Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 26

Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering

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  • 26
    The Investigation of Enzymatic Activity in the Soils under the Impact of Metallurgical Industrial Activity in Lori Marz, Armenia

    Beta-glucosidase, chitinase, leucine-aminopeptidase, acid phosphomonoesterase and acetate-esterase enzyme activities in the soils under the impact of metallurgical industrial activity in Lori marz (district) were investigated. The results of the study showed that the activities of the investigated enzymes in the soils decreased with increasing distance from the Shamlugh copper mine, the Chochkan tailings storage facility and the ore transportation road. Statistical analysis revealed that the activities of the enzymes were positively correlated (significant) to each other according to the observation sites which indicated that enzyme activities were affected by the same anthropogenic factor. The investigations showed that the soils were polluted with heavy metals (Cu, Pb, As, Co, Ni, Zn) due to copper mining activity in this territory. The results of Pearson correlation analysis revealed a significant negative correlation between heavy metal pollution degree (Nemerow integrated pollution index) and soil enzyme activity. All of this indicated that copper mining activity in this territory causing the heavy metal pollution of the soils resulted in the inhabitation of the activities of the enzymes which are considered as biological catalysts to decompose organic materials and facilitate the cycling of nutrients.

    CMOS Solid-State Nanopore DNA System-Level Sequencing Techniques Enhancement

    This paper presents system level CMOS solid-state nanopore techniques enhancement for speedup next generation molecular recording and high throughput channels. This discussion also considers optimum number of base-pair (bp) measurements through channel as an important role to enhance potential read accuracy. Effective power consumption estimation offered suitable range of multi-channel configuration. Nanopore bp extraction model in statistical method could contribute higher read accuracy with longer read-length (200 < read-length). Nanopore ionic current switching with Time Multiplexing (TM) based multichannel readout system contributed hardware savings.

    Effects of Molybdenum Treatments on Maize and Sunflower Seedlings

    The aim of the present study was to examine whether increasing molybdenum (Mo) concentration affects the growth and Mo concentration of maize (Zea mays L. cv Norma SC) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L. cv Arena PR) seedlings within laboratory conditions. In this experiment, calcareous chernozem soil was used and Mo was supplemented into the soil as ammonium molybdate [(NH4)6Mo7O24.4H2O] in four different concentrations as follow: 0 (control), 30, 90 and 270 mg·kg-1. In this study, we found that molybdenum in small amount (30 mg·kg-1) affects positively on growth of maize and sunflower seedlings, however, higher concentration of Mo reduces the dry weights of shoots and roots. In the case of maize the highest Mo treatment (270 mg·kg-1) and in sunflower 90 mg·kg-1 treatment caused significant reduction in plant growth. In addition, we observed that molybdenum contents in the roots and shoots were very low in case of control soil but were significantly elevated with increasing concentration of Mo treatment. Only in case of sunflower the highest 270 mg·kg-1 Mo treatment caused decrease in Mo concentration.

    Effect of Selenite and Selenate Uptake by Maize Plants on Specific Leaf Area

    Specific leaf area (SLA; cm2leaf g-1leaf) the ratio of leaf area to leaf dry mass is a key ecophysiological parameter influencing leaf physiology, photosynthesis, and whole plant carbon gain and also can be used as a rapid and diagnostic tool. In this study, two species of soluble inorganic selenium forms, selenite (Se^IV) and selenate (Se^VI) at different concentrations were investigated on maize plants that were growing in nutrient solutions during 2 weeks and at the end of the experiment, amounts of SLA for first and second leaves of maize were measured. In accordance with the results we observed that our regarded Se concentrations in both forms of Se^IV and Se^VI were not effective on maize plants’ SLA significantly although high level of 3 mg.kg-1 Se^IV had negative affect on growth of the samples that had been treated by it but about Se^VI samples we did not observe this state and our different considered Se^VI concentrations were not toxic for maize plants.

