Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 14

Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering

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  • 14
    Biomolecules Based Microarray for Screening Human Endothelial Cells Behavior

    Endothelial Progenitor Cell (EPC) based therapies continue to be of interest to treat ischemic events based on their proven role to promote blood vessel formation and thus tissue re-vascularisation. Current strategies for the production of clinical-grade EPCs requires the in vitro isolation of EPCs from peripheral blood followed by cell expansion to provide sufficient quantities EPCs for cell therapy. This study aims to examine the use of different biomolecules to significantly improve the current strategy of EPC capture and expansion on collagen type I (Col I). In this study, four different biomolecules were immobilised on a surface and then investigated for their capacity to support EPC capture and proliferation. First, a cell microarray platform was fabricated by coating a glass surface with epoxy functional allyl glycidyl ether plasma polymer (AGEpp) to mediate biomolecule binding. The four candidate biomolecules tested were Col I, collagen type II (Col II), collagen type IV (Col IV) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), which were arrayed on the epoxy-functionalised surface using a non-contact printer. The surrounding area between the printed biomolecules was passivated with polyethylene glycol-bisamine (A-PEG) to prevent non-specific cell attachment. EPCs were seeded onto the microarray platform and cell numbers quantified after 1 h (to determine capture) and 72 h (to determine proliferation). All of the extracellular matrix (ECM) biomolecules printed demonstrated an ability to capture EPCs within 1 h of cell seeding with Col II exhibiting the highest level of attachment when compared to the other biomolecules. Interestingly, Col IV exhibited the highest increase in EPC expansion after 72 h when compared to Col I, Col II and VEGF-A. These results provide information for significant improvement in the capture and expansion of human EPC for further application.

    Passive Neutralization of Acid Mine Drainage Using Locally Produced Limestone

    Neutralisation of acid-mine drainage (AMD) using limestone is cost effective, and good results can be obtained. However, this process has its limitations; it cannot be used for highly acidic water which consists of Fe(III). When Fe(III) reacts with CaCO3, it results in armoring. Armoring slows the reaction, and additional alkalinity can no longer be generated. Limestone is easily accessible, so this problem can be easily dealt with. Experiments were carried out to evaluate the effect of PVC pipe length on ferric and ferrous ions. It was found that the shorter the pipe length the more these dissolved metals precipitate. The effect of the pipe length on the hydrogen ions was also studied, and it was found that these two have an inverse relationship. Experimental data were further compared with the model prediction data to see if they behave in a similar fashion. The model was able to predict the behaviour of 1.5m and 2 m pipes in ferric and ferrous ion precipitation.

