Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Gil Luria

8 Gender Differences in the Prediction of Smartphone Use While Driving: Personal and Social Factors

Authors: Erez Kita, Gil Luria


This study examines gender as a boundary condition for the relationship between the psychological variable of mindfulness and the social variable of income with regards to the use of smartphones by young drivers. The use of smartphones while driving increases the likelihood of a car accident, endangering young drivers and other road users. The study sample included 186 young drivers who were legally permitted to drive without supervision. The subjects were first asked to complete questionnaires on mindfulness and income. Next, their smartphone use while driving was monitored over a one-month period. This study is unique as it used an objective smartphone monitoring application (rather than self-reporting) to count the number of times the young participants actually touched their smartphones while driving. The findings show that gender moderates the effects of social and personal factors (i.e., income and mindfulness) on the use of smartphones while driving. The pattern of moderation was similar for both social and personal factors. For men, mindfulness and income are negatively associated with the use of smartphones while driving. These factors are not related to the use of smartphones by women drivers. Mindfulness and income can be used to identify male populations that are at risk of using smartphones while driving. Interventions that improve mindfulness can be used to reduce the use of smartphones by male drivers.

Keywords: mindfulness, using smartphones while driving, income, gender, young drivers

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7 Changes of pH and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Growth in Liquid Media

Authors: Sayaka Ono, Ryutaro Imai, Tomoko Ehara, Tetsuya Matsumoto, Hajime Matsumura


Background: Wound pH affects a number of important factors in wound healing. We previously measured the pH value of the exudates collected from second-degree burns and found that the increase in pH was observed in the burn wounds in which colonized by Staphylococcus spp., and the increase in pH was evident prior to the clinical findings of local infection. To investigate the relationship between the changes of pH value and bacterial growth, we performed in vitro study using Pseudomonas aeruginosa and liquid medium as a locally infected wound equivalent model. Methods: Pseudomonas aeruginosa standard strain (ATCCR 10145TM) was cultured at 37 °C environment in Luria Broth Miller medium. The absorbance rate which means the amount of bacteria was measured by a microplate reader 2300EnSpireTM). The pH was measured using pH-indicator strips (MColorpHastTM). The statistical analysis was performed using the product-moment correlation coefficient of Pearson's. Results: The absorbance rate and pH value were increased along with culture period. There was a positive correlation between pH value and absorbance rate (n = 27, Pearson's r = 0.985). Moreover, there was a positive correlation between pH value and the culture period (n = 18, Pearson's r = 0.901). The bacteria was well growth in the media from pH 6.6 to pH 8.0 and the pH of culture media converged at 8 -9 along with the bacterial growth. Conclusion: From these results, we conclude that pH value of the wound is correlated with the number of viable bacteria and bacterial growth periods.

Keywords: colonization, potential of hydrogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, wound

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6 Increasing Sustainability of Melanin Bio-Production Using Seawater

Authors: Harsha Thaira, Ritu Raval, Keyur Raval


Melanin has immense applications in the field of agriculture, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries due to its photo-protective, UV protective and anti- oxidant activities. However, its production is limited to costly chemical methods or harsh extractive methods from hair which ultimately gives poor yields. This makes the cost of melanin very high, to the extent of US Dollar 300 per gram. Some microorganisms are reported to produce melanin under stress conditions. Out of all melanin producing organisms, Pseudomonas stutzeri can grow in sea water and produce melanin under saline stress. The objective of this study was to develop a sea water based bioprocess. Effects of different growth media and process parameters on melanin production using sea water were investigated. The marine bacterial strain Pseudomonas stutzeri HMGM-7(MTCC 11712) was selected and the effect of different media such as Nutrient Broth (NB), Luria Bertini (LB) broth, Bushnell- Haas broth (BHB) and Trypticase Soy broth (TSB) and various medium components were investigated with one factor at a time approach. Parameters like shaking frequency, inoculum age, inoculum size, pH and temperature were also investigated in order to obtain the optimum conditions for maximum melanin production. The highest yield of melanin concentration, 0.306 g/L, was obtained in Trypticase Soy broth at 36 hours. The yield was 1.88 times higher than the melanin obtained before optimization, 0.163 g/L at 36 hours. Studies are underway to optimize medium constituents to further enhance melanin production.

