Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Search results for: Collin Barrow

9 Clostridium thermocellum DBT-IOC-C19, A Potential CBP Isolate for Ethanol Production

Authors: Nisha Singh, Munish Puri, Collin Barrow, Deepak Tuli, Anshu S. Mathur

Abstract:

The biological conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol is a promising strategy to solve the present global crisis of exhausting fossil fuels. The existing bioethanol production technologies have cost constraints due to the involvement of mandate pretreatment and extensive enzyme production steps. A unique process configuration known as consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) is believed to be a potential cost-effective process due to its efficient integration of enzyme production, saccharification, and fermentation into one step. Due to several favorable reasons like single step conversion, no need of adding exogenous enzymes and facilitated product recovery, CBP has gained the attention of researchers worldwide. However, there are several technical and economic barriers which need to be overcome for making consolidated bioprocessing a commercially viable process. Finding a natural candidate CBP organism is critically important and thermophilic anaerobes are preferred microorganisms. The thermophilic anaerobes that can represent CBP mainly belong to genus Clostridium, Caldicellulosiruptor, Thermoanaerobacter, Thermoanaero bacterium, and Geobacillus etc. Amongst them, Clostridium thermocellum has received increased attention as a high utility CBP candidate due to its highest growth rate on crystalline cellulose, the presence of highly efficient cellulosome system and ability to produce ethanol directly from cellulose. Recently with the availability of genetic and molecular tools aiding the metabolic engineering of Clostridium thermocellum have further facilitated the viability of commercial CBP process. With this view, we have specifically screened cellulolytic and xylanolytic thermophilic anaerobic ethanol producing bacteria, from unexplored hot spring/s in India. One of the isolates is a potential CBP organism identified as a new strain of Clostridium thermocellum. This strain has shown superior avicel and xylan degradation under unoptimized conditions compared to reported wild type strains of Clostridium thermocellum and produced more than 50 mM ethanol in 72 hours from 1 % avicel at 60°C. Besides, this strain shows good ethanol tolerance and growth on both hexose and pentose sugars. Hence, with further optimization this new strain could be developed as a potential CBP microbe.

Keywords: Clostridium thermocellum, consolidated bioprocessing, ethanol, thermophilic anaerobes

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8 Analyzing the Technology Affecting on the Social Integration of Students at University

Authors: Sujit K. Basak, Simon Collin

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to examine the technology access and use on the affecting social integration of local students at university. This aim is achieved by designing a structural equation modeling (SEM) in terms of integration with peers, integration with faculty, faculty support and on the other hand, examining the socio demographic impact on the technology access and use. The collected data were analyzed using the WarpPLS 5.0 software. This study was survey based and it was conducted at a public university in Canada. The results of the study indicated that technology has a strong impact on integration with faculty, faculty support, but technology does not have an impact on integration with peers. However, the social demographic has also an impact on the technology access and use.

Keywords: faculty, integration, peer, technology access and use

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7 Screening for Antibacterial Activity of Fungi from Indian Marine Environments: A Possible Alternative for New Antibiotics for the Treatment of Skin Microbial Infections

Authors: Shivankar Agrawal, Sunil Kumar Deshmukh, Colin Barrow, Alok Adholeya

Abstract:

Millions of people worldwide are affected by infectious diseases caused by bacteria and fungi. Skin and skin structure infections (SSSI) represent a significant category of infectious disease. Unexpectedly, many pathogens have developed resistance towards current antibiotics and over the time this problem has become more and more serious. All these new problems necessitate the continuous search for novel and alternative antibiotics and antifungals. The aim of our research is the screening of extracts of marine fungi for their antibacterial activity against bacteria causing skin and wound infection in humans. A total of 40 marine samples were collected from west coast and Andaman Island of India and 35 morphologically different marine fungi were isolated using natural sea water medium. Among 35 marine fungi, eight isolates exhibited significant antimicrobial activity against human pathogens. In the course of systematic screening program for bioactive marine fungi, strain 'D5' was found to be most potent strain with MIC value of 1 mg/mL, which was morphologically identified as Simplicillium lamellicola. The effects of the most active crude extracts against their susceptible test microorganisms were also investigated by SEM analysis. Purification and characterization of crude extracts for identification of active lead molecule is under process. The results of diversity and antimicrobial activity have increased the scope of finding industrially important marine fungi from Indian marine environments and these organisms could be vital sources for the discovery of pharmaceutically useful molecules.

