Browse

1 - 10 of 204 items :

  • Biochemistry x
Clear All
Green Nanotechnology in Nigeria: The Research Landscape, Challenges and Prospects

Abstract

In this treatise, we examined the activities of researchers of Nigeria descent in the frontier areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology, with a focus on green nanotechnology. The exploration of literature published by scholars were reviewed and compartmentalized on the basis of applications of the nanomaterials. It can be concluded that the level of activities in this area is expanding owing to the emergence of more published works since the beginning of 2010. However, in comparison with research outputs from other developing African countries such as South Africa and Egypt, activities in green nanotechnology are still at low ebb in Nigeria. Issues that are contributory to the slow pace were identified and appropriate solutions in terms of improved funding of education, enactment of national policy on nanotechnology, curriculum development, international cooperation as well as human resource development among others were discussed.

Open access
A Needs Assessment For Indigenous African Language-Based Programming Languages

Abstract

The development of an African native language-based programming language, using Yoruba as a case study, is envisioned. Programming languages based on the lexicons of indigenous African languages are rare to come by unlike those based on Asian and / or European languages. Availability of programming languages based on lexicons of African indigenous language would facilitate comprehension of problem-solving processes using computer by indigenous learners and teachers as confirmed by research results. In order to further assess the relevance, usefulness and needfulness of such a programming language, a preliminary needs assessment survey was carried out. The needs assessment was carried out through design of a structured questionnaire which was administered to 130 stakeholders in computer profession and computer education; including some staffers and learners of some primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions in Oyo and Osun states of Nigeria, Africa. The responses to the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The analysis of the responses to the questionnaire shows that 89% of the respondents to the questionnaire expressed excitement and willingness to program or learn programming in their mother tongue-based programming language, if such a programming language is developed. This result shows the high degree of relevance, usefulness and needfulness of a native language-based programming language as well as the worthwhileness of embarking on development of such a programming language.

Open access
Antisickling Effects of Quercetin may be Associated with Modulation of Deoxyhaemoglobin, 2, 3-bisphosphoglycerate mutase, Redox Homeostasis and Alteration of Functional Chemistry in Human Sickle Erythrocytes.

Abstract

It is now glaring that sickle cell anaemia is still one of the highest leading inbred hemoglobinopathy amongst Africans. This study examined the antisickling effects of quercetin via modulation of deoxy-haemoglobin, redox homeostasis and alteration of functional chemistry in human sickle erythrocyte using in silico and in vitro models while espousing preventive and curative approaches. Quercetin was docked against deoxy-haemoglobin and 2, 3-bisphosphoglycerate mutase, with binding energies (−30.427 and −21.106 kcal/mol) and Ki of 0.988μM and 0.992μM at their catalytic sites via strong hydrophobic and hydrogen bond interactions. Induction of sickling was done using 2% metabisulphite at 3h. Treatment with quercetin prevented sickling outstandingly at 5.0μg/mL and reversed same at 7.5μg/mL, 83.6% and 75.9%, respectively. Quercetin also significantly (P<0.05) maintained the integrity of erythrocyte membrane apparently from the observed % haemolysis relative to untreated. Quercetin significantly (P<0.05) prevented and counteracted lipid peroxidation while stimulating GSH and CAT levels which were detected to considerably (P<0.05) increase with simultaneous significant (P<0.05) reduction in SOD level based on curative approach. Umpiring from our FTIR results, a favorable alteration in the part of functional chemistry in terms of shifts (bend and stretches) and functional groups were observed relative to the induced erythrocyte/untreated. Thus, antisickling effects of quercetin may be associated with modulation of deoxy-haemoglobin, redox homeostasis and alteration of functional chemistry in human sickle erythrocytes.

Open access
Application of solid-phase extraction for isolation of coumarins from wine samples

Abstract

Coumarins can be as a result wine storage and aging in wood drums and they can affect organoleptic characteristics of wine. The aim of this work was to determine the content of coumarins in wine samples originated from Slovak Tokaj wine region. The HPLC method with high specificity, accuracy, precision, and recovery was proposed. SPE sorbents of C18 type, styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer and molecularly imprinted polymers were compared for extraction of six coumarins, coumarin, aesculin, scoparone, scopoletin, 4-methylumbelliferone, and herniarin. Higher recoveries (above 89 %; except aesculin – recoveries higher from 68 %, RSDs less than 6 %) were obtained with selective polymeric sorbent laboratory prepared by molecularly imprinted technology. The results showed that content of coumarins in wine samples are in ng.mL−1 concentration levels and depend on the age and wine puttony.

