Open Access Method Articles

An Automated Mechanism for Early Screening and Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy in Human Retinal Images

Abdullah Saeed A. Alharthi, Vahid Emamian

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-15
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/20702

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that is a primary cause of blindness among diabetes patients. A regular screening of patients with diabetes is important to enable early intervention. The focus of this paper is on designing a robust and computationally efficient automated system to assist in the early screening and diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy for early treatment. Digital analysis and mathematical morphology operations are implemented appropriately to detect and locate different features and lesions in fundus retinal images. One of our goals here is to detect bright lesions and dark retinal feature. Bright lesions consist of exudates and optic disc, dark retinal features consist of hemorrhages, blood vessels, and microaneurysms in retinal images of the human retina. The system algorithm was extensively evaluated on a database of 89 images with the corresponding experts (ophthalmologists) manually highlighted ground truth images. An image by image visual evaluation yields 84% success rate for exudates detection with a sensitivity of 86% and specificity of 80%. For hemorrhages detection the success rate is 81% with a sensitivity of 83% and specificity of 71%. The success rate for microaneurysms detection is 89.1% with a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 20%.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Climatic Variability on Drought Occurrence Probability over Nigeria

O. O. Ajileye, I. M. Aigbiremolen, S. O. Mohammed, A. S. Halilu, A. T. Alaga

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/19951

Drought is grouped into meteorological, hydrological and agricultural classes. These classifications are done according to a number of criteria involving several variables, used either alone or in combination: rainfall, temperature, humidity, and evaporation from free water, transpiration from plants, soil moisture, wind, river and stream flow, and plant condition. The study extracted meteorological data including near surface temperature, relative humidity and precipitation averaged for the month of July covering a period of 1975 – 2014 grouped into 2 regimes of 20 years each. The data were analyzed using drought empirical models suitable for deducing meteorological, agricultural and hydrological drought phenomena with a view to deduce drought probability trend across Nigeria. Highly significant increase in atmospheric dryness was observed at Sokoto, Katsina, Maiduguri, Kaduna and Yola. Slight increase was observed at Kano, Abuja, Makurdi, Lagos, Osogbo, Benin, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Calabar. A slight decrease in atmospheric dryness was observed in one station only – Jos from all the stations under consideration. All stations across Nigeria had a significant increase in dryness ratio for monitoring agricultural drought. Stations in the southern part of Nigeria had no significant change in drought occurrence probability except at Osogbo where a slight increase in drought occurrence probability was observed. Generally, the results offered a significant insight into occurrence probability of drought over Nigeria by comparing trends in two regimes of 20 years, respectively. A shift from wet to dry climatic in features was observed across Nigeria confirming gradual occurrence of drought in the past 20 years over Nigeria.

Open Access Original Research Article

Life Cycle Assessment of Flexible Pavement Construction

M. R. Ghazy, A. M. Abdallah, M. A. Basiouny, M. A. S. Saad

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-17
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/20620

Aims: The main objectives of this study are to submit significant contribution to the field of environmental assessment of flexible pavement construction method in Egypt based on a life cycle assessment study. This contribution will be useful in the planning and management of sustainable road construction in Egypt.

Study Design: A comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) of asphalt pavements construction methods were conducted including hot mix asphalt (HMA) method through changing the pavement design parameters such as California Bearing Ratio (CBR) and Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT). A filed study of the construction data of three main roads in Egypt was carried out. Data are used as base for the inventory data and influent parameters in this study.

Place and Duration of Study: Three major high ways in Egypt, Between November 2013 and June 2015.   

Methodology: Nine scenarios represent different design parameters of flexible pavement design methods are investigated. The average annual daily traffic are (10,000 – 25,000 – 50,000 – 100,000 – 150,000) vehicles per day with 10% of heavy vehicles, growth factor (Gf) 3% and California bearing ratio CBR (3%, 6%, 10%, 15%).

Results: The results showed that by changing CBR from 3% to 15% for each AADT, noted the environmental effect are decreased by (5 and 40) % due to the improvement in the soil. By increasing AADT from (10,000 to 150,000) veh/day at each CBR value, the environmental impacts are increase by (5 and 25) % due to the increase in traffic volume.

Conclusion: The pavement construction had adverse effect on environmental. The transport of materials used in roads construction produce the most significant environmental impacts. The pavement LCA can help to increase the environmental performance of roads construction and guide authorities towards road sustainability management.

Open Access Original Research Article

Spatio – Temporal Variation of Meio-fauna Distribution in Bhavanapadu Creek, Srikakulam District, Andhra Pradesh, India

Ravi Kumar Kurapati, Amarnath Dogiparti, Sunil Kumar Duddu

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/19467

The present study was conducted to observe distribution of  meio-fauna community structure and its variation both spatially and temporally in relation to the sediment temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll – a, organic carbon and soil composition. A monthly sampling was carried out during one year of time period at three stations. The meio-faunal density ranged from 27 to 56 no/10 cm2.  Among them harpacticoid copepods were dominant followed by nematodes. The fauna was significantly correlated with environmental parameters like temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, organic carbon and dissolved oxygen.

Open Access Original Research Article

Anthropogenic Impact and Geo-accumulation of Heavy Metal Levels of Soils in Owerri, Nigeria

Chinedu E. Ihejirika, Roselyn F. Njoku-Tony, Tochi E. Ebe, Uzochukwu O. Enwereuzoh, Lucy C. Izunobi, Darlinton Asheigbu, Ngozi Verla

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/19357

Industrialization has been the major source of waste generation leading to heavy metal accumulation in soils. It has become major environmental challenge especially as it affects soil quality, biota, ecosystem processes and ground water pollution. This study was targeted at determining the contributions of human activities on heavy metal levels of soils in Owerri, eastern Nigeria, by applying Index of geo-accumulation (I-geo) and Contaminant factor (Cf) models on heavy metal levels at major locations. Soil samples were collected during the rainy season with the aid of a hand-dug soil auger (2.50 cm diameter) from three different composite sites: refuse dumps, auto-mechanic villages and a control sample from a virgin land at depths of 0-15 cm, 15-30 cm and 30-45 cm respectively. These were subjected to standard chemical analyses. There were significant variations (P<0.05) in heavy metals concentrations at different depths. There were no significant variations (P>0.05) in pH.  pH (5.9-5.2) was acidic at different soil depths, which might favor ionization of metals; electrical conductivity at the contaminated sites was higher (300.4-248.4 µs/cm) than at the control site (195.8-150.6 µS/cm) which might imply high concentration of ionized dissolved chemicals from waste dumpsites. Copper (Cu) from contaminated areas ranged from 19.1-16.4 mg/kg against control value that was insignificant (P>0.05); Lead (Pb) ranged from 58.2-28.2 mg/kg against 0.4-0.2 mg/kg; Iron (Fe) ranged from 5.6-2.6 mg/kg against 5.6-2.6 mg/kg; Zinc (Zn) ranged from 140.3-119.4 mg/kg against 3.3-2.5 mg/kg of control. I-geo for all metals fell in the categories of 4-5 and >5. All categories with values within 4-5 were soils that were highly polluted to very highly polluted, while those with values greater than 5 were soils that were very highly polluted. The Cf values of metals were quite >1.5 which implied that the activities at the mechanic villages and waste dumpsites contributed significantly to the heavy metal burden of the soils. Anthropogenic impacts on heavy metal levels on the samples were between 97.6 and 99.9%. Anthropogenic activities should be controlled to prevent heavy metal pollution of soils and sustain quality soil health.

Open Access Original Research Article

Retracted: Efficacy of Tupler Technique on Reducing Post Natal Diastasis Recti: A Controlled Study

Mohamed A. Awad, Magda A. Morsy, Marwa A. Mohamed, Amir A. Gabr

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/17876

Aims: This study was conducted to determine the effect of tupler technique on post natal diastasis recti.

Study Design: Pretest post-test design.

Place and Duration of Study: Subjects of this study were selected from physical therapy department in Kasr Al Aini university hospital. This study was conducted from August 2014 to January 2015.

Methodology: Sixty women complained from diastasis recti (diagnosed by gynecologist/ physician) in this study. Their ages were ranged from 25 to 35 years old and their diastasis recti more than 2.5 cm after normal vaginal delivery. Women were divided into two groups equal in number, group (A) consisted of 30 women wore tupler splint only and did not perform any exercises. While, group (B) consisted of 30 women wore tupler splint and performed tupler technique for 18 weeks. Diastasis recti were evaluated by digital caliper for both groups before and after 18 weeks.

Results: The obtained results were statistically analyzed by using paired t- test and showed that there were a highly significant decrease (P < 0.001) in BMI, waist/hip ratio and diastasis recti in both groups (A&B) after 18 weeks. But, there was a significant difference between both groups after 18 weeks (more decrease in group B).

Conclusion: It could be concluded that tupler technique is very effective in reducing post natal diastasis recti.

 

Retraction Notice: This paper has been retracted from the journal due to unauthorized use of Tupler Technique® Program. We received a written complaints from Julie Tupler, RN, creator of the Tupler Technique. She did not participate in the study in any manner, and that the study misrepresents her work.This journal is determined to promote integrity in research publication. This retraction is in spirit of the same. After formal procedures editor(s) and publisher have retracted this paper on 3rd September-2016. Related policy is available here: http://goo.gl/lI77Nn

Open Access Original Research Article

Awareness and Knowledge of Health Care Workers at Dots Facilities on the Management of Tuberculosis in Lagos, Nigeria: A Public - Private Comparison

Olusola Adedeji Adejumo, Olusoji James Daniel, Yetunde Abiola Kuyinu, Kikelomo Ololade Wright, Ebunoluwa O. Jaiyesimi, Olumuyiwa O. Odusanya

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/21206

Background: The success of the directly observed treatment short course (DOTS) strategy depends on the ability of the health-care system to identify and follow-up tuberculosis (TB) suspects. This study compared the knowledge of private and public DOTS providers in Lagos State Nigeria regarding the symptoms and management of TB.

Methods: A descriptive comparative cross sectional study was conducted between July to October 2012. Knowledge of 84 health workers (64 from public DOTS facilities and 20 from private DOTS facilities) from 34 randomly selected DOTS facilities under the Lagos State TB and leprosy control programme was assessed. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 19 was used for analysis.

Results: The mean age of the health workers at the public DOTS facilities was significantly higher (42.8±7.0 years) than those at the private DOTS facilities (37.3±5.1 years) (P = 0.002). Doctors constituted about 36% and 15% of health workers at the public and private DOTS facilities respectively. A significantly higher proportion of health workers at the private DOTS facilities (35.0%) had poor knowledge of TB management compared with those (10.9%) at the public DOTS facilities (P = 0.03). However, a higher proportion (85.9% vs 60.0%) of health workers that had fair knowledge of TB management were from the public DOTS facilities (P= 0.02) while 3.1% and 5% of health workers that had good knowledge were from the private and public DOTS facilities respectively.

Conclusion: There is an urgent need to develop effective strategies to improve the capacity of healthcare providers in both private and public DOTS facilities in Lagos State, Nigeria.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Computer Aided Design (CAD) in Teaching Electrical Drafting in Technical Colleges in Rivers State of Nigeria

Reagan N. Robinson, Anthony I. Amadi

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/19221

The study was on the effects of Computer Aided Design (CAD) in teaching electrical drafting in technical colleges in Rivers State of Nigeria. A Quasi-Experimental design was adopted for the study. The population of the study was 89 students comprised of all the vocational 1 students in the 5 technical colleges in Rivers State of Nigeria. A purposive sampling technique was used to select two technical colleges for the study of which simple sampling technique was used to select 20 students (10 boys and 10 girls) in each school. The total sample size was 40 students. Two intact classes of experimental and control groups in each college were used. Two parallel instrument of Pre-DAT and Post-DAT were developed, validated and reliability duly taken before using them to collect data. The research questions were answered using mean and standard deviation while the hypotheses were tested at P < 0.05 using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA). The result of the data analysis showed that, there was a significant difference between the experiment group and control group with the mean performance score of CAD group being more than the conventional group. There was no significant difference in the mean performance scores of male and female students taught using CAD. Based on the findings, some recommendations were made.

Open Access Original Research Article

Investigation of Carbonate Rocks of Malikhore Formation as Coarse Aggregate and Dimension Stone, SE Balochistan, Pakistan

Shahid Naseem, Khalid Hussain, Bushra Shahab, Erum Bashir, Muhammad Bilal, Salma Hamza

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/20389

Properties of coarse aggregate of carbonate rocks of Malikhore Formation of Jurassic age of districts Lasbela and Khuzdar, SE Balochistan were investigated. Bulk specific gravity (SSD), water absorption, sieve analysis, Los Angeles abrasion test, unconfined compressive strength, soundness, silica alkali reactivity, clay lump and friable particles, loose and rodded density, flakiness and elongation indices of coarse aggregate were evaluated for building and road material. Nearly all the samples were found within the specified limits of ASTM specifications and are appropriate material for concrete, asphalt and suitable as dimension stone. The variation in color and texture of carbonate rocks of Malikhore Formation has good demand from the local and foreign markets as dimension stones.

Open Access Original Research Article

Composted Poultry Waste Use Intensity among Arable Farmers in Ogun State, Nigeria: Implication for Climate Change

D. A. Babalola, S. U. Isitor, J. O. Kio

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/20774

Aims: Increasing food production through improving land productivity, while conserving the environment and preventing climate change is pertinent to policy makers. This study assessed the predictors of composted poultry waste use intensity (CUI) among arable farmers and its implication for climate change.

Study Design: Survey design was used. Primary data was collected from surveyed participants.

Place and Duration of Study: Study was conducted in Ogun state, south-west Nigeria between August 2014 and April 2015.

Methodology: multistage sampling technique was used to select 180 farmers. They were interviewed using well structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and the ordinary least square regression model were used in analyzing the data collected.

Results: Most of the farmers had below secondary education (57%), did not participate in cooperative (51%), had poor access to extension education (62%) and sourced compost too far from farm. Mean age and years of experience were 45±9.99 and 10.5±6.10 years respectively. Average farm size and income were 2.68±1.44 and ₦ 107,315 (approx. $537) respectively. About 78% of the respondents use both composted and untreated poultry manure while 38 % use only composted poultry manure which protects both the soil and the environment. Most of the farmers perceived vulnerability of their farms to degradation (53%) hence the need for conservation. The regression result showed that factors which increased CUI among farmers were farmers’ education (P< 0.05), access to credit (P< 0.01), farm income (P<0.01), cooperative participation (P<0.05), perceive efficacy of compost (P<0.05), number of quality contacts with extension agents (P<0.01), enterprise combination by keeping poultry birds (P<0.01) and male farmers (P<0.01) while factors which decreased CUI included household size (P< 0.01), farm size (P<0.01), access to fertilizer subsidy, especially for inorganic fertilizers (P<0.05) and distance to the source of compost (P<0.01).

Conclusion: Policies to improve organic fertilizer subsidy, extension services and cooperatives for educating farmers on the advantages of intensifying the use of composted poultry manure, especially as regards climate change and public health should be put in place.