Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 218

Biotechnology and Bioengineering

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.
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.

Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis Method to Assess Rumen Microbial Diversity of Ruminant

Rumen degradation characteristic of feedstuff is one of the prominent factors affecting microbial population in rumen of animal. High rumen degradation rate of faba bean protein may lead to inconstant rumen conditions that could have a prominent impact on rumen microbial diversity. Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis (ARDRA) is utilized to monitor diversity of rumen microbes on sheep fed low quality forage supplemented by faba beans. Four mature merino sheep with existing rumen cannula were used in this study according to 4 x 4 Latin square design. The results of study indicated that there were 37 different ARDRA types identified out of 136 clones examined. Among those clones, five main clone types existed across the treatments with different percentages. In conclusion, the ARDRA method is potential to be used as a routine tool to assess the temporary changes in the rumen community as a result of different feeding strategies.

Stimulation of Stevioside Accumulation on Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Shoot Culture Induced with Red LED Light in TIS RITA® Bioreactor System

Leaves of Stevia rebaudiana contain steviol glycoside which mainly comprise of stevioside, a natural sweetener compound that is 100-300 times sweeter than sucrose. Current cultivation method of Stevia rebaudiana in Indonesia has yet to reach its optimum efficiency and productivity to produce stevioside as a safe sugar substitute sweetener for people with diabetes. An alternative method that is not limited by environmental factor is in vitro temporary immersion system (TIS) culture method using recipient for automated immersion (RITA®) bioreactor. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of red LED light induction towards shoot growth and stevioside accumulation in TIS RITA® bioreactor system, as an endeavour to increase the secondary metabolite synthesis. The result showed that the stevioside accumulation in TIS RITA® bioreactor system induced with red LED light for one hour during night was higher than that in TIS RITA® bioreactor system without red LED light induction, i.e. 71.04 ± 5.36 μg/g and 42.92 ± 5.40 μg/g respectively. Biomass growth rate reached as high as 0.072 ± 0.015/day for red LED light induced TIS RITA® bioreactor system, whereas TIS RITA® bioreactor system without induction was only 0.046 ± 0.003/day. Productivity of Stevia rebaudiana shoots induced with red LED light was 0.065 g/L medium/day, whilst shoots without any induction was 0.041 g/L medium/day. Sucrose, salt, and inorganic consumption in both bioreactor media increased as biomass increased. It can be concluded that Stevia rebaudiana shoot in TIS RITA® bioreactor induced with red LED light produces biomass and accumulates higher stevioside concentration, in comparison to bioreactor without any light induction.

Production and Purification of Monosaccharides by Hydrolysis of Sugar Cane Bagasse in an Ionic Liquid Medium

The conversion of lignocellulosic waste materials, such as sugar cane bagasse, to biofuels such as ethanol has attracted significant interest as a potential element for transforming transport fuel supplies to totally renewable sources. However, the refractory nature of the cellulosic structure of lignocellulosic materials has impeded progress on developing an economic process, whereby the cellulose component may be effectively broken down to glucose monosaccharides and then purified to allow downstream fermentation. Ionic liquid (IL) treatment of lignocellulosic biomass has been shown to disrupt the crystalline structure of cellulose thus potentially enabling the cellulose to be more readily hydrolysed to monosaccharides. Furthermore, conventional hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials yields byproducts that are inhibitors for efficient fermentation of the monosaccharides. However, selective extraction of monosaccharides from an aqueous/IL phase into an organic phase utilizing a combination of boronic acids and quaternary amines has shown promise as a purification process. Hydrolysis of sugar cane bagasse immersed in an aqueous solution with IL (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate) was conducted at different pH and temperature below 100 ºC. It was found that the use of a high concentration of hydrochloric acid to acidify the solution inhibited the hydrolysis of bagasse. At high pH (i.e. basic conditions), using sodium hydroxide, catalyst yields were reduced for total reducing sugars (TRS) due to the rapid degradation of the sugars formed. For purification trials, a supported liquid membrane (SLM) apparatus was constructed, whereby a synthetic solution containing xylose and glucose in an aqueous IL phase was transported across a membrane impregnated with phenyl boronic acid/Aliquat 336 to an aqueous phase. The transport rate of xylose was generally higher than that of glucose indicating that a SLM scheme may not only be useful for purifying sugars from undesirable toxic compounds, but also for fractionating sugars to improve fermentation efficiency.