Keywords: antimicrobial activity, antibiotic, marine fungi, skin infections

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6 Anti-Tyrosinase and Antibacterial Activities of Marine Fungal Extracts

Authors: Shivankar Agrawal, Sunil Kumar Deshmukh, Colin Barrow, Alok Adholeya

Abstract:

A variety of genetic and environmental factors cause various cosmetics and dermatological problems. There are already claimed drugs available in market for treating these problems. However, the challenge remains in finding more potent, environmental friendly, causing minimal side effects and economical cosmeceuticals. This leads to an increased demand for natural cosmeceutical products in the last few decades. Plant derived ingredients are limited because plants either contain toxic metabolites, grow too slow or seasonal harvesting is a problem. The research work carried out in this project aims at isolation, characterization of marine fungal secondary metabolite and evaluating their potential use in future cosmetic skin care products. We have isolated and purified 35 morphologically different fungal isolates from various marine habitats of the India. These isolates have been functionally characterized for anti-tyrosinase, antioxidant and anti-acne activities. For molecular characterization, the Internal Transcribed spacer (ITS) region of 15 functionally active marine fungal isolates was amplified using universal primers, ITS1 and ITS4 and sequenced. Out of 15 marine fungal isolates crude extract of strains D4 (Aspergillus terreus) and P2 (Talaromyces stipitatus) showed 70% and 57% tyrosinase inhibition at 1mg/mL respectively. Strain D5 (Simplicillium lamellicola) has showed significant inhibition against Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis. In addition, all these strains also displayed DPPH- radical scavenging activity and may be utilized as skin cosmeceutical applications. Purification and characterization of crude extracts for identification of active lead molecule is under process.

Keywords: anti-acne, anti-tyrosinase, cosmeceutical, marine fungi

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5 Isolation, Identification and Screening of Marine Fungi for Potential Tyrosinase Inhibitor, Antibacterial and Antioxidant for Future Cosmeceuticals

Authors: Shivankar Agrawal, Sunil Kumar Deshmukh, Colin Barrow, Alok Adholeya

Abstract:

A variety of genetic and environmental factors cause various cosmetics and dermatological problems. There are already claimed drugs available in market for treating these problems. However, the challenge remains in finding more potent, environmental friendly, causing minimal side effects and economical cosmeceuticals. This leads to an increased demand for natural cosmeceutical products in the last few decades. Plant derived ingredients are limited because plants either contain toxic metabolites, grow too slow or seasonal harvesting is a problem. To identify new bioactive cosmetics ingredients of marine microbial bioresource, we screened 35 marine fungi isolated from marine samples collected from Andaman Island and west coast of India. Fungal crude extracts were investigated for their antityrosinase, antioxidant and antibacterial activities for the purpose of identifying anti-aging, skin-whitening and anti-acne biomolecule with the potential in cosmetics. In the tyrosinase inhibition and 2, 2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assays, two fungal extracts, including “P2”, Talaromyces stipitatus and “D4”, Aspergillus terreus showed high inhibitory activity at 1mg/mL for tyrosinase inhibition and 0.5mg/mL for DPPH scavenging. The in vitro antimicrobial activity was investigated by the agar well diffusion method. In the tyrosinase inhibition assay, 8 extracts showed significant antibacterial activity against bacteria causing skin and wound infection in humans. In the course of systematic screening program for bioactive marine fungi, strain “D5” was found to be most potent strain with MIC value of 1mg/mL, which was morphologically identified as Simplicillium lamellicola. The effects of the most active crude extracts against their susceptible test microorganisms were also investigated by SEM analysis. Further investigations will focus on purification and characterization major active components responsible for these activities.

Keywords: antioxidant, antimicrobial activity, tyrosinase, cosmeceuticals, marine fungi

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4 Creating a Digital Map to Monitor the Care of People Living with HIV/Aids in Porto Alegre, Brazil: An Experience Report

Authors: Tiago Sigal Linhares, Ana Amélia Nascimento da Silva Bones, Juliana Miola, McArthur Alexander Barrow, Airton Tetelbom Stein

Abstract:

Introduction: As a result of increased globalization and changing migration trends, it is expected that a significant portion of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) will change their place of residence over time. In order to provide better health care, monitor the HIV epidemic and plan urban public health care and policies, there is a growing need to formulate a strategy for monitoring PLWHA care, location and migration patterns. The Porto Alegre District is characterized by a high prevalence of PLWHA and is considered one of the epicenters of HIV epidemic in Latin America. Objectives: The aim of this study is to create a digital and easily editable map in order to create a visual representation of the location of PLWHA and to monitor their migration within the city and the country in an effort to promote longitudinal care. Methods: This Experience Report used Google Maps Map Creator to generate an active digital map showing the location and changes in residence of 165 PLWHA who received care at two Primary Health Care (PHC) clinics, which attended an estimated population of five thousand patients, in downtown Porto Alegre over the last four years. Their current addresses were discovered in the unified Brazilian health care system digital records (e-SUS) and updated on the map. Results: A digital map with PLWHA current residence location was created. It was possible to demonstrate visually areas with a large concentration of PLWHA and the migration of the population within the city as wells as other cities, regions and states. Conclusions: An easily reproducible and free map could aid in PLWHA monitoring, urban public health planning, target interventions and situational diagnosis. Moreover, a visual representation of PLWHA location and migration could help bring more attention and investments to areas with geographic inequities or higher prevalence of PLWHA. It also enables notification of local PHC units of monitored patients inside their area, which are in clinical risk or with treatment abandonment through active case findings, improving the care of PLWHA.

Keywords: health care, medical public health, theoretical and conceptual innovations, urban public health

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3 Common Misconceptions around Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Rural Uganda: Establishing the Role for Patient Education Leaflets Using Patient and Staff Surveys

Authors: Sara Qandil, Harriet Bothwell, Lowri Evans, Kevin Jones, Simon Collin

Abstract:

Background: Uganda suffers from high rates of HIV. Misconceptions around HIV are known to be prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Two of the most common misconceptions in Uganda are that HIV can be transmitted by mosquito bites or from sharing food. The aim of this project was to establish the local misconceptions around HIV in a Central Ugandan population, and identify if there is a role for patient education leaflets. This project was undertaken as a student selected component (SSC) offered by Swindon Academy, based at the Great Western Hospital, to medical students in their fourth year of the undergraduate programme. Methods: The study was conducted at Villa Maria Hospital; a private, rural hospital in Kalungu District, Central Uganda. 36 patients, 23 from the hospital clinic and 13 from the community were interviewed regarding their understanding of HIV and by what channels they had obtained this understanding. Interviews were conducted using local student nurses as translators. Verbal responses were translated and then transcribed by the researcher. The same 36 patients then undertook a 'misconception' test consisting of 35 questions. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and results were scored based on three components of 'transmission knowledge', 'prevention knowledge' and 'misconception rejection'. Each correct response to a question was scored one point, otherwise zero e.g. correctly rejecting a misconception scored one point, but answering ‘yes’ or ‘don’t know’ scored zero. Scores ≤ 27 (the average score) were classified as having ‘poor understanding’. Mean scores were compared between participants seen at the HIV clinic and in the community, and p-values (including Fisher’s exact test) were calculated using Stata 2015. Level of significance was set at 0.05. Interviews with 7 members of staff working in the HIV clinic were undertaken to establish what methods of communication are used to educate patients. Interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis undertaken. Results: The commonest misconceptions which failed to be rejected included transmission of HIV by kissing (78%), mosquitoes (69%) and touching (36%). 33% believed HIV may be prevented by praying. The overall mean scores for transmission knowledge (87.5%) and prevention knowledge (81.1%) were better than misconception rejection scores (69.3%). HIV clinic respondents did tend to have higher scores, i.e. fewer misconceptions, although there was statistical evidence of a significant difference only for prevention knowledge (p=0.03). Analysis of the qualitative data is ongoing but several patients expressed concerns about not being able to read and therefore leaflets not having a helpful role. Conclusions: Results from this paper identified that a high proportion of the population studied held misconceptions about HIV. Qualitative data suggests that there may be a role for patient education leaflets, if pictorial-based and suitable for those with low literacy skill.

Keywords: HIV, human immunodeficiency virus, misconceptions, patient education, Sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda

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2 Colocalization Analysis to Understand Yttrium Uptake in Saxifraga paniculata Using Complementary Imaging Technics

Authors: Till Fehlauer, Blanche Collin, Bernard Angeletti, Andrea Somogyi, Claire Lallemand, Perrine Chaurand, Cédric Dentant, Clement Levard, Jerome Rose

Abstract:

Over the last decades, yttrium (Y) has gained importance in high-tech applications. It is an essential part of alloys and compounds used for lasers, displays, or cell phones, for example. Due to its chemical similarities with the lanthanides, Y is often considered a rare earth element (REE). Despite their increased usage, the environmental behavior of REEs remains poorly understood. Especially regarding their interactions with plants, many uncertainties exist. On the one hand, Y is known to have a negative effect on root development and germination, but on the other hand, it appears to promote plant growth at low concentrations. In order to understand these phenomena, a precise knowledge is necessary about how Y is absorbed by the plant and how it is handled once inside the organism. Contradictory studies exist, stating that due to a similar ionic radius, Y and the other REEs might be absorbed through Ca²⁺-channels, while others suspect that Y has a shared pathway with Al³⁺. In this study, laser ablation coupled ICP-MS, and synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence (µXRF, beamline Nanoscopium, SOLEIL, France) have been used in order to localize Y within the plant tissue and identify associated elements. The plant used in this study is Saxifraga paniculata, a rugged alpine plant that has shown an affinity for Y in previous studies (in prep.). Furthermore, Saxifraga paniculata performs guttation, which means that it possesses phloem sap secreting openings on the leaf surface that serve to regulate root pressure. These so-called hydathodes could provide special insights in elemental transport in plants. The plants have been grown on Y doped soil (500mg/kg DW) for four months. The results showed that Y was mainly concentrated in the roots of Saxifraga paniculata (260 ± 85mg/kg), and only a small amount was translocated to the leaves (10 ± 7.8mg/kg). µXRF analysis indicated that within the root transects, the majority of Y remained in the epidermis and hardly penetrated the stele. Laser ablation coupled ICP-MS confirmed this finding and showed a positive correlation in the roots between Y, Fe, Al, and to a lesser extent Ca. In the stem transect, Y was mainly detected in a hotspot of approximately 40µm in diameter situated in the endodermis area. Within the stem and especially in the hotspot, Y was highly colocalized with Al and Fe. Similar-sized Y hotspots have been detected in/on the leaves. All of them were strongly colocalized with Al and Fe, except for those situated within the hydathodes, which showed no colocalization with any of the measured elements. Accordingly, a relation between Y and Ca during root uptake remains possible, whereas a correlation to Fe and Al appears to be dominant in the aerial parts, suggesting common storage compartments, the formation of complexes, or a shared pathway during translocation.

Keywords: laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), Phytoaccumulation, Rare earth elements, Saxifraga paniculata, Synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence, Yttrium

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1 Developing a GIS-Based Tool for the Management of Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG): A Case Study of Thames Water Wastewater Catchment

Authors: Thomas D. Collin, Rachel Cunningham, Bruce Jefferson, Raffaella Villa

Abstract:

Fats, oils and grease (FOG) are by-products of food preparation and cooking processes. FOG enters wastewater systems through a variety of sources such as households, food service establishments, and industrial food facilities. Over time, if no source control is in place, FOG builds up on pipe walls, leading to blockages, and potentially to sewer overflows which are a major risk to the Environment and Human Health. UK water utilities spend millions of pounds annually trying to control FOG. Despite UK legislation specifying that discharge of such material is against the law, it is often complicated for water companies to identify and prosecute offenders. Hence, it leads to uncertainties regarding the attitude to take in terms of FOG management. Research is needed to seize the full potential of implementing current practices. The aim of this research was to undertake a comprehensive study to document the extent of FOG problems in sewer lines and reinforce existing knowledge. Data were collected to develop a model estimating quantities of FOG available for recovery within Thames Water wastewater catchments. Geographical Information System (GIS) software was used in conjunction to integrate data with a geographical component. FOG was responsible for at least 1/3 of sewer blockages in Thames Water waste area. A waste-based approach was developed through an extensive review to estimate the potential for FOG collection and recovery. Three main sources were identified: residential, commercial and industrial. Commercial properties were identified as one of the major FOG producers. The total potential FOG generated was estimated for the 354 wastewater catchments. Additionally, raw and settled sewage were sampled and analysed for FOG (as hexane extractable material) monthly at 20 sewage treatment works (STW) for three years. A good correlation was found with the sampled FOG and population equivalent (PE). On average, a difference of 43.03% was found between the estimated FOG (waste-based approach) and sampled FOG (raw sewage sampling). It was suggested that the approach undertaken could overestimate the FOG available, the sampling could only capture a fraction of FOG arriving at STW, and/or the difference could account for FOG accumulating in sewer lines. Furthermore, it was estimated that on average FOG could contribute up to 12.99% of the primary sludge removed. The model was further used to investigate the relationship between estimated FOG and number of blockages. The higher the FOG potential, the higher the number of FOG-related blockages is. The GIS-based tool was used to identify critical areas (i.e. high FOG potential and high number of FOG blockages). As reported in the literature, FOG was one of the main causes of sewer blockages. By identifying critical areas (i.e. high FOG potential and high number of FOG blockages) the model further explored the potential for source-control in terms of ‘sewer relief’ and waste recovery. Hence, it helped targeting where benefits from implementation of management strategies could be the highest. However, FOG is still likely to persist throughout the networks, and further research is needed to assess downstream impacts (i.e. at STW).

Keywords: fat, FOG, GIS, grease, oil, sewer blockages, sewer networks

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