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International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 42820

Bioengineering and Life Sciences

Entomological Survey of Mosquitoes Responsible for the Transmission of Lymphatic Filariasis in Biase Cross River State, Nigeria
Entomological survey of mosquitoes responsible for the transmission of lymphatic filariasis in Biase Local Government area of Cross River State, Nigeria within March and June 2017. Lymphatic filariasis is a mosquito-borne parasitic disease that is caused by three species of tissue dwelling filaroids (Wuchereria bancrofti; Brugia malayi; Brugia timori): Wuchereria bancrofti is responsible for 90% of cases and is found throughout the tropics and in some sub-tropical areas worldwide. The mosquitoes were caught using human landing catches, and pyrethrum spray catches method. The entomological analysis of mosquitoes which include speciating into genus and dissecting them to unveil any microfilaria in the thoracic region, abdomen, and mouth parts of the mosquitoes. Entomological analysis shows that, from the 1296 mosquitoes caught 795 (61.3%) were Culex species, 342 (26.4%) Anopheles species, 102 (7.9%) Aedes species, and 57 (4.4%) of other Genera. There was a statistically significant difference in the number of mosquitoes caught in the dry and rainy season (X²=0.62, P < 0.05). Out of 1213 mosquitoes dissected, 24(0.02%) contained developed stages (L₁ – L₃) of W. bancrofti larvae. 13 (0.01%) of the infected mosquitoes were of Culex species, and Anopheles species accounted for the other 11 (0.009%). There was a statistically significant difference in the infection rate between the two seasons (X²=0.87, P < 0.05). The correlation analysis showed a positive correlation between the infection rate among mosquitoes in the dry and rainy season (r=0.85, P < 0.05). The entomological studies showed that Anopheles species and the Culex species are the vectors of lymphatic filariasis in the study area.
Relationship between Thumb Length and Pointing Performance on Portable Terminal with Touch-Sensitive Screen
Touch-sensitive screens that serve as displays and input devices have been adopted in many portable terminals such as smartphones and personal media players, and the market of touch-sensitive screens has expanded greatly. One of the advantages of touch-sensitive screen is the flexibility in the graphical user interface (GUI) design, and it is imperative to design an appropriate GUI to realize an easy-to-use interface. Moreover, it is important to evaluate the relationship between pointing performance and GUI design. There is much knowledge regarding easy-to-use GUI designs for portable terminals with touch-sensitive screens, and most have focused on GUI design approaches for women or children with small hands. In contrast, GUI design approaches for users with large hands have not received sufficient attention. In this study, to obtain knowledge that contributes to the establishment of individualized easy-to-use GUI design guidelines, we conducted experiments to investigate the relationship between thumb length and pointing performance on portable terminals with touch-sensitive screens. In this study, fourteen college students who participated in the experiment were divided into two groups based on the length of their thumbs. Specifically, we categorized the participants into two groups, thumbs longer than 64.2 mm into L (Long) group, and thumbs longer than 57.4 mm but shorter than 64.2 mm into A (Average) group, based on Japanese anthropometric database. They took part in this study under the authorization of Waseda University’s ‘Ethics Review Committee on Research with Human Subjects’. We created an application for the experimental task and implemented it on the projected capacitive touch-sensitive screen portable terminal (iPod touch (4th generation)). The display size was 3.5 inch and 960 × 640 - pixel resolution at 326 ppi (pixels per inch). This terminal was selected as the experimental device, because of its wide use and market share. The operational procedure of the application is as follows. First, the participants placed their thumb on the start position. Then, one cross-shaped target in a 10 × 7 array of 70 positions appeared at random. The participants pointed the target with their thumb as accurately and as fast as possible. Then, they returned their thumb to the start position and waited. The operation ended when this procedure had been repeated until all 70 targets had each been pointed at once by the participants. We adopted the evaluation indices for absolute error, variable error, and pointing time to investigate pointing performance when using the portable terminal. The results showed that pointing performance varied with thumb length. In particular, on the lower right side of the screen, the performance of L group with long thumb was low. Further, we presented an approach for designing easy-to- use button GUI for users with long thumbs. The contributions of this study include revelation of the relationship between pointing performance and user’s thumb length when using a portable terminal in terms of accuracy, precision, and speed of pointing. We hope that these findings contribute to an easy-to-use GUI design for users with large hands.
Epigenetic Modifying Potential of Dietary Spices: Link to Cure Complex Diseases
In the today’s world of pharmaceutical products, one should not forget the healing properties of inexpensive food materials especially spices. They are known to possess hidden pharmaceutical ingredients, imparting them the qualities of being anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic. Further aberrant epigenetic regulatory mechanisms like DNA methylation, histone modifications or altered microRNA expression patterns, which regulates gene expression without changing DNA sequence, contribute significantly in the development of various diseases. Changing lifestyles and diets exert their effect by influencing these epigenetic mechanisms which are thus the target of dietary phytochemicals. Bioactive components of plants have been in use since ages but their potential to reverse epigenetic alterations and prevention against diseases is yet to be explored. Spices being rich repositories of many bioactive constituents are responsible for providing them unique aroma and taste. Some spices like curcuma and garlic have been well evaluated for their epigenetic regulatory potential, but for others, it is largely unknown. We have evaluated the biological activity of phyto-active components of Fennel, Cardamom and Fenugreek by in silico molecular modeling, in vitro and in vivo studies. Ligand-based similarity studies were conducted to identify structurally similar compounds to understand their biological phenomenon. The database searching has been done by using Fenchone from fennel, Sabinene from cardamom and protodioscin from fenugreek as a query molecule in the different small molecule databases. Moreover, the results of the database searching exhibited that these compounds are having potential binding with the different targets found in the Protein Data Bank. Further in addition to being epigenetic modifiers, in vitro study had demonstrated the antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant and cytotoxicity protective effects of Fenchone, Sabinene and Protodioscin. To best of our knowledge, such type of studies facilitate the target fishing as well as making the roadmap in drug design and discovery process for identification of novel therapeutics.