A Comparative Study on Biochar from Slow Pyrolysis of Corn Cob and Cassava Wastes

Biomass such as corn and cassava wastes if left to decay will release significant quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG) including carbon dioxide and methane. The biomass wastes can be converted into biochar via thermochemical process such as slow pyrolysis. This approach can reduce the biomass wastes as well as preserve its carbon content. Biochar has the potential to be used as a carbon sequester and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome in order to identify their potential as pyrolysis feedstocks for biochar production. This was achieved by using the proximate and elemental analyses as well as calorific value and lignocellulosic determination. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar produced. A fixed bed slow pyrolysis reactor was used to pyrolyze the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome. The pyrolysis temperatures were varied between 400 °C and 600 °C, while the heating rate and the holding time were fixed at 5 °C/min and 1 hour, respectively. Corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome were found to be suitable feedstocks for pyrolysis process because they contained a high percentage of volatile matter more than 80 mf wt.%. All the three feedstocks contained low nitrogen and sulphur content less than 1 mf wt.%. Therefore, during the pyrolysis process, the feedstocks give off very low rate of GHG such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Independent of the types of biomass, the percentage of biochar yield is inversely proportional to the pyrolysis temperature. The highest biochar yield for each studied temperature is from slow pyrolysis of cassava rhizome as the feedstock contained the highest percentage of ash compared to the other two feedstocks. The percentage of fixed carbon in all the biochars increased as the pyrolysis temperature increased. The increment of pyrolysis temperature from 400 °C to 600 °C increased the fixed carbon of corn cob biochar, cassava stem biochar and cassava rhizome biochar by 26.35%, 10.98%, and 6.20% respectively. Irrespective of the pyrolysis temperature, all the biochars produced were found to contain more than 60 mf wt.% fixed carbon content, much higher than its feedstocks.

From Primer Generation to Chromosome Identification: A Primer Generation Genotyping Method for Bacterial Identification and Typing

A challenge for laboratories is to provide bacterial identification and antibiotic sensitivity results within a short time. Hence, advancement in the required technology is desirable to improve timing, accuracy and quality. Even with the current advances in methods used for both phenotypic and genotypic identification of bacteria the need is there to develop method(s) that enhance the outcome of bacteriology laboratories in accuracy and time. The hypothesis introduced here is based on the assumption that the chromosome of any bacteria contains unique sequences that can be used for its identification and typing. The outcome of a pilot study designed to test this hypothesis is reported in this manuscript. Methods: The complete chromosome sequences of several bacterial species were downloaded to use as search targets for unique sequences. Visual basic and SQL server (2014) were used to generate a complete set of 18-base long primers, a process started with reverse translation of randomly chosen 6 amino acids to limit the number of the generated primers. In addition, the software used to scan the downloaded chromosomes using the generated primers for similarities was designed, and the resulting hits were classified according to the number of similar chromosomal sequences, i.e., unique or otherwise. Results: All primers that had identical/similar sequences in the selected genome sequence(s) were classified according to the number of hits in the chromosomes search. Those that were identical to a single site on a single bacterial chromosome were referred to as unique. On the other hand, most generated primers sequences were identical to multiple sites on a single or multiple chromosomes. Following scanning, the generated primers were classified based on ability to differentiate between medically important bacterial and the initial results looks promising. Conclusion: A simple strategy that started by generating primers was introduced; the primers were used to screen bacterial genomes for match. Primer(s) that were uniquely identical to specific DNA sequence on a specific bacterial chromosome were selected. The identified unique sequence can be used in different molecular diagnostic techniques, possibly to identify bacteria. In addition, a single primer that can identify multiple sites in a single chromosome can be exploited for region or genome identification. Although genomes sequences draft of isolates of organism DNA enable high throughput primer design using alignment strategy, and this enhances diagnostic performance in comparison to traditional molecular assays. In this method the generated primers can be used to identify an organism before the draft sequence is completed. In addition, the generated primers can be used to build a bank for easy access of the primers that can be used to identify bacteria.