    Improving Utilization of Sugarcane by Replacing Ordinary Propagation Material with Small Chips of Sugarcane Planted in Paper Pots
    Sugarcane is an important resource for bioenergy. Fields are usually established by using 15-20 cm pieces of sugarcane stalks as propagation material. An alternative method is to use small chips with nodes from sugarcane stalks. Plants from nodes are often established in plastic pots, but plastic pots could be replaced with biodegradable paper pots. This would be a more sustainable solution, reducing labor costs and avoiding pollution with plastic. We compared the establishment of plants from nodes taken from three different part of the sugarcane plant. The nodes were planted in plastic and paper pots. There was no significant difference between plants established in the two pot types. Nodes from different part of the stalk had different sprouting capacity. Nodes from the top parts sprouted significantly better than nodes taken from the middle or nodes taken closed to the ground in two experiments. Nodes with a length of 3 cm performed better than nodes with a length of 2 cm.
    Influence of Dietary Inclusion of Butyric Acids, Calcium Formate, Organic Acids and Its Salts on Rabbits Productive Performance, Carcass Traits and Meat Quality
    Animal nutritionists and scientists have searched for alternative measures to improve the production. One of such alternative is use of organic acids as feed additive in animal nutrition. The study was conducted to investigate the impact of butyric acids, calcium formate, organic acids, and its salts (BCOS) additives on rabbit’s productive performance, carcass traits and meat quality. The study was conducted with 14 Californian breed rabbits. The rabbits were assigned to two treatment groups (seven rabbits per each treatment group). The dietary treatments were 1) control diet, 2) diet supplemented with a mixture BCOS - 2 kg/t of feed. Growth performance characteristics (body weight, daily weight gain, daily feed intake, feed conversion ratio, mortality) were evaluated. Rabbits were slaughtered; carcass characteristics and meat quality were evaluated. Samples loin and hind leg meat were analysed to determine carcass characteristics, pH and colour measurements, cholesterol, and malonyldialdehyde (MDA) content in loin and hind leg meat. Differences between treatments were significant for body weight (1.30 vs. 1.36 kg; P<0.05), daily weight gain (16.60 vs. 17.85 g; P<0.05), and daily feed intake (78.25 vs. 80.58 g; P<0.05) for control and experimental group respectively for the entire experimental period (from 28–77 days old). No significant differences were found in feed conversion ratio and mortality. The feed additives insertion in the diets did not significantly influence the carcass yield or the proportions of the various carcass parts and organs. Differences between treatments were significant for pH value after 48h in loin (5.86 vs. 5.74; P<0.05), hind leg meat (6.62 vs. 6.65; P<0.05), more intense colour b* of loin (5.57 vs. 6.06; P<0.05), less intense colour a* (14.99 vs. 13.15; P<0.05) in hind leg meat. Cholesterol content in hind leg meat decreased by 17.67 mg/100g compared to control group (P<0.05). After storage for three months, MDA concentration decreased in loin and hind leg meat by 0.3 μmol/kg and 0.26 μmol/kg respectively compared to that of the control group (P<0.05). The results of this study suggest that BCOS could potentially be used in rabbit nutrition with consequent benefits on the rabbits’ productivity and nutritional quality of rabbit meat for consumers.
    Nutritional Value Determination of Different Varieties of Oats and Barley Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Method for the Horses Nutrition

    In horse nutrition, the most suitable cereal for their rations composition could be defined as oats and barley. Oats have high nutritive value because it provides more protein, fiber, iron and zinc than other whole grains, has good taste, and an activity of stimulating metabolic changes in the body. Another cereal – barley is very similar to oats as a feed except for some characteristics that affect how it is used; however, barley is lower in fiber than oats and is classified as a "heavy" feed. The value of oats and barley grain, first of all is dependent on its composition. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has long been considered and used as a significant method in component and quality analysis and as an emerging technology for authenticity applications for cereal quality control. This paper presents the chemical and amino acid composition of different varieties of barley and oats, also digestible energy of different cereals for horses. Ten different spring barley (n = 5) and oats (n = 5) varieties, grown in one location in Lithuania, were assayed for their chemical composition (dry matter, crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, crude fiber, starch) and amino acids content, digestible amino acids and amino acids digestibility. Also, the grains digestible energy for horses was calculated. The oats and barley samples reflectance spectra were measured by means of NIRS using Foss-Tecator DS2500 equipment. The chemical components: fat, crude protein, starch and fiber differed statistically (P<0.05) between the oats and barley varieties. The highest total amino acid content between oats was determined in variety Flamingsprofi (4.56 g/kg) and the lowest – variety Circle (3.57 g/kg), and between barley - respectively in varieties Publican (3.50 g/kg) and Sebastian (3.11 g/kg). The different varieties of oats digestible amino acid content varied from 3.11 g/kg to 4.07 g/kg; barley different varieties varied from 2.59 g/kg to 2.94 g/kg. The average amino acids digestibility of oats varied from 74.4% (Liz) to 95.6% (Fen) and in barley - from 75.8 % (Tre) to 89.6% (Fen). The amount of digestible energy in the analyzed varieties of oats and barley was an average compound 13.74 MJ/kg DM and 14.85 MJ/kg DM, respectively. An analysis of the results showed that different varieties of oats compared with barley are preferable for horse nutrition according to the crude fat, crude fiber, ash and separate amino acids content, but the analyzed barley varieties dominated the higher amounts of crude protein, the digestible Liz amount and higher DE content, and thus, could be recommended for making feed formulation for horses combining oats and barley, taking into account the chemical composition of using cereal varieties.