Innate Immunity of Insects in Brief
As the field of immunology is growing day by day, and its chaotic system amazes more people, greed of research in this area is growing; however dealing with human or mammalian cells such as mice make the research expensive. Although there are some differences between higher animals with insects, importance of innate immunity during evolution made it untouched. So, for understanding the innate immunity insects can be good models. They are cheap; reproduction is fast and in the case genetics, less complicated. In this review, we tried to briefly tackle with important factors in insects’ innate immunity such as melanization, encapsulation, JAK-STAT, IMD, and Toll pathways. At the end, we explained how hormones and nerve system also can impact on immune system and make it more beautiful. In concluding remarks, the possibility of taking help from insect immune system to fight against diseases such as cancer has been considered.
Phenology and Size in the Social Sweat Bee, Halictus ligatus, in an Urban Environment
The social sweat bee, Halictus ligatus, has been documented to alter its phenology as a response to changes in temporal dynamics of resources. Furthermore, H. ligatus exhibits polyethism in natural environments as a consequence of the variation in resources. Yet, we do not know if or how H. ligatus responds to these variations in urban environments. As urban environments become much more widespread, and human population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, it is crucial to distinguish how resources are allocated by bees in cities. We hypothesize that in urban regions, where floral availability varies with human activity, H. ligatus will exhibit polyethism in order to match the extremely localized spatial variability of resources. We predict that in an urban setting, where resources vary both spatially and temporally, the phenology of H. ligatus will alter in response to these fluctuations. This study was conducted in Saint Louis, Missouri, at fifteen sites each varying in size and management type (community garden, urban farm, prairie restoration). Bees were collected by hand netting from 2013-2016. Results suggest that the largest individuals, mostly gynes, occurred in lower income neighborhood community gardens in May and August. We used a model averaging procedure, based on information theoretical methods, to determine a best model for predicting bee size. Our results suggest that month and locality within the city are the best predictors of bee size. Halictus ligatus was observed to comply with the predictions of polyethism from 2013 to 2015. However, in 2016 there was an almost complete absence of the smallest worker castes. This is a significant deviation from what is expected under polyethism. This could be attributed to shifts in planting decisions, shifts in plant-pollinator matches, or local climatic conditions. Further research is needed to determine if this divergence from polyethism is a new strategy for the social sweat bee as climate continues to alter or a response to human dominated landscapes.
Biotic Potential of Different Densities of Aphid Parasitoids, Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) Feeding on Brevicoryne brassicae
Diaeretiella rapae (M’Intosh) attack most of the aphid species. However, it is specialized in feeding on crucifer aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae. Biological potential of parasitoid is its density-dependency due to sharing of limited resources in few cases. The present study was carried out to check the biotic potential of D. rapae at its different densities (1, 2, 4, 8 and 10 pairs) on fixed number of B. brassicae (100 in number) as a host. The present study was performed under laboratory conditions (25 ± 2 ºC temperature and 65-70 % R.H.). Different biological parameters for parasitoid (e.g. percent parasitism, adult emergence, adult longevity and per pair parasitism) were evaluated to check its biotic potential. The present findings showed that maximum parasitism (43.09 % ± 0.63) was observed in highest density (10 pairs) and minimum parasitism (16.59 % ± 1.28) in lowest density (1 pair) of the parasitoid. Maximum adult emergence (80.31 % ± 1.33) was observed in highest density (10 pairs) and minimum parasitism (45.99 % ± 1.27) in lowest density (1 pair) of the parasitoid. In the case of adult longevity, highest (8.2 days ± 0.38) and lowest (6 days ± 0.32) longevity were observed in lowest (1 pair) and highest (10 pairs) densities of parasitoids respectively. However, per pair parasitism rate decreased with the increase in parasitoid densities due to intra-specific competition, developed between the parasitoids for parasitism. The positive but close relationship was observed between percent parasitism and adult emergence. The increase in parasitoid densities increased the percent parasitism and adult emergence of the parasitoid. So, we conclude that an inter-specific competition negatively affected the efficacy of parasitoids and may reduce the fitness of the emerging parasitoid.
Studies on Knockdown Resistance Mutations in Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in India
Background: Knockdown Resistance (KDR) is one of the mechanisms of insecticide resistance in insects caused by the reduced target site sensitivity i.e. voltage gated sodium channel (VGSC) rendering it less sensitive to the toxic effects of DDT and pyrethroids. In this study, we evaluated insecticide susceptibility and its underlying KDR mechanism in eight Ae. aegypti and five Ae. albopictus field populations. Methodology: Field population was collected from four different geographical regions of India covering 18 districts of ten states. For genotyping of twelve KDR alleles in Ae. aegypti field populations, three PCR based assays were used; with DNA sequencing; ASPCR; PCR-RFLP. Genomic DNA was isolated, and three partial domains (II, III, and IV) of VGSC were amplified and sequenced. Results: Molecular screening for common KDR mutations, revealed the presence of five mutations viz. S989P, V1016G, T1520I, F1534C/L. Two novel mutations were observed, first at T1520 (ACC) residue where a C > T substitution at the second position of codon results in amino acid change to Isoleucine (ATC). Second mutation was an alternative point mutation at F1534 (TTC) residue where a substitution of T > C at the first position of codon results in an amino acid change to Leucine (CTC). ASPCRs were not accurate, so three PCR-RFLP assays were developed for genotyping of five KDR alleles in Ae. aegypti; viz. T1520I, F1534C/L. Representative samples of all genotypes (n=200) were sequenced to validate the newly developed PCR based assays for Ae. aegypti. Genotyping results showed that 989P is linked to 1016G and novel mutation 1520I was always found with 1534C allele. Conclusion: Present study confirmed the presence of DDT and pyrethroid resistance among Ae. aegypti populations in India and for the first time reported KDR mutations in this species from India including two novel mutations. Results of present study lead us to infer that, at least five KDR mutations (S989P, V1016G, T1530I, F1534C, and F1534L) can be seen as a potential marker for DDT/pyrethroid resistance.