Fatty Acid Extracts of Sea Pen (Virgularia gustaviana) and Their Potential Applications as Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Anti-Inflammatory Agents

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

Metabolomics Profile Recognition for Cancer Diagnostics
Metabolomics has become a rising field of research for various diseases, particularly cancer. Increases or decreases in metabolite concentrations in the human body are indicative of various cancers. Further elucidation of metabolic pathways and their significance in cancer research may greatly spur medicinal discovery. We analyzed the metabolomics profiles of lung cancer. Thirty-three metabolites were selected as significant. These metabolites are involved in 37 metabolic pathways delivered by MetaboAnalyst software. The top pathways are glyoxylate and dicarboxylate pathway (its hubs are formic acid and glyoxylic acid) along with Citrate cycle pathway followed by Taurine and hypotaurine pathway (the hubs in the latter are taurine and sulfoacetaldehyde) and Glycine, serine, and threonine pathway (the hubs are glycine and L-serine). We studied interactions of the metabolites with the proteins involved in cancer-related signaling networks, and developed an approach to metabolomics biomarker use in cancer diagnostics. Our analysis showed that a significant part of lung-cancer-related metabolites interacts with main cancer-related signaling pathways present in this network: PI3K–mTOR–AKT pathway, RAS–RAF–ERK1/2 pathway, and NFKB pathway. These results can be employed for use of metabolomics profiles in elucidation of the related cancer proteins signaling networks.
Fabrication of Immune-Affinity Monolithic Array for Detection of α-Fetoprotein and Carcinoembryonic Antigen
In this paper, we presented a highly sensitive immune-affinity monolithic array for detection of α-fetoprotein (AFP) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). Firstly, the epoxy functionalized monolith arrays were fabricated using UV initiated copolymerization method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image showed that the poly(BABEA-co-GMA) monolith exhibited a well-controlled skeletal and well-distributed porous structure. Then, AFP and CEA immune-affinity monolithic arrays were prepared by immobilization of AFP and CEA antibodies on epoxy functionalized monolith arrays. With a non-competitive immune response format, the presented AFP and CEA immune-affinity arrays were demonstrated as an inexpensive, flexible, homogeneous and stable array for detection of AFP and CEA.
Impact of Gold and Silver Nanoparticles on Terrestrial Flora and Microorganisms

Despite the rapid nanotechnology progress and recognition, its potential impact in ecosystems and health of humans is still not fully known. In this paper, the study of ecotoxicological dangers of nanomaterials is presented. By chemical reduction method, silver (AgNPs) and gold (AuNPs) nanoparticles were synthesized, characterized and used in experiments to examine their impact on microorganisms (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans) and terrestrial flora (Phaseolus vulgaris and Lepidium sativum). The results collected during experiments with terrestrial flora show tendentious growth stimulations caused by gold nanoparticles. In contrast to these results, silver nanoparticle solutions inhibited growth of beans and garden cress, compared to control samples. The results obtained from experiments with microorganisms show similarities with ones collected from experiments with terrestrial plants. Samples treated with AuNPs of size 13 nm showed stimulation in the growth of the colonies compared with 3,5 nm size nanoparticles.

