Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Search results for: Isaak Rashal

6 White Clover Trifolium repens L. Genetic Diversity and Salt Tolerance in Urban Area of Riga

Authors: Dace Grauda, Gunta Cekstere, Inta Belogrudova, Andis Karlsons, Isaak Rashal


Trifolium repens L. (white or Dutch clover) is a perennial herb, belongs to legume family (Leguminosae Juss.), spread extensively by stolons and seeds. The species is cultivated worldwide and was naturalized in many countries in meadows, yards, gardens, along roads and streets etc., especially in temperate regions. It is widespread also in grasslands throughout Riga, the capital of Latvia. The goal of this study was to investigate genetic structure of white clover population in Riga and to evaluate influence of different salt concentration on plants. For this purpose universal retrotranspozone based IRAP (Inter-Retrotransposon Amplified Polymorphism) method was used. The plant material was collected in different regions of Riga and in several urban areas of Latvia. Plant DNA was isolated from in silicogel dried leaves of using 1% CTAB (cetyltrimet-ammonium bromide) buffer DNA extraction procedure. Genetic structure of city population and wild populations were compared. Soil salinization is an important issue associated with low water resources and highly urbanized areas in aride and semi-aride climate conditions, as well as de-icing salt application to prevent ice formation on roads in winter. The T. repens variety ‘Daile’ (form giganteum), one of the often used component of urban greeneries, was studied in this investigation. Plants were grown from seeds and cultivated in the light conditions (18-25 C, 16h/8h of day/night, light intensity 3000 lx) in plastic pots (200 ml), filled with commercial neutralized (pH 5.9 ± 0.3) peat substrate with mineral nutrients. To analyse the impact of increased soil salinity treatments with gradually rising NaCl (0; 20; 40; 60; 80; 100 mM) levels were arranged. Plants were watered when necessary with deionised water to provide optimum substrate moisture 60-70%. The experiment was terminated six weeks after establishment. For analysis of mineral nutrients, dry plant material (above ground part and roots) was used. Decrease of Na content can be significant under elevated salinity till 20 mM NaCl. High NaCl concentrations in the substrate increase Na, Cl, Cu, Fe, and Mn accumulation, but reduce S, Mg, K content in the plant above ground parts. Abiotic stresses generally changes the levels of DNA metilation. Several candidate gene for salt tolerance will be analysed for DNA metilation level using Pyromark-Q24 advanced.

Keywords: DNA metilation, IRAP, soil salinization, white clover

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5 Application of Flow Cytometry for Detection of Influence of Abiotic Stress on Plants

Authors: Dace Grauda, Inta Belogrudova, Alexei Katashev, Linda Lancere, Isaak Rashal


The goal of study was the elaboration of easy applicable flow cytometry method for detection of influence of abiotic stress factors on plants, which could be useful for detection of environmental stresses in urban areas. The lime tree Tillia vulgaris H. is a popular tree species used for urban landscaping in Europe and is one of the main species of street greenery in Riga, Latvia. Tree decline and low vitality has observed in the central part of Riga. For this reason lime trees were select as a model object for the investigation. During the period of end of June and beginning of July 12 samples from different urban environment locations as well as plant material from a greenhouse were collected. BD FACSJazz® cell sorter (BD Biosciences, USA) with flow cytometer function was used to test viability of plant cells. The method was based on changes of relative fluorescence intensity of cells in blue laser (488 nm) after influence of stress factors. SpheroTM rainbow calibration particles (3.0–3.4 μm, BD Biosciences, USA) in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) were used for calibration of flow cytometer. BD PharmingenTM PBS (BD Biosciences, USA) was used for flow cytometry assays. The mean fluorescence intensity information from the purified cell suspension samples was recorded. Preliminary, multiple gate sizes and shapes were tested to find one with the lowest CV. It was found that low CV can be obtained if only the densest part of plant cells forward scatter/side scatter profile is analysed because in this case plant cells are most similar in size and shape. The young pollen cells in one nucleus stage were found as the best for detection of influence of abiotic stress. For experiments only fresh plant material was used– the buds of Tillia vulgaris with diameter 2 mm. For the cell suspension (in vitro culture) establishment modified protocol of microspore culture was applied. The cells were suspended in the MS (Murashige and Skoog) medium. For imitation of dust of urban area SiO2 nanoparticles with concentration 0.001 g/ml were dissolved in distilled water. Into 10 ml of cell suspension 1 ml of SiO2 nanoparticles suspension was added, then cells were incubated in speed shaking regime for 1 and 3 hours. As a stress factor the irradiation of cells for 20 min by UV was used (Hamamatsu light source L9566-02A, L10852 lamp, A10014-50-0110), maximum relative intensity (100%) at 365 nm and at ~310 nm (75%). Before UV irradiation the suspension of cells were placed onto a thin layer on a filter paper disk (diameter 45 mm) in a Petri dish with solid MS media. Cells without treatment were used as a control. Experiments were performed at room temperature (23-25 °C). Using flow cytometer BS FACS Software cells plot was created to determine the densest part, which was later gated using oval-shaped gate. Gate included from 95 to 99% of all cells. To determine relative fluorescence of cells logarithmic fluorescence scale in arbitrary fluorescence units were used. 3x103 gated cells were analysed from the each sample. The significant differences were found among relative fluorescence of cells from different trees after treatment with SiO2 nanoparticles and UV irradiation in comparison with the control.