    Evaluation of Azo Dye Toxicity Using Some Haematological and Histopathological Alterations in Fish Catla catla

    The textile industry plays a major role in the economy of India and on the other side of the coin it is the major source for water pollution. As azo dyes is the largest dye class they are extensively used in many fields such as textile industry, leather tanning industry, paper production, food, color photography, pharmaceuticals and medicine, cosmetic, hair colorings, wood staining, agricultural, biological and chemical research etc. In addition to these, they can have acute and/or chronic effects on organisms depending on their concentration and length of exposure when they discharged as effluent in the environment. The aim of this study was to assess the genotoxic and histotoxic potentials of environmentally relevant concentrations of C. I. Reactive Red 120 (RR 120) on Catla catla, important edible freshwater fingerlings. For this, healthy Catla catla fingerlings were procured from the Government Fish Farm and acclimatized in 100 L capacity and continuously aerated glass aquarium in laboratory for 15 days. According to APHA some physic-chemical parameters were measured and maintained such as temperature, pH, dissolve oxygen, alkalinity, total hardness. Water along with excreta had been changed every 24 hrs. All fingerlings were fed artificial food palates once a day @ body weight. After 15 days fingerlings were grouped in 5 (10 in each) and exposed to various concentrations of RR 120 (Control, 10, 20, 30 and 40 mg.l-1) and samples (peripheral blood and gills, kidney) were collected and analyzed at 96 hrs. All results were compared with the control. Micronuclei (MN), nuclear buds (NB), fragmented-apoptotic (FA) and bi-nucleated (BN) cells in blood smears and in tissues (gills and kidney cells) were observed. Prominent histopathological alterations were noticed in gills such as aneurism, hyperplasia, degenerated central axis, lifting of gill epithelium, curved secondary gill lamellae etc. Similarly kidney showed some detrimental changes like shrunken glomeruli with increased periglomerular space, degenerated renal tubules etc. Both haematological and histopathological changes clearly reveal the toxic potential of RR 120. This work concludes that water pollution assessment can be done by these two biomarkers which provide baseline to the further chromosomal or molecular work.

    Energetic and Exergetic Evaluation of Box-Type Solar Cookers Using Different Insulation Materials

    The performance of box-type solar cookers has been reported by several researchers but little attention was paid to the effect of the type of insulation material on the energy and exergy efficiency of these cookers. This research aimed at evaluating the energy and exergy efficiencies of the box-type cookers containing different insulation materials. Energy and exergy efficiencies of five box-type solar cookers insulated with maize cob, air (control), maize husk, coconut coir and polyurethane foam respectively were obtained over a period of three years. The cookers were evaluated using water heating test procedures in determining the energy and exergy analysis. The results were subjected to statistical analysis using ANOVA. The result shows that the average energy input for the five solar cookers were: 245.5, 252.2, 248.7, 241.5 and 245.5J respectively while their respective average energy losses were: 201.2, 212.7, 208.4, 189.1 and 199.8J. The average exergy input for five cookers were: 228.2, 234.4, 231.1, 224.4 and 228.2J respectively while their respective average exergy losses were: 223.4, 230.6, 226.9, 218.9 and 223.0J. The energy and exergy efficiency was highest in the cooker with coconut coir (37.35 and 3.90% respectively) in the first year but was lowest for air (11 and 1.07% respectively) in the third year. Statistical analysis showed significant difference between the energy and exergy efficiencies over the years. These results reiterate the importance of a good insulating material for a box-type solar cooker.

    Studies of Zooplankton in Gdańsk Basin (2010-2011)

    In 2010-2011, the research on zooplankton was conducted in the southern part of the Baltic Sea to determine seasonal variability in changes occurring throughout the zooplankton in 2010 and 2011, both in the region of Gdańsk Deep, and in the western part of Gdańsk Bay. The research in the sea showed that the taxonomic composition of holoplankton in the southern part of the Baltic Sea was similar to that recorded in this region for many years. The maximum values of abundance and biomass of zooplankton both in the Deep and the Bay of Gdańsk were observed in the summer season. Copepoda dominated in the composition of zooplankton for almost the entire study period, while rotifers occurred in larger numbers only in the summer 2010 in the Gdańsk Deep as well as in May and July 2010 in the western part of Gdańsk Bay, and meroplankton – in April 2011.

