Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 20

Search results for: Rasul Fani Khiavi

20 Causes of Blindness and Low Vision among Visually Impaired Population Supported by Welfare Organization in Ardabil Province in Iran

Authors: Mohammad Maeiyat, Ali Maeiyat Ivatlou, Rasul Fani Khiavi, Abouzar Maeiyat Ivatlou, Parya Maeiyat

Abstract:

Purpose: Considering the fact that visual impairment is still one of the countries health problem, this study was conducted to determine the causes of blindness and low vision in visually impaired membership of Ardabil Province welfare organization. Methods: The present study which was based on descriptive and national-census, that carried out in visually impaired population supported by welfare organization in all urban and rural areas of Ardabil Province in 2013 and Collection of samples lasted for 7 months. The subjects were inspected by optometrist to determine their visual status (blindness or low vision) and then referred to ophthalmologist in order to discover the main causes of visual impairment based on the international classification of diseases version 10. Statistical analysis of collected data was performed using SPSS software version 18. Results: Overall, 403 subjects with mean age of years participated in this study. 73.2% were blind, 26.8 % were low vision and according gender grouping 60.50 % of them were male, 39.50 % were female that divided into three groups with the age level of lower than 15 (11.2%) 15 to 49 (76.7%), and 50 and higher (12.1%). The age range was 1 to 78 years. The causes of blindness and low vision were in descending order: optic atrophy (18.4%), retinitis pigmentosa (16.8%), corneal diseases (12.4%), chorioretinal diseases (9.4%), cataract (8.9%), glaucoma (8.2%), phthisis bulbi (7.2%), degenerative myopia (6.9%), microphtalmos ( 4%), amblyopia (3.2%), albinism (2.5%) and nistagmus (2%). Conclusion: in this study the main causes of visual impairments were optic atrophy and retinitis pigmentosa, thus specific prevention plans can be effective in reducing the incidence of visual disabilities.

Keywords: blindness, low vision, welfare, ardabil

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19 A Novel PfkB Gene Cloning and Characterization for Expression in Potato Plants

Authors: Arfan Ali, Idrees Ahmad Nasir

Abstract:

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is an important cash crop and popular vegetable in Pakistan and throughout the world. Cold storage of potatoes accelerates the conversion of starch into reduced sugars (glucose and fructose). This process causes dry mass and bitter taste in the potatoes that are not acceptable to end consumers. In the current study, the phosphofructokinase B gene was cloned into the pET-30 vector for protein expression and the pCambia-1301 vector for plant expression. Amplification of a 930bp product from an E. coli strain determined the successful isolation of the phosphofructokinase B gene. Restriction digestion using NcoI and BglII along with the amplification of the 930bp product using gene specific primers confirmed the successful cloning of the PfkB gene in both vectors. The protein was expressed as a His-PfkB fusion protein. Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of the 35 Kda PfkB protein when hybridized with anti-His antibodies. The construct Fani-01 was evaluated transiently using a histochemical gus assay. The appearance of blue color in the agroinfiltrated area of potato leaves confirmed the successful expression of construct Fani-01. Further, the area displaying gus expression was evaluated for PfkB expression using ELISA. Moreover, PfkB gene expression evaluated through transient expression determined successful gene expression and highlighted its potential utilization for stable expression in potato to reduce sweetening due to long-term storage.

Keywords: potato, Solanum tuberosum, transformation, PfkB, anti-sweetening

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18 Flood Scenarios for Hydrological and Hydrodynamic Modelling

Authors: M. Sharif Imam Ibne Amir, Mohammad Masud Kamal Khan, Mohammad Golam Rasul, Raj H. Sharma, Fatema Akram

Abstract:

Future flood can be predicted using the probable maximum flood (PMF). PMF is calculated using the historical discharge or rainfall data considering the other climatic parameter stationary. However, climate is changing globally and the key climatic variables are temperature, evaporation, rainfall and sea level rise (SLR). To develop scenarios to a basin or catchment scale these important climatic variables should be considered. Nowadays scenario based on climatic variables is more suitable than PMF. Six scenarios were developed for a large Fitzroy basin and presented in this paper.