Extracts of Cola acuminata, Lupinus arboreus and Bougainvillea spectabilis as Natural Photosensitizers for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Organic dyes from Cola acuminata (C. acuminata), Lupinus arboreus (L. arboreus) and Bougainvillea spectabilis (B. spectabilis) leaves and their mixtures were used as sensitizers to manufacture dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). Photoelectric measurements of C. acuminata showed a short circuit current (Jsc) of 0.027 mA/ cm2, 0.026 mA/ cm2 and 0.018 mA/ cm2 with a mixture of mercury chloride and iodine (Hgcl2 + I); potassium bromide and iodine (KBr + I); and potassium chloride and iodine (KCl + I) respectively. The open circuit voltage (Voc) was 24 mV, 25 mV and 20 mV for the three dyes respectively. L. arboreus had Jsc of 0.034 mA/ cm2, 0.021 mA/ cm2 and 0.013 mA/ cm2; and corresponding Voc of 28 mV, 14.2 mV and 15 mV for the three electrolytes respectively. B. spectabilis recorded Jsc 0.023 mA/ cm2, 0.026 mA/ cm2 and 0.015 mA/ cm2; and corresponding Voc values of 6.2 mV, 14.3 mV and 4.0 mV for the three electrolytes respectively. It was observed that the fill factor (FF) was 0.140 for C. acuminata, 0.3198 for L. arboreus and 0.1138 for B. spectabilis. Internal conversions of 0.096%, 0.056% and 0.063% were recorded for three dyes when combined with (KBr + I) electrolyte. The internal efficiency of C. acuminata DSSC was highest in value.
Biosensor Design through Molecular Dynamics Simulation

The beginning of 21st century has witnessed new advancements in the design and use of new materials for biosensing applications, from nano to macro, protein to tissue. Traditional analytical methods lack a complete toolset to describe the complexities introduced by living systems, pathological relations, discrete hierarchical materials, cross-phase interactions, and structure-property dependencies. Materiomics – via systematic molecular dynamics (MD) simulation – can provide structureprocess- property relations by using a materials science approach linking mechanisms across scales and enables oriented biosensor design. With this approach, DNA biosensors can be utilized to detect disease biomarkers present in individuals’ breath such as acetone for diabetes. Our wireless sensor array based on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-decorated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) has successfully detected trace amount of various chemicals in vapor differentiated by pattern recognition. Here, we present how MD simulation can revolutionize the way of design and screening of DNA aptamers for targeting biomarkers related to oral diseases and oral health monitoring. It demonstrates great potential to be utilized to build a library of DNDA sequences for reliable detection of several biomarkers of one specific disease, and as well provides a new methodology of creating, designing, and applying of biosensors.

Noninvasive Disease Diagnosis through Breath Analysis Using DNA-Functionalized SWNT Sensor Array

Noninvasive diagnostics of diseases via breath analysis has attracted considerable scientific and clinical interest for many years and become more and more promising with the rapid advancements in nanotechnology and biotechnology. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath, which are mainly blood borne, particularly provide highly valuable information about individuals’ physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Additionally, breath analysis is noninvasive, real-time, painless, and agreeable to patients. We have developed a wireless sensor array based on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) for the detection of a number of physiological indicators in breath. Seven DNA sequences were used to functionalize SWNT sensors to detect trace amount of methanol, benzene, dimethyl sulfide, hydrogen sulfide, acetone, and ethanol, which are indicators of heavy smoking, excessive drinking, and diseases such as lung cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes. Our test results indicated that DNA functionalized SWNT sensors exhibit great selectivity, sensitivity, and repeatability; and different molecules can be distinguished through pattern recognition enabled by this sensor array. Furthermore, the experimental sensing results are consistent with the Molecular Dynamics simulated ssDNAmolecular target interaction rankings. Thus, the DNA-SWNT sensor array has great potential to be applied in chemical or biomolecular detection for the noninvasive diagnostics of diseases and personal health monitoring.