    Cell Biomass and Lipid Productivities of Meyerella planktonica under Autotrophic and Heterotrophic Growth Conditions

    Microalgae Meyerella planktonica is a potential biofuel source because it can grow in bulk in either autotrophic or heterotrophic condition. However, the quantitative growth of this algal type is still low as it tends to precipitates on the bottom. Besides, the lipid concentration is still low when grown in autotrophic condition. In contrast, heterotrophic condition can enhance the lipid concentration. The combination of autotrophic condition and agitation treatment was conducted to increase the density of the culture. On the other hand, a heterotrophic condition was set up to raise the lipid production. A two-stage experiment was applied to increase the density at the first step and to increase the lipid concentration in the next step. The autotrophic condition resulted higher density but lower lipid concentration compared to heterotrophic one. The agitation treatment produced higher density in both autotrophic and heterotrophic conditions. The two-stage experiment managed to enhance the density during the autotrophic stage and the lipid concentration during the heterotrophic stage. The highest yield was performed by using 0.4% v/v glycerol as a carbon source (2.9±0.016 x 10^6 cells w/w) attained 7 days after the heterotrophic stage began. The lipid concentration was stable starting from day 7.

    Damage to Strawberries Caused by Simulated Transport

    The quality and condition of perishable products delivered to the market and their subsequent selling prices are directly affected by the care taken during harvesting and handling. Mechanical injury, in fact, occurs at all stages, from pre-harvest operations through post-harvest handling, packing and transport to the market. The main implications of this damage are the reduction of the product’s quality and economical losses related to the shelf life diminution. For most perishable products, the shelf life is relatively short and it is typically dictated by microbial growth related to the application of dynamic and static loads during transportation. This paper presents the correlation between vibration levels and microbiological growth on strawberries and woodland strawberries and detects the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in order to develop an intelligent logistic unit capable of monitoring VOCs using a specific sensor system. Fresh fruits were exposed to vibrations by means of a vibrating table in a temperature-controlled environment. Microbiological analyses were conducted on samples, taken at different positions along the column of the crates. The values obtained were compared with control samples not exposed to vibrations and the results show that different positions along the column influence the development of bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi.

    Determination of Some Physical and Mechanical Properties of Pofaki Variety of Pea

    In this research the effect of moisture at three levels (47, 57, and 67 w.b.%) on the physical properties of the Pofaki pea variety including, dimensions, geometric mean diameter, volume, sphericity index and the surface area was determined. The influence of different moisture levels (47, 57 and 67 w.b.%), in two loading orientation (longitudinal and transverse) and three loading speed (4,6 and 8 mm min-1) on the mechanical properties of pea such as maximum deformation, rupture force, rupture energy, toughness and the power to break the pea was investigated. It was observed in the physical properties that moisture changes were affective at 1% on, dimensions, geometric mean diameter, volume, sphericity index and the surface area. It was observed in the mechanical properties that moisture changes were effective at 1% on, maximum deformation, rupture force, rupture energy, toughness and the power to break. Loading speed was effective on maximum deformation, rupture force, rupture energy at 1% and it was effective on toughness at 5%. Loading orientation was effective on maximum deformation, rupture force, rupture energy, toughness at 1% and it was effective on power at 5%. The mutual effect of speed and orientation were effective on rupture energy at 1% and were effective on toughness at 5% probability. The mutual effect of moisture and speed were effective on rupture force and rupture energy at 1% and were effective on toughness 5% probability. The mutual effect of orientation and moisture on rupture energy and toughness were effective at 1%.