Keywords: climate change, rainfall, potential evaporation, scenario, sea level rise (SLR), sub-catchment

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17 The Effect of 8 Weeks Endurance Training and L-NAME on Apelin in Adipose Tissue, Glucose and Insulin in Elderly Male's Rats

Authors: Asieh Abbassi Daloii, Fatemeh Fani, Ahmad Abdi

Abstract:

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of 8 weeks endurance training and L-NAME on apelin in adipose tissue, glucose and insulin in elderly male’s rats. Methods: For this purpose, 24 vistar elderly rats with average 20 months old purchased from Razi Institute and transferred to Research Center were randomly divided into four groups: 1. control, 2. training, 3.training and L-NAME and 4. L-NAME. Training protocol performed for 8 weeks and 5 days a week with 75-80 VO2 max. All rats were killed 72 hours after the final training session and after 24 hours of fasting adipose tissue samples were collected and kept in -80. Also, Data was analyzed with One way ANOVA and Tucky in p < 0/05. Results: The results showed that the inhibition of nitric oxide on apelin in adipose tissue of adult male rats after eight weeks of endurance training increased significantly compared to the control group (p < 0.00). Also, the results showed no significant difference between the levels of insulin and glucose groups. Conclusion: It is likely that the increased apelin in adipose tissue in mice independent of insulin and glucose.

Keywords: endurance training, L-NAME, apelin in adipose tissue, elderly male rats

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16 Sparse Coding Based Classification of Electrocardiography Signals Using Data-Driven Complete Dictionary Learning

Authors: Fuad Noman, Sh-Hussain Salleh, Chee-Ming Ting, Hadri Hussain, Syed Rasul

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In this paper, a data-driven dictionary approach is proposed for the automatic detection and classification of cardiovascular abnormalities. Electrocardiography (ECG) signal is represented by the trained complete dictionaries that contain prototypes or atoms to avoid the limitations of pre-defined dictionaries. The data-driven trained dictionaries simply take the ECG signal as input rather than extracting features to study the set of parameters that yield the most descriptive dictionary. The approach inherently learns the complicated morphological changes in ECG waveform, which is then used to improve the classification. The classification performance was evaluated with ECG data under two different preprocessing environments. In the first category, QT-database is baseline drift corrected with notch filter and it filters the 60 Hz power line noise. In the second category, the data are further filtered using fast moving average smoother. The experimental results on QT database confirm that our proposed algorithm shows a classification accuracy of 92%.

Keywords: electrocardiogram, dictionary learning, sparse coding, classification

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15 Experimental Investigation of Heat Transfer and Scale Growth Characteristics of Crystallisation Scale in Agitation Tank

Authors: Prasanjit Das, M .M. K. Khan, M. G. Rasul, Jie Wu, I. Youn

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Crystallisation scale occurs when dissolved minerals precipitate from an aqueous solution. To investigate the crystallisation scale growth of normal solubility salt, a lab-scale agitation tank with and without baffles were used as a benchmark using potassium nitrate as the test fluid. Potassium nitrate (KNO3) solution in this test leads to crystallisation scale on heat transfer surfaces. This experimental investigation has focused on the effect of surface crystallisation of potassium nitrate on the low-temperature heat exchange surfaces on the wall of the agitation tank. The impeller agitation rate affects the scaling rate at the low-temperature agitation wall and it shows a decreasing scaling rate with an increasing agitation rate. It was observed that there was a significant variation of heat transfer coefficients and scaling resistance coefficients with different agitation rate as well as with varying impeller size, tank with and without baffles and solution concentration.

Keywords: crystallisation, heat transfer coefficient, scale, resistance

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14 The Development Learning Module Physics based on Guided Inquiry Approach on Model Cooperative Learning Type STAD (Student Team Achievement Division) in the Main Subject of Temperature and Heat

Authors: Fani Firmahandari

Abstract:

The development learning module physics based on guided inquiry approach on model cooperative learning type STAD (Student Team Achievement Division) in the main subject of temperature and heat. The research development aimed to produce physics learning module based on guided cooperative learning type STAD (Student Team Achievement Division) in the main subject of temperature and heat to the student in X class. The research method used Research and Development approach. The development procedure of this module includes potential problems, data collection to meet the need, product design, and feasibility of this module. The impact of learning can be seen or observed clearly when the learning process takes place, the teachers or the students already implemented measures cooperative learning model type STAD, so that the learning process goes well, the interaction of teachers and students, students with student looks good, besides that students can interact and work together in group.