Open access
Biologically valuable components, antioxidant activity and proteinase inhibition activity of leaf and callus extracts of Salvia sp.

Abstract

Sage is medicinal plant, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Eight extract samples were tested in this study: extract from Salvia officinalis L. varieties from two different geographical localities (Jaslovské Bohunice and Pobedim, Slovakia), Salvia officinalis L., variety “bicolor”, Salvia officinalis L., variety “purpurescens”, Salvia apiana, Salvia divinorum, and two callus cultures of Salvia sclarea L. and Salvia aethiopis L. The highest values for composite parameters were observed for extract from Salvia apiana. It can be concluded that prepared sage extract samples are rich on polyphenolic acids (2 950±265 μg.mL−1 GAeq.) and amines (197±5.50 μg.mL−1 TRPeq.). HPLC analysis confirmed the dominant content of rosmarinic acid in the extracts; the highest content was detected in the Salvia apiana extract (1 120±15 μg.mL−1). Extract from Salvia apiana expressed too the highest antioxidant activity (1 710 – 4 669 μg.mL−1TEAC). Similarly, the highest inhibition activity was observed for this extract on thrombin (57±3.3 %) and on other proteinases (over 80 %). Spearman correlation analysis and PCA analyses revealed a coherence between antioxidant activity of samples and their content of rosmarinic acid as well as inhibitory activity towards particular proteases, and revealed the significance of thiol based secondary metabolites. Cluster analysis demonstrates the differences of Salvia apiana extract from extracts of S. officinalis L., the group of S. divinorum extract and from callus cultures.

Open access
Characterization of a novel lipase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Abstract

Lipases cleaving oils into fatty acids and glycerol are of great interest for the use in increasing the efficiency of fuels. In this work, a novel lipase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, P. aeruginosa A12, was isolated by ion-exchange and hydrophobic chromatography. The purity of lipase was shown by electrophoresis and its molecular weight was estimated to be ~ 31.6 kDa. The whole amino acid sequence was analyzed by an LC-MS/MS method. Temperature- and pH-dependent optimum of the enzyme compiled 30 °C and 7.5, respectively. The obtained enzyme exhibited 79 % similarity of amino acid sequence to a lipase isolated from the same strain of P. aeruginosa. Thus, the novel lipase was determined to belong to I.1 subfamily of bacterial true lipases. Three dimensional structure of the isolated lipase isoform was modeled based on obtained sequences. Amino acids forming the catalytic domain were shown in the model. Lid domain is suggested to be in the open conformation. These results provide a potential alternative for enzymatic digestion of fuel oils and serve for the development of fundamental knowledge of lipase activity.

Open access
A Coupled Insulin and Meal Effect Neuro-Fuzzy Model for The Prediction of Blood Glucose Level in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Patients.

Abstract

Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder that affects the ability of the human body to properly utilize and regulate glucose. It is pervasive world-wide yet tenuous and costly to manage. Diabetes Mellitus is also difficult to model because it is nonlinear, dynamic and laden with mostly patient specific uncertainties. A neuro-fuzzy model for the prediction of blood glucose level in Type 1 diabetic patients using coupled insulin and meal effects is developed. This study establishes that the necessary and sufficient conditions to predict blood glucose level in a Type 1 diabetes mellitus patient are: knowledge of the patient’s insulin effects and meal effects under diverse metabolic scenarios and the transparent coupling of the insulin and meal effects. The neuro-fuzzy models were trained with data collected from a single Type 1 diabetic patient covering a period of two months. Clarke’s Error Grid Analysis (CEGA) of the model shows that 87.5% of the predictions fall into region A, while the remaining 12.5% of the predictions fall into region B within a four (4) hour prediction window. The model reveals significant variation in insulin and glucose responses as the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the patient changes.