Keywords: melanin, marine, bioprocess, pseudomonas

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5 Optimisation of Dyes Decolourisation by Bacillus aryabhattai

Authors: A. Paz, S. Cortés Diéguez, J. M. Cruz, A. B. Moldes, J. M. Domínguez


Synthetic dyes are extensively used in the paper, food, leather, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and textile industries. Wastewater resulting from their production means several environmental problems. Improper disposal of theirs effluents involves adverse impacts and not only about the colour, also on water quality (Total Organic Carbon, Biological Oxygen Demand, Chemical Oxygen Demand, suspended solids, salinity, etc.) on flora (inhibition of photosynthetic activity), fauna (toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic effects) and human health. The aim of this work is to optimize the decolourisation process of different types of dyes by Bacillus aryabhattai. Initially, different types of dyes (Indigo Carmine, Coomassie Brilliant Blue and Remazol Brilliant Blue R) and suitable culture media (Nutritive Broth, Luria Bertani Broth and Trypticasein Soy Broth) were selected. Then, a central composite design (CCD) was employed to optimise and analyse the significance of each abiotic parameter. Three process variables (temperature, salt concentration and agitation) were investigated in the CCD at 3 levels with 2-star points. A total of 23 experiments were carried out according to a full factorial design, consisting of 8 factorial experiments (coded to the usual ± 1 notation), 6 axial experiments (on the axis at a distance of ± α from the centre), and 9 replicates (at the centre of the experimental domain). Experiments results suggest the efficiency of this strain to remove the tested dyes on the 3 media studied, although Trypticasein Soy Broth (TSB) was the most suitable medium. Indigo Carmine and Coomassie Brilliant Blue at maximal tested concentration 150 mg/l were completely decolourised, meanwhile, an acceptable removal was observed using the more complicate dye Remazol Brilliant Blue R at a concentration of 50 mg/l.

Keywords: Bacillus aryabhattai, dyes, decolourisation, central composite design

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4 Engineered Control of Bacterial Cell-to-Cell Signaling Using Cyclodextrin

Authors: Yuriko Takayama, Norihiro Kato


Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell-to-cell communication system in bacteria to regulate expression of target genes. In gram-negative bacteria, activation on QS is controlled by a concentration increase of N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL), which can diffuse in and out of the cell. Effective control of QS is expected to avoid virulence factor production in infectious pathogens, biofilm formation, and antibiotic production because various cell functions in gram-negative bacteria are controlled by AHL-mediated QS. In this research, we applied cyclodextrins (CDs) as artificial hosts for the AHL signal to reduce the AHL concentration in the culture broth below its threshold for QS activation. The AHL-receptor complex induced under the high AHL concentration activates transcription of the QS-target gene. Accordingly, artificial reduction of the AHL concentration is one of the effective strategies to inhibit the QS. A hydrophobic cavity of the CD can interact with the acyl-chain of the AHL due to hydrophobic interaction in aqueous media. We studied N-hexanoylhomoserine lactone (C6HSL)-mediated QS in Serratia marcescens; accumulation of C6HSL is responsible for regulation of the expression of pig cluster. Inhibitory effects of added CDs on QS were demonstrated by determination of prodigiosin amount inside cells after reaching stationary phase, because production of prodigiosin depends on the C6HSL-mediated QS. By adding approximately 6 wt% hydroxypropyl-β-CD (HP-β-CD) in Luria-Bertani (LB) medium prior to inoculation of S. maecescens AS-1, the intracellularly accumulated prodigiosin was drastically reduced to 7-10%, which was determined after the extraction of prodigiosin in acidified ethanol. The AHL retention ability of HP-β-CD was also demonstrated by Chromobacterium violacuem CV026 bioassay. The CV026 strain is an AHL-synthase defective mutant that activates QS solely by adding AHLs from outside of cells. A purple pigment violacein is induced by activation of the AHL-mediated QS. We demonstrated that the violacein production was effectively suppressed when the C6HSL standard solution was spotted on a LB agar plate dispersing CV026 cells and HP-β-CD. Physico-chemical analysis was performed to study the affinity between the immobilized CD and added C6HSL using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensor. The COOH-terminated self-assembled monolayer was prepared on a gold electrode of 27-MHz AT-cut quartz crystal. Mono(6-deoxy-6-N, N-diethylamino)-β-CD was immobilized on the electrode using water-soluble carbodiimide. The C6HSL interaction with the β-CD cavity was studied by injecting the C6HSL solution to a cup-type sensor cell filled with buffer solution. A decrement of resonant frequency (ΔFs) clearly showed the effective C6HSL complexation with immobilized β-CD and its stability constant for MBP-SpnR-C6HSL complex was on the order of 102 M-1. The CD has high potential for engineered control of QS because it is safe for human use.

Keywords: acylhomoserine lactone, cyclodextrin, intracellular signaling, quorum sensing

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3 Green Production of Chitosan Nanoparticles and their Potential as Antimicrobial Agents

Authors: L. P. Gomes, G. F. Araújo, Y. M. L. Cordeiro, C. T. Andrade, E. M. Del Aguila, V. M. F. Paschoalin


The application of nanoscale materials and nanostructures is an emerging area, these since materials may provide solutions to technological and environmental challenges in order to preserve the environment and natural resources. To reach this goal, the increasing demand must be accompanied by 'green' synthesis methods. Chitosan is a natural, nontoxic, biopolymer derived by the deacetylation of chitin and has great potential for a wide range of applications in the biological and biomedical areas, due to its biodegradability, biocompatibility, non-toxicity and versatile chemical and physical properties. Chitosan also presents high antimicrobial activities against a wide variety of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. Ultrasonication is a common tool for the preparation and processing of polymer nanoparticles. It is particularly effective in breaking up aggregates and in reducing the size and polydispersity of nanoparticles. High-intensity ultrasonication has the potential to modify chitosan molecular weight and, thus, alter or improve chitosan functional properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of sonication intensity and time on the changes of commercial chitosan characteristics, such as molecular weight and its potential antibacterial activity against Gram-negative bacteria. The nanoparticles (NPs) were produced from two commercial chitosans, of medium molecular weight (CS-MMW) and low molecular weight (CS-LMW) from Sigma-Aldrich®. These samples (2%) were solubilized in 100 mM sodium acetate pH 4.0, placed on ice and irradiated with an ultrasound SONIC ultrasonic probe (model 750 W), equipped with a 1/2" microtip during 30 min at 4°C. It was used on constant duty cycle and 40% amplitude with 1/1s intervals. The ultrasonic degradation of CS-MMW and CS-LMW were followed up by means of ζ-potential (Brookhaven Instruments, model 90Plus) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements. After sonication, the concentrated samples were diluted 100 times and placed in fluorescence quartz cuvettes (Hellma 111-QS, 10 mm light path). The distributions of the colloidal particles were calculated from the DLS and ζ-potential are measurements taken for the CS-MMW and CS-LMW solutions before and after (CS-MMW30 and CS-LMW30) sonication for 30 min. Regarding the results for the chitosan sample, the major bands can be distinguished centered at Radius hydrodynamic (Rh), showed different distributions for CS-MMW (Rh=690.0 nm, ζ=26.52±2.4), CS-LMW (Rh=607.4 and 2805.4 nm, ζ=24.51±1.29), CS-MMW30 (Rh=201.5 and 1064.1 nm, ζ=24.78±2.4) and CS-LMW30 (Rh=492.5, ζ=26.12±0.85). The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined using different chitosan samples concentrations. MIC values were determined against to E. coli (106 cells) harvested from an LB medium (Luria-Bertani BD™) after 18h growth at 37 ºC. Subsequently, the cell suspension was serially diluted in saline solution (0.8% NaCl) and plated on solid LB at 37°C for 18 h. Colony-forming units were counted. The samples showed different MICs against E. coli for CS-LMW (1.5mg), CS-MMW30 (1.5 mg/mL) and CS-LMW30 (1.0 mg/mL). The results demonstrate that the production of nanoparticles by modification of their molecular weight by ultrasonication is simple to be performed and dispense acid solvent addition. Molecular weight modifications are enough to provoke changes in the antimicrobial potential of the nanoparticles produced in this way.

Keywords: antimicrobial agent, chitosan, green production, nanoparticles

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2 Bacteriophages for Sustainable Wastewater Treatment: Application in Black Water Decontamination with an Emphasis to DRDO Biotoilet

Authors: Sonika Sharma, Mohan G. Vairale, Sibnarayan Datta, Soumya Chatterjee, Dharmendra Dubey, Rajesh Prasad, Raghvendra Budhauliya, Bidisha Das, Vijay Veer


Bacteriophages are viruses that parasitize specific bacteria and multiply in metabolising host bacteria. Bacteriophages hunt for a single or a subset of bacterial species, making them potential antibacterial agents. Utilizing the ability of phages to control bacterial populations has several applications from medical to the fields of agriculture, aquaculture and the food industry. However, harnessing phage based techniques in wastewater treatments to improve quality of effluent and sludge release into the environment is a potential area for R&D application. Phage mediated bactericidal effect in any wastewater treatment process has many controlling factors that lead to treatment performance. In laboratory conditions, titer of bacteriophages (coliphages) isolated from effluent water of a specially designed anaerobic digester of human night soil (DRDO Biotoilet) was successfully increased with a modified protocol of the classical double layer agar technique. Enrichment of the same was carried out and efficacy of the phage enriched medium was evaluated at different conditions (specific media, temperature, storage conditions). Growth optimization study was carried out on different media like soybean casein digest medium (Tryptone soya medium), Luria-Bertani medium, phage deca broth medium and MNA medium (Modified nutrient medium). Further, temperature-phage yield relationship was also observed at three different temperatures 27˚C, 37˚C and 44˚C at laboratory condition. Results showed the higher activity of coliphage 27˚C and at 37˚C. Further, addition of divalent ions (10mM MgCl2, 5mM CaCl2) and 5% glycerol resulted in a significant increase in phage titer. Besides this, effect of antibiotics addition like ampicillin and kanamycin at different concentration on plaque formation was analysed and reported that ampicillin at a concentration of 1mg/ml ampicillin stimulates phage infection and results in more number of plaques. Experiments to test viability of phage showed that it can remain active for 6 months at 4˚C in fresh tryptone soya broth supplemented with fresh culture of coliforms (early log phase). The application of bacteriophages (especially coliphages) for treatment of effluent of human faecal matter contaminated effluent water is unique. This environment-friendly treatment system not only reduces the pathogenic coliforms, but also decreases the competition between nuisance bacteria and functionally important microbial populations. Therefore, the phage based cocktail to treat fecal pathogenic bacteria present in black water has many implication in wastewater treatment processes including ‘DRDO Biotoilet’, which is an ecofriendly appropriate and affordable human faecal matter treatment technology for different climates and situations.

Keywords: wastewater, microbes, virus, biotoilet, phage viability

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1 Effectiveness of Essential Oils as Inhibitors of Quorum Sensing Activity Using Biomonitor Strain Chromobacterium Violaceum

Authors: Ivana Cabarkapa, Zorica Tomicic, Olivera Duragic


Antimicrobial resistance represents one of the major challenges facing humanity in the last decades. Increasing antibiotic-resistant pathogens indicates the need for the development of alternative antibacterial drugs and new treatment strategies. One of the innovative emerging treatments in overcoming multidrug-resistant pathogens certainly represents the inhibition anti-quorum sensing system. For most of the food-borne pathogens, the expression of the virulence depends on their capability communication with other members of the population by means of quorum sensing (QS). QS represents a specific way of bacterial intercellular communication, which enabled owing to their ability to detect and to respond to cell population density by gene regulation. QS mechanisms are responsible for controls the pathogenesis, virulence luminescence, motility, sporulation and biofilm formation of many organisms by regulating gene expression. Therefore, research in this field is being an attractive target for the development of new natural antibacterial agents. Anti-QS compounds are known to have the ability to prohibit bacterial pathogenicity. Considering the importance of quorum sensing during bacterial pathogenesis, this research has been focused on evaluation anti - QS properties of four essential oils (EOs) Origanum heracleoticum, Origanum vulgare, Thymus vulgare, and Thymus serpyllum, using biomonitor strain of Chromobacterium violaceum CV026. Tests conducted on Luria Bertani agar supplemented with N hexanol DL homoserine lacton (HHL) 10µl/50ml of agar. The anti-QS potential of the EOs was assayed in a range of concentrations of 200 – 0.39 µl/ml using the disc diffusion method. EOs of Th. vulgaris and T. serpyllum were exhibited anti-QS activity indicated by a non- pigmented ring with a dilution-dependent manner. The lowest dilution of EOs T. vulgaris and T. serpyllum in which they exhibited visually detectable inhibition of violacein synthesis was 6.25 µl/ml for both tested EOs. EOs of O. heracleoticum and O. vulgare were displayed different active principles, i.e., antimicrobial activity indicated by the inner clear ring and anti-QS activity indicated by the outer non-pigmented ring, in a concentration-dependent manner. The lowest dilution of EOs of O. heracleoticum and O. vulgare in which exhibited visually detectable inhibition of violacein synthesis was 1.56 and 3.25 µl/ml, respectively. Considering that, the main constituents of the tested EOs represented by monoterpenes (carvacrol, thymol, γ-terpinene, and p-cymene), anti - QS properties of tested EOs can be mainly attributed to their activity. In particular, from the scientific literature, carvacrol and thymol show a sub-inhibitory effect against foodborne pathogens. Previous studies indicated that sub-lethal concentrations of carvacrol reduced the mobility of bacteria due to the ability of interference using QS mechanism between the bacterial cells, and thereby reducing the ability of biofilm formation The precise mechanism by which carvacrol inhibits biofilm formation is still not fully understood. Our results indicated that EOs displayed different active principles, i.e., antimicrobial activity indicated by the inner clear ring and anti-QS activity indicated by an outer non- pigmented ring with visually detectable inhibition of violacein. Preliminary results suggest that EOs represent a promising alternative for effective control of the emergence and spread of resistant pathogens.

Keywords: anti-quorum sensing activity, Chromobacterium violaceum, essential oils, violacein

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