Keywords: flow cytometry, fluorescence, SiO2 nanoparticles, UV irradiation

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4 Enhancing the Safety Climate and Reducing Violence against Staff in Closed Hospital Wards

Authors: Valerie Isaak


This study examines the effectiveness of an intervention program aimed at enhancing a unit-level safety climate as a way to minimize the risk of employees being injured by patient violence. The intervention program conducted in maximum security units in one of the psychiatric hospitals in Israel included a three day workshop. Safety climate was examined before and after the implementation of the intervention. We also collected data regarding incidents involving patient violence. Six months after the intervention a significant improvement in employees’ perceptions regarding management’s commitment to safety were found as well as a marginally significant improvement in communication concerning safety issues. Our research shows that an intervention program aimed at enhancing a safety climate is associated with a decrease in the number of aggressive incidents. We conclude that such an intervention program is likely to return the sense of safety and reduce the scope of violence.

Keywords: violence, intervention, safety climate, performance, public sector

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3 An Improved Visible Range Absorption Spectroscopy on Soil Macronutrient

Authors: Suhaila Isaak, Yusmeeraz Yusof, Khairunnisa Mohd Yusof, Ahmad Safuan Abdul Rashid


Soil fertility is commonly evaluated by soil macronutrients such as nitrate, potassium, and phosphorus contents. Optical spectroscopy is an emerging technology which is rapid and simple has been widely used in agriculture to measure soil fertility. For visible and near infrared absorption spectroscopy, the absorbed light level in is useful for soil macro-nutrient measurement. This is because the absorption of light in a soil sample influences sensitivity of the measurement. This paper reports the performance of visible and near infrared absorption spectroscopy in the 400–1400 nm wavelength range using light-emitting diode as the excitation light source to predict the soil macronutrient content of nitrate, potassium, and phosphorus. The experimental results show an improved linear regression analysis of various soil specimens based on the Beer–Lambert law to determine sensitivity of soil spectroscopy by evaluating the absorption of characteristic peaks emitted from a light-emitting diode and detected by high sensitivity optical spectrometer. This would denote in developing a simple and low-cost soil spectroscopy with light-emitting diode for future implementation.

Keywords: macronutrients absorption, optical spectroscopy, soil, absorption

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2 The Long – Term Effects of a Prevention Program on the Number of Critical Incidents and Sick Leave Days: A Decade Perspective

Authors: Valerie Isaak


Background: This study explores the effectiveness of refresher training sessions of an intervention program at reducing the employees’ risk of injury due to patient violence in a forensic psychiatric hospital. Methods: The original safety intervention program that consisted of a 3 days’ workshop was conducted in the maximum-security ward of a psychiatric hospital in Israel. Ever since the original intervention, annual refreshers were conducted, highlighting one of the safety elements covered in the original intervention. The study examines the effect of the intervention program along with the refreshers over a period of 10 years in four wards. Results: Analysis of the data demonstrates that beyond the initial reduction following the original intervention, refreshers seem to have an additional positive long-term effect, reducing both the number of violent incidents and the number of actual employee injuries in a forensic psychiatric hospital. Conclusions: We conclude that such an intervention program followed by refresher training would promote employees’ wellbeing. A healthy work environment is part of management’s commitment to improving employee wellbeing at the workplace.

Keywords: wellbeing, violence at work, intervention program refreshers, public sector mental healthcare

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1 Low Power CMOS Amplifier Design for Wearable Electrocardiogram Sensor

Authors: Ow Tze Weng, Suhaila Isaak, Yusmeeraz Yusof


The trend of health care screening devices in the world is increasingly towards the favor of portability and wearability, especially in the most common electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring system. This is because these wearable screening devices are not restricting the patient’s freedom and daily activities. While the demand of low power and low cost biomedical system on chip (SoC) is increasing in exponential way, the front end ECG sensors are still suffering from flicker noise for low frequency cardiac signal acquisition, 50 Hz power line electromagnetic interference, and the large unstable input offsets due to the electrode-skin interface is not attached properly. In this paper, a high performance CMOS amplifier for ECG sensors that suitable for low power wearable cardiac screening is proposed. The amplifier adopts the highly stable folded cascode topology and later being implemented into RC feedback circuit for low frequency DC offset cancellation. By using 0.13 µm CMOS technology from Silterra, the simulation results show that this front end circuit can achieve a very low input referred noise of 1 pV/√Hz and high common mode rejection ratio (CMRR) of 174.05 dB. It also gives voltage gain of 75.45 dB with good power supply rejection ratio (PSSR) of 92.12 dB. The total power consumption is only 3 µW and thus suitable to be implemented with further signal processing and classification back end for low power biomedical SoC.

Keywords: CMOS, ECG, amplifier, low power

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