Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 381

Bioengineering and Life Sciences

Systematics of Water Lilies (Genus Nymphaea L.) Using 18S rDNA Sequences

Water lily (Nymphaea L.) is the largest genus of Nymphaeaceae. This family is composed of six genera (Nuphar, Ondinea, Euryale, Victoria, Barclaya, Nymphaea). Its members are nearly worldwide in tropical and temperate regions. The classification of some species in Nymphaea is ambiguous due to high variation in leaf and flower parts such as leaf margin, stamen appendage. Therefore, the phylogenetic relationships based on 18S rDNA were constructed to delimit this genus. DNAs of 52 specimens belonging to water lily family were extracted using modified conventional method containing cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB). The results showed that the amplified fragment is about 1600 base pairs in size. After analysis, the aligned sequences presented 9.36% for variable characters comprising 2.66% of parsimonious informative sites and 6.70% of singleton sites. Moreover, there are 6 regions of 1-2 base(s) for insertion/deletion. The phylogenetic trees based on maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood with high bootstrap support indicated that genus Nymphaea was a paraphyletic group because of Ondinea, Victoria and Euryale disruption. Within genus Nymphaea, subgenus Nymphaea is a basal lineage group which cooperated with Euryale and Victoria. The other four subgenera, namely Lotos, Hydrocallis, Brachyceras and Anecphya were included the same large clade which Ondinea was placed within Anecphya clade due to geographical sharing.

Survey of Potato Viral Infection Using Das-Elisa Method in Georgia
Plant viruses can cause loss of yield and quality in a lot of important crops. Symptoms of pathogens are variable depending on the cultivars and virus strain. Selection of resistant potato varieties would reduce the risk of virus transmission and significant economic impact. Other way to avoid reduced harvest yields is regular potato seed production sampling and testing for viral infection. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence and distribution of viral diseases according potato cultivars for further selection of virus-free material in Georgia. During the summer 2015- 2016, 5 potato cultivars (Sante, Laura, Jelly, Red Sonia, Anushka) at 5 different farms located in Akhalkalaki were tested for 6 different potato viruses: Potato virus A (PVA), Potato virus M (PVM), Potato virus S (PVS), Potato virus X (PVX), Potato virus Y (PVY) and potato leaf roll virus (PLRV). A serological method, Double Antibody Sandwich-Enzyme linked Immunosorbent Assay (DASELISA) was used at the laboratory to analyze the results. The result showed that PVY (21.4%) and PLRV (19.7%) virus presence in collected samples was relatively high compared to others. Researched potato cultivars except Jelly and Laura were infected by PVY with different concentrations. PLRV was found only in three potato cultivars (Sante, Jelly, Red Sonia) and PVM virus (3.12%) was characterized with low prevalence. PVX, PVA and PVS virus infection was not reported. It would be noted that 7.9% of samples were containing PVY/PLRV mix infection. Based on the results it can be concluded that PVY and PLRV infections are dominant in all research cultivars. Therefore significant yield losses are expected. Systematic, long-term control of potato viral infection, especially seed-potatoes, must be regarded as the most important factor to increase seed productivity.
In vitro Control of Aedes aegypti Larvae Using Beauveria bassiana

Aedes aegypti larval survival rate was assessed after exposure to blastopores or conidia (mineral oil-in-water formulation or aqueous suspension) of Beauveria bassiana CG 479 propagules (blastospores or conidia). Here, mineral oil was used in the fungal formulation to control Aedes aegypti larvae. 1%, 0.5% or 0.1% mineral oil-in-water solutions were used to evaluate mineral oil toxicity for mosquito larvae. In the oil toxicity test, 0.1% mineral oil solution reduced only 4.5% larval survival; accordingly, this concentration was chosen for fungal oil-in-water formulations. Aqueous suspensions were prepared using 0.01% Tween 80® in sterile dechlorinated water. A. aegypti larvae (L2) were exposed in aqueous suspensions or mineral oil-in-water fungal formulations at 1×107 propagules mL-1; the survival rate (assessed daily, for 7 days) and the median survival time (S50) were calculated. Seven days after the treatment, mosquito larvae survival rates were 8.56%, 16.22%, 58%, and 42.56% after exposure to oil-in-water blastospores, oil-in-water conidia, blastospores aqueous suspension and conidia aqueous suspension (respectively). Larvae exposed to 0.01% Tween 80® had 100% survival rate and the ones treated with 0.1% mineral oil-in-water had 95.11% survival rate. Larvae treated with conidia (regardless the presence of oil) or treated with blastospores formulation had survival median time (S50) ranging from one to two days. S50 was not determined (ND) when larvae were exposed to blastospores aqueous suspension, 0.01% Tween 80® (aqueous control) or 0.1% mineral oil-in-water formulation (oil control). B. bassiana conidia and blastospores (mineral oil-in-water formulated or suspended in water) had potential to control A. aegypti mosquito larvae, despite mineral oil-in-water formulation yielded better results in comparison to aqueous suspensions. Here, B. bassiana CG 479 isolate is suggested as a potential biocontrol agent of A. aegypti mosquito larvae.

