Open Access Policy Article

Continental Application of Foamed Concrete Technology: Lessons for Infrastructural Development in Africa

Felix A. Oginni

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 417-424
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/13063

The properties of foamed concrete as a variable density concrete, is now being tapped for effective application in the global construction industry. This study presents the properties and applications of this type of concrete at varying densities highlighting the advantages and circumstances for its use. Economic and Other Considerations together with its multipurpose applications were also presented. Comparative study of the involvement levels in the use of foamed concrete technology economy by the various continents was undertaken. Results indicated that Asia and Europe alone accounted for 50% and 33.3% respectively, totalling 83%. Africa’s exposure level to foamed concrete technology is only 5.6% which is grossly non-commensurable to the population on the Continent compared with shares from other parts. Some research and development efforts were presented to show that there are opportunities for groundbreaking research works in this field.

Open Access Minireview Article

Medicine and Social Media – Ethical Challenges of the 21st Century

Ana Coelho, Viviana Macho, Cristina Areias, Paula Macedo

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 403-408
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/12750

Introduction: With the huge growth of social networks, their use is increasing in hospitals and clinics and by physicians. However, health professionals are not always aware of the risks inherent to the use of these tools. The aim of this study is to analyse the problems associated with the use of social media in doctor-patient communication, as well as some rules that may help overcoming the potential risks of this situation.
Methodology: Searches were conducted on Google Scholar, Google and Medline and limited to articles published in English, between 2004 and 2014. Twenty-three articles were selected out of 52. Boudreaux’s social media governance website was also used to identify institutional policies on social media. The articles were analysed through thematic coding using template analysis.
Discussion and Conclusion: The control of the published information, the regular review of the privacy settings and the limiting access to personal information is of great interest not only for the physician but also for the profession he/she represents. To ensure that health professionals are aware not only of the advantages of using social media but also of the disadvantages of the global communication they allow it is required to follow specific rules.

Open Access Original Research Article

An Analysis In-vitro of the Cytotoxic, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of Aqueous and Alcoholic Extracts of Annona muricata L. Seed and Pulp

Rosa Raybaudi-Massilia, Alírica I. Suárez, Francisco Arvelo, Jonathan Mosqueda-Melgar, Alexandra Zambrano, María I. Calderón-Gabaldón

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 333-341
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/13587

Aims: To evaluate the cytotoxic activity of aqueous and alcoholic extracts from Annona muricata L (soursop) seed and pulp on human tumor cell lines of breast, prostate and cervix; as well as the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of those extracts.
Study Design: For cytotoxic activity, non-linear regressions of the values of IC50 of all extracts were used. For antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, an analysis of variance with multiple range tests, using the Fisher’s LSD method was applied. Each study was replicated 3 times.
Methodology: The methanolic extract of soursop seed was obtained by two methods: Soxhlet apparatus (SSS) and maceration (MSS). The aqueous extracts of both soursop seed (LSS) and pulp (LSP) were obtained by decoction. Human tumor cell lines from breast (MCF-7 and SKBr3), prostate (PC3) and cervix (HeLa), and fibroblasts (as control) were used to determine the cytotoxic activity by the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide) assay. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity were determined by the DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) and disc diffusion method, respectively.
Results: Extracts of SSS, MSS, LSP and LSS had a higher cytotoxic activity on the PC3 (0.0024 to 1.275 µg/mL) and HeLa (0.0011 to 7.194 µg/mL) cell lines with low impact on healthy cells (fibroblasts, as control), than in MCF-7 (27.09 to >100 µg/mL) and SKBr3 (20.50 to >100 µg/mL) cells. Antioxidant activity of MSS (83.23%) and LSS (84.41%) extracts were significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those extracts of LSP (69.77%) and SSS (69.43%). Significant (P < 0.05) antimicrobial activity against Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica ser. Enteritidis and Staphylococcus aureus was only observed for SSS and MSS extracts.
Conclusion: Results obtained in this research suggest that consumption of soursop fruit could be a good alternative to prevent illness such as cancer of prostate and cervix. However, further studies are needed to isolate and characterize the specific compounds of these extracts causing such effects.

Open Access Original Research Article

Radiological Hazards in Soil from the Bauxite Deposits Sites in Dschang Region of Cameroon

M. M. Ndontchueng, E. J. M. Nguelem, O. Motapon, R. L. Njinga, A. Simo, J. C. S. Guembou, B. Yimele

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 342-352
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/13352

This work evaluates the radiological health risk from NORM exposure in bauxite deposition sites of West Region in Cameroon. In-situ and laboratory measurements were performed using dose rate survey meter and Broad Energy Germanium (BEGe) detector. Radiometric analysis of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in the soil samples from Fongo-Tongo and Mini-Matap were done with average activity concentration of 108.91 Bq/kg, 117.79 Bq/kg and 143.07 Bq/kg and, 113.15Bq/kg, 196.14 Bq/kg and zero were determined respectively. In-situ measurement of dose rate at 1 m above the ground and the annual effective dose values due to 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in 5 cm soil layer were determined using conversion factors by UNSCEAR. The average external hazard indexes in samples from Fongo-Tongo were 0.78 and 1.06 while the internal hazard indexes in samples from Mini-Matap were 1.07 and 1.37. Comparing these values with the worldwide values set by UNSCEAR we realized that avoidance of high exposure from gamma radiation due to NORM to the populace should be of concern.

Open Access Original Research Article

Comparative Chelate-assisted Phytoextraction ofHeavy Metals by Jatropha curcas, Jatropha gossypifolia and Jatropha multifida Cultivated onSoil Collected from Selected Dumpsites in Ekiti State, Nigeria

E. E. Awokunmi

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 353-370
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/9363

Background: It is needful to design a process that will lead to the use of fast growing tropical plants for phytoextraction studies.
Study Design: It is an analytical study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted between October 2010 and June 2012 on selected dumpsites located in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Methodology: Bulk soil samples were collected from selected dumpsites on seven points at interval of 10 m, starting from top of the slope. Physicochemical and heavy metals content of soil were determined on bulk and fractional soil samples, using sequential extraction technique. The heavy metals were analyzed using atomic adsorption spectrophotometer, prior to plants’ cultivation. Heavy metal concentration of plant with and without 1g/kg EDTA was determined in different sections of plant by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer, in other to determine their phytoextraction potentials.
Results: The result revealed the mean value of pH (6.02±0.11-6.31±0.12), organic matter content (3.00±0.08-7.00±0.13%) and the CEC (59.20-62.40 mmol/kg) to be highest at Aba Egbira dumpsite. The result of sequential extraction revealed that heavy metal were distributed in fraction soil samples in the order 75>150>350>495>1000 µm, showing the effect of particulate site on the availability of heavy metals. Application of EDTA increased mobility of heavy metals from soil to shoot of plants with concentration of Cd in J. curcas, J. gossypifolia and J. multifida in the following range; (372.0-440.1; experiment, 150.2-186.6; control), (377.5-418.2; experiment, 142.2-202.4; control) and (455.0-530.6; experiment, 245.0-259.2; control) while Cu and Pb ranged from (921.0-118.0; experiment, 405.0-821.0; control), (818.0-962.0; experiment, 442.0-650.0; control) and (1079.0-1138.0; experiment, 644.0-686.0; control) and Pb (384.4-426.2; experiment, 242.2-283.0; control), (328.0-376.0; experiment, 159.0-186.2; control) and (417.0-436.0; experiment, 330.0-370.7; control) mg/kg respectively, in all dumpsites investigated. Bioaccumulation factor (BF), translocation factor (TF) and remediation ratio (RR) greater than one showed that they are effective in chelant-assisted phytoextraction.
Conclusion: Therefore, the use the species of Jatopha are advocated for phytoextraction Cd, Pb and Cu.

Open Access Original Research Article

Nutritional Value and Sensorial Attributes of Tucum Paste

Nathália S. Flor, Jerusa S. Andrade, Sidney A. N. Ferreira

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 371-379
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/13160

Aims: The objective was to evaluate different formulations of tucum (Astrocaryum aculeatum) paste about the nutritional value, sensory characteristics and acceptability.
Study Design: Physicochemical analysis; sensorial evaluation; analysis of variance and Tukey test (p≤0.05).
Place and Duration of Study: The ripe fruits of tucum (under the condition of mixed progeny) were purchased in markets in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. The experiment was carried out in the Department of Food Technology of the National Institute of Amazonian Research - INPA between March 2013 and June 2013.
Methodology: The sliced tucum (SP) was triturated (in a blender) with water (40% w/v) and the tucum paste (TP) was obtained. In the formulations were used tucum paste (TP), milk cream (MC) and curd cheese (CC) with quantities of 1:0:0, 1:1:1, and 2:1:1, respectively, and in half these formulations, dehydrated seasonings (salt, garlic, parsley and oregano) were added. Physicochemical (proximate composition, pH, acidity and total carotenoids) and sensory analyzes (preference test, characteristic profile, acceptability, and also purchase intention) were performed.
Results: Sliced tucum (SP) presented lipids (37.4%), carbohydrate (12.1%), dietary fiber (4.2%), protein (3.7%) and total carotenoids (7.4 mg%) as the principal constituents. The addition of dairy ingredients with TP decreased carbohydrate and increased lipid, protein and calories. The results of the characteristic profile and acceptability were not significantly influenced by seasonings. The pastes had high scores for appearance, color, consistency, taste and smell. The paste with equal quantities (1:1:1) of TP, MC and CC and seasoned was preferred, showed the highest scores for characteristic profile, reached 85% of acceptability, and thus, this formulation was chosen and suggested to tucum paste preparation.
Conclusion: From a nutritional standpoint, the lipids were the major constituents. The presence of seasoning and the use of equal amounts of tucum, milk cream and curd cheese was the best formulation and received the highest scores for the characteristic profile and acceptability. Thus, this formulation was chosen to the tucum paste.

Open Access Original Research Article

Three Fresh Plant Seeds as Natural Dye Sensitizers for Titanium Dioxide Based Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Sofyan A. Taya, Hatem S. El-Ghamri, Taher M. El-Agez, Monzir S. Abdel-Latif

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 380-386
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/13654

In this paper, we used the extracts of three fresh plant seeds as photosensitizers for DSSCs based on TiO2 nanopowder as a semiconducting material. Ethanol was used to extract the dyes from the seeds. The fill factors of the cells sensitized with the seeds of Raphanus raphanistrum, Lepidium sativum and Dianthus barbatus were 0.45, 0.40, and 0.48, respectively, whereas the efficiencies were 0.05, 0.03, and 0.15. The performance of the DSSC sensitized with Dianthus barbatus was investigated at various pH values of the dye solution and found to have a considerable effect of the cell efficiency.

Open Access Original Research Article

Dynamic Characteristics of a Beam in an Existing Brick-concrete Structure

Jihui Ding, Weidong Guo, Xiaojuan Quan

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 387-395
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/12888

With heavy hammer hammering method and road roller vibrating fixed-point method, field tests on dynamic characteristics were conducted for the brick-concrete structure beam of a teaching building. The experiment results of heavy hammer hammering method show that the horizontal and vertical natural frequencies of the heavy hammer are respectively concentrated in 2.726 ~ 5.313 Hz and 3.596 ~ 9.104 Hz, horizontal and vertical peak acceleration values are respectively 489.56 ~ 532.05 m/s2 and 248.77 ~ 494.61 m/s2; the natural frequency of the beam in horizontal direction is close to the vertical, first and second order natural frequencies are around 76.2 Hz and 125.2 Hz, horizontal and vertical peak acceleration values of each measuring point are respectively 1.58 ~ 4.02 m/s2 and 6.10 ~11.82 m/s2, and the peak acceleration follows the law of exponential decay. The experiment results of road roller vibrating fixed-point method show that the natural frequency of each measuring point in horizontal direction and the vertical is consistent, the first three order natural frequencies are 11.63 Hz, 39.94 Hz and 60.54 Hz in turn, and corresponding damping ratios are 0.010, 0.011 and 0.006; the peak acceleration in horizontal and vertical is respectively 0.4486 m/s2 and 0.1731 m/s2. The calculated frequency compared with test results, the first order natural frequency is basically the same, the second order and third order calculated frequencies are respectively larger 10.9% and 64.6% than test results.

Open Access Original Research Article

Determination of Mineral Composition, Anti-microbial Activity and Anti-nutrient Screening of Cleome gynandra (Cat’s Whiskers)

M. E. Khan, U. D. Yakubu, D. Kubmarawa

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 396-402
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/1572

The aim of this research is to investigate the mineral, anti-nutrients composition and the anti-microbial activity of the ethanol fraction of the leaf, stem and roots of Cleome gynandra. (Cat’s whiskers).
Matured whole plant of C. gynandra, collected from Mubi North Local Government Area, Adamawa State Nigeria, extracted with 95% ethanol, showed presence of Ca, Na, Mg and Fe. Samples contained high Na and low Ca, Mg, and Fe concentrations. Heavy metals of Zn, Mn, Cr, Cu, and Pb, were not detected. The anti-microbial activity of the extract using agar diffusion method showed zones of inhibition (mm) against Salmonella typhi (11.00±0.1,8.00±0.1,9.00±0.1), Pneumonia spp (11.00±0.2,12.00±0.1, 8.00±0.2), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, (11.00±0.3,8.00±0.1,ND) and Staphylococcus aureus (8.00±0.1,11.00±0.2, & ND), for the leaf, stem and root respectively. The anti-nutrient component showed phytate and oxalate contents were less than is nutritionally significant, while tannins were in traces. Toxicological analysis could be done on the plant, for it has good medicinal potentials.

Open Access Original Research Article

In vitro Inhibition of Fusarium by Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB): Implication of Yam Disease Control for Economic Growth in Nigeria

R. M. Omodamiro, P. C. Ojimelukwe, R. Asiedu

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 409-416
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/12726

Yam is an important crop in Nigeria, where it is produced both as food and cash crop. Fusarium rots of yam are among the most important postharvest pathogens of yam worldwide, causing a lot of postharvest losses in stored yam tubers. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) lower the pH and create an environment that is unfavorable to pathogens and spoilage organisms. In vitro inhibition of fusarium spp by LAB was investigated; mono-culture and multi-culture were used. The inhibition tests were carried out with pure cultures of LAB and fusarium spp. The pure culture of actively growing Fusarium was used to inoculate Potato Dextrose Agar medium aseptically and then incubated at room temperature for 72h. The diameter of the growing Fusarium was measured, after which less than a loop full of actively growing (18-24 h) LAB isolates were used to inoculate the medium containing the growing Fusarium at a known distance in the same plate. The whole set up was incubated at 300C and inhibition zones on Fusarium by the LAB were observed 24 hourly for 96h. The tests were carried out for mono-culture and multi-culture in triplicate. The inhibition zone ranged from 43 to 100% in mono-culture plate and multi-culture plate ranged from 40 to 113%. The slightly larger inhibition in the multi-culture plate may be due to much pressure on the Fusarium. Hence LAB may be used to control rot caused by Fusariumin in stored yam, which can improve yam tuber storage for better economic growth.