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An Assessment of Vehicular Emissions and Related Health Impacts along Ilorin-Lagos Highway in Nigeria

Abstract

This paper assessed in-vehicle and ambient pollution levels from vehicles along Ilorin-Lagos highway covering three distinct 3-hour periods (morning, afternoon and evening) of the day (from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm) along with reported health challenges at six (6) settlements (SP1-SP6) that covered four (4) states. In the case of ambient pollution, Gilair-3 air sampler (GAS) was used to measure sulphur (iv) oxide, (SO2) while ALTAIR 5x Multi-gas Detector (AMD) was used to measure both carbon (ii) oxide, (CO) and sulphur (iv) oxide, (SO2) for all scenarios. Vehicular volume was manually conducted to determine the number of vehicles. Questionnaire was used to assess information on the health challenges faced by the commuters. The concentrations of SO2 ranged from 0.142 - 0.550 ppm (ambient) and 0.037 - 0.097 ppm (in vehicle) using AMD and GAS respectively while CO concentration was between 2.289 - 18.055 ppm using AMD. The results for the in- vehicular pollution revealed that the concentration levels obtained for CO and SO2 inside the vehicles were 6.32 ppm and 0.126 ppm under opened-window condition and 9.53 ppm and 0.274 ppm under closed-window condition respectively (without air condition). The SO2 concentrations obtained from both ambient and in-vehicle were found to be much higher when compared with the FEPA standards; SO2 (0.01 – 0.1 ppm), USEPA standards; SO2 (0.075 ppm) while the CO level obtained from in-vehicle under the two scenarios (opened and closed windows) were below the limit of NESREA standards (10 – 20 ppm) and USEPA standards (35 ppm). Having noticed that these pollutants act under different environmental conditions, the work established statistical evidence that traffic volume affected the pollutants concentrations at most of the sampling points and that the higher the traffic, the higher the emissions and the more the risk of health challenges.

Open access
Diversity of Earthworms in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

Abstract

Studies reveal that not up to 50% of earthworm species have been described in the world and the understanding of earthworm diversity is finite in most countries including Nigeria. The study was aimed at evaluating the diversity of earthworms and environmental factors affecting their abundance. Earthworms were collected from three (3) different sampling locations in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. Descriptive statistics and estimation of species abundance, dominance and diversity were used to analyze the data obtained from the study. From the study, four (4) species of earthworms were identified and recorded from the three sampling locations. Eudrilus eugeniae (54.9%) was the most abundant species followed by Hyperidrilus africanus (20.3%), Libyodrilus violaceous (19.6%) and Alma millsoni (6.3%) with the least abundant species. The result of the diversity indices showed Science village (1.13) as the most diverse habitat followed by Emelda hostel (0.86) and Boys’ hostel (0.84) with the least diversity of species. Soil pH ranged from 2.25 to 4.06 and total organic matter ranged from 14.10 to 16.36%. Soil temperature was uniform with an average value of 27°C for the three sampling locations. The soil moisture content ranged from 11.19 to 14.12%. The conductivity recorded the lowest value (25.60μS/cm) in Emelda Hostel and highest value (111.8 μS/cm) in Science village. The study provided understanding into the patterns of earthworm populations in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and the need for the conservation of earthworm diversity. Better understanding about habitat and living conditions of earthworms is required to provide suitable and enhanced production of vermicompost in different geographic conditions.

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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.