Keywords: cooperative learning type STAD (student team achievement division), development, inquiry, interaction students

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13 Experimental Investigation of Fluid Dynamic Effects on Crystallisation Scale Growth and Suppression in Agitation Tank

Authors: Prasanjit Das, M. M. K. Khan, M. G. Rasul, Jie Wu, I. Youn

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Mineral scale formation is undoubtedly a more serious problem in the mineral industry than other process industries. To better understand scale growth and suppression, an experimental model is proposed in this study for supersaturated crystallised solutions commonly found in mineral process plants. In this experiment, surface crystallisation of potassium nitrate (KNO3) on the wall of the agitation tank and agitation effects on the scale growth and suppression are studied. The new quantitative scale suppression model predicts that at lower agitation speed, the scale growth rate is enhanced and at higher agitation speed, the scale suppression rate increases due to the increased flow erosion effect. A lab-scale agitation tank with and without baffles were used as a benchmark in this study. The fluid dynamic effects on scale growth and suppression in the agitation tank with three different size impellers (diameter 86, 114, 160 mm and model A310 with flow number 0.56) at various ranges of rotational speed (up to 700 rpm) and solution with different concentration (4.5, 4.75 and 5.25 mol/dm3) were investigated. For more elucidation, the effects of the different size of the impeller on wall surface scale growth and suppression rate as well as bottom settled scale accumulation rate are also discussed. Emphasis was placed on applications in the mineral industry, although results are also relevant to other industrial applications.

Keywords: agitation tank, crystallisation, impeller speed, scale

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12 A Case Study on Management of Coal Seam Gas by-Product Water

Authors: Mojibul Sajjad, Mohammad G. Rasul, Md. Sharif Imam Ibne Amir

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The rate of natural gas dissociation from the Coal Matrix depends on depressurization of reservoir through removing of the cleat water from the coal seam. These waters are similar to brine and aged of long years. For improving the connectivity through fracking /fracturing, high pressure liquids are pumped off inside the coal body. A significant quantity of accumulated water, a combined mixture of cleat water and fracking fluids (back flow water) is pumped out through gas well. In Queensland Coal Seam Gas industry is in booming state and estimated of 30,000 wells would be active for CSG production forecasting life span of 30 years. Integrated water management along with water softening programs is practiced for subsequent treatment and later on discharge to nearby surface water catchment. Water treatment is an important part of the CSG industry. A case study on a CSG site and review on the test results are discussed for assessing the Standards & Practices for management of CSG by-product water and their subsequent disposal activities. This study was directed toward (i) water management and softening process in Spring Gully Mine field, (ii) Comparative analysis on experimental study and standards and (iii) Disposal of the treated water. This study also aimed for alternative usages and their impact on vegetation, living species as well as long term effects.

Keywords: coal seam gas (CSG), cleat water, hydro-fracking, product water

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11 Trends of Change of Political Participation of Young Voters in Indonesia

Authors: Najmuddin Rasul

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to determine whether media usage and change of citizenship norms influence trends of change of political participation of young voters in Indonesia. The focus of this study is to examine citizenship norms in the context of the development of information and communication technology influence political participation in the context of Indonesia's transition to democracy. The main theoretical framework is media and political participation. For data gathering, 384 young voters between the ages of 17 to 40 years were interviewed in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia. The results of this study reveal that gender, age and educational background of respondents did not influence significantly media usage and citizenship norms. The results also show that educational background is not a factor that distinguishes media usage but it becomes differentiating factor in citizenship norms. The results further show that media usage has a significant correlation with citizenship norms and citizenship norms has a significant relationship with political participation. In addition, media usage and citizenship norm significantly influence political participation. The sub-dimensions the citizenship norms (compliance, duty, and engaged citizenship) provides a significant contribution to the sub-dimensions of political participation (traditional political participation, modern political participation, civic political participation). Based on the findings it can be concluded that the political euphoria in the era of transition to democracy has changed pattern of media usage and citizenship norms among the young generation in Indonesia.