    Entomological Origin of Honey Discriminated by NMR Chloroform Extracts in Ecuadorian Honey

    Honeys are produced by Apis mellifera and stingless bees (Meliponini) in Ecuador. We studied honey produced in beeswax combs by Apis mellifera, and honey produced in pots by Geotrigona and Scaptotrigona bees. Chloroform extracts of honey were obtained for fast NMR spectra. The 1D spectra were acquired at 298 K, with a 600 MHz NMR Bruker instrument, using a modified double pulsed field gradient spin echoes (DPFGSE) sequence. Signals of 1H NMR spectra were integrated and used as inputs for PCA, PLS-DA analysis, and labelled sets of classes were successfully identified, enhancing the separation between the three groups of honey according to the entomological origin: A. mellifera, Geotrigona and Scaptotrigona. This procedure is therefore recommended for authenticity test of honey in Ecuador.

    Analysis of a Lignocellulose Degrading Microbial Consortium to Enhance the Anaerobic Digestion of Rice Straws

    Rice straw is lignocellulosic biomass which can be utilized as substrate for the biogas production. However, due to the property and composition of rice straw, it is difficult to be degraded by hydrolysis enzymes. One of the pretreatment methods that modify such properties of lignocellulosic biomass is the application of lignocellulose-degrading microbial consortia. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of microbial consortia to enhance biogas production. To select the high efficient consortium, cellulase enzymes were extracted and their activities were analyzed. The results suggested that microbial consortium culture obtained from cattle manure is the best candidate compared to decomposed wood and horse manure. A microbial consortium isolated from cattle manure was then mixed with anaerobic sludge and used as inoculum for biogas production. The optimal conditions for biogas production were investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The tested parameters were the ratio of amount of microbial consortium isolated and amount of anaerobic sludge (MI:AS), substrate to inoculum ratio (S:I) and temperature. Here, the value of the regression coefficient R2 = 0.7661 could be explained by the model which is high to advocate the significance of the model. The highest cumulative biogas yield was 104.6 ml/g-rice straw at optimum ratio of MI:AS, ratio of S:I, and temperature of 2.5:1, 15:1 and 44°C respectively.

    Optimization of Diluted Organic Acid Pretreatment on Rice Straw Using Response Surface Methodology

    Lignocellolusic material is a substance that is resistant to be degraded by microorganisms or hydrolysis enzymes. To be used as materials for biofuel production, it needs pretreatment process to improve efficiency of hydrolysis. In this work, chemical pretreatments on rice straw using three diluted organic acids, including acetic acid, citric acid, oxalic acid, were optimized. Using Response Surface Methodology (RSM), the effect of three pretreatment parameters, acid concentration, treatment time, and reaction temperature, on pretreatment efficiency were statistically evaluated. The results indicated that dilute oxalic acid pretreatment led to the highest enhancement of enzymatic saccharification by commercial cellulase and yielded sugar up to 10.67 mg/ml when using 5.04% oxalic acid at 137.11 oC for 30.01 min. Compared to other acid pretreatment by acetic acid, citric acid, and hydrochloric acid, the maximum sugar yields are 7.07, 6.30, and 8.53 mg/ml, respectively. Here, it was demonstrated that organic acids can be used for pretreatment of lignocellulosic materials to enhance of hydrolysis process, which could be integrated to other applications for various biorefinery processes. 

    Hydrothermal Treatment for Production of Aqueous Co-Product and Efficient Oil Extraction from Microalgae

    Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is a technique for obtaining clean biofuel from biomass in the presence of heat and pressure in an aqueous medium which leads to a decomposition of this biomass to the formation of various products. A role of operating conditions is essential for the bio-oil and other products’ yield and also quality of the products. The effects of these parameters were investigated in regards to the composition and yield of the products. Chlorellaceae microalgae were tested under different HTL conditions to clarify suitable conditions for extracting bio-oil together with value-added co-products. Firstly, different microalgae loading rates (5-30%) were tested and found that this parameter has not much significant to product yield. Therefore, 10% microalgae loading rate was selected as a proper economical solution for conditioned schedule at 250oC and 30 min-reaction time. Next, a range of temperature (210-290oC) was applied to verify the effects of each parameter by keeping the reaction time constant at 30 min. The results showed no linkage with the increase of the reaction temperature and some reactions occurred that lead to different product yields. Moreover, some nutrients found in the aqueous product are possible to be utilized for nutrient recovery.