    Jamun Juice Extraction Using Commercial Enzymes and Optimization of the Treatment with the Help of Physicochemical, Nutritional and Sensory Properties
    Jamun (Syzygium cuminii L.) is one of the important indigenous minor fruit with high medicinal value. The jamun cultivation is unorganized and there is huge loss of this fruit every year. The perishable nature of the fruit makes its postharvest management further difficult. Due to the strong cell wall structure of pectin-protein bonds and hard seeds, extraction of juice becomes difficult. Enzymatic treatment has been commercially used for improvement of juice quality with high yield. The objective of the study was to optimize the best treatment method for juice extraction. Enzymes (Pectinase and Tannase) from different stains had been used and for each enzyme, best result obtained by using response surface methodology. Optimization had been done on the basis of physicochemical property, nutritional property, sensory quality and cost estimation. According to quality aspect, cost analysis and sensory evaluation, the optimizing enzymatic treatment was obtained by Pectinase from Aspergillus aculeatus strain. The optimum condition for the treatment was 44 oC with 80 minute with a concentration of 0.05% (w/w). At these conditions, 75% of yield with turbidity of 32.21NTU, clarity of 74.39%T, polyphenol content of 115.31 mg GAE/g, protein content of 102.43 mg/g have been obtained with a significant difference in overall acceptability.
    Decolorization and Phenol Removal of Palm Oil Mill Effluent by Termite-Associated Yeast
    A huge of dark color palm oil mill effluent (POME) cannot pass the discharge standard. It has been identified as the major contributor to the pollution load into ground water. Here, lignin-degrading yeast isolated from a termite nest was tested to treat the POME. Its lignin-degrading and decolorizing ability was determined. The result illustrated that Galactomyces sp. was successfully grown in POME. The decolorizing test demonstrated that 40% of Galactomyces sp. could reduce the color of POME (50% v/v) about 74-75% in 5 days without nutrient supplement. The result suggested that G. reessii has a potential to apply for decolorizing the dark wastewater like POME and other industrial wastewaters.
    Thermodynamic Analyses of Information Dissipation along the Passive Dendritic Trees and Active Action Potential

    Brain information transmission in the neuronal network occurs in the form of electrical signals. Neural work transmits information between the neurons or neurons and target cells by moving charged particles in a voltage field; a fraction of the energy utilized in this process is dissipated via entropy generation. Exergy loss and entropy generation models demonstrate the inefficiencies of the communication along the dendritic trees. In this study, neurons of 4 different animals were analyzed with one dimensional cable model with N=6 identical dendritic trees and M=3 order of symmetrical branching. Each branch symmetrically bifurcates in accordance with the 3/2 power law in an infinitely long cylinder with the usual core conductor assumptions, where membrane potential is conserved in the core conductor at all branching points. In the model, exergy loss and entropy generation rates are calculated for each branch of equivalent cylinders of electrotonic length (L) ranging from 0.1 to 1.5 for four different dendritic branches, input branch (BI), and sister branch (BS) and two cousin branches (BC-1 & BC-2). Thermodynamic analysis with the data coming from two different cat motoneuron studies show that in both experiments nearly the same amount of exergy is lost while generating nearly the same amount of entropy. Guinea pig vagal motoneuron loses twofold more exergy compared to the cat models and the squid exergy loss and entropy generation were nearly tenfold compared to the guinea pig vagal motoneuron model. Thermodynamic analysis show that the dissipated energy in the dendritic tress is directly proportional with the electrotonic length, exergy loss and entropy generation. Entropy generation and exergy loss show variability not only between the vertebrate and invertebrates but also within the same class. Concurrently, single action potential Na+ ion load, metabolic energy utilization and its thermodynamic aspect contributed for squid giant axon and mammalian motoneuron model. Energy demand is supplied to the neurons in the form of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Exergy destruction and entropy generation upon ATP hydrolysis are calculated. ATP utilization, exergy destruction and entropy generation showed differences in each model depending on the variations in the ion transport along the channels.