Keywords: political participation, media, citizenship norms, democracy, young voters, Indonesia

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10 Analysis of Process Methane Hydrate Formation That Include the Important Role of Deep-Sea Sediments with Analogy in Kerek Formation, Sub-Basin Kendeng, Central Java, Indonesia

Authors: Yan Bachtiar Muslih, Hangga Wijaya, Trio Fani, Putri Agustin

Abstract:

Demand of Energy in Indonesia always increases 5-6% a year, but production of conventional energy always decreases 3-5% a year, it means that conventional energy in 20-40 years ahead will not able to complete all energy demand in Indonesia, one of the solve way is using unconventional energy that is gas hydrate, gas hydrate is gas that form by biogenic process, gas hydrate stable in condition with extremely depth and low temperature, gas hydrate can form in two condition that is in pole condition and in deep-sea condition, wherein this research will focus in gas hydrate that association with methane form methane hydrate in deep-sea condition and usually form in depth between 150-2000 m, this research will focus in process of methane hydrate formation that is biogenic process and the important role of deep-sea sediment so can produce accumulation of methane hydrate, methane hydrate usually will be accumulated in find sediment in deep-sea environment with condition high-pressure and low-temperature this condition too usually make methane hydrate change into white nodule, methodology of this research is geology field work and laboratory analysis, from geology field work will get sample data consist of 10-15 samples from Kerek Formation outcrops as random for imagine the condition of deep-sea environment that influence the methane hydrate formation and also from geology field work will get data of measuring stratigraphy in outcrops Kerek Formation too from this data will help to imagine the process in deep-sea sediment like energy flow, supply sediment, and etc, and laboratory analysis is activity to analyze all data that get from geology field work, the result of this research can used to exploration activity of methane hydrate in another prospect deep-sea environment in Indonesia.

Keywords: methane hydrate, deep-sea sediment, kerek formation, sub-basin of kendeng, central java, Indonesia

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9 Investigation of the Level of Physical and Mental Health of Patients Undergoing in Chronic or Transient Hemodialysis at Artificial Kidney Unit

Authors: Styliani Kotrotsiou, Evagelia Kotrotsiou, Fani Mokia, Theodosis Paralikas, Konstantinos Tsaras

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Objective: The objective of this study was the investigation of the mental health of patients undergoing chronic or transient hemodialysis at Artificial Kidney Unit, as well as its relationship to the demographic characteristic of patients. Material and Method: The study took place in Larisa during the month of December in 2016 and the sample was composed of 60 patients undergoing in chronic or transient hemodialysis at Artificial Kidney Unit of the University General Hospital of Larisa. For the investigation of the physical and mental health of patients who participated in the study, the tool measurement << General Health Questionnaire- 28 >> (GHQ-28) was used. The questionnaires were administered with the interview method during the hemodialysis. This survey is designed for the existence or not of a mental disorder. It examines four factors (physical symptoms, anxiety, social dysfunction and depression). Results: The hemodialysis patients gave the following scores: -to the physical symptoms, women showed a higher average value than men (1,16 ± 1,26 against 0,49 ± 0,93), -at the anxiety scale, it seems that women are superior to men (1,68 ± 1,20 against 0,90 ± 1,22), -at the social dysfunction scale, the elderly patients ( > 65 years old) were presented a with higher average (2,59), and -at the depression scale, patients with a higher average value were those who lived in non-urban areas. The appearance of mental disorder, in relation to patient characteristics, did not show significant statistical correlation. The sex, the age and the place of residence affect more the assessment of mental health, while education did not seem to have any significant effect on the other. Conclusions: The hemodialysis process can significantly affect the patient’s Quality of Life and it can bring adverse changes in lifestyle, affecting the physical, social and psychological state of the individual. For that reason, hemodialysis should be aimed not only at extending life but in upgrading the Quality of Life.

Keywords: hemodialysis, chronic kidney disease, depression, social dysfunction, physical condition

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8 Comparison of Different Hydrograph Routing Techniques in XPSTORM Modelling Software: A Case Study

Authors: Fatema Akram, Mohammad Golam Rasul, Mohammad Masud Kamal Khan, Md. Sharif Imam Ibne Amir

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A variety of routing techniques are available to develop surface runoff hydrographs from rainfall. The selection of runoff routing method is very vital as it is directly related to the type of watershed and the required degree of accuracy. There are different modelling softwares available to explore the rainfall-runoff process in urban areas. XPSTORM, a link-node based, integrated storm-water modelling software, has been used in this study for developing surface runoff hydrograph for a Golf course area located in Rockhampton in Central Queensland in Australia. Four commonly used methods, namely SWMM runoff, Kinematic wave, Laurenson, and Time-Area are employed to generate runoff hydrograph for design storm of this study area. In runoff mode of XPSTORM, the rainfall, infiltration, evaporation and depression storage for sub-catchments were simulated and the runoff from the sub-catchment to collection node was calculated. The simulation results are presented, discussed and compared. The total surface runoff generated by SWMM runoff, Kinematic wave and Time-Area methods are found to be reasonably close, which indicates any of these methods can be used for developing runoff hydrograph of the study area. Laurenson method produces a comparatively less amount of surface runoff, however, it creates highest peak of surface runoff among all which may be suitable for hilly region. Although the Laurenson hydrograph technique is widely acceptable surface runoff routing technique in Queensland (Australia), extensive investigation is recommended with detailed topographic and hydrologic data in order to assess its suitability for use in the case study area.