In vitro Environmental Factors Controlling Root Morphological Traits of Pineapple (Ananas comosus L. Merr)
Developing our knowledge of when pineapple roots grow can lead to improved water, fertilizer applications, and more precise culture management. This paper presents current understanding of morphological traits in pineapple roots, highlighting studies using incubation periods and various solid MS media treated with different sucrose concentrations and pH, which directly assess in vitro environmental factors. Rooting parameters had different optimal sucrose concentrations and incubation periods. All shoots failed to root in medium supplemented with sucrose at 5 g/L and no roots formed within the first 45 days in medium enriched with sucrose at 10 g/L. After 75 days, all shoots rooted in medium enriched with 10 and 20 g/L sucrose. Moreover, MS medium supplied with 20 g/L sucrose resulted in the longest and the highest number of roots with 27.3 mm and 4.7, respectively. Root function, such as capacity for P and N uptake, declined rapidly with root length. As a result, the longer the incubation period, the better the rooting responses would be.
Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Lyophilization Using Vacuum-Induced Freezing
Lyophilization, also called freeze-drying, is an important dehydration technique mainly used for pharmaceuticals. Food industry also uses lyophilization when it is important to retain most of the nutritional quality, taste, shape and size of dried products and to extend their shelf life. Vacuum-Induced during freezing cycle (VI) has been used in order to control ice nucleation and, consequently, to reduce the time of primary drying cycle of pharmaceuticals preserving quality properties of the final product. This procedure has not been applied in freeze drying of foods. The present work aims to investigate the effect of VI on the lyophilization drying time, final moisture content, density and reconstitutional properties of mango (Mangifera indica L.) slices (MS) and mango pulp-maltodextrin dispersions (MPM) (30% concentration of total solids). Control samples were run at each freezing rate without using induced vacuum. The lyophilization endpoint was the same for all treatments (constant difference between capacitance and Pirani vacuum gauges). From the experimental results it can be concluded that at the high freezing rate (0.4°C/min) reduced the overall process time up to 30% comparing process time required for the control and VI of the lower freeze rate (0.1°C/min) without affecting the quality characteristics of the dried product, which yields a reduction in costs and energy consumption for MS and MPM freeze drying. Controls and samples treated with VI at freezing rate of 0.4°C/min in MS showed similar results in moisture and density parameters. Furthermore, results from MPM dispersion showed favorable values when VI was applied because dried product with low moisture content and low density was obtained at shorter process time compared with the control. There were not found significant differences between reconstitutional properties (rehydration for MS and solubility for MPM) of freeze dried mango resulting from controls, and VI treatments.
Power Ultrasound Application on Convective Drying of Banana (Musa paradisiaca), Mango (Mangifera indica L.) and Guava (Psidium guajava L.)
High moisture content in fruits generates post-harvest problems such as mechanical, biochemical, microbial and physical losses. Dehydration, which is based on the reduction of water activity of the fruit, is a common option for overcoming such losses. However, regular hot air drying could affect negatively the quality properties of the fruit due to the long residence time at high temperature. Power ultrasound (US) application during the convective drying has been used as a novel method able to enhance drying rate and, consequently, to decrease drying time. In the present study, a new approach was tested to evaluate the effect of US on the drying time, the final antioxidant activity (AA) and the total polyphenol content (TPC) of banana slices (BS), mango slices (MS) and guava slices (GS). There were also studied the drying kinetics with nine different models from which water effective diffusivities (Deff) (with or without shrinkage corrections) were calculated. Compared with the corresponding control tests, US assisted drying for fruit slices showed reductions in drying time between 16.23 and 30.19%, 11.34 and 32.73%, and 19.25 and 47.51% for the MS, BS and GS respectively. Considering shrinkage effects, Deff calculated values ranged from 1.67*10-10 to 3.18*10-10 m2/s, 3.96*10-10 and 5.57*10-10 m2/s and 4.61*10-10 to 8.16*10-10 m2/s for the BS, MS and GS samples respectively. Reductions of TPC and AA (as DPPH) were observed compared with the original content in fresh fruit data in all kinds of drying assays.