A Finite Element/Finite Volume Method for Dam-Break Flows over Deformable Beds
A coupled two-layer finite volume/finite element method was proposed for solving dam-break flow problem over deformable beds. The governing equations consist of the well-balanced two-layer shallow water equations for the water flow and a linear elastic model for the bed deformations. Deformations in the topography can be caused by a brutal localized force or simply by a class of sliding displacements on the bathymetry. This deformation in the bed is a source of perturbations, on the water surface generating water waves which propagate with different amplitudes and frequencies. Coupling conditions at the interface are also investigated in the current study and two mesh procedure is proposed for the transfer of information through the interface. In the present work a new procedure is implemented at the soil-water interface using the finite element and two-layer finite volume meshes with a conservative distribution of the forces at their intersections. The finite element method employs quadratic elements in an unstructured triangular mesh and the finite volume method uses the Rusanove to reconstruct the numerical fluxes. The numerical coupled method is highly efficient, accurate, well balanced, and it can handle complex geometries as well as rapidly varying flows. Numerical results are presented for several test examples of dam-break flows over deformable beds. Mesh convergence study is performed for both methods, the overall model provides new insight into the problems at minimal computational cost.
Diversity of Short-Horned Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Caelifera) from Forested Region of Kolhapur District, Maharashtra, India of Northern Western Ghats
The present investigation was directed to study the diversity of short-horned grasshoppers from a forested area of Kolhapur district, Maharashtra, India, which is spread along the hilly terrain of the Northern Western Ghats. The collection was made during 2013 to 2015, and identified with the help of a reference collection of ZSI, Kolkata, and recent literature and dry preserved. The study resulted in the enumeration of 40 species of short-horned grasshoppers belonging to four families of suborder: Caelifera. The family Acrididae was dominant (27 species) followed by Tetrigidae (eight species), Pyrgomorphidae (four species) and Chorotypidae (one species). The report of 40 species from the forest habitat of the study region highlights the significance of the Western Ghats. Ecologically, short-horned grasshoppers are integral to food chains, being consumed by a wide variety of animals. The observations of the present investigation may prove useful for conservation of the Diversity in Northern Western Ghats.
Records of Lepidopteron Borers (Lepidoptera) on Stored Seeds of Indian Himalayan Conifers

Many of the regeneration failures in conifers are often being attributed to heavy insect attack and pathogens during the period of seed formation and under storage conditions. Conifer berries and seed insects occur throughout the known range of the hosts and also limit the production of seed for nursery stock. On occasion, even entire seed crops are lost due to insect attacks. The berry and seeds of both the species have been found to be infected with insects. Recently, heavy damage to the berry and seeds of Juniper and Chilgoza Pine was observed in the field as well as in stored conditions, leading to reduction in the viability of seeds to germinate. Both the species are under great threat and regeneration of the species is very low. Due to lack of adequate literature, the study on the damage potential of seed insects was urgently required to know the exact status of the insect-pests attacking seeds/berries of both the pine species so as to develop pest management practices against the insect pests attack. As both the species are also under threat and are fighting for survival, so the study is important to develop management practices for the insect-pests of seeds/berries of Juniper and Chilgoza pine so as to evaluate in the nursery, as these species form major vegetation of their distribution zones. A six-year study on the management of insect pests of seeds of Chilgoza revealed that seeds of this species are prone to insect pests mainly borers. During present investigations, it was recorded that cones of are heavily attacked only by Dioryctria abietella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in natural conditions, but seeds which are economically important are heavily infected, (sometimes up to 100% damage was also recorded) by insect borer, Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and is recorded for the first time ‘to author’s best knowledge’ infesting the stored Chilgoza seeds. Similarly, Juniper berries and seeds were heavily attacked only by a single borer, Homaloxestis cholopis (Lepidoptera: Lecithoceridae) recorded as a new report in natural habitat as well as in stored conditions. During the present investigation details of insect pest attack on Juniper and Chilgoza pine seeds and berries was observed and suitable management practices were also developed to contain the insect-pests attack.