Keywords: ARI, design storm, IFD, rainfall temporal pattern, routing techniques, surface runoff, XPSTORM

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7 A Comparative Study of Costumes for Religious Festivals in ASEAN Countries

Authors: Jaruphan Supprung

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Aims of this research were to study the major religious festivals of merit making and joyful celebrations (nationwide) in each country of ASEAN countries and to compare the costumes for these major religious festivals among these countries. This documentary research employed qualitative research methodology. The findings of the research disclosed that there are 28 main religious festivals in ASEAN countries: 3 Islamic festivals in Brunei Darussalam such as Hari Raya Aidiladha Festival, Mauludin Nabi Festival and Hari Raya Aidilfitri Festival; 2 Buddhist festivals in Cambodia such as Pchum Ben Festival and Khmer New Year Festival; 3 Islamic festivals in Indonesia such as Eid al-Adha Festival, Maulid Nabi Festival and Eid ul-Fitr Festival; 5 Buddhist festivals in Laos such as Boun Awk Pansa Festival, Boun Pha Vet Festival, Boun Pi Mai Festival, Boun Khao Pradabdin Festival and Boun Khao Salak Festival; 3 Islamic festivals in Malaysia such as Hari Raya Aidil Adha Festival, Maulidur Rasul Festival and Hari Raya Aidilfitri Festival; 4 Buddhist festivals in Myanmar such as Thadingyut Festival, Tazaungmon Full Moon Festival, Htamane Festival, and Thingyan Festival; 2 Christian festivals in Philippines such as Christmas Festival and Feast of the Santo Niño; Only 1 Buddhist festival in Singapore: Festival of Vesak Day; 4 Buddhist festivals in Thailand such as Songkran Festival (Thai New Year), Sart Thai Festival, Khao Pansa Festival and Awk Pansa Festival; and only 1 Buddhist festival in Vietnam: Tet Nguyen Dan Festival. For the comparison of the costumes for these major religious festivals, it can be concluded that the most popular style of male costume for religious festivals in ASEAN countries consists of stand-up collar (100%), long sleeves (100%), shirt (90%), and long pants (100%), and the most popular style of male costume for religious festivals in ASEAN countries consists of round neck (90%), long sleeves (80%), blouse (60%), and maxi tube skirt (80%).

Keywords: costume, religious festival, ASEAN countries, visual and performing arts

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6 Synthesis and Characterization of pH-Responsive Nanocarriers Based on POEOMA-b-PDPA Block Copolymers for RNA Delivery

Authors: Bruno Baptista, Andreia S. R. Oliveira, Patricia V. Mendonca, Jorge F. J. Coelho, Fani Sousa

Abstract:

Drug delivery systems are designed to allow adequate protection and controlled delivery of drugs to specific locations. These systems aim to reduce side effects and control the biodistribution profile of drugs, thus improving therapeutic efficacy. This study involved the synthesis of polymeric nanoparticles, based on amphiphilic diblock copolymers, comprising a biocompatible, poly (oligo (ethylene oxide) methyl ether methacrylate (POEOMA) as hydrophilic segment and a pH-sensitive block, the poly (2-diisopropylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDPA). The objective of this work was the development of polymeric pH-responsive nanoparticles to encapsulate and carry small RNAs as a model to further develop non-coding RNAs delivery systems with therapeutic value. The responsiveness of PDPA to pH allows the electrostatic interaction of these copolymers with nucleic acids at acidic pH, as a result of the protonation of the tertiary amine groups of this polymer at pH values below its pKa (around 6.2). Initially, the molecular weight parameters and chemical structure of the block copolymers were determined by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy, respectively. Then, the complexation with small RNAs was verified, generating polyplexes with sizes ranging from 300 to 600 nm and with encapsulation efficiencies around 80%, depending on the molecular weight of the polymers, their composition, and concentration used. The effect of pH on the morphology of nanoparticles was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) being verified that at higher pH values, particles tend to lose their spherical shape. Since this work aims to develop systems for the delivery of non-coding RNAs, studies on RNA protection (contact with RNase, FBS, and Trypsin) and cell viability were also carried out. It was found that they induce some protection against constituents of the cellular environment and have no cellular toxicity. In summary, this research work contributes to the development of pH-sensitive polymers, capable of protecting and encapsulating RNA, in a relatively simple and efficient manner, to further be applied on drug delivery to specific sites where pH may have a critical role, as it can occur in several cancer environments.