Open access
Earthworms as useful bioindicator of soils contamination around Košice city, Slovakia

Abstract

This study was conducted to investigate heavy metals bioaccumulation in industrialized soils in surrounding of Košice city (Slovakia), using earthworms. In the present research, we used ecotoxicity tests with Dendrobaena veneta (7 and 28-day bioassays) to infer about potential toxic risks to the agricultural (A) and permanent grass vegetation (PGV) of soils around the plant U. S. Steel Košice. The total Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr and As contents and eco-toxicological tests of industrialized soils from the Košice area were performed for 12 sampling sites in years 2016 – 2017. An influence of the sampling sites distance from the largest steel producer plant on the total concentrations of heavy metals was determined for Fe, Cd, Cr and As. It was found that earthworms (Dendrobaena veneta) in some cases caused a decrease of metals concentration in contaminated soils, the largest metal concentration differences were recorded in the samples PGV (4) U. S. Steel-plant-main gate. The results of the bioaccumulation factors of heavy metals in D. veneta (BAFs/7-28 d) are < 1 for the studied metals order in the sequence: Cr < Fe < Pb < Cu < As and > 1 for Zn > Cd.

Open access
Effect of fly ash-lime treatment on the acute toxicity of greywater towards Daphnia magna

Abstract

Acute toxicity of raw and treated greywater towards Daphnia magna was assessed in this study. Treatment was performed with exposure of greywater to the fly-lime mixture After 48 h of exposure, 100 % mortality of D. magna was recorded when testing the following volumetric fractions of the raw greywater streams in the tested liquid medium (%; v/v): 10 % for kitchen greywater, 5 – 10 % for bathroom greywater and 1.25 – 10 % for laundry greywater. After greywater treatment with the fly-ash-lime mixture with pH adjustment to 7.0, 80 % of neonates of D. magna survived after exposure to treated laundry greywater in all dilutions at 48 h. At the same time, 100 % of neonates survived exposure to treated bathroom and kitchen greywater at all volumetric fractions. Therefore greywater had acute toxicity to D. magna, i.e. greywater treatment was required before its discharge or reuse. Values of the Pearson’s correlation coefficient between the chemical components of the raw greywater and treated greywater and the survival of D. magna indicated a lack of statistically significant correlation at 5 % level of significance (p-value > 0.05 in all cases), i.e. the survival of D. magna was independent of the concentration of chemical constituents in greywater samples tested. Further studies will have to be conducted on the chronic toxicity of the greywater effluent after treatment with the fly-lime mixture. Experiments from this study will have to be re-run for the fully scaled-up version of the fly-lime mixture-based greywater treatment systems.

Open access
Escherichia coli as Possible Agents of Spread of Multidrug Resistance in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Abstract

Multidrug resistance (MDR) continues to be a growing global issue. The problem of MDR is fuelled in part by the spread of the genes encoding resistance horizontally which is linked particularly to conjugation involving plasmids. Studies have demonstrated the presence of plasmids in drug resistant isolates, few have shown a link between these plasmids and drug resistance via plasmid curing especially in our locale. This study set out to explore this link in Escherichia coli isolates from Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Plasmid curing was done on a selection of clinical and non-clinical bacteria using acridine orange and antibiotic susceptibility testing carried out on both cured and uncured variants. Data generated was analysed to ascertain the multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) index and MDR of each isolate. Data was then compared to ascertain effects of plasmid curing on antibiotic resistance of the isolates. Results revealed a decrease in resistance to 7 of 8 antibiotics following plasmid curing. The highest change was noted in ceftazidime (40%), followed by ofloxacin (26.7%). Plasmid curing caused a shift in MAR index values of isolates from higher to lower indices. At MAR index values of ≤0.25 occurrence increased from 5% to 36.7% while at MAR index values ≥0.75, occurrence reduced from 29.9% to 10.0%. A reduction in the degree of MDR was noted (from 55% to 36.7%). Strikingly, the reduction in MDR level of non-clinical isolates was 30% as opposed to 3.4% in the clinical isolates. This study shows a link between plasmids and antibiotic resistance. For the non-clinical isolates, the high-level link between MDR and plasmid carriage could indicate a higher use of antimicrobials in non-clinical rather than clinical settings. Additionally, it could be an indicator for a higher risk of the transfer of MDR determinants from non-clinical sources to human populations in our locale.

Open access