Preliminary Dosimetric Evaluation of a New Therapeutic 177Lu Complex for Human Based on Biodistribution Data in Rats
Abstract—[Tris (1,10-phenanthroline) lanthanum(III)] trithiocyanate is a new compound that has shown high ability for stopping the synthesis of DNA and also acting as a photosensitizer. Nowadays, the radiation dose assessment resource (RADAR) method is known as the most common method for absorbed dose calculation. 177Lu was produced by (n, gamma) reaction in a research reactor. 177Lu-PL3 was prepared in the optimized condition. The radiochemical yield was checked by ITLC method. The biodistribution of the complex was investigated by intravenously injection to wild-type rats via their tail veins. In this study, the absorbed dose of 177Lu-PL3 to human organs was estimated by RADAR method. 177Lu was prepared with a specific activity of 2.6-3 GBq.mg-1 and radionuclide purity of 99.98 %. Final preparation of the radiolabelled complex showed high radiochemical purity of > 99%. The results show that liver and spleen have received the highest absorbed dose of 1.051 and 0.441 mSv/MBq, respectively. The absorbed dose values for these two dose-limiting tissues suggest more biological studies special in tumor-bearing animals.
The Construction of a Probiotic Lactic Acid Bacterium Expressing Acid-Resistant Phytase Enzyme
The use of probiotics engineered to express specific enzymes has been the subject of considerable attention in poultry industry because of increased nutrient availability and reduced cost of enzyme supplementation. Phytase enzyme is commonly added to poultry feed to improve digestibility and availability of phosphorus from plant sources. To construct a probiotic with potential of phytate degradation, phytase gene (appA) from E. coli was cloned and transformed into two probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactococcus lactis. L. salivarous showed plasmid instability, unable to express the gene. The expression of appA gene in L. lactis was analyzed by detecting specific RNA and zymography assay. Phytase enzyme was isolated from cellular extracts of recombinant L. lactis, showing a 46 kDa band upon the SDS-PAGE analysis. Zymogram also confirmed the phytase activity of the 46 kDa band corresponding to the enzyme. An enzyme activity of 4.9U/ml was obtained in cell extracts of L. lactis. The growth of native and recombinant L. lactis was similar in the presence of two concentrations of ox bile.
Analysis of DNA from Fired Cartridge Casings
DNA analysis has been widely accepted as providing valuable evidence concerning the identity of the source of biological traces. Our work has showed that DNA samples can survive on cartridges even after firing. The study also raised the possibility of determining other information such as the age of the donor. Such information may be invaluable in certain cases where spent cartridges from automatic weapons are left behind at the scene of a crime. In spite of the nature of touch evidence and exposure to high chamber temperatures during shooting, we were still capable to retrieve enough DNA for profile typing. In order to estimate age of contributor, DNA methylation levels were analyzed using EpiTect system for retrieved DNA. However, results were not conclusive, due to low amount of input DNA.
Plasma Lipid Profiles and Atherogenic Indices of Rats Fed Raw and Processed Jack Fruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) Seeds Diets at Different Concentrations
The effect of processing on plasma lipid profile and atherogenic indices of rats fed Artocarpus heterophyllus seed diets at different concentrations were investigated. Fifty five rats were used for this study, they were divided into eleven groups of five rats each (one control group and ten test groups), the test groups were fed raw, boiled, roasted, fermented and soaked diets at 10% and 40% concentrations. The study lasted for thirty five days. The diets led to significant decrease (p
The Role of Ionic Strength and Mineral Size to Zeta Potential for the Adhesion of P. putida to Mineral Surfaces