Keywords: drug delivery systems, pH-responsive polymers, POEOMA-b-PDPA, small RNAs

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5 Synthesis of Ultra-Small Platinum, Palladium and Gold Nanoparticles by Electrochemically Active Biofilms and Their Enhanced Catalytic Activities

Authors: Elaf Ahmed, Shahid Rasul, Ohoud Alharbi, Peng Wang

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Ultra-Small Nanoparticles of metals (USNPs) have attracted the attention from the perspective of both basic and developmental science in a wide range of fields. These NPs exhibit electrical, optical, magnetic, and catalytic phenomena. In addition, they are considered effective catalysts because of their enormously large surface area. Many chemical methods of synthesising USNPs are reported. However, the drawback of these methods is the use of different capping agents and ligands in the process of the production such as Polyvinylpyrrolidone, Thiol and Ethylene Glycol. In this research ultra-small nanoparticles of gold, palladium and platinum metal have been successfully produced using electrochemically active biofilm (EAB) after optimising the pH of the media. The production of ultra-small nanoparticles has been conducted in a reactor using a simple two steps method. Initially biofilm was grown on the surface of a carbon paper for 7 days using Shewanella Loihica bacteria. Then, biofilm was employed to synthesise platinum, palladium and gold nanoparticles in water using sodium lactate as electron donor without using any toxic chemicals at mild operating conditions. Electrochemically active biofilm oxidise the electron donor and produces electrons in the solution. Since these electrons are a strong reducing agent, they can reduce metal precursors quite effectively and quickly. The As-synthesized ultra-small nanoparticles have a size range between (2-7nm) and showed excellent catalytic activity on the degradation of methyl orange. The growth of metal USNPs is strongly related to the condition of the EAB. Where using low pH for the synthesis was not successful due to the fact that it might affect and destroy the bacterial cells. However, increasing the pH to 7 and 9, led to the successful formation of USNPs. By changing the pH value, we noticed a change in the size range of the produced NPs. The EAB seems to act as a Nano factory for the synthesis of metal nanoparticles by offering a green, sustainable and toxic free synthetic route without the use of any capping agents or ligands and depending only on their respiration pathway.

Keywords: electrochemically active biofilm, electron donor, shewanella loihica, ultra-small nanoparticles

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4 Mechanisms of Atiulcerogenic Activity of Costus speciosus Rhizome Extract in Ethanol-Induced Gastric Mucosal Injury in Rats

Authors: Somayeh Fani, Mahmood Ameen Abdulla

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Costus speciosus is an important Malaysian medicinal plant commonly used traditionally in the treatment of many aliments. The present investigation is designed to elucidate preventive effects of ethanolic extracts of C. speciosus rhizome against absolute ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury in Sprague-Dawley rats. Five groups of rats were orally pre-treated with vehicle, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) as normal control group (Group 1), ethanol as ulcer control group (Group 2), omeprazole 20 mg/kg (reference group) (Group 3), and 250 and 500 mg/kg of C. speciosus extract (experimental groups) (Group 4 and 5), respectively. An hour later, CMC was given orally to Group 1 rats and absolute ethanol was given orally to Group 2-5 rats to generate gastric mucosal injury. After an additional hour, the rats were sacrificed. Grossly, ulcer control group exhibited severe of gastric mucosal hemorrhagic injury and increased in ulcer area, whereas groups pre-treated with omeprazole or plant’s rhizomes exhibited the significant reduction of gastric mucosal injury. Significant increase in the pH and mucous of gastric content was observed in rats re-treated with C. speciosus rhizome. Histology, ulcer control rats, demonstrated remarkable disruption of gastric mucosa, increased in edema and inflammatory cells infiltration of submucosal layer compared to rats pre-treated with rhizomes extract. Periodic acid Schiff staining for glycoprotein, rats pre-fed with C. speciosus C. displayed remarkably intense uptake of magenta color by glandular gastric mucosa compared with ulcer control rats. Immunostaining of gastric epithelium, rats pre-treatment with rhizome extract provide evidence of up-regulation of HSP70 and down-regulation of Bax proteins compared to ulcer control animals. Gastric tissue homogenate, C. speciosus significantly increased the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT), increased the level of non-protein sulfhydryl (NP-SH) and decreased the level of lipid peroxidation after ethanol administration. Acute toxicity test did not show any signs of toxicity. The mechanisms implicated the gasrtoprotective property of C. speciosus depend upon the antisecretory activity, increased in gastric mucus glycoprotein, up-regulation of HSP70 protein and down-regulation of Bax proteins, reduction in the lipid peroxidation and increase in the level of NP-SH and antioxidant enzymes activity in gastic homogenate.