    Selection of Pichia kudriavzevii Strain for the Production of Single-Cell Protein from Cassava Processing Waste
    A total of 115 yeast strains isolated from local cassava processing wastes were measured for crude protein content. Among these strains, the strain MSY-2 possessed the highest protein concentration (>3.5 mg protein/mL). By using molecular identification tools, it was identified to be a strain of Pichia kudriavzevii based on similarity of D1/D2 domain of 26S rDNA region. In this study, to optimize the protein production by MSY-2 strain, Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was applied. The tested parameters were the carbon content, nitrogen content, and incubation time. Here, the value of regression coefficient (R2) = 0.7194 could be explained by the model which is high to support the significance of the model. Under the optimal condition, the protein content was produced up to 3.77 g per L of the culture and MSY-2 strain contains 66.8 g protein per 100 g of cell dry weight. These results revealed the plausibility of applying the novel strain of yeast in single-cell protein production.
    Potential of Lavender (Lavandula vera L.) for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals
    A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of lavender for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The concentrations of Pb, Zn and Cd in lavender (roots, stems, leaves and inflorescences) and in the essential oils of lavender were determined. Lavender is a plant which is tolerant to heavy metals and can be grown on contaminated soils, and which can be referred to the hyperaccumulators of lead and the accumulators of cadmium and zinc, and can be successfully used in the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. Favorable is also the fact that heavy metals do not influence the development of the lavender, as well as on the quality and quantity of the essential oil. The possibility of further industrial processing will make lavender economically interesting crops for farmers of phytoextraction technology.
    Effect on Nutritional and Antioxidant Properties of Yellow Noodles Substituted with Different Levels of Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) Pericarp Powder
    Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) pericarp is considered as agricultural waste and not fully utilized in food products. It is widely reported that mangosteen pericarp contains high antioxidant properties. The objective of this study is to develop novel yellow alkaline noodle (YAN) substituted with different levels of mangosteen pericarp powder (MPP). YAN formulation was substituted with different levels of MPP (0%, 5%, 10% and 15%). The effect on nutritional and antioxidant properties was evaluated. Higher substitution levels of MPP resulted in significant increase (p
    Information Theoretical Analysis of Neural Spiking Activity with Temperature Modulation
    This work assesses the cortical and the sub-cortical neural activity recorded from rodents using entropy and mutual information based approaches to study how hypothermia affects neural activity. By applying the multi-scale entropy and Shannon entropy, we quantify the degree of the regularity embedded in the cortical and sub-cortical neurons and characterize the dependency of entropy of these regions on temperature. We study also the degree of the mutual information on thalamocortical pathway depending on temperature. The latter is most likely an indicator of coupling between these highly connected structures in response to temperature manipulation leading to arousal after global cerebral ischemia.
    Fermentation of Xylose and Glucose Mixture in Intensified Reactors by Scheffersomyces stipitis to Produce Ethanol
    In this work, two fermentations at different temperatures (25 and 30ºC), with cell recycling, were accomplished to produce ethanol, using a mix of commercial substrates, xylose (70%) and glucose (30%), as organic source for Scheffersomyces stipitis. Five consecutive fermentations of 80 g L-1 (1º, 2º and 3º recycles), 96 g L-1 (4º recycle) and 120 g L-1 (5º recycle)reduced sugars led to a final maximum ethanol concentration of 17.2 and 34.5 g L-1, at 25 and 30ºC, respectively. Glucose was the preferred substrate; moreover xylose startup degradation was initiated after a remaining glucose presence in the medium. Results showed that yeast acid treatment, performed before each cycle, provided improvements on cell viability, accompanied by ethanol productivity of 2.16 g L-1 h- 1 at 30ºC. A maximum 36% of xylose was retained in the fermentation medium and after five-cycle fermentation an ethanol yield of 0.43 g ethanol/g sugars was observed. S. stipitis fermentation capacity and tolerance showed better results at 30ºC with 83.4% of theoretical yield referenced on initial biomass.
    Determination and Comparison of Some Elements in Different Types of Orange Juices and Investigation of Health Effects