Assessment of Occupational Exposure and Individual Radio-Sensitivity in People Subjected to Ionizing Radiation
The estimation of accumulated radiation doses in people professionally exposed to ionizing radiation was performed using methods of biological (chromosomal aberrations frequency in lymphocytes) and physical (radionuclides analysis in urine, whole-body radiation meter, individual thermoluminescent dosimeters) dosimetry. A group of 84 ‘A’ category employees after their work in the territory of former Semipalatinsk test site (Kazakhstan) was investigated. The dose rate in some funnels exceeds 40 mcSv/h. After radionuclides determination in urine using radiochemical and WBC methods, it was shown that the total effective dose of internal personnel exposure did not exceed 0.2 mSv / year, while an acceptable dose limit for staff is 20 mSv per year.The range of external radiation doses measured with individual thermo-luminescent dosimeters was 0,3-1,406 µSv. The cytogenetic examination showed that chromosomal aberrations frequency in staff was 4,27 ± 0,22%, which is significantly higher than that of people of non-polluted. Tausugur (0,87±0,1%) (р ≤ 0,01) and citizens of Almaty (1,6±0,12%) (р ≤ 0,01). Chromosomal type aberrations accounted for 2,32±0,16%, 0,27±0,06% of which were dicentrics and centric rings. The cytogenetic analysis of different types group radiosensitivity among «professionals» (age, sex, ethnic group, epidemiological data) revealed no significant differences between the compared values. Using various techniques by the frequency of dicentrics and centric rings the average cumulative radiation dose for the group was calculated, that was 0,143-0,084(Sv) Gy, to perform comparative individual dosimetry using physical and biological methods of dose assessment, calibration curves (including own ones) and regression equations based on general frequency of chromosomal aberrations obtained after irradiation of blood samples by gamma-radiation with the dose rate of 0,1 Gy/min were used. Herewith, on the assumption of individual variation of chromosomal aberrations frequency (1–10%), the accumulated dose of radiation varied 0-0,3 Sv (Gy). The main problem in the interpretation of individual dosimetry results is reduced to different reaction of the objects to irradiation - radiosensitivity, which dictates the need of a quantitative definition of this individual reaction and its consideration in the calculation of the received radiation dose. The entire examined contingent was assigned to a group based on the received dose and detected cytogenetic aberrations. Radiosensitive individuals, at the lowest received dose in a year (0,29 µSv), showed the highest frequency of chromosomal aberrations (5,72%). In opposite, radioresistant individuals showed the lowest frequency of chromosomal aberrations (2,8%). The cohort correlation according to the criterion of radio-sensitivity in our research was distributed as follows: radio-sensitive (26,2%) — medium radio-sensitivity (57,1%), radioresistant (16,7%). Herewith, the dispersion for radioresistant individuals is 2,3; for the group with medium radio-sensitivity — 3,3; and for radio-sensitive group — 9. This data indicate the highest variation of characteristic (reactions to radiation effect) in the group of radiosensitive individuals. People with medium radio-sensitivity show significant long-term correlation (0,66; n=48, β ≥ 0,999) between the values of doses defined according to the results of cytogenetic analysis and dose of external radiation obtained with the help of thermoluminescent dosimeters. Mathematical models based on the type of violation of the radiation dose according to the professionals' radiosensitivity level were offered.
Insecticide Efficacy against Jassids in Egg Plants
Jassids are considered as serious sucking pests in eggplants. Jassids can be controlled using imidacloprid, but it can also result in non-target ecological impacts on eco-system. It can also result in reduced population of predators of jassids in the field. An experiment was conducted on jassids, Amrasca sp. reared on eggplant leaves were treated with insecticide imidacloprid at lower, recommended and higher doses including 1L, 2L, 3L respectively. 3rd instar larvae and adults of jassids were exposed to lower, recommended, higher doses. Mortality tests were repeated three times for each dose and insect growth stage. Imidacloprid was sprayed on the leaves followed by drying. Data was recorded for 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 hours after spraying insecticide on the leaves. Results showed that higher mortality was observed in higher and recommended doses, while slow mortality was observed in the case of lower dose. It can be asserted that higher and recommended doses causing immediate mortality of insects are better to control Amrasca sp. in the field, it will not cause immediate resistance development in insects against imidacloprid.
A Mathematical Analysis of a Model in Capillary Formation: The Roles of Endothelial, Pericyte and Macrophages in the Initiation of Angiogenesis
Our model is based on the theory of reinforced random walks coupled with Michealis-Menten mechanisms which view endothelial cell receptors as the catalysts for transforming both tumor and macrophage derived tumor angiogenesis factor (TAF) into proteolytic enzyme which in turn degrade the basal lamina. The model consists of two main parts. First part has seven differential equations (DE’s) in one space dimension over the capillary, whereas the second part has the same number of DE’s in two space dimensions in the extra cellular matrix (ECM). We connect these two parts via some boundary conditions to move the cells into the ECM in order to initiate capillary formation. But, when does this movement begin? To address this question we estimate the thresholds that activate the transport equations in the capillary. We do this by using steady-state analysis of TAF equation under some assumptions. Once these equations are activated endothelial, pericyte and macrophage cells begin to move into the ECM for the initiation of angiogenesis. We do believe that our results play an important role for the mechanisms of cell migration which are crucial for tumor angiogenesis. Furthermore, we estimate the long time tendency of these three cells, and find that they tend to the transition probability functions as time evolves. We provide our numerical solutions which are in good agreement with our theoretical results.
Using Polymerase Chain Reaction Technique to Observe the Resistant Strains of Pectinophora Gossypiella against cry1ac Expressing Cotton
Due to the widespread cultivation of transgenic cotton, intense selection pressure resulted in resistant allele in pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Gelechiidae: Lepidoptera). A resistant strain of pink bollworm against transgenic cotton has become a challenge to Integrated Resistance Management (IRM) in the World. Laboratory and field studies were conducted to determine the resistant strains of pink bollworm by performing bioassay, extracting the DNA, conducting PCR of both laboratory as well as field collected pink bollworms to observe the developed resistance. In all of the studies, two Bt varieties FH-142 and FH-118 expressing Cry1Ac compared to non-Bt (Control) were tested against pink bollworm. In the laboratory, bioassay results showed that there was no significant mortality difference between Bt and non-Bt varieties. Similar mortality percentage was observed in transgenic and non-transgenic (control) variety. Insects which were survived after bioassay, as well as those collected from the Bt cotton fields, were selected for further molecular studies. DNA extraction followed by PCR was conducted to check the resistant strains in pink bollworm. In field studies, we also observed the population dynamics of pink boll worms on Bt as compared to non-Bt varieties. Laboratory and field studies confirmed that resistant strains occurs in Pakistani Bt cotton fields. Different strategies should be adopted to combat that serious prevailing resistance issues.
Alternative Biocides to Reduce Algal Fouling in Seawater Industrial Cooling Towers
Biofouling in the open recirculating cooling water systems may cause biological corrosion, which can reduce the performance, increase the energy consummation and lower heat exchange efficiencies of the cooling tower. Seawater cooling towers are prone to biofouling due to the presences of organic and inorganic compounds in the seawater. The availability of organic and inorganic nutrients, along with sunlight and continuous aeration of the cooling tower contributes to an environment that is ideal for microbial growth. Various microorganisms (algae, fungi, and bacteria) can grow in a cooling tower system under certain environmental conditions. The most commonly being used method to control the biofouling in the cooling tower is the addition of biocides such as chlorination. In this study, algae containing diatom and green algae were added to the cooling tower basin, and its viability was monitored in the recirculating cooling seawater loop as well as in the cooling tower basin. Continuous addition of biocides was employed in pilot-scale seawater cooling towers, and it was operated continuously for 2 months. Three different types of oxidizing biocides, namely chlorine, chlorine dioxide and ozone, were tested. The results showed that all biocides were effective in keeping the biological growth to the minimum regardless of algal addition. Amongst the biocides, ozone could reduce 99% of total live cells of bacteria and algae, followed by chlorine dioxide at 97%, while the conventional chlorine showed only 89% reduction in the bioactivities.
Evaluation of Low Temperature (0 C°) as Treatment Tool for Eradication of Some Immature Stages of Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata) in Artificial Diet
Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) is one of the negative effect insects on food security, global trade for some of plant productions and phytosanitary. Also it is one of the important Trans boundary pests. Medfly originated in sub-Saharan Africa and then spread throughout the Mediterranean region, Europe, the Middle East, Western Australia and the South and Central America. Medfly has been recorded from over 300 fruit, vegetable and nut plant species.The main hosts include citrus, stone fruits, pome fruits, peppers, tomatoes and figs. Plant hosts also include avocado, apricots, nectarines, peaches, mandarins, persimmon, Strawberry, Cherry, Grape, banana, bittermelon, carambola, coffee, mango, guava, peppers, papaya and blueberry. Many cucurbits species including watermelon and muskmelons have been recorded as hosts of Medfly. Plant export commodities (Postharvest) being damaged as a result of infest some insects and diseases or by contaminants. This reason and others lead researchers scientific facility and food biotechnology companies to find and development postharvest treatments. Low temperatures with different exposure time are most potential trends of focus in postharvest treatments of Medfly. It is environmentally-friendly, no chemical residue and mostly does not effect on plant productions. At the same time they may increase the strength of the fruits and prolong storage time. This study will evaluate low temperature as phytosanitary treatment tools for eradication of Medfly in artificial diet. The result will help us better understand Medfly responses to low temperature optimize our current post-harvest treatment methods and develop new Medfly control strategies.
Report of the Sea Cucumber Stichopus hermanni from Umm Al-Maradim and Qaruh Islands in Kuwait
Recently, sea cucumbers have shown to be significant to global trade and incomes due to their high commercial value for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. This rising demand for sea cucumber products has created increasing harvest stress on the natural populations and led to the depletion of sea cucumbers stocks worldwide and accordingly there is a big concern on the marine environment's health worldwide. Few species have been reported and identified via morophlogical features only. Several sea cucumber species were collected from the North West side reefs at Qaruh Island, and the north side of Umm Al-Maradem Island in Kuwait waters, in the north-western Arabian Gulf, in order to identify the sea cucumber species available in the Kuwaiti waters. The identified species were Holothuria atra, Holothuria arenicola, Holothuria hilla and Holothuria impatiens. Species identification was made using morphological keys and review of their ossicles. This paper reports the species Stichopus hermanni from Kuwait.
Using Sea Cucumber for Mitigation of Marine Pollution
Kuwait’s marine environment suffers from increased organic pollution. Sea cucumbers play an important role in the marine environment. They create a healthier environment for many types of benthic micro-organisms through their slow movement and feeding mechanism on micro-organisms and organic material. A preliminary study has been conducted in Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research to assess the possibility of using sea cucumbers for mitigation of the coastal pollution. Sediments were collected from locations identified to be heavily loaded with organic pollutants. Ten aquaria glass tanks, 65x 40x 30cm will be supplied with 10 cm height (14 kg) of the sediments added in each tank and filled with 70 L of filtered seawater. Two species were used in this study, Stichopus hermanni, and Holothuria atra. Water and sediment samples were analyzed weekly. The results showed promising possibility for using sea cucumber to lower the organic load in sediments.
Forests, the Sanctuaries to Specialist and Rare Wild Native Bees at the Foothills of Western Himalayas
With 50% decline in managed honey bee hives in the continents of Europe and America, farmers and landscape managers are turning to native wild bees for their essential ecosystem services of pollination. Wild bees population are too under danger due to the rapid land use changes from anthropogenic activities. With an escalating population reaching 9.0 billion by 2050, human-induced land use changes are predicted to further deteriorate the habitats of numerous species by the turn of this century. The status of bees are uncertain, especially in the tropical regions of the world, which also questions the crisis of global pollinator decline and their essential services to wild and managed flora. Our investigation collectively compares wild native bee diversity and their status in forests and agroecosystems in Doon Valley landscape, situated at the foothills of Himalayan ranges, Uttarakhand, India. We seek to ask whether (1) natural habitat are refuge to richer and rarer bees communities than the agroecosystems, (2) Are agroecosystems closer to natural habitats similar to them than agroecosystems farther away; hence support richer bee communities and hence, (3) Do polyculture farms support richer bee communities than monoculture. The data was collected using observation and pantrap sampling form February to May, 2012 to 2014. We recorded 43 species of bees in Doon Valley. They belonged to 5 families; Megachilidae, Apidae, Andrenidae, Halictidae and Collitidae. A multinomial model approach was used to classify the bees into 2 habitats, in which forests demonstrated to support greater number of specialist (26%, n= 11) species than agroecosystems (7%, n= 3). The valley had many species categorized as the rare (58%, n= 25) and very few generalists (9%, n=4). A linear regression model run on our data demonstrated higher bee diversity in agro-ecosystems in close proximity to forests (H’ for < 200 m = 1.60) compared to those further away (H’ for > 600 m = 0.56) (R2=0.782, SE=0.148, p value=0.004). Organic agriculture supported significantly greater species richness in comparison to conventional farms (Mann-Whitney U test, n1 = 33, n2 = 35; P = 0.001). Forests ecosystems are refuge to rare specialist groups and support bee communities in nearby agroecosystems. The findings of our investigation demonstrate the importance of natural habitats as a potential refuge for rare native wild bee pollinators. Polyculture in the valley behaves similar to natural habitats and supports diverse bee communities in comparison to conventional monocultures. Our study suggests that the farming communities adopt diverse organic agriculture systems to attract wild pollinators beneficial for better crop production. Forests are sanctuaries for bees to nest, forage, and breed. Therefore, our outcome also suggests landscape managers not only preserve protected areas but also enhance the floral diversity in semi-natural and urban areas.
A Field Study of Ultraviolet Light Trap to Capture Housefly (Musca Domestica Linnaeus)
Musca domestica is a mechanical vector for several health problems, including diarrhea, basillary dysenterie, abdominal typhus, amoebiasis, cholera, ascariasis and ancylostomiasis. Flies can easily be found in wastes. There was a breeding place of flies produced from a pile of solid waste at Bojongsana traditional poultry slaughterhouse. These conditions have an impact on the contamination risk of disease-causing microorganisms brought by flies by contaminating its poultry products. The fly control measures that is commonly used in poultry slaughterhouse is an insecticide-dried feed in the form of chemical powders sprinkled in certain places which is attractive and toxic to flies. In order to minimalize the negative effects from insectisides use, it is needed an effort to develop a method on Musca domestica management based on its anatomy and morphology that influence its bionomics. Therefore, it has been developed a fly trap using ultraviolet light combined with glue boards which is designed based on its phototrophic, which is its inclination on light. This research’s objective is to describe the implementation of ultraviolet light on Musca domestica trap against the number of Musca domestica being captured. This research was conducted in a traditional poultry slaughterhouse in Bojongsana Villlage, Suradadi Subdistrict, Tegal Regency, Central Java Province, Indonesia. The method used in this research is quasy experiment with post-test only with control group design. Variables being observed in this research include the designs and placing of traps. Comparisons were made among traps with open and closed design, as well as indoor and outdoor placing. In this study, pairs of traps were placed 1 m above the floor, 1 m apart from each trap and 1 m from target location. The numbers of captured flies were counted after a six-hour observation and three-time replications. Ultraviolet traps with closed trap design captured more flies (71.43%) than open trap design (28.57%). Indoor trapping captured more flies (90.82%) compared to outdoor trapping (9.18%). The differences on natural conditions including temperature, humidity, natural lighting and vegetation influenced the differences on number of fly being captured. Thus, it is advisable to use ultraviolet light on fly trap to increase the number of fly being captured.
Effect of Nutritional and Environmental Parameters on the Vegetative Growth of Alpine Strain of Haematococcus
The green alga Haematococcus pluvialis is a natural source of astaxanthin, a supreme antioxidant, used widely in aquaculture, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The growth of H. pluvialis in the vegetative phase prior to astaxanthin production is one of the most crucial parts in the whole cultivation process. In this study, the effects of culture medium, pH, vitamins, temperature, various nitrogen sources and aeration rates were investigated for maximum production of biomass in the vegetative phase. A strain of Haematococcus isolated from an alpine environment was evaluated in this study. A maximum cell density of 6 x 10⁵ cells/mL and a doubling time of 2 - 3 days was obtained using a modified MLA medium, using 2x NaNO₃ in an air-lift reactor. A pH window of 6 – 7 and temperatures between 12 – 18 ºC were best suited for growth. Higher pH values and temperatures induced secondary stress by reducing growth rate by 35% and producing morphological changes in the motile vegetative cells through loss of flagella and increase in cell diameter. The vitamin mix consisting of thiamine, biotin, and cyanocobalamin improved cell density by 25% over the vitamin-free medium. The best nitrogen source for growth was NH₄Cl however it required active pH control due to acidification. An almost comparable cell density of 4 x 10⁴ cells/mL in shake flasks was obtained using NaNO₃ (40 mM), without pH control because the pH rise associated with nitrate uptake was partially off-set by CO2 uptake. The shear sensitive, vegetative cells preferred low aeration rate of 0.13 vvm when cultivated in an air-lift photobioreactor. A gradual increase of aeration rate by 10% every three days in a 1.5 L airlift photobioreactor produced the best growth. A higher aeration rate of 0.4 vvm reduced cell growth significantly and caused cell death due to shear stress.
Turing Pattern in the Oregonator Revisited
In this paper, we reconsider the analysis of the Oregonator model as developed by Qian et. al. We highlight an error in this analysis which leads to an incorrect depiction of the parameter region in which diffusion driven instability is possible. We believe that the cause of the oversight is the complexity of stability analyses based on eigenvalues and the dependence on parameters of matrix minors appearing in stability calculations. We regenerate the parameter space where Turing patterns can be seen, and we use the common Lyapunov function(CLF) approach, which is numerically reliable, to further confirm the dependence of the results on diffusion coefficients intensities.
Molecular Identification of Camel Tick and Investigation of Its Natural Infection by Rickettsia and Borrelia in Saudi Arabia
Hard ticks Hyalomma spp. (family: Ixodidae) are obligate ectoparasite in their all life stages on some domestic animals mainly camels and cattle. Ticks may lead to many economic and public health problems because of their blood feeding behavior. Also, they act as vectors for many bacterial, viral and protozoan agents which may cause serious diseases such as tick-born encephalitis, Rocky-mountain spotted fever, Q-fever and Lyme disease which can affect human and/or animals. In the present study, molecular identification of ticks that attack camels in Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia based on the partial sequence of mitochondrial 16s rRNA gene was applied. Also, the present study aims to detect natural infections of collected camel ticks with Rickessia spp. and Borelia spp. using PCR/hybridization of Citrate synthase encoding gene present in bacterial cells. Hard ticks infesting camels were collected from different camels located in a farm in Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia. Results of the present study showed that the collected specimens belong to two species: Hyalomma dromedari represent 99% of the identified specimens and Hyalomma marginatum which account for 1 % of identified ticks. The molecular identification was made through blasting the obtained sequence of this study with sequences already present and identified in GeneBank. All obtained sequences of H. dromedarii specimens showed 97-100% identity with the same gene sequence of the same species (Accession # L34306.1) which was used as a reference. Meanwhile, no intraspecific variations of H. marginatum mesured because only one specimen was collected. Results also had shown that the intraspecific variability between individuals of H. dromedarii obtained in 92 % of samples ranging from 0.2- 6.6%, while the remaining 7 % of the total samples of H. dromedarii showed about 10.3 % individual differences. However, the interspecific variability between H. dromedarii and H. marginatum was approximately 18.3 %. On the other hand, by using the technique of PCR/hybridization, we could detect natural infection of camel ticks with Rickettsia spp. and Borrelia spp. Results revealed the natural presence of both bacteria in collected ticks. Rickettsial spp. infection present in 29% of collected ticks, while 35% of collected specimen were infected with Borrelia spp. The valuable results obtained from the present study are a new record for the molecular identification of camel ticks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and their natural infection with both Rickettsia spp. and Borrelia spp. These results may help scientists to provide a good and direct control strategy of ticks in order to protect one of the most important economic animals which are camels. Also results of this project spotlight on the disease that might be transmitted by ticks to put out a direct protective plan to prevent spreading of these dangerous agents. Further molecular studies are needed to confirm the results of the present study by using other mitochondrial and nuclear genes for tick identification.
Effect of Palm Bunch Ash and Neem (Azardirachta Indica)Leaf Powder on Termite Infestation in Groundnut Field
As one of the major pests of field crops, termites attack groundnut at all stages of its development, especially during prolonged dry spell. Effect of palm bunch ash and neem(Azardirachta indica A. Juss) leaf powder on termite infestation in groundnut field in Owerri, Nigeria was investigated in this study. The field trial was carried out in 2016 at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria. The experiment was laid out in a 3x3 Factorial fitted into a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications. The treatments include three rates of palm bunch ash at 0.0 (control), 1.0 and 2.0tons/ha and three rates of neem leaf powder at 0.0(control), 1.0, 2.0 tons/ha respectively. Data were collected on percentage emergence, termite incidence and termite severity. These were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA), and means were separated using least significant difference at 5% level of probability. The result shows that there were no significant (P= 0.05) differences in percentage emergence amongst treatment means due to palm bunch ash and neem leaf powder applications. Contrarily, palm bunch ash at 2.0 tons/ha recorded the least termite incidence especially at twelve weeks after planting (12WAP) with a value of 22.20% while control plot maintained highest values at 6WAP (48.70%) and 12WAP (48.30%) respectively. Also palm bunch ash at 2.0tons/ha depressed termite severity more than other treatments especially at 2 and 4 WAP (0.56) respectively. Control plots on the other hand consistently maintained highest termite severity throughout the trial with the highest value at 2 and 12WAP (1.56). Conclusively, palm bunch ash exhibited highest depressive action against termite on groundnut especially at higher application value (2.0tons/ha).
Abnormal Branching Pattern of Lumbar Plexus in an Adult Male Cadaver: A Case Report
Lumbar plexus is formed by the union of ventral rami of T12, L1, L2, L3 spinal nerves and the larger upper division of L4 lumbar spinal nerves. Variations in the normal anatomy of the lumbar and sacral plexus might be seen in some cases and are reported in the literature, but finding such an unusual case comprising of multiple variations which is normally not expected in a clinical setup, proves to be a vital piece of information for clinicians and medical practitioners. During the dissection of the abdomen and pelvis of an approximately 70 year old cadaver, we observed the following variations in the formation of the lumbar and sacral nerves. 1. The genitofemoral nerve bifurcated at a higher level; genital branch of genitofemoral nerve gave branches to the anterior abdominal wall muscles, 2. A communicating branch was given from the lateral cutaneous nerve of thigh to the medial cutaneous nerve of thigh, 3. A muscular branch was given from femoral nerve to psoas major, 4. There was absence of contribution of L4 spinal nerve in the formation of the lumbosacral trunk and 5. Lumbosacral trunk gave communicating branches to the femoral and obturator nerves. Most of the variations found were rare and finding all the above said variations in a single cadaver is even rare. Documentation of such rare cases with multiple variations in the formation of nerves from the lumbar plexus provides vital information on such occurrences. This information would in turn improve the knowledge of clinicians and surgeons dealing with this region. Emphasizing such knowledge of this region would prevent accidental damage to the structures with a variant anatomy.
BeamGA Median: A Hybrid Heuristic Search Approach
The median problem is significantly applied to derive the most reasonable rearrangement phylogenetic tree for many species. More specifically, the problem is concerned with finding a permutation that minimizes the sum of distances between itself and a set of three signed permutations. Genomes with equal number of genes but different order can be represented as permutations. In this paper, an algorithm, namely BeamGA median, is proposed that combines a heuristic search approach (local beam) as an initialization step to generate a number of solutions, and then a Genetic Algorithm (GA) is applied in order to refine the solutions, aiming to achieve a better median with the smallest possible reversal distance from the three original permutations. In this approach, any genome rearrangement distance can be applied. In this paper, we use the reversal distance. To the best of our knowledge, the proposed approach was not applied before for solving the median problem. Our approach considers true biological evolution scenario by applying the concept of common intervals during the GA optimization process. This allows us to imitate a true biological behavior and enhance genetic approach time convergence. We were able to handle permutations with a large number of genes, within an acceptable time performance and with same or better accuracy as compared to existing algorithms.
Chemical Constituents and Fumigant Toxicity of Essential Oils against Three Stored Product Beetles for the Protection of Stored Wheat and Their Effect on Germination Quality
Wheat is infested by beetles, moths and mites causing quantitative and qualitative losses during storage. In India, only aluminum phosphide is available for fumigation of stored commodities and their injudicious application since longer duration induced the resistance in stored grain insects. The present study has been focusing on the utilization of essential oils and their constituents as possible alternative to traditional fumigants. Murraya koenigii is annual herbs growing as medicinal plants and their leaves used as some culinary purpose. The Curcuma longa grow as spice crops and used for various purpose. The peel of Citrus reticulata is wastage materials and their powder used for cosmetic purpose. The chemical constituents of Murraya koenigii, Curcuma longa, Citrus reticulata and their fumigant against Sitophilus oryzae, Rhyzopertha dominica, and Tribolium castaneum was tested for long term storage of wheat and their effect on germination quality. The chemical constituents of essential oil from leaves of Murraya koenigii was identified by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, α pinene (26.82%), β pinene (13.41%) and sabinene (10.35%) as major compounds followed by, limonene (10.31%), longifolene (9.05%). The essential oil of Curcuma longa rich in camphene (25.56%) and α pinene (18.59%) followed by α Humulene (11.78%), camphur (9.98%). The essential oil from peels of Citrus reticulata contain limonene (69.32%) followed by linalool (7.83%) as major constituents. The fumigant toxicity against Sitophilus oryzae, Rhyzopertha dominica, and Tribolium castaneum, indicate that essential oil of M. koenigii, C. reticulata, M. koenigii and C. reticulata, M. koenigii and C. longa and M. koenigii and C. reticulata andC. longa oil at 0.2 percent completely suppressed feeding and breeding of S. oryzae after twelve months of storage, and same pattern has been observed with a slight reduction in inhibition after fourteen months of storage. The all tested essential oils have been found highly effective against R. dominica to protect wheat after twelve and fourteen months of storage except C. longa oil. The essential oil of M. koenigii, C. reticulate either alone or their combination has been found highly effective against T. castaneum after twelve and fourteen months of stored wheat. Germination quality of wheat not affected by tested essential oils as fumigated grain show higher vigor index and germination.
Transcriptional Profiling of Developing Ovules in Litchi chinensis
Litchi is a sub-tropical fruit crop with genotypes bearing delicious juicy fruits with variable seed size (bold to rudimentary size). Small seed size is a desirable trait in litchi, as it increases consumer acceptance and fruit processing. The biochemical activities in mid- stage ovules (e.g. 16, 20, 24 and 28 days after anthesis) determine the fate of seed and fruit development in litchi. Comprehensive ovule-specific transcriptome analysis was performed in two litchi genotypes with contrasting seed size to gain molecular insight on determinants of seed fates in litchi fruits. The transcriptomic data was de-novo assembled in 1,39,608 trinity transcripts, out of which 6,325 trinity transcripts were differentially expressed between the two contrasting genotypes. Differential transcriptional pattern was found among ovule development stages in contrasting litchi genotypes. The putative genes for salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and brassinosteroid pathway were down-regulated in ovules of small-seeded litchi. Embryogenesis, cell expansion, seed size and stress related trinity transcripts exhibited altered expression in small-seeded genotype. The putative regulators of seed maturation and seed storage were down-regulated in small-seed genotype.
Causal Modeling of Glucose-Insulin Model in Diabetic Patients
In this paper, a simulation model of the glucose-insulin system for a patient undergoing diabetes Type 1 is developed by using a causal modeling approach. Starting from a set of mathematical equations describing glucose dynamics and its absorption, insulin dynamics and its injection, and mutual interrelation between glucose and insulin, then a comprehensive detailed mathematical model has been developed. The block-oriented simulation software SIMULINK has been employed to build the so-called causal model, while the glucose-insulin model parameters were adjusted to fit recorded mean data of a diabetic patient database. Model results under different conditions of a three-meal glucose and exogenous insulin ingestion patterns have been obtained. This simulation model can be useful to evaluate glucose-insulin performance in several circumstances, including insulin infusion algorithms in open-loop and decision support systems in closed-loop.
Unusual High Origin and Superficial Course of Radial Artery: A Case Report with Embryological Explanation
During routine cadaveric dissection at gross anatomy lab of our institution, a radial artery was found with unusual origin and superficial course. Normally the radial artery takes its origin as one of the terminal branches of brachial artery at the level of the neck of radius. It usually lies along the lateral border of fore arm deep to the brachioradialis muscle. While dissecting a 72-year-old Caucasian female cadaver, it was found that the right sided radial artery originated from the upper part of brachial artery of arm, 2 cm below the lower border of teres major muscle, from the lateral aspect of brachial artery. Then the radial artery superficially crossed the brachial artery and median nerve from lateral to medial direction and rested superficially at the cubital fossa. Embryologically, it can be explained as a failure of disappearance, or abnormal persistence of some insignificant embryonic vessels may give rise to this kind of vascular anomalies. As radial artery is one of the most important upper limb arteries, its variation and related complications are clinically significant. This unusual origin and course of radial artery should be kept in mind by all healthcare providers including surgeons and radiologists during routine venipuncture, orthopedic and plastic surgeries of arm, coronary angiographic procedures in radial approach etc. to prevent unwanted complications.
Strategy and Mechanism for Intercepting Unpredictable Moving Targets in the Blue-Tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Members of the Odonata order (dragonflies and damselflies) stand out for their maneuverability and superb flight control, which allow them to catch flying prey in the air. These outstanding aerial abilities were fine-tuned during millions of years of an evolutionary arms race between Odonata and their prey, providing an attractive research model for studying the relationship between sensory input – and aerodynamic output in a flying insect. The ability to catch a maneuvering target in air is interesting not just for insect behavioral ecology and neuroethology but also for designing small and efficient robotic air vehicles. While the aerial prey interception of dragonflies (suborder: Anisoptera) have been studied before, little is known about how damselflies (suborder: Zygoptera) intercept prey. Here, high-speed cameras (filming at 1000 frames per second) were used to explore how damselflies catch unpredictable targets that move through air. Blue-tailed damselflies - Ischnura elegans (family: Coenagrionidae) were introduced to a flight arena and filmed while landing on moving targets that were oscillated harmonically. The insects succeeded in capturing targets that were moved with an amplitude of 6 cm and frequencies of 0-2.5 Hz (fastest mean target speed of 0.3 m s⁻¹) and targets that were moved in 1 Hz (an average speed of 0.3 m s⁻¹) but with an amplitude of 15 cm. To land on stationary or slow targets, damselflies either flew directly to the target, or flew sideways, up to a point in which the target was fixed in the center of the field of view, followed by direct flight path towards the target. As the target moved in increased frequency, damselflies demonstrated an ability to track the targets while flying sideways and minimizing the changes of their body direction on the yaw axis. This was likely an attempt to keep the targets at the center of the visual field while minimizing rotational optic flow of the surrounding visual panorama. Stabilizing rotational optic flow helps in estimation of the velocity and distance of the target. These results illustrate how dynamic visual information is used by damselflies to guide them towards a maneuvering target, enabling the superb aerial hunting abilities of these insects. They also exemplifies the plasticity of the damselfly flight apparatus which enables flight in any direction, irrespective of the direction of the body.
Angiomotin Regulates Integrin Beta 1-Mediated Endothelial Cell Migration and Angiogenesis
Angiogenesis describes that new blood vessels migrate from pre-existing ones to form 3D lumenized structure and remodeling. During directional migration toward the gradient of pro-angiogenic factors, the endothelial cells, especially the tip cells need filopodia to sense the environment and exert the pulling force. Of particular interest are the integrin proteins, which play an essential role in focal adhesion in the connection between migrating cells and extracellular matrix (ECM). Understanding how these biomechanical complexes orchestrate intrinsic and extrinsic forces is important for our understanding of the underlying mechanisms driving angiogenesis. We have previously identified Angiomotin (Amot), a member of Amot scaffold protein family, as a promoter for endothelial cell migration in vitro and zebrafish models. Hence, we established inducible endothelial-specific Amot knock-out mice to study normal retinal angiogenesis as well as tumor angiogenesis. We found that the migration ratio of the blood vessel network to the edge was significantly decreased in Amotec- retinas at postnatal day 6 (P6). While almost all the Amot defect tip cells lost migration advantages at P7. In consistence with the dramatic morphology defect of tip cells, there was a non-autonomous defect in astrocytes, as well as the disorganized fibronectin expression pattern correspondingly in migration front. Furthermore, the growth of transplanted LLC tumor was inhibited in Amot knockout mice due to fewer vasculature involved. By using MMTV-PyMT transgenic mouse model, there was a significantly longer period before tumors arised when Amot was specifically knocked out in blood vessels. In vitro evidence showed that Amot binded to beta-actin, Integrin beta 1 (ITGB1), Fibronectin, FAK, Vinculin, major focal adhesion molecules, and ITGB1 and stress fibers were distinctly induced by Amot transfection. Via traction force microscopy, the total energy (force indicater) was found significantly decreased in Amot knockdown cells. Taken together, we propose that Amot is a novel partner of the ITGB1/Fibronectin protein complex at focal adhesion and required for exerting force transition between endothelial cell and extracellular matrix.
Views of South African Academic Instructors to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Anatomy Education
Reflecting on teaching is commonly cited as a fundamental practice for personal and professional development. Educational research into the scholarship of teaching and learning anatomy includes engaging in discipline specific literature on teaching, reflecting on individual teaching methods and communicating these findings to peers. The aim of this paper is to formally assess the opinions of senior anatomy instructors regarding the state of anatomical knowledge at their respective institutions. The context of the paper derives from ongoing debates about the perceived decline in standards of anatomical knowledge of medical students and postgraduate learners. An open ended questionnaire was devised consisting of eight direct questions seeking opinions on anatomy teaching, knowledge, and potential educational developments and general thoughts on the teaching of anatomy to medical students. These were distributed to senior anatomy Faculty (identified by the author by their affiliation with the Anatomical Society of Southern Africa) based at the eight national medical schools within the country. A number of key themes emerged. Most senior faculty felt that the standard of medical education at their respective institutions was ‘good.’. However, emphasis was also placed on the ‘quality of teaching’ incorporating clinical scenarios. There were also indications that staff are split into those that are keen to do research and those that are happy to provide teaching to medical students as their primary function. Several challenges were also highlighted such as time constraints within the medical curriculum, the lack of cadavers to reinforce knowledge and gain depth perception and lack of appropriately qualified staff. Recommendations included fostering partnerships with both clinicians and medical scientists into the anatomy curriculum thus improving teaching and research.