    Adaptive Responses of Carum copticum to in vitro Salt Stress

    Salinity is one of the most widespread agricultural problems in arid and semi-arid areas that limits the plant growth and crop productivity. In this study, the salt stress effects on protein, reducing sugar, proline contents and antioxidant enzymes activities of Carum copticum L. under in vitro conditions were studied. Seeds of C. copticum were cultured in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 0, 25, 50, 100 and 150 mM NaCl and calli were cultured in MS medium containing 1 μM 2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, 4 μM benzyl amino purine and different levels of NaCl (0, 25, 50, 100 and 150 mM). After NaCl treatment for 28 days, the proline and reducing sugar contents of shoots, roots and calli increased significantly in relation to the severity of the salt stress. The highest amount of proline and carbohydrate were observed at 150 and 100 mM NaCl, respectively. The reducing sugar accumulation in shoots was the highest as compared to roots, whereas, proline contents did not show any significant difference in roots and shoots under salt stress. The results showed significant reduction of protein contents in seedlings and calli. Based on these results, proteins extracted from the shoots, roots and calli of C. copticum treated with 150 mM NaCl showed the lowest contents. The positive relationships were observed between activity of antioxidant enzymes and the increase in stress levels. Catalase, ascorbate peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activity increased significantly under salt concentrations in comparison to the control. These results suggest that the accumulation of proline and sugars, and activation of antioxidant enzymes play adaptive roles in the adaptation of seedlings and callus of C. copticum to saline conditions.

    Impact of HIV/AIDS on Food Security in Pala Sub-Location, Bondo District, Kenya

    Background: HIV/AIDS is leading to the loss of labor through sickness and subsequent death, this is leading to the neglect of farm and off-farm activities, with the subsequent loss of potential income and food security. The situation is sensitive to seasonal labour peaks in agriculture. This study was done to determine the impact of high HIV prevalence in farming systems and food security in Pala Bondo District, Kenya. Methods: In this study, 386 respondents were randomly chosen in Pala Sub-Location. The respondents and key informants were interviewed using structured questionnaire. The data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16. Results: It was established that majority of respondents (67%) were between 18 and 35 years {χ2 = (1, N = 386) = 13.430, p = 0.000} (chimney effect). The study also established that 83.5% of respondents were married {χ2 = (1, N= 370) = 166.277 p = 0.000} and predominant occupation being farming and fishing (61%), while 52.8% of farm labour was by hand, 26% by oxen, and 4.9% mechanized. 73.2% of respondents only farm 0.25 to 2 acres, 48% mentioned lack of labour in land preparation {χ2 ((1,N = 321) = 113.146, p = 0.000), in planting {χ2 (1, N = 321) = 29.28, p = 0.000}. Majority of respondents lack food from January to June, during which 93% buy food. Conclusion: The high HIV prevalence in Pala has affected the farm labour leading to food insecurity.