    Fruit juices play important roles in human health as being a key part of nutrition. Juice and nectar are two categories of drinks with so many variations for consumers, regardless of age, lifestyle and taste preferences, which they can find their favorites. Juices contain 100% pulp when pulp content of ‘nectar’ changes between 25%-50%. In this study, potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and phosphorus (P) contents in orange juice and nectar is determined for conscious consumption. For this purpose inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) is used to find out potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and phosphorus (P) contents in orange juices and nectar. Furthermore, the daily intake of elements from orange juice and nectar that affects human health is also investigated. From the results of experiments K, Mg and P contents are found in orange juice as 1351; 73,25; 89,27 ppm and in orange nectar as 986; 33,76; 51,30 respectively.
    Nutritional Composition of Iranian Desi and Kabuli Chickpea (Cicer Arietinum L.) Cultivars in Autumn Sowing
    The grain quality of chickpea in Iran is low and instable, which may be attributed to the evolution of cultivars with a narrow genetic base making them vulnerable to biotic stresses. Four chickpea varieties from diverse geographic origins were chosen and arranged in a randomized complete block design. Mesorhizobium sp. cicer strain SW7 was added to all the chickpea seeds. Chickpea seeds were planted on October 9, 2013. Each genotype was sown 5 m in length, with 35 cm inter-row spacing, in 3 rows. Weeds were removed manually in all plots. Results showed that Analysis of variance on the studied traits showed significant differences among genotypes for N, P, K and Fe contents of chickpea, but there is not a significant difference among Ca, Zn and Mg continents of chickpea. The experimental coefficient of variation (CV) varied from 7.3 to 15.8. In general, the CV value lower than 20% is considered to be good, indicating the accuracy of conducted experiments. The highest grain N was observed in Hashem and Jam cultivars. The highest grain P was observed in Jam cultivar. Phosphorus content (mg/100g) ranged from 142.3 to 302.3 with a mean value of 221.3. The negative correlation (-0.126) was observed between the N and P of chickpea cultivars. The highest K and Fe contents were observed in Jam cultivar.
    Durian Marker Kit for Durian (Durio zibethinus Murr.) Identity
    Durian is the flagship fruit of Mindanao and there is an abundance of several cultivars with many confusing identities/ names. The project was conducted to develop procedure for reliable and rapid detection and sorting of durian planting materials. Moreover, it is also aimed to establish specific genetic or DNA markers for routine testing and authentication of durian cultivars in question. The project developed molecular procedures for routine testing. SSR primers were also screened and identified for their utility in discriminating durian cultivars collected. Results of the study showed the following accomplishments: 1. Twenty (29) SSR primers were selected and identified based on their ability to discriminate durian cultivars, 2. Optimized and established standard procedure for identification and authentication of Durian cultivars 3. Genetic profile of durian is now available at Biotech Unit Our results demonstrate the relevance of using molecular techniques in evaluating and identifying durian clones. The most polymorphic primers tested in this study could be useful tools for detecting variation even at the early stage of the plant especially for commercial purposes. The process developed combines the efficiency of the microsatellites development process with the optimization of non-radioactive detection process resulting in a user-friendly protocol that can be performed in two (2) weeks and easily incorporated into laboratories about to start microsatellite development projects. This can be of great importance to extend microsatellite analyses to other crop species where minimal genetic information is currently available. With this, the University can now be a service laboratory for routine testing and authentication of durian clones.
    Semi-Automated Tracking of Vibrissal Movements in Free-Moving Rodents Captured by High-Speed Videos
    Quantitative analyses of whisker movements provide a means to study functional recovery and regeneration of mouse facial nerve after an injury. However, accurate tracking of the mouse whisker movement is challenging. Most methods for whisker tracking require manual intervention, e.g. fixing the head of the mouse during a study. Here we describe a semi-automated image processing method, which is applied to high-speed video recordings of free-moving mice to track the whisker movements. We first track the head movement of a mouse by delineating the lower head contour frame-by-frame that allows for detection of the location and orientation of the head. Then, a region of interest is identified for each frame; the subsequent application of a mask and the Hough transform detects the selected whiskers on each side of the head. Our approach is used to examine the functional recovery of damaged facial nerves in mice over a course of 21 days.