Electrostatic interaction energy (ΔEEDL) is a part of the Extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (XDLVO) theory, which, together with van der Waals (ΔEVDW) and acid base (ΔEAB) interaction energies, has been extensively used to investigate the initial adhesion of bacteria to surfaces. Electrostatic or electrical double layer interaction energy is considerably affected by surface potential; however it cannot be determined experimentally and is usually replaced by zeta (ζ) potential via electrophoretic mobility. This paper focusses on the effect of ionic concentration as a function of pH and the effect of mineral grain size on ζ potential. It was found that both ionic strength and mineral grain size play a major role in determining the value of ζ potential for the adhesion of P. putida to hematite and quartz surfaces. Higher ζ potential values lead to higher electrostatic interaction energies and eventually to higher total XDLVO interaction energy resulting in bacterial repulsion.

Effects of Supplementation with Annatto (Bixa orellana)-Derived δ-Tocotrienol on the Nicotine-Induced Reduction in Body Weight and 8-Cell Preimplantation Embryonic Development in Mice
Effects of nicotine on pre-partum body weight and preimplantation embryonic development has been reported previously. Present study was conducted to determine the effects of annatto (Bixa orellana)-derived delta-tocotrienol (TCT) (with presence of 10% gamma-TCT isomer) on the nicotine-induced reduction in body weight and 8-cell embryonic growth in mice. Twenty-four 6-8 weeks old (23-25g) female balb/c mice were randomly divided into four groups (G1-G4; n=6). Those groups were subjected to the following treatments for 7 consecutive days: G1 (control) were gavaged with 0.1 ml tocopherol stripped corn oil. G2 was subcutaneously (s.c.) injected with 3 mg/kg/day of nicotine. G3 received concurrent treatment of nicotine (3 mg/kg/day) and 60 mg/kg/day of δ-TCT mixture (contains 90% delta & 10% gamma isomers) and G4 was given 60 mg/kg/day of δ-TCT mixture alone. Body weights were recorded daily during the treatment. On Day 8, females were superovulated with 5 IU Pregnant Mare’s Serum Gonadotropin (PMSG) for 48 hours followed with 5 IU human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) before mated with males at the ratio of 1:1. Females were sacrificed by cervical dislocation for embryo collection 48 hours post-coitum. Collected embryos were cultured in vitro. Results showed that throughout Day 1 to Day 7, the body weight of nicotine treated group (G2) was significantly lower (p
Kinetics Study for the Recombinant Cellulosome to the Degradation of Chlorella Cell Residuals
In this study, lipid-deprived residuals of microalgae were hydrolyzed for the production of reducing sugars by using the recombinant Bacillus cellulosome, carrying eight genes from the Clostridium thermocellum ATCC27405. The obtained cellulosome was found to exist mostly in the broth supernatant with a cellulosome activity of 2.4 U/mL. Furthermore, the Michaelis-Menten constant (Km) and Vmax of cellulosome were found to be 14.832 g/L and 3.522 U/mL. The activation energy of the cellulosome to hydrolyze microalgae LDRs was calculated as 32.804 kJ/mol.
Adsorption of Paracetamol Using Activated Carbon of Dende and Babassu Coconut Mesocarp
Removal of the widespread used drug paracetamol from water was investigated using activated carbon originated from dende coconut mesocarp and babassu coconut mesocarp. Kinetic and equilibrium data were obtained at different values of pH. Both activated carbons showed high efficiency when pH ≤ pHPZC as the carbonil group of paracetamol molecule are adsorbed due to positively charged carbon surface. Microporosity also played an important role in such process. Pseudo-second order model was better adjusted to the kinetic results. Equilibrium data may be represented by Langmuir equation.
Assessment of Diagnostic Enzymes as Indices of Heavy Metal Pollution in Tilapia Fish
Diagnostic enzymes like aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were determined as indices of heavy metal pollution in Tilapia guinensis. Three different sets of fishes treated with lead (Pb), iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) were used for the study while a fourth group with no heavy metal served as a control. Fishes in each of the groups were exposed to 2.65mg/l of Pb, 0.85mg/l of Fe and 0.35 mg/l of Cu in aerated aquaria for 96 hours. Tissue fractionation of the liver tissues was carried out and the three diagnostic enzymes (AST, ALT, and ALP) were estimated. Serum levels of the same diagnostic enzymes were also measured. The mean values of the serum enzyme activity for ALP in each experimental group were 19.5±1.62, 29.67±2.17 and 1.15±0.27 IU/L for Pb, Fe and Cu groups compared with 9.99±1.34 IU/L enzyme activity in the control. This result showed that Pb and Fe caused increased release of the enzyme into the blood circulation indicating increased tissue damage while Cu caused a reduction in the serum level as compared with the level in the control group. The mean values of enzyme activity obtained in the liver were 102.14±6.12, 140.17±2.06 and 168.23±3.52 IU/L for Pb, Fe and Cu groups, respectively compared to 91.20±9.42 IU/L enzyme activity for the control group. The serum and liver AST and ALT activities obtained in Pb, Fe, Cu and control groups are reported. It was generally noted that the presence of the heavy metal caused liver tissues damage and consequent increased level of the diagnostic enzymes in the serum.
