Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 116

Search results for: STEM.

116 Characterization of Banana (Musa spp.) Pseudo-Stem and Fruit-Bunch-Stem as a Potential Renewable Energy Resource

Authors: Nurhayati Abdullah, Fauziah Sulaiman, Muhamad Azman Miskam, Rahmad Mohd Taib

Abstract:

Banana pseudo-stem and fruit-bunch-stem are agricultural residues that can be used for conversion to bio-char, biooil, and gases by using thermochemical process. The aim of this work is to characterize banana pseudo-stem and banana fruit-bunch-stem through proximate analysis, elemental analysis, chemical analysis, thermo-gravimetric analysis, and heating calorific value. The ash contents of the banana pseudo-stem and banana fruit-bunch-stem are 11.0 mf wt.% and 20.6 mf wt.%; while the carbon content of banana pseudo-stem and fruit-bunch-stem are 37.9 mf wt.% and 35.58 mf wt.% respectively. The molecular formulas for banana stem and banana fruit-bunch-stem are C24H33NO26 and C19H29NO33 respectively. The measured higher heating values of banana pseudostem and banana fruit-bunch-stem are 15.5MJ/kg and 12.7 MJ/kg respectively. By chemical analysis, the lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose contents in the samples will also be presented. The feasibility of the banana wastes to be a feedstock for thermochemical process in comparison with other biomass will be discussed in this paper.

Keywords: Banana Waste, Biomass, Renewable Energy, Thermo-chemical Characteristics.

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115 Preliminary Study on Determining Stem Diameter Variations of Sympodial Orchid

Authors: N.M Khairi, M.I. Naimah, M.S.B. Shah Rizam, M.T. Nooritawati, Z.A. Husna

Abstract:

Changes in stem diameter of orchid plants were investigated in a control growing climate. Previous studies have focused on stem diameter in relation to plant water on terrestrial plants in order to schedule the irrigation. The objective of this work was to evaluate the ability of the strain gauges to capture changes in the epiphytes plant stem. Experiments were carried out by using the sympodial orchid, Dendrobium Sonia in a stressed condition. From the findings, the sensor can detect changes in the plant stem and the result can easily be used as a reference for further studies for the development of a proper watering system.

Keywords: Strain gauge, stem diameter, Dendrobium Sonia, epiphyte, terrestrial

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114 Modeling of Oxygen Supply Profiles in Stirred-Tank Aggregated Stem Cells Cultivation Process

Authors: Vytautas Galvanauskas, Vykantas Grincas, Rimvydas Simutis

Abstract:

This paper investigates a possible practical solution for reasonable oxygen supply during the pluripotent stem cells expansion processes, where the stem cells propagate as aggregates in stirred-suspension bioreactors. Low glucose and low oxygen concentrations are preferred for efficient proliferation of pluripotent stem cells. However, strong oxygen limitation, especially inside of cell aggregates, can lead to cell starvation and death. In this research, the oxygen concentration profile inside of stem cell aggregates in a stem cell expansion process was predicted using a modified oxygen diffusion model. This profile can be realized during the stem cells cultivation process by manipulating the oxygen concentration in inlet gas or inlet gas flow. The proposed approach is relatively simple and may be attractive for installation in a real pluripotent stem cell expansion processes.

Keywords: Aggregated stem cells, dissolved oxygen profiles, modeling, stirred-tank, 3D expansion.

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113 Feasibility Study on Vanillin Production from Jatropha curcas Stem Using Steam Explosion as a Pretreatment

Authors: Pilanee Vaithanomsat, Waraporn Apiwatanapiwat

Abstract:

Jatropha curcas stem was analyzed for chemical compositions: 19.11% pentosan, 42.99% alphacellulose and 24.11% lignin based on dry weight of 100-g raw material. The condition to fractionate cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin in J. curcas stem using steam explosion was optimized. The procedure started from cutting J. curcas stem into small pieces and soaked in water for overnight. After that, they were steam exploded at 214 °C and 21 kg/cm2 for 5 min. The obtained hydrolysate contained 1.55 g/L ferulic acid which after that was used as substrate for vanillin production by Aspergillus niger and Pycnoporus cinnabarinus in one-step process. The maximum 0.65 g/L of vanillin were obtained with the conversion rate of 45.2% based on the initial ferulic acid.

Keywords: Vanillin, production, Jatropha curcas stem, steam explosion.

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112 Evaluation of Heavy Metal Concentrations of Stem and Seed of Juncus acutus for Grazing Animals and Birds in Kızılırmak Delta

Authors: N. Cetinkaya, F. Erdem

Abstract:

Juncus acutus (Juncaceae) is a perennial wetland plant and it is commonly known as spiny rush or sharp rush. It is the most abundant plant in Kizilirmak grassland, Samsun, Turkey. Heavy metals are significant environmental contaminants in delta and their toxicity is an increasing problem for animals whose natural habitat is delta. The objective of this study was to evaluate heavy metal concentrations mainly As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg in stem and seed of Juncus acutus for grazing animals and birds in delta. The Juncus acutus stem and seed samples were collected from Kizilirmak Delta in July, August and September. Heavy metal concentrations of collected samples were analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS). The obtained mean values of three months for As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg of stem and seed samples of Juncus acutus were 0.11 and 0.23 mg/kg; 0.07 and 0.11 mg/kg; 0.02 and 0.02 mg/kg; 5.26 and 1.75 mg/kg; 0.05 and not detectable in July respectively. Hg was not detected in both stem and seed of Juncus acutus, Pb concentration was determined only in stem of Juncus acutus but not in seed. There were no significant differences between the values of three months for As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg of stem and seed samples of Juncus acutus. The obtained As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg results of stem and seed of Juncus acutus show that seed and stem of Juncus acutus may be safely consumed for grazing animals and birds regarding to heavy metals contamination in Kizilirmak Delta.

Keywords: Heavy metals, Juncus acutus, Kizilirmak Delta, wetland.

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111 A Case Study of Mobile Game Based Learning Design for Gender Responsive STEM Education

Authors: Raluca Ionela Maxim

Abstract:

Designing a gender responsive Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) mobile game based learning solution (mGBL) is a challenge in terms of content, gamification level and equal engagement of girls and boys. The goal of this case study was to research and create a high-fidelity prototype design of a mobile game that contains role-models as avatars that guide and expose girls and boys to STEM learning content. For this research purpose it was applied the methodology of design sprint with five-phase process that combines design thinking principles. The technique of this methodology comprises smart interviews with STEM experts, mind-map creation, sketching, prototyping and usability testing of the interactive prototype of the gender responsive STEM mGBL. The results have shown that the effect of the avatar/role model had a positive impact. Therefore, by exposing students (boys and girls) to STEM role models in an mGBL tool is helpful for the decreasing of the gender inequalities in STEM fields.

Keywords: Design thinking, design sprint, gender-responsive STEM education, mobile game based learning, role-models.

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110 On-line Image Mosaicing of Live Stem Cells

Authors: Alessandro Bevilacqua, Alessandro Gherardi, Filippo Piccinini

Abstract:

Image mosaicing is a technique that permits to enlarge the field of view of a camera. For instance, it is employed to achieve panoramas with common cameras or even in scientific applications, to achieve the image of a whole culture in microscopical imaging. Usually, a mosaic of cell cultures is achieved through using automated microscopes. However, this is often performed in batch, through CPU intensive minimization algorithms. In addition, live stem cells are studied in phase contrast, showing a low contrast that cannot be improved further. We present a method to study the flat field from live stem cells images even in case of 100% confluence, this permitting to build accurate mosaics on-line using high performance algorithms.

Keywords: Microscopy, image mosaicing, stem cells.

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109 Preparation of POMA Nanofibers by Electrospinning and Its Applications in Tissue Engineering

Authors: Lu-Chen Yeh‚ Jui-Ming Yeh

Abstract:

In this manuscript, we produced neat electrospun poly(o-methoxyaniline) (POMA) fibers and utilized it for applying the growth of neural stem cells. The transparency and morphology of as-prepared POMA fibers was characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy, respectively. It was found to have no adverse effects on the long-term proliferation of the neural stem cells (NSCs), retained the ability to self-renew, and exhibit multipotentiality. Results of immunofluorescence staining studies confirmed that POMA electrospun fibers could provide a great environment for NSCs and enhance its differentiation.

Keywords: Electrospun, polyaniline, neural stem cell, differentiation.

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108 Determination of Agricultural Characteristics of Smooth Bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) Lines under Konya Regional Conditions

Authors: Abdullah Özköse, Ahmet Tamkoç

Abstract:

The present study was conducted to determine the yield and yield components of smooth bromegrass lines under the environmental conditions of the Konya region during the growing seasons between 2011 and 2013. The experiment was performed in the randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. It was found that the selected lines had a statistically significant effect on all the investigated traits, except for the main stem length and the number of nodes in the main stem. According to the two-year average calculated for various parameters checked in the smooth bromegrass lines, the main stem length ranged from 71.6 cm to 79.1 cm, the main stem diameter from 2.12 mm from 2.70 mm, the number of nodes in the main stem from 3.2 to 3.7, the internode length from 11.6 cm to 18.9 cm, flag leaf length from 9.7 cm to 12.7 cm, flag leaf width from 3.58 cm to 6.04 mm, herbage yield from 221.3 kg da–1 to 354.7 kg da–1 and hay yield from 100.4 kg da–1 to 190.1 kg da–1. The study concluded that the smooth bromegrass lines differ in terms of yield and yield components. Therefore, it is very crucial to select suitable varieties of smooth bromegrass to obtain optimum yield.

Keywords: Semiarid region, smooth bromegrass, yield, yield components.

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107 Metal Ship and Robotic Car: A Hands-On Activity to Develop Scientific and Engineering Skills for High School Students

Authors: Jutharat Sunprasert, Ekapong Hirunsirisawat, Narongrit Waraporn, Somporn Peansukmanee

Abstract:

Metal Ship and Robotic Car is one of the hands-on activities in the course, the Fundamental of Engineering that can be divided into three parts. The first part, the metal ships, was made by using engineering drawings, physics and mathematics knowledge. The second part is where the students learned how to construct a robotic car and control it using computer programming. In the last part, the students had to combine the workings of these two objects in the final testing. This aim of study was to investigate the effectiveness of hands-on activity by integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts to develop scientific and engineering skills. The results showed that the majority of students felt this hands-on activity lead to an increased confidence level in the integration of STEM. Moreover, 48% of all students engaged well with the STEM concepts. Students could obtain the knowledge of STEM through hands-on activities with the topics science and mathematics, engineering drawing, engineering workshop and computer programming; most students agree and strongly agree with this learning process. This indicated that the hands-on activity: “Metal Ship and Robotic Car” is a useful tool to integrate each aspect of STEM. Furthermore, hands-on activities positively influence a student’s interest which leads to increased learning achievement and also in developing scientific and engineering skills.

Keywords: Hands-on activity, STEM education, computer programming, metal work.

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106 Investigation of the Physical Computing in Computational Thinking Practices, Computer Programming Concepts and Self-Efficacy for Crosscutting Ideas in STEM Content Environments

Authors: Sarantos Psycharis

Abstract:

Physical Computing, as an instructional model, is applied in the framework of the Engineering Pedagogy to teach “transversal/cross-cutting ideas” in a STEM content approach. Labview and Arduino were used in order to connect the physical world with real data in the framework of the so called Computational Experiment. Tertiary prospective engineering educators were engaged during their course and Computational Thinking (CT) concepts were registered before and after the intervention across didactic activities using validated questionnaires for the relationship between self-efficacy, computer programming, and CT concepts when STEM content epistemology is implemented in alignment with the Computational Pedagogy model. Results show a significant change in students’ responses for self-efficacy for CT before and after the instruction. Results also indicate a significant relation between the responses in the different CT concepts/practices. According to the findings, STEM content epistemology combined with Physical Computing should be a good candidate as a learning and teaching approach in university settings that enhances students’ engagement in CT concepts/practices.

Keywords: STEM, computational thinking, physical computing, Arduino, Labview, self-efficacy.

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105 Ultrasound Mechanical Index as a Parameter Affecting of the Ability of Proliferation of Cells

Authors: Z. Hormozi Moghaddam, M. Mokhtari-Dizaji, M. Movahedin, M. E. Ravari

Abstract:

Mechanical index (MI) is used for quantifying acoustic cavitation and the relationship between acoustic pressure and the frequency. In this study, modeling of the MI was applied to provide treatment protocol and to understand the effective physical processes on reproducibility of stem cells. The acoustic pressure and MI equations are modeled and solved to estimate optimal MI for 28, 40, 150 kHz and 1 MHz frequencies. Radial and axial acoustic pressure distribution was extracted. To validate the results of the modeling, the acoustic pressure in the water and near field depth was measured by a piston hydrophone. Results of modeling and experiments show that the model is consistent well to experimental results with 0.91 and 0.90 correlation of coefficient (p<0.05) for 1 MHz and 40 kHz. Low intensity ultrasound with 0.40 MI is more effective on the proliferation rate of the spermatogonial stem cells during the seven days of culture, in contrast, high MI has a harmful effect on the spermatogonial stem cells. This model provides proper treatment planning in vitro and in vivo by estimating the cavitation phenomenon.

Keywords: Ultrasound, mechanical index, modeling, stem cell.

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104 Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science Interface: Content Considerations for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

Authors: Mpofu Vongai, Vhurumuku Elaosi

Abstract:

Many African countries, such as Zimbabwe and South Africa, have curricula reform agendas that include incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science (NOS) into school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. It is argued that at high school level, STEM learning, which incorporates understandings of indigenization science and NOS, has the potential to provide a strong foundation for a culturally embedded scientific knowledge essential for their advancement in Science and Technology. Globally, investment in STEM education is recognized as essential for economic development. For this reason, developing countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa have been investing into training specialized teachers in natural sciences and technology. However, in many cases this training has been detached from the cultural realities and contexts of indigenous learners. For this reason, the STEM curricula reform has provided implementation challenges to teachers. An issue of major concern is the teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is essential for effective implementation of these STEM curricula. Well-developed Teacher PCK include an understanding of both the nature of indigenous knowledge (NOIK) and of NOS. This paper reports the results of a study that investigated the development of 3 South African and 3 Zimbabwean in-service teachers’ abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK as part of their PCK. A participatory action research design was utilized. The main focus was on capturing, determining and developing teachers STEM knowledge for integrating NOIK and NOS in science classrooms. Their use of indigenous games was used to determine how their subject knowledge for STEM and pedagogical abilities could be developed. Qualitative data were gathered through the use dialogues between the researchers and the in-service teachers, as well as interviewing the participating teachers. Analysis of the data provides a methodological window through which in-service teachers’ PCK can be STEMITIZED and their abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK developed. Implications are raised for developing teachers’ STEM education in universities and teacher training colleges.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, nature of science, pedagogical content knowledge, STEM education.

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103 Determination of the Pullout/Holding Strength at the Taper-Trunnion Junction of Hip Implants

Authors: Obinna K. Ihesiulor, Krishna Shankar, Paul Smith, Alan Fien

Abstract:

Excessive fretting wear at the taper-trunnion junction (trunnionosis) apparently contributes to the high failure rates of hip implants. Implant wear and corrosion lead to the release of metal particulate debris and subsequent release of metal ions at the tapertrunnion surface. This results in a type of metal poisoning referred to as metallosis. The consequences of metal poisoning include; osteolysis (bone loss), osteoarthritis (pain), aseptic loosening of the prosthesis and revision surgery. Follow up after revision surgery, metal debris particles are commonly found in numerous locations. Background: A stable connection between the femoral ball head (taper) and stem (trunnion) is necessary to prevent relative motions and corrosion at the taper junction. Hence, the importance of component assembly cannot be over-emphasized. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine the influence of head-stem junction assembly by press fitting and the subsequent disengagement/disassembly on the connection strength between the taper ball head and stem. Methods: CoCr femoral heads were assembled with High stainless hydrogen steel stem (trunnion) by Push-in i.e. press fit; and disengaged by pull-out test. The strength and stability of the two connections were evaluated by measuring the head pull-out forces according to ISO 7206-10 standards. Findings: The head-stem junction strength linearly increases with assembly forces.

Keywords: Wear, modular hip prosthesis, taper head-stem, force assembly, force disassembly.

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102 Status and Management of Grape Stem Borer, Celosterna scrabrator with Soil Application of Chlorantraniliprole 0.4 gr

Authors: D. N. Kambrekar, S. B. Jagginavar, J. Aruna

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Grape stem borer, Celosterna scrabrator is an important production constraint in grapes in India. Hitherto this pest was a severe menace only on the aged and unmanaged fields but during the recent past it has also started damaging the newly established fields. In India, since Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are the major grape production states, the incidence of stem borer is also restricted and severe in these states. The grubs of the beetle bore in to the main stem and even the branches, which affect the translocation of nutrients to the areal parts of the plant. Since, the grubs bore inside the stem, the chewed material along with its excreta is discharged outside the holes and the frass is found on the ground just below the bored holes. The portion of vines above the damaged part has a sticky appearance. The leaves become pale yellow which looks like a deficiency of micronutrients. The leaves ultimately dry and drop down. The status of the incidence of the grape stem borer in different grape growing districts of Northern Karnataka was carried out during three years. In each taluka five locations were surveyed for the incidence of grape stem borer. Further, the experiment on management of stem borer was carried out in the grape gardens of Vijayapur districts under farmers field during three years. Stem borer infested plants that show live holes were selected per treatments and it was replicated three times. Live and dead holes observed during pre-treatment were closely monitored and only plants with live holes were selected and tagged. Different doses of chlorantraniliprole 0.4% GR were incorporated into the soil around the vine basins near root zone surrounded to trunk region by removing soils up to 5-10 cm with a peripheral distance of 1 to 1.5 feet from the main trunk where feeder roots are present. Irrigation was followed after application of insecticide for proper incorporation of the test chemical. The results indicated that there was sever to moderate incidence of the stem borer in all the grape growing districts of northern Karnataka. Maximum incidence was recorded in Belagavi (11 holes per vine) and minimum was in Gadag district (8.5 holes per vine). The investigations carried out to study the efficacy of chlorantraniliprole on grape stem borer for successive three years under farmers field indicated that chlorantraniliprole @ 15g/vine applied just near the active root zone of the plant followed by irrigation has successfully managed the pest. The insecticide has translocated to all the parts of the plants and thereby stopped the activity of the pest which has resulted in to better growth of the plant and higher berry yield compared to other treatments under investigation. Thus, chlorantraniliprole 0.4 GR @ 15g/vine can be effective means in managing the stem borer.

Keywords: Chlorantraniliprole, grape stem borer, Celosterna scrabrator, management.

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101 Multichannel Image Mosaicing of Stem Cells

Authors: Alessandro Bevilacqua, Alessandro Gherardi, Filippo Piccinini

Abstract:

Image mosaicing techniques are usually employed to offer researchers a wider field of view of microscopic image of biological samples. a mosaic is commonly achieved using automated microscopes and often with one “color" channel, whether it refers to natural or fluorescent analysis. In this work we present a method to achieve three subsequent mosaics of the same part of a stem cell culture analyzed in phase contrast and in fluorescence, with a common non-automated inverted microscope. The mosaics obtained are then merged together to mark, in the original contrast phase images, nuclei and cytoplasm of the cells referring to a mosaic of the culture, rather than to single images. The experiments carried out prove the effectiveness of our approach with cultures of cells stained with calcein (green/cytoplasm and nuclei) and hoechst (blue/nuclei) probes.

Keywords: Microscopy, image mosaicing, fluorescence, stem cells.

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100 Computational Identification of MicroRNAs and their Targets in two Species of Evergreen Spruce Tree (Picea)

Authors: Muhammad Y.K. Barozai, Ifthikhar A. Baloch, M. Din

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding and regulatory RNAs about 20 to 24 nucleotides long. Their conserved nature among the various organisms makes them a good source of new miRNAs discovery by comparative genomics approach. The study resulted in 21 miRNAs of 20 pre-miRNAs belonging to 16 families (miR156, 157, 158, 164, 165, 168, 169, 172, 319, 390, 393, 394, 395, 400, 472 and 861) in evergreen spruce tree (Picea). The miRNA families; miR 157, 158, 164, 165, 168, 169, 319, 390, 393, 394, 400, 472 and 861 are reported for the first time in the Picea. All 20 miRNA precursors form stable minimum free energy stem-loop structure as their orthologues form in Arabidopsis and the mature miRNA reside in the stem portion of the stem loop structure. Sixteen (16) miRNAs are from Picea glauca and five (5) belong to Picea sitchensis. Their targets consist of transcription factors, growth related, stressed related and hypothetical proteins.

Keywords: BLAST, Comparative Genomics, Micro-RNAs, Spruce

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99 Determination of an Efficient Differentiation Pathway of Stem Cells Employing Predictory Neural Network Model

Authors: Mughal Yar M, Israr Ul Haq, Bushra Noman

Abstract:

The stem cells have ability to differentiated themselves through mitotic cell division and various range of specialized cell types. Cellular differentiation is a way by which few specialized cell develops into more specialized.This paper studies the fundamental problem of computational schema for an artificial neural network based on chemical, physical and biological variables of state. By doing this type of study system could be model for a viable propagation of various economically important stem cells differentiation. This paper proposes various differentiation outcomes of artificial neural network into variety of potential specialized cells on implementing MATLAB version 2009. A feed-forward back propagation kind of network was created to input vector (five input elements) with single hidden layer and one output unit in output layer. The efficiency of neural network was done by the assessment of results achieved from this study with that of experimental data input and chosen target data. The propose solution for the efficiency of artificial neural network assessed by the comparatative analysis of “Mean Square Error" at zero epochs. There are different variables of data in order to test the targeted results.

Keywords: Computational shcmin, meiosis, mitosis, neuralnetwork, Stem cell SOM;

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98 Safety Study of Intravenously Administered Human Cord Blood Stem Cells in the Treatment of Symptoms Related to Chronic Inflammation

Authors: Brian M. Mehling, Louis Quartararo, Marine Manvelyan, Paul Wang, Dong-Cheng Wu

Abstract:

Numerous investigations suggest that Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) in general represent a valuable tool for therapy of symptoms related to chronic inflammatory diseases. Blue Horizon Stem Cell Therapy Program is a leading provider of adult and children’s stem cell therapies. Uniquely we have safely and efficiently treated more than 600 patients with documenting each procedure. The purpose of our study is primarily to monitor the immune response in order to validate the safety of intravenous infusion of human umbilical cord blood derived MSCs (UC-MSCs), and secondly, to evaluate effects on biomarkers associated with chronic inflammation. Nine patients were treated for conditions associated with chronic inflammation and for the purpose of antiaging. They have been given one intravenous infusion of UCMSCs. Our study of blood test markers of 9 patients with chronic inflammation before and within three months after MSCs treatment demonstrates that there is no significant changes and MSCs treatment was safe for the patients. Analysis of different indicators of chronic inflammation and aging included in initial, 24-hours, two weeks and three months protocols showed that stem cell treatment was safe for the patients; there were no adverse reactions. Moreover data from follow up protocols demonstrates significant improvement in energy level, hair, nails growth and skin conditions. Intravenously administered UC-MSCs were safe and effective in the improvement of symptoms related to chronic inflammation. Further close monitoring and inclusion of more patients are necessary to fully characterize the advantages of UC-MSCs application in treatment of symptoms related to chronic inflammation.

Keywords: Chronic inflammatory diseases, intravenous infusion, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), umbilical cord blood.

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97 The Development of Student Core Competencies through the STEM Education Opportunities in Classroom

Authors: Z. Dedovets, M. Rodionov

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The goal of the modern education system is to prepare students to be able to adapt to ever-changing life situations. They must be able to acquire required knowledge independently; apply such knowledge in practice to solve various problems by using modern technologies; think critically and creatively; competently use information; be communicative, work in a team; and develop their own moral values, intellect and cultural awareness. As a result, the status of education significantly increases; new requirements to its quality have been formed. In recent years the competency-based approach in education has become of significant interest. This approach is a strengthening of applied and practical characteristics of a school education and leads to the forming of the key students’ competencies which define their success in future life. In this article, the authors’ attention focuses on a range of key competencies, educational, informational and communicative and on the possibility to develop such competencies via STEM education. This research shows the change in students’ attitude towards scientific disciplines such as mathematics, general science, technology and engineering as a result of STEM education. Two staged analyzed questionnaires completed by students of forms II to IV in the republic of Trinidad and Tobago allowed the authors to categorize students between two levels that represent students’ attitude to various disciplines. The significance of differences between selected levels was confirmed with the use of Pearson’s chi-squared test. In summary, the analysis of obtained data makes it possible to conclude that STEM education has a great potential for development of core students’ competencies and encourage the development of positive student attitude towards the above mentioned above scientific disciplines.

Keywords: STEM-science, technology, engineering, mathematics, students’ competency, Pearson's chi-squared test.

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96 Conservation Techniques for Soil Erosion Control in Tobacco-Based Farming System at Steep Land Areas of Progo Hulu Subwatershed, Central Java, Indonesia

Authors: Jaka Suyana, Komariah, Masateru Senge

Abstract:

This research was aimed at determining the impact of conservation techniques including bench terrace, stone terrace, mulching, grass strip and intercropping on soil erosion at tobacco-based farming system at Progo Hulu subwatershed, Central Java, Indonesia. Research was conducted from September 2007 to September 2009, located at Progo Hulu subwatershed, Central Java, Indonesia. Research site divided into 27 land units, and experimental fields were grouped based on the soil type and slope, ie: 30%, 45% and 70%, with the following treatments: 1) ST0= stone terrace (control); 2) ST1= stone terrace + Setaria spacelata grass strip on a 5 cm height dike at terrace lips + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 50% (7 ton/ ha); 3) ST2= stone terrace + Setaria spacelata grass strip on a 5 cm height dike at terrace lips + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 100% (14 ton/ ha); 4) ST3= stone terrace + tobacco and red bean intercropping + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 50% (7 ton/ ha). 5) BT0= bench terrace (control); 6) BT1= bench terrace + Setaria spacelata grass strip at terrace lips + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 50% (7 ton/ ha); 7) BT2= bench terrace + Setaria spacelata grass strip at terrace lips + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 100% (14 ton/ ha); 8) BT3= bench terrace + tobacco and red bean intercropping + tobacco stem mulch with dose of 50% (7 ton/ ha). The results showed that the actual erosion rates of research site were higher than that of tolerance erosion with mean value 89.08 ton/ha/year and 33.40 ton/ha/year, respectively. These resulted in 69% of total research site (5,119.15 ha) highly degraded. Conservation technique of ST2 was the most effective in suppressing soil erosion, by 42.87%, following with BT2 as much 30.63%. Others suppressed erosion only less than 21%.

Keywords: Steep land, subwatershed, conservation terrace, tolerance erosion.

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95 Qualitative and Quantitative Analyses of Phytochemicals and Antioxidant Activity of Ficus sagittifolia (Warburg Ex Mildbread and Burret)

Authors: Taiwo O. Margaret, Olaoluwa O. Olaoluwa

Abstract:

Moraceae family has immense phytochemical constituents and significant pharmacological properties, hence have great medicinal values. The aim of this study was to screen and quantify phytochemicals as well as the antioxidant activities of the leaf and stem bark extracts and fractions (crude ethanol extracts, n-hexane, ethyl acetate and aqueous ethanol fractions) of Ficus sagittifolia. Leaf and stem bark of F. sagittifolia were extracted by maceration method using ethanol to give ethanol crude extract. The ethanol crude extract was partitioned by n-hexane and ethyl-acetate to give their respective fractions. All the extracts were screened for their phytochemicals using standard methods. The total phenolic, flavonoid, tannin, saponin contents and antioxidant activity were determined by spectrophotometric method while the alkaloid content was evaluated by titrimetric method. The amount of total phenolic in extracts and fractions were estimated in comparison to gallic acid, whereas total flavonoids, tannins and saponins were estimated corresponding to quercetin, tannic acid and saponin respectively. 2, 2-diphenylpicryl hydrazyl radical (DPPH)* and phosphomolybdate methods were used to evaluate the antioxidant activities of leaf and stem bark of F. sagittifolia. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of flavonoids, saponins, terpenoids/steroids, alkaloids for both extracts of leaf and stem bark of F. sagittifolia. The phenolic content of F. sagittifolia was most abundant in leaf ethanol crude extract as 3.53 ± 0.03 mg/g equivalent of gallic acid. Total flavonoids and tannins content were highest in stem bark aqueous ethanol fraction of F. sagittifolia estimated as 3.41 ± 0.08 mg/g equivalent of quercetin and 1.52 ± 0.05 mg/g equivalent of tannic acid respectively. The hexane leaf fraction of F. sagittifolia had the utmost saponin and alkaloid content as 5.10 ± 0.48 mg/g equivalent of saponins and 0.171 ± 0.39 g of alkaloids. Leaf aqueous ethanol fraction of F. sagittifolia showed high antioxidant activity (IC50 value of 63.092 µg/mL) and stem ethanol crude extract (227.43 ± 0.78 mg/g equivalent of ascorbic acid) for DPPH and phosphomolybdate method respectively and the least active was found to be the stem hexane fraction using both methods (313.32 µg/mL; 16.21 ± 1.30 mg/g equivalent of ascorbic acid). The presence of these phytochemicals in the leaf and stem bark of F. sagittifolia are responsible for their therapeutic importance as well as the ability to scavenge free radicals in living systems.

Keywords: Antioxidant activity, Ficus sagittifolia, Moraceae, phytochemicals.

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94 Cytotoxic Effects of Engineered Nanoparticles in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Authors: Ali A. Alshatwi, Vaiyapuri S. Periasamy, Jegan Athinarayanan

Abstract:

Engineered nanoparticles’ usage rapidly increased in various applications in the last decade due to their unusual properties. However, there is an ever increasing concern to understand their toxicological effect in human health. Particularly, metal and metal oxide nanoparticles have been used in various sectors including biomedical, food and agriculture. But their impact on human health is yet to be fully understood. In this present investigation, we assessed the toxic effect of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) including Ag, MgO and Co3O4 nanoparticles (NPs) on human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) adopting cell viability and cellular morphological changes as tools The results suggested that silver NPs are more toxic than MgO and Co3O4NPs. The ENPs induced cytotoxicity and nuclear morphological changes in hMSC depending on dose. The cell viability decreases with increase in concentration of ENPs. The cellular morphology studies revealed that ENPs damaged the cells. These preliminary findings have implications for the use of these nanoparticles in food industry with systematic regulations.

Keywords: Cobalt oxide, Human mesenchymal stem cells, MgO, Silver.

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93 Examining the Pearlite Growth Interface in a Fe-C-Mn Alloy

Authors: R. E. Waters, M. J. Whiting, V. Stolojan

Abstract:

A method of collecting composition data and examining structural features of pearlite lamellae and the parent austenite at the growth interface in a 13wt. % manganese steel has been demonstrated with the use of Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM). The combination of composition data and the structural features observed at the growth interface show that available theories of pearlite growth cannot explain all the observations.

Keywords: Interfaces, Phase transformations, Pearlite, Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM).

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92 Statistical Optimization of Process Variables for Direct Fermentation of 226 White Rose Tapioca Stem to Ethanol by Fusarium oxysporum

Authors: A. Magesh, B. Preetha, T. Viruthagiri

Abstract:

Direct fermentation of 226 white rose tapioca stem to ethanol by Fusarium oxysporum was studied in a batch reactor. Fermentation of ethanol can be achieved by sequential pretreatment using dilute acid and dilute alkali solutions using 100 mesh tapioca stem particles. The quantitative effects of substrate concentration, pH and temperature on ethanol concentration were optimized using a full factorial central composite design experiment. The optimum process conditions were then obtained using response surface methodology. The quadratic model indicated that substrate concentration of 33g/l, pH 5.52 and a temperature of 30.13oC were found to be optimum for maximum ethanol concentration of 8.64g/l. The predicted optimum process conditions obtained using response surface methodology was verified through confirmatory experiments. Leudeking-piret model was used to study the product formation kinetics for the production of ethanol and the model parameters were evaluated using experimental data.

Keywords: Fusarium oxysporum, Lignocellulosic biomass, Product formation kinetics, Statistical experimental design

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91 Morpho-Phonological Modelling in Natural Language Processing

Authors: Eleni Galiotou, Angela Ralli

Abstract:

In this paper we propose a computational model for the representation and processing of morpho-phonological phenomena in a natural language, like Modern Greek. We aim at a unified treatment of inflection, compounding, and word-internal phonological changes, in a model that is used for both analysis and generation. After discussing certain difficulties cuase by well-known finitestate approaches, such as Koskenniemi-s two-level model [7] when applied to a computational treatment of compounding, we argue that a morphology-based model provides a more adequate account of word-internal phenomena. Contrary to the finite state approaches that cannot handle hierarchical word constituency in a satisfactory way, we propose a unification-based word grammar, as the nucleus of our strategy, which takes into consideration word representations that are based on affixation and [stem stem] or [stem word] compounds. In our formalism, feature-passing operations are formulated with the use of the unification device, and phonological rules modeling the correspondence between lexical and surface forms apply at morpheme boundaries. In the paper, examples from Modern Greek illustrate our approach. Morpheme structures, stress, and morphologically conditioned phoneme changes are analyzed and generated in a principled way.

Keywords: Morpho-Phonology, Natural Language Processing.

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90 In silico Repopulation Model of Various Tumour Cells during Treatment Breaks in Head and Neck Cancer Radiotherapy

Authors: Loredana G. Marcu, David Marcu, Sanda M. Filip

Abstract:

Advanced head and neck cancers are aggressive tumours, which require aggressive treatment. Treatment efficiency is often hindered by cancer cell repopulation during radiotherapy, which is due to various mechanisms triggered by the loss of tumour cells and involves both stem and differentiated cells. The aim of the current paper is to present in silico simulations of radiotherapy schedules on a virtual head and neck tumour grown with biologically realistic kinetic parameters. Using the linear quadratic formalism of cell survival after radiotherapy, altered fractionation schedules employing various treatment breaks for normal tissue recovery are simulated and repopulation mechanism implemented in order to evaluate the impact of various cancer cell contribution on tumour behaviour during irradiation. The model has shown that the timing of treatment breaks is an important factor influencing tumour control in rapidly proliferating tissues such as squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Furthermore, not only stem cells but also differentiated cells, via the mechanism of abortive division, can contribute to malignant cell repopulation during treatment.

Keywords: Radiation, tumour repopulation, squamous cell carcinoma, stem cell.

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89 Biogas Production from Waste using Biofilm Reactor: Factor Analysis in Two Stages System

Authors: N. Zainol, J. Salihon, R. Abdul-Rahman

Abstract:

Factor analysis was applied to two stages biogas production from banana stem waste allowing a screening of the experimental variables second stage temperature (T), organic loading rates (OLR) and hydraulic retention times (HRT). Biogas production was found to be strongly influenced by all the above experimental variables. Results from factorial analysis have shown that all variables which were HRT, OLR and T have significant effect to biogas production. Increased in HRT and OLR could increased the biogas yield. The performance was tested under the conditions of various T (35oC-60oC), OLR (0.3 g TS/l.d–1.9 gTS/l.d), and HRT (3 d–15 d). Conditions for temperature, OLR and HRT in this study were based on the best range obtained from literature review.

Keywords: Biogas, factor analysis, banana stem waste

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88 Evolutionary of Prostate Cancer Stem Cells in Prostate Duct

Authors: Zachariah Sinkala

Abstract:

A systems approach model for prostate cancer in prostate duct, as a sub-system of the organism is developed. It is accomplished in two steps. First this research work starts with a nonlinear system of coupled Fokker-Plank equations which models continuous process of the system like motion of cells. Then extended to PDEs that include discontinuous processes like cell mutations, proliferation and deaths. The discontinuous processes is modeled by using intensity poisson processes. The model incorporates the features of the prostate duct. The system of PDEs spatial coordinate is along the proximal distal axis. Its parameters depend on features of the prostate duct. The movement of cells is biased towards distal region and mutations of prostate cancer cells is localized in the proximal region. Numerical solutions of the full system of equations are provided, and are exhibit traveling wave fronts phenomena. This motivates the use of the standard transformation to derive a canonically related system of ODEs for traveling wave solutions. The results obtained show persistence of prostate cancer by showing that the non-negative cone for the traveling wave system is time invariant. The traveling waves have a unique global attractor is proved also. Biologically, the global attractor verifies that evolution of prostate cancer stem cells exhibit the avascular tumor growth. These numerical solutions show that altering prostate stem cell movement or mutation of prostate cancer cells lead to avascular tumor. Conclusion with comments on clinical implications of the model is discussed.

Keywords: Fokker-Plank equations, global attractor, stem cell.

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87 Indirect Regeneration and Somatic Embryogenesis from Leaf and Stem Explants of Crassula ovata (Mill.) Druce – An Ornamental Medicinal Plant

Authors: A. B. A. Ahmed, Amar, D. I., R. M. Taha

Abstract:

This research aims to investigate callus induction, somatic embryogenesis and indirect plant regeneration of Crassula ovata (Mill.) Druce – the famous ornamental plant. Experiment no.1: Callus induction was obtained from leaf and stem explants on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with various plant growth regulators (PGRs). Effects of different PGRs, plant regeneration and subsequent plantlet conversion were also assessed. Indirect plant regeneration was achieved from the callus of stem explants by the addition of 1.5 mg/L Kinetin (KN) alone. Best shoot induction was achieved (6.5 shoots/per explant) after 60 days. For successful rooting, regenerated plantlets were sub-cultured on the same MS media supplemented with 1.5 mg/L KN alone. The rooted plantlets were acclimatized and the survival rate was 90%. Experiment no.2: Results revealed that 0.5 mg/L 2,4-D alone and in combination with 1.0 mg/L 6-Benzyladenine (BA) gave 89.8% callus from the stem explants as compared to leaf explants. Callus proliferation and somatic embryo formation were also evaluated by ‘Double Staining Method’ and different stages of somatic embryogenesis were revealed by scanning electron microscope. Full Strength MS medium produced the highest number (49.6%) of cotyledonary stage somatic embryos (SEs). Mature cotyledonary stage SEs developed into plantlets after 12 weeks of culture. Wellrooted plantlets were successfully acclimatized at the survival rate of 85%. Indirectly regenerated plants did not show any detectable variation in morphological and growth characteristics when compared with the donor plant.

Keywords: Callus induction, Crassula ovata, Double Staining, Indirect plant regeneration, Somatic embryogenesis.

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