    Effects of Boron Compounds in Rabbits Fed High Protein and Energy Diet: A Metabolomic and Transcriptomic Approach
    Current research is targeting new molecular mechanisms that underlie non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and associated metabolic disorders like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Forty New Zealand White rabbits have been used and fed a high protein (HP) and energy diet based on grains and containing 11.76 MJ/kg. Boron added to 3 experimental groups’ drinking waters (30 mg boron/L) as boron compounds. Biochemical analysis including boron levels, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) based metabolomics evaluation, and mRNA expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family was performed. LDLcholesterol concentrations alone were decreased in all the experimental groups. Boron levels in serum and feces were increased. Content of acetate was in about 2x higher for anhydrous borax group, at least 3x higher for boric acid group. PPARα mRNA expression was significantly decreased in boric acid group. Anhydrous borax attenuated mRNA levels of PPARγ, which was further suppressed by boric acid. Boron supplementation decreased the degenerative alterations in hepatocytes. Except borax group other boron groups did not have a pronounced change in tubular epithels of kidney. In conclusion, high protein and energy diet leads hepatocytes’ degenerative changes which can be prevented by boron supplementation. Boric acid seems to be more effective in this situation.
    Cissampelos capensis Rhizome Extract Induces Intracellular ROS Production, Capacitation and DNA Fragmentation in Human Spermatozoa
    More than 3000 plants of notable phyto-therapeutic value grow in South Africa; these include Cissampelos capensis, commonly known in Afrikaans as dawidjie or dawidjiewortel. C. capensis is the most significant and popular medicinal plant used by the Khoisan as well as other rural groups in the Western region of South Africa. Its rhizomes are traditionally used to treat male fertility problems. Yet, no studies have investigated the effects of this plant or its extracts on human spermatozoa. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the effects of C. capensis rhizome extract (CRE) fractions on ejaculated human spermatozoa in vitro. Spermatozoa from a total of 77 semen samples were washed with human tubular fluid medium supplemented with bovine serum albumin (HTF-BSA) and incubated for 2 hours with 20 μg/ml progesterone (P4) followed by incubation with different concentrations (0, 0.05, 0.5, 5, 50, 200 μg/ml) of fractionated CRE (F1=0% MeOH, F2=30% MeOH, F3=60% MeOH and F4=100% MeOH) for 1.5 hours at 37°C. A sample without addition of CRE fractions served as control. Samples were analyzed for sperm motility, reactive oxygen species (ROS), DNA-fragmentation, acrosome reaction and capacitation. Results showed that F1 resulted in significantly higher values for ROS, capacitation and hyper-activation compared to F2, F3, and F4 with P4-stimulated samples generally having higher values. No significant effect was found for the other parameters. In conclusion, alkaloids present in F1 of CRE appear to have triggered sperm intrinsic ROS production leading to sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction induced by P4.
    Bread Quality Improvement with Special Novel Additives

    Presently a significant portion of the Earth's population does not have access to healthy food. Either because they cannot afford it or because they do not know which one are they. The aim of the VII th Framework Chance project (Nr. 266331) supported by the European Union has been to develop relatively cheap food with favourable nutritional value and it should have acceptable quality for consumers. As one task of the project we manufactured bread products as a basic food. We examined the enrichment of bread products with four kinds of bran, with a special milling product of grain industry (aleurone-rich flour) and with a soy-based sprouted additive. The applied concentration of the six mentioned additives has been optimized and the physical properties of the bread products were monitored. The weight/density of the enriched breads increased a bit, however the volume and height decreased slightly compared to the corresponding data of the control bread. The optimized composition of the final product is favourably affected by these additives having highly preferred composition from nutritional point of view.