Keywords: antioxidant, Costus speciosus, gastric ulcer, histology, omeprazole

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3 A Review on Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse

Authors: Fatema Akram, Mohammad G. Rasul, M. Masud K. Khan, M. Sharif I. I. Amir

Abstract:

Australia is a country of some 7,700 million square kilometres with a population of about 22.6 million. At present water security is a major challenge for Australia. In some areas the use of water resources is approaching and in some parts it is exceeding the limits of sustainability. A focal point of proposed national water conservation programs is the recycling of both urban storm-water and treated wastewater. But till now it is not widely practiced in Australia, and particularly storm-water is neglected. In Australia, only 4% of storm-water and rainwater is recycled, whereas less than 1% of reclaimed wastewater is reused within urban areas. Therefore, accurately monitoring, assessing and predicting the availability, quality and use of this precious resource are required for better management. As storm-water is usually of better quality than untreated sewage or industrial discharge, it has better public acceptance for recycling and reuse, particularly for non-potable use such as irrigation, watering lawns, gardens, etc. Existing storm-water recycling practice is far behind of research and no robust technologies developed for this purpose. Therefore, there is a clear need for using modern technologies for assessing feasibility of storm-water harvesting and reuse. Numerical modelling has, in recent times, become a popular tool for doing this job. It includes complex hydrological and hydraulic processes of the study area. The hydrologic model computes storm-water quantity to design the system components, and the hydraulic model helps to route the flow through storm-water infrastructures. Nowadays water quality module is incorporated with these models. Integration of Geographic Information System (GIS) with these models provides extra advantage of managing spatial information. However for the overall management of a storm-water harvesting project, Decision Support System (DSS) plays an important role incorporating database with model and GIS for the proper management of temporal information. Additionally DSS includes evaluation tools and Graphical user interface. This research aims to critically review and discuss all the aspects of storm-water harvesting and reuse such as available guidelines of storm-water harvesting and reuse, public acceptance of water reuse, the scopes and recommendation for future studies. In addition to these, this paper identifies, understand and address the importance of modern technologies capable of proper management of storm-water harvesting and reuse.

Keywords: storm-water management, storm-water harvesting and reuse, numerical modelling, geographic information system, decision support system, database

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2 Geochemical Evaluation of Metal Content and Fluorescent Characterization of Dissolved Organic Matter in Lake Sediments

Authors: Fani Sakellariadou, Danae Antivachis

Abstract:

Purpose of this paper is to evaluate the environmental status of a coastal Mediterranean lake, named Koumoundourou, located in the northeastern coast of Elefsis Bay, in the western region of Attiki in Greece, 15 km far from Athens. It is preserved from ancient times having an important archaeological interest. Koumoundourou lake is also considered as a valuable wetland accommodating an abundant flora and fauna, with a variety of bird species including a few world’s threatened ones. Furthermore, it is a heavily modified lake, affected by various anthropogenic pollutant sources which provide industrial, urban and agricultural contaminants. The adjacent oil refineries and the military depot are the major pollution providers furnishing with crude oil spills and leaks. Moreover, the lake accepts a quantity of groundwater leachates from the major landfill of Athens. The environmental status of the lake results from the intensive land uses combined with the permeable lithology of the surrounding area and the existence of karstic springs which discharge calcareous mountains. Sediment samples were collected along the shoreline of the lake using a Van Veen grab stainless steel sampler. They were studied for the determination of the total metal content and the metal fractionation in geochemical phases as well as the characterization of the dissolved organic matter (DOM). These constituents have a significant role in the ecological consideration of the lake. Metals may be responsible for harmful environmental impacts. The metal partitioning offers comprehensive information for the origin, mode of occurrence, biological and physicochemical availability, mobilization and transport of metals. Moreover, DOM has a multifunctional importance interacting with inorganic and organic contaminants leading to biogeochemical and ecological effects. The samples were digested using microwave heating with a suitable laboratory microwave unit. For the total metal content, the samples were treated with a mixture of strong acids. Then, a sequential extraction procedure was applied for the removal of exchangeable, carbonate hosted, reducible, organic/sulphides and residual fractions. Metal content was determined by an ICP-MS (Perkin Elmer, ICP MASS Spectrophotometer NexION 350D). Furthermore, the DOM was removed via a gentle extraction procedure and then it was characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy using a Perkin-Elmer LS 55 luminescence spectrophotometer equipped with the WinLab 4.00.02 software for data processing (Agilent, Cary Eclipse Fluorescence). Mono dimensional emission, excitation, synchronous-scan excitation and total luminescence spectra were recorded for the classification of chromophoric units present in the aqueous extracts. Total metal concentrations were determined and compared with those of the Elefsis gulf sediments. Element partitioning showed the anthropogenic sources and the contaminant bioavailability. All fluorescence spectra, as well as humification indices, were evaluated in detail to find out the nature and origin of DOM. All the results were compared and interpreted to evaluate the environmental quality of Koumoundourou lake and the need for environmental management and protection.

Keywords: anthropogenic contaminant, dissolved organic matter, lake, metal, pollution

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1 Blue Economy and Marine Mining

Authors: Fani Sakellariadou

Abstract:

The Blue Economy includes all marine-based and marine-related activities. They correspond to established, emerging as well as unborn ocean-based industries. Seabed mining is an emerging marine-based activity; its operations depend particularly on cutting-edge science and technology. The 21st century will face a crisis in resources as a consequence of the world’s population growth and the rising standard of living. The natural capital stored in the global ocean is decisive for it to provide a wide range of sustainable ecosystem services. Seabed mineral deposits were identified as having a high potential for critical elements and base metals. They have a crucial role in the fast evolution of green technologies. The major categories of marine mineral deposits are deep-sea deposits, including cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, polymetallic nodules, phosphorites, and deep-sea muds, as well as shallow-water deposits including marine placers. Seabed mining operations may take place within continental shelf areas of nation-states. In international waters, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) has entered into 15-year contracts for deep-seabed exploration with 21 contractors. These contracts are for polymetallic nodules (18 contracts), polymetallic sulfides (7 contracts), and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts (5 contracts). Exploration areas are located in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, the Indian Ocean, the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the South Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. Potential environmental impacts of deep-sea mining include habitat alteration, sediment disturbance, plume discharge, toxic compounds release, light and noise generation, and air emissions. They could cause burial and smothering of benthic species, health problems for marine species, biodiversity loss, reduced photosynthetic mechanism, behavior change and masking acoustic communication for mammals and fish, heavy metals bioaccumulation up the food web, decrease of the content of dissolved oxygen, and climate change. An important concern related to deep-sea mining is our knowledge gap regarding deep-sea bio-communities. The ecological consequences that will be caused in the remote, unique, fragile, and little-understood deep-sea ecosystems and inhabitants are still largely unknown. The blue economy conceptualizes oceans as developing spaces supplying socio-economic benefits for current and future generations but also protecting, supporting, and restoring biodiversity and ecological productivity. In that sense, people should apply holistic management and make an assessment of marine mining impacts on ecosystem services, including the categories of provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural services. The variety in environmental parameters, the range in sea depth, the diversity in the characteristics of marine species, and the possible proximity to other existing maritime industries cause a span of marine mining impact the ability of ecosystems to support people and nature. In conclusion, the use of the untapped potential of the global ocean demands a liable and sustainable attitude. Moreover, there is a need to change our lifestyle and move beyond the philosophy of single-use. Living in a throw-away society based on a linear approach to resource consumption, humans are putting too much pressure on the natural environment. Applying modern, sustainable and eco-friendly approaches according to the principle of circular economy, a substantial amount of natural resource savings will be achieved. Acknowledgement: This work is part of the MAREE project, financially supported by the Division VI of IUPAC. This work has been partly supported by the University of Piraeus Research Center.

Keywords: blue economy, deep-sea mining, ecosystem services, environmental impacts

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