    Evaluation of Disease Risk Variables in the Control of Bovine Tuberculosis
    In this study, due to the recurrence of bovine tuberculosis, in the same areas, the risk factors for the disease were determined and evaluated at the local level. This study was carried out in 32 farms where the disease was detected in the district and center of Samsun province in 2014. Predetermined risk factors, such as farm, environmental and economic risks, were investigated with the survey method. It was predetermined that risks in the three groups are similar to the risk variables of the disease on the global scale. These risk factors that increase the susceptibility of the infection must be understood by the herd owners. The risk-based contagious disease management system approach should be applied for bovine tuberculosis by farmers, animal health professionals and public and private sector decision makers.
    Aerobic Bioprocess Control Using Artificial Intelligence Techniques
    This paper deals with the design of an intelligent control structure for a bioprocess of Hansenula polymorpha yeast cultivation. The objective of the process control is to produce biomass in a desired physiological state. The work demonstrates that the designed Hybrid Control Techniques (HCT) are able to recognize specific evolution bioprocess trajectories using neural networks trained specifically for this purpose, in order to estimate the model parameters and to adjust the overall bioprocess evolution through an expert system and a fuzzy structure. The design of the control algorithm as well as its tuning through realistic simulations is presented. Taking into consideration the synergism of different paradigms like fuzzy logic, neural network, and symbolic artificial intelligence (AI), in this paper we present a real and fulfilled intelligent control architecture with application in bioprocess control.
    Influence of Chelators, Zn Sulphate and Silicic Acid on Productivity and Meat Quality of Fattening Pigs

    The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of special additives such as chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid on productivity parameters, carcass characteristics and meat quality of fattening pigs. The test started with 40 days old fattening pigs (mongrel (mother) and Yorkshire (father)) and lasted up to 156 days of age. During the fattening period, 32 pigs were divided into 2 groups (control and experimental) with 4 replicates (total of 8 pens).  The pigs were fed for 16 weeks’ ad libitum with a standard wheat-barley-soybean meal compound (Control group) supplemented with chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid (dosage 2 kg/t of feed, Experimental group). Meat traits in live pigs were measured by ultrasonic equipment Piglog 105. The results obtained throughout the experimental period suggest that supplementation of chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid tend to positively affect average daily gain and feed conversion ratio of pigs for fattening (p < 0.05). Pigs’ evaluation with Piglog 105 showed that thickness of fat in the first and second point was by 4% and 3% respectively higher in comparison to the control group (p < 0.05). Carcass weight, yield, and length, also thickness of fat showed no significant difference among the groups. The water holding capacity of meat in Experimental group was lower by 5.28%, and tenderness – lower by 12% compared with that of the pigs in the Control group (p < 0.05). Regarding pigs’ meat chemical composition of the experimental group, a statistically significant difference comparing with the data of the control group was not determined. Cholesterol concentration in muscles of pigs fed diets supplemented with chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid was lower by 7.93 mg/100 g of muscle in comparison to that of the control group. These results suggest that supplementation of chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid in the feed for fattening pigs had significant effect on pigs growing performance and meat quality.

    Effect of Phosphate and Zinc Biofertilizers on Seed Yield and Molar Ratio of Phytic Acid to Zinc in Two Cultivars of Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

    In order to evaluate the effect of phosphate and Zn bio-fertilizers on the yield, phytic acid (PA), Zn concentration and PA/Zn molar ratio in bean, a field experiment was carried out for two years. The treatments included two cultivars of bean (Talash and Sadri), four levels of P (P0, P1: 100 kg ha-1 triple super phosphate (TSP), P2: 50 kg ha-1 TSP + phosphate bio-fertilizer, P3: phosphate bio-fertilizer), three levels of Zn (Zn0, Zn1: 50 kg ha-1 ZnSO4, Zn2: Zn bio-fertilizer). Phosphate bio-fertilizer consisted of inoculum of mycorrhizal fungus and Azotobacter and Zn bio-fertilizer consisted of Pseudomonas bacteria. The results revealed that there was significant difference between yield and Zn concentration between years. The effect of cultivar was significant on studied parameters. The lowest content of PA and PA/Zn were obtained from Talash. P treatment caused to significant difference on parameters in which P2 caused to increase yield, P and Zn concentration, and decrease PA and PA/Zn by 21.8%, 38.2%, 33.4%, 17.4% and 38.6% respectively. Zn treatment caused to significant difference on studied parameters. The maximum number of parameters were obtained from Zn1 and Zn2. The higher Zn concentration led to lower content of PA and PA/Zn. Using of P and Zn bio–fertilizers were caused to increasing nutrient uptake, improving growth condition and reducing PA and PA/Zn molar ratio.