Hemocompatible Thin-Film Materials Recreating the Structure of the Cell Niches with High Potential for Endothelialization
The future and the development of science is therefore seen in interdisciplinary areas such as biomedical engineering. Selfassembled structures, similar to stem cell niches would inhibit fast division process and subsequently capture the stem cells from the blood flow. By means of surface topography and the stiffness as well as microstructure progenitor cells should be differentiated towards the formation of endothelial cells monolayer which effectively will inhibit activation of the coagulation cascade. The idea of the material surface development met the interest of the clinical institutions, which support the development of science in this area and are waiting for scientific solutions that could contribute to the development of heart assist systems. This would improve the efficiency of the treatment of patients with myocardial failure, supported with artificial heart assist systems. Innovative materials would enable the redesign, in the post project activity, construction of ventricular heart assist.
Histopathological Changes in Liver and Muscle of Tilapia Fish from QIRE Exposed to Concentrations of Heavy Metals
Toxicity of copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and iron (Fe) to Tilapia guinensis was carried out for 4 days with a view to determining their effects on the liver and muscle tissues. Tilapia guinensis samples of about 10 - 14cm length and 0.2 – 0.4kg weight each were obtained from University of Calabar fish ponds and acclimated for three (3) days before the experimental set up. Survivors after the 96-hr LC50 test period were selected from test solutions of the heavy metals for the histopathological studies. Histological preparations of liver and muscle tissues were randomly examined for histopathological lesions. Results of the histological examinations showed gross abnormalities in the liver tissues due to pathological and degenerative changes compared to liver and muscle tissues from control samples (tilapia fishes from aquaria without heavy metals). Extensive hepatocyte necrosis with chronic inflammatory changes was observed in the liver of fishes exposed to Cu solution. Similar but less damaging effects were observed in the liver of fishes exposed to Pb and Fe. The extent of lesion observed was therefore heavy metal-related. However, no pathologic changes occurred in the muscle tissues.
Bioinformatics and Molecular Biological Characterization of a Hypothetical Protein SAV1226 as a Potential Drug Target for Methicillin/Vancomycin- Staphylococcus aureus Infections
Methicillin/multiple-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are infectious bacteria that are resistant to common antibiotics. A previous in silico study in our group has identified a hypothetical protein SAV1226 as one of the potential drug targets. In this study, we reported the bioinformatics characterization, as well as cloning, expression, purification and kinetic assays of hypothetical protein SAV1226 from methicillin/vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Mu50 strain. MALDI-TOF/MS analysis revealed a low degree of structural similarity with known proteins. Kinetic assays demonstrated that hypothetical protein SAV1226 is neither a domain of an ATP dependent dihydroxyacetone kinase nor of a phosphotransferase system (PTS) dihydroxyacetone kinase, suggesting that the function of hypothetical protein SAV1226 might be misannotated on public databases such as UniProt and InterProScan 5.
Conformation Prediction of Human Plasmin and Docking on Gold Nanoparticle
Plasmin plays an important role in the human circulatory system owing to its catalytic ability of fibrinolysis. The immediate injection of plasmin in patients of strokes has intrigued many scientists to design vectors that can transport plasmin to the desired location in human body. Here we predict the structure of human plasmin and investigate the interaction of plasmin with the gold-nanoparticle. Because the crystal structure of plasminogen has been solved, we deleted N-terminal domain (Pan-apple domain) of plasminogen and generate a mimic of the active form of this enzyme (plasmin). We conducted a simulated annealing process on plasmin and discovered a very large conformation occurs. Kringle domains 1, 4 and 5 had been observed to leave its original location relative to the main body of the enzyme and the original doughnut shape of this enzyme has been transformed to a V-shaped by opening its two arms. This observation of conformational change is consistent with the experimental results of neutron scattering and centrifugation. We subsequently docked the plasmin on the simulated gold surface to predict their interaction. The V-shaped plasmin could utilize its Kringle domain and catalytic domain to contact the gold surface. Our findings not only reveal the flexibility of plasmin structure but also provide a guide for the design of a plasmin-gold nanoparticle.
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