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Induction of Micronuclei, Base-pair Substitution Mutation and Excision-repair Deficient by Polluted Water from Asa River in Nigeria

Abstract

Asa river is a major river designated to supply millions of people of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria potable water for drinking but its managements is of grave concern due to anthropogenic activities. Thus, evaluation of genotoxicity of this river was carried out by subjecting the water samples and fish therein to three bioassays (Micronucleus (MN) assay, Ames test and SOS-chromo test). Physicochemical parameters and heavy metals were analysed at three different stations (Aliara (SI), Unity (SII) and Tuyil (SIII)) of the river. In SII, most of the heavy metals analysed were above the acceptable limits compare to SI and SIII. The peripheral erythrocyte of the fishes (Oreochromis niloticus, Synodontis batensoda, Synodontis eupterus, Clarias gariepinus and Clarias angullaris) at SI and SII stations showed a significant (p<0.05) induction of MN and different nuclear abnormalities (NA). Water samples from the three stations subjected to Ames test (Salmonella typhimurium TA100) and SOS chromotests (Escherichia coli PQ37) at 25%, 50% and 100% concentrations showed statistically significant (p<0.05) induction of DNA damage at all concentrations in the two tester strains, thus indicating base-pair substitution mutation and excision-repairdeficient, respectively, by the water samples. Therefore, drinking of this water and/or consumption of fish from this river should be taken with caution to avoid a carcinogenic risk.

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
Oxidative Stress Induced DNA Damage and Reproductive Toxicity in Male Albino Mice Orally Exposed to Sorbitol

Abstract

In this study, the potential DNA damage and reproductive toxicity of sorbitol was investigated using bone marrow micronucleus (MN), sperm morphology, and sperm count in mice. Five doses of 90, 45, 20, 10 and 1 mg/kg/day, defined by allometry, and approximately corresponding to 1.5g, 750mg, 330mg, 165mg and 16mg of sorbitol daily consumption by a 70kg human, respectively, were used. MN analysis showed a dose-dependent induction of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes and other nuclear abnormalities across the treatment groups. Assessment of sperm shape showed a significant (p < 0.05) increase in sperm abnormalities with significant (p < 0.05) decrease in mean sperm count in treated groups. The result of the oxidative stress biomarkers showed induction of significant (p < 0.05) increase in liver catalase, MDA and serum ALT and AST activities with concomitant decrease in SOD activities in exposed mice. A significant increase in weight of exposed mice were recorded when compared with the negative control. The results of this study showed the genotoxicity and reproductive effects of sorbitol.

Open access
Screening for Bio-flocculant Producing Bacterial Strains from Asa River in Ilorin Kwara State

Abstract

Synthetic flocculants in water treatment have been reported to be detrimental to both human health and the environment. Thus, there is a constant search for bio-flocculants that is safe and addresses the effects of synthetic polymers. This study was aimed at isolating bacteria with bio-flocculating potential, their molecular identification and phylogenetic relatedness, and the optimization of their flocculating abilities from an open water (Asa River) in Ilorin Kwara State. The effect of carbon source (glucose, lactose and starch), cations (FeSO4, KCl and CaCl2) and pH (2 to 12) was evaluated on the bio-flocculating activities of the isolates using kaolin clay. The seven (7) novel (new strains) isolates with their respective accession number from National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) after molecular confirmation are Pseudomonas otitidis MTK01 (MK263227), Aeromonas caviea MTK02 (MK263228), Providencia alcalifaciens MTK03 (MK263229), Providencia sp. MTK05 (MK263230), Alcaligenes sp. MTK06 (MK263231), Klebsiella pneumoniae MTK07 (MK263232) and Klebsiella sp. MTK08 (MK263233) while Raoultella ornithinolytica MTK04 was also identified. Phylogenetic tree of relatedness showed close kin of the isolates to established bacteria sequence deposited at the NCBI GenBank. Although the flocculating rate of each isolates varied with different parameters that was used in the study, glucose was the most supportive followed by lactose and starch, CaCl2 was most supportive cation followed by KCl and FeSO4 while pH 12, 6, 8, 10, 2 and 4 were the order of decreasing flocculating rate of the medium. This study has reported the presence of eight (8) bio-flocculating bacteria (out of which 7 are new strains of bacteria) in an open water which has been further optimized for effective flocculating rate and thus provides an ecofriendly and harmless flocculants source that can be employed in water treatment procedures.

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
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
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