Impacts of Tillage on Biodiversity of Microarthropod Communities in Two Different Crop Systems

Different uses of land by humans alter the physico chemical characteristics of the soil and affect the soil microhabitat. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of tillage in three different human land uses on microarthropods biodiversity in Khuzestan province, southwest of Iran. Three microhabitats including a permanent grassland with old Date-Palms around and no till system, and two wheat fields, one with conservative agricultural practices and low till system and the other with conventional agricultural practices (deep tillage), were compared for the biodiversity of the two main groups of soil microarthropods (Oribatida and Collembola). Soil samples were collected from the top to a depth of 15 cm bimonthly during a period of two years. Significant differences in the biodiversity index of microarthropods were observed between the different tillage systems (F = 36.748, P =0.000). Indeed, analysis of species diversity showed that the diversity index at the conservative field with low till (2.58 ± 0.01) was higher (p < 0.05) than the conventional tilled field (2.45 ± 0.08) and the diversity of natural grassland was the highest (2.79 ± 0.19, p < 0.05). Indeed, the index of biodiversity and population abundance differed significantly in different seasons (p < 0.00).

All Types of Base Pair Substitutions Induced by γ-Rays in Haploid and Diploid Yeast Cells

We study the biological effects induced by ionizing radiation in view of therapeutic exposure and the idea of space flights beyond Earth's magnetosphere. In particular, we examine the differences between base pair substitution induction by ionizing radiation in model haploid and diploid yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. Such mutations are difficult to study in higher eukaryotic systems. In our research, we have used a collection of six isogenic trp5-strains and 14 isogenic haploid and diploid cyc1-strains that are specific markers of all possible base-pair substitutions. These strains differ from each other only in single base substitutions within codon-50 of the trp5 gene or codon-22 of the cyc1 gene. Different mutation spectra for two different haploid genetic trp5- and cyc1-assays and different mutation spectra for the same genetic cyc1-system in cells with different ploidy — haploid and diploid — have been obtained. It was linear function for dose-dependence in haploid and exponential in diploid cells. We suggest that the differences between haploid yeast strains reflect the dependence on the sequence context, while the differences between haploid and diploid strains reflect the different molecular mechanisms of mutations.

Lung Parasites in Stone Martens (Martes foina L.) from Bulgaria

The present work focused on the study of pulmonary helminth-fauna of the stone marten in Bulgaria in terms of which the data are little. For the purpose, four stone martens were helminthologically necropsied according to the common technique. In addition, some of the injured lung parts were investigated after their boiling in lactic acid and subsequent compression. Four nematode species from different families of order Strongylida and Trichocephalida were found in the lungs. These were Crenosoma petrowi Morosov, 1939; Eucoleus aerophilus Creplin, 1839; Filaroides martis Werner, 1782 and Sobolevingylus petrowi Romanov, 1952. Some of the parasite structures with taxonomic importance were measured and described. According to our best knowledge, the species F. martis and S. petrowi are recorded for the first time as a part of the helminth-fauna of Southeast Europe and Bulgaria in particular.

Development of Soft-Core System for Heart Rate and Oxygen Saturation

This paper is about the development of non-invasive heart rate and oxygen saturation in human blood using Altera NIOS II soft-core processor system. In today's world, monitoring oxygen saturation and heart rate is very important in hospitals to keep track of low oxygen levels in blood. We have designed an Embedded System On Peripheral Chip (SOPC) reconfigurable system by interfacing two LED’s of different wavelengths (660 nm/940 nm) with a single photo-detector to measure the absorptions of hemoglobin species at different wavelengths. The implementation of the interface with Finger Probe and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) was carried out using NIOS II soft-core system running on Altera NANO DE0 board having target as Cyclone IVE. This designed system is used to monitor oxygen saturation in blood and heart rate for different test subjects. The designed NIOS II processor based non-invasive heart rate and oxygen saturation was verified with another Operon Pulse oximeter for 50 measurements on 10 different subjects. It was found that the readings taken were very close to the Operon Pulse oximeter.

Biological Hotspots in the Galápagos Islands: Exploring Seasonal Trends of Ocean Climate Drivers to Monitor Algal Blooms

The Galápagos Marine Reserve (GMR) is an internationally-recognized region of consistent upwelling events, high productivity, and rich biodiