
    In this paper we introduce the notion of protein interaction network. This is a graph whose vertices are the protein-s amino acids and whose edges are the interactions between them. Using a graph theory approach, we identify a number of properties of these networks. We compare them to the general small-world network model and we analyze their hierarchical structure.
    Fractal Dimension of Breast Cancer Cell Migration in a Wound Healing Assay
    Migration in breast cancer cell wound healing assay had been studied using image fractal dimension analysis. The migration of MDA-MB-231 cells (highly motile) in a wound healing assay was captured using time-lapse phase contrast video microscopy and compared to MDA-MB-468 cell migration (moderately motile). The Higuchi fractal method was used to compute the fractal dimension of the image intensity fluctuation along a single pixel width region parallel to the wound. The near-wound region fractal dimension was found to decrease three times faster in the MDA-MB- 231 cells initially as compared to the less cancerous MDA-MB-468 cells. The inner region fractal dimension was found to be fairly constant for both cell types in time and suggests a wound influence range of about 15 cell layer. The box-counting fractal dimension method was also used to study region of interest (ROI). The MDAMB- 468 ROI area fractal dimension was found to decrease continuously up to 7 hours. The MDA-MB-231 ROI area fractal dimension was found to increase and is consistent with the behavior of a HGF-treated MDA-MB-231 wound healing assay posted in the public domain. A fractal dimension based capacity index has been formulated to quantify the invasiveness of the MDA-MB-231 cells in the perpendicular-to-wound direction. Our results suggest that image intensity fluctuation fractal dimension analysis can be used as a tool to quantify cell migration in terms of cancer severity and treatment responses.
    Fractal Analysis of 16S rRNA Gene Sequences in Archaea Thermophiles

    A nucleotide sequence can be expressed as a numerical sequence when each nucleotide is assigned its proton number. A resulting gene numerical sequence can be investigated for its fractal dimension in terms of evolution and chemical properties for comparative studies. We have investigated such nucleotide fluctuation in the 16S rRNA gene of archaea thermophiles. The studied archaea thermophiles were archaeoglobus fulgidus, methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus, methanocaldococcus jannaschii, pyrococcus horikoshii, and thermoplasma acidophilum. The studied five archaea-euryarchaeota thermophiles have fractal dimension values ranging from 1.93 to 1.97. Computer simulation shows that random sequences would have an average of about 2 with a standard deviation about 0.015. The fractal dimension was found to correlate (negative correlation) with the thermophile-s optimal growth temperature with R2 value of 0.90 (N =5). The inclusion of two aracheae-crenarchaeota thermophiles reduces the R2 value to 0.66 (N = 7). Further inclusion of two bacterial thermophiles reduces the R2 value to 0.50 (N =9). The fractal dimension is correlated (positive) to the sequence GC content with an R2 value of 0.89 for the five archaea-euryarchaeota thermophiles (and 0.74 for the entire set of N = 9), although computer simulation shows little correlation. The highest correlation (positive) was found to be between the fractal dimension and di-nucleotide Shannon entropy. However Shannon entropy and sequence GC content were observed to correlate with optimal growth temperature having an R2 of 0.8 (negative), and 0.88 (positive), respectively, for the entire set of 9 thermophiles; thus the correlation lacks species specificity. Together with another correlation study of bacterial radiation dosage with RecA repair gene sequence fractal dimension, it is postulated that fractal dimension analysis is a sensitive tool for studying the relationship between genotype and phenotype among closely related sequences.

    Automated Segmentation of ECG Signals using Piecewise Derivative Dynamic Time Warping
    Electrocardiogram (ECG) segmentation is necessary to help reduce the time consuming task of manually annotating ECG-s. Several algorithms have been developed to segment the ECG automatically. We first review several of such methods, and then present a new single lead segmentation method based on Adaptive piecewise constant approximation (APCA) and Piecewise derivative dynamic time warping (PDDTW). The results are tested on the QT database. We compared our results to Laguna-s two lead method. Our proposed approach has a comparable mean error, but yields a slightly higher standard deviation than Laguna-s method.
    The Development of New Technologies for Medicine and Agroecology by Using Spherosomes
    Article devoted to the development of technologies for medicine and agroecology by using plant organelle – spherosome. Technological method of purification and isolation of this organelle by using novel nanostructured carbon sorbent – “nanocarbosorb" ARK type are presented. Also the methods of preparation of nanocontainers based on using of spherosome with loaded isosorbide dinitrate, piroxicam or diclofenak are exhibited. We found that the spherosome could be applied for ecological aims as bioregulator and also as biosensor for determination of ammonia ions in water reservoirs at concentration range 1mM to 100mM.
    The New Effective Biostimulator for Agroecological Engineering
    New biostimulator from wheat seeds which by its chemical composition relates to fusicoccin is presented in this article. New biostimulator could be used as powerful hormonal substance that has ability to increase productivity and salt tolerance of agricultural plants. Also on the basis of biostimulator we have developed vegetative method for fast reproduction of perennial plants as desert plant - Tamarix gracilis.
    Bioremediation of Oil-Polluted Soil of Western Kazakhstan
    15 strains of oil-destructing microorganisms were isolated from oil polluted soil of Western Kazakhstan. Strains 2-A and 41-3 with the highest oil-destructing activities were chosen from them. It was shown that these strains oxidized n-alkanes very well, but isoalkanes, isoparaffin, cycloparaffin and heavy aromatic compounds were destructed very slowly. These both strains were tested as preparations for bioremediation of oil-polluted soil in model and field experiments. The degree of utilizing of soil oil by this preparation was 79-84 % in field experiments.
    Bioinformatic Analysis of Retroelement-Associated Sequences in Human and Mouse Promoters
    Mammalian genomes contain large number of retroelements (SINEs, LINEs and LTRs) which could affect expression of protein coding genes through associated transcription factor binding sites (TFBS). Activity of the retroelement-associated TFBS in many genes is confirmed experimentally but their global functional impact remains unclear. Human SINEs (Alu repeats) and mouse SINEs (B1 and B2 repeats) are known to be clustered in GCrich gene rich genome segments consistent with the view that they can contribute to regulation of gene expression. We have shown earlier that Alu are involved in formation of cis-regulatory modules (clusters of TFBS) in human promoters, and other authors reported that Alu located near promoter CpG islands have an increased frequency of CpG dinucleotides suggesting that these Alu are undermethylated. Human Alu and mouse B1/B2 elements have an internal bipartite promoter for RNA polymerase III containing conserved sequence motif called B-box which can bind basal transcription complex TFIIIC. It has been recently shown that TFIIIC binding to B-box leads to formation of a boundary which limits spread of repressive chromatin modifications in S. pombe. SINEassociated B-boxes may have similar function but conservation of TFIIIC binding sites in SINEs located near mammalian promoters has not been studied earlier. Here we analysed abundance and distribution of retroelements (SINEs, LINEs and LTRs) in annotated sequences of the Database of mammalian transcription start sites (DBTSS). Fractions of SINEs in human and mouse promoters are slightly lower than in all genome but >40% of human and mouse promoters contain Alu or B1/B2 elements within -1000 to +200 bp interval relative to transcription start site (TSS). Most of these SINEs is associated with distal segments of promoters (-1000 to -200 bp relative to TSS) indicating that their insertion at distances >200 bp upstream of TSS is tolerated during evolution. Distribution of SINEs in promoters correlates negatively with the distribution of CpG sequences. Using analysis of abundance of 12-mer motifs from the B1 and Alu consensus sequences in genome and DBTSS it has been confirmed that some subsegments of Alu and B1 elements are poorly conserved which depends in part on the presence of CpG dinucleotides. One of these CpG-containing subsegments in B1 elements overlaps with SINE-associated B-box and it shows better conservation in DBTSS compared to genomic sequences. It has been also studied conservation in DBTSS and genome of the B-box containing segments of old (AluJ, AluS) and young (AluY) Alu repeats and found that CpG sequence of the B-box of old Alu is better conserved in DBTSS than in genome. This indicates that Bbox- associated CpGs in promoters are better protected from methylation and mutation than B-box-associated CpGs in genomic SINEs. These results are consistent with the view that potential TFIIIC binding motifs in SINEs associated with human and mouse promoters may be functionally important. These motifs may protect promoters from repressive histone modifications which spread from adjacent sequences. This can potentially explain well known clustering of SINEs in GC-rich gene rich genome compartments and existence of unmethylated CpG islands.