Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 4

Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering

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  • 4
    A Close Study on the Nitrate Fertilizer Use and Environmental Pollution for Human Health in Iran

    Nitrogen accumulates in soils during the process of fertilizer addition to promote the plant growth. When the organic matter decomposes, the form of available nitrogen produced is in the form of nitrate, which is highly mobile. The most significant health effect of nitrate ingestion is methemoglobinemia in infants under six months of age (blue baby syndrome). The mobile nutrients, like nitrate nitrogen, are not stored in the soil as the available forms for the long periods and in large amounts. It depends on the needs for the crops such as vegetables. On the other hand, the vegetables will compete actively for nitrate nitrogen as a mobile nutrient and water. The mobile nutrients must be shared. The fewer the plants, the larger this share is for each plant. Also, this nitrate nitrogen is poisonous for the people who use these vegetables. Nitrate is converted to nitrite by the existing bacteria in the stomach and the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) tract. When nitrite is entered into the blood cells, it converts the hemoglobin to methemoglobin, which causes the anoxemia and cyanosis. The increasing use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, especially the fertilizers with nitrates compounds, which have been common for the increased production of agricultural crops, has caused the nitrate pollution in the (soil, water, and environment). They have caused a lot of damage to humans and animals. In this research, the nitrate accumulation in different kind of vegetables such as; green pepper, tomatoes, egg plants, watermelon, cucumber, and red pepper were observed in the suburbs of Mashhad, Neisabour, and Sabzevar cities. In some of these cities, the information forms of agronomical practices collected were such as; different vegetable crops fertilizer recommendations, varieties, pesticides, irrigation schedules, etc., which were filled out by some of our colleagues in the research areas mentioned above. Analysis of the samples was sent to the soil and water laboratory in our department in Mashhad. The final results from the chemical analysis of samples showed that the mean levels of nitrates from the samples of the fruit crops in the mentioned cities above were all lower than the critical levels. These fruit crop samples were in the order of: 35.91, 8.47, 24.81, 6.03, 46.43, 2.06 mg/kg dry matter, for the following crops such as; tomato, cucumber, eggplant, watermelon, green pepper, and red pepper. Even though, this study was conducted with limited samples and by considering the mean levels, the use of these crops from the nutritional point of view will not cause the poisoning of humans.

    Choosing Local Organic Food: Consumer Motivations and Ethical Spaces

    In recent years, the organic sector has increased significantly. However, with the ‘conventionalization’ of these products, it has been questioned whether these products have been losing their original vision. Accordingly, this research based on 31 phenomenological interviews with committed organic consumers in urban and rural areas of Portugal, aims to analyse how ethical motivations and ecological awareness are related to organic food consumption. The content thematic analysis highlights aspects related to society and environmental concerns. On an individual level, the importance of internal coherence, peace of mind and balance that these consumers find in the consumption of local organic products was stressed. For these consumers, local organic products consumption made for significant changes in their lives, aiding in the establishment of a green identity, and involves a certain philosophy of life. This vision of an organic lifestyle is grounded in a political and ecological perspective, beyond the usual organic definition, as a ‘post-organic era’. The paper contributes to better understand how an ideological environmental discourse allows highlighting the relationship between consumers’ environmental concerns and the politics of food, resulting in a possible transition to new sustainable consumption practices.

    Flood Predicting in Karkheh River Basin Using Stochastic ARIMA Model

    Floods have huge environmental and economic impact. Therefore, flood prediction is given a lot of attention due to its importance. This study analysed the annual maximum streamflow (discharge) (AMS or AMD) of Karkheh River in Karkheh River Basin for flood predicting using ARIMA model. For this purpose, we use the Box-Jenkins approach, which contains four-stage method model identification, parameter estimation, diagnostic checking and forecasting (predicting). The main tool used in ARIMA modelling was the SAS and SPSS software. Model identification was done by visual inspection on the ACF and PACF. SAS software computed the model parameters using the ML, CLS and ULS methods. The diagnostic checking tests, AIC criterion, RACF graph and RPACF graphs, were used for selected model verification. In this study, the best ARIMA models for Annual Maximum Discharge (AMD) time series was (4,1,1) with their AIC value of 88.87. The RACF and RPACF showed residuals’ independence. To forecast AMD for 10 future years, this model showed the ability of the model to predict floods of the river under study in the Karkheh River Basin. Model accuracy was checked by comparing the predicted and observation series by using coefficient of determination (R2).

    Humans as Enrichment: Human-Animal Interactions and the Perceived Benefit to the Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Human and Zoological Establishment

    Engagement with non-human animals is a rapidly-growing field of study within the animal science and social science sectors, with human-interactions occurring in many forms; interactions, encounters and animal-assisted therapy. To our knowledge, there has been a wide array of research published on domestic and livestock human-animal interactions, however, there appear to be fewer publications relating to zoo animals and the effect these interactions have on the animal, human and establishment. The aim of this study was to identify if there were any perceivable benefits from the human-animal interaction for the cheetah, the human and the establishment. Behaviour data were collected before, during and after the interaction on the behaviour of the cheetah and the human participants to highlight any trends with nine interactions conducted. All 35 participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire prior to the interaction and immediately after to ascertain if their perceptions changed following an interaction with the cheetah. An online questionnaire was also distributed for three months to gain an understanding of the perceptions of human-animal interactions from members of the public, gaining 229 responses. Both questionnaires contained qualitative and quantitative questions to allow for specific definitive answers to be analysed, but also expansion on the participants perceived perception of human-animal interactions. In conclusion, it was found that participants’ perceptions of human-animal interactions saw a positive change, with 64% of participants altering their opinion and viewing the interaction as beneficial for the cheetah (reduction in stress assumed behaviours) following participation in a 15-minute interaction. However, it was noted that many participants felt the interaction lacked educational values and therefore this is an area in which zoological establishments can work to further improve upon. The results highlighted many positive benefits for the human, animal and establishment, however, the study does indicate further areas for research in order to promote positive perceptions of human-animal interactions and to further increase the welfare of the animal during these interactions, with recommendations to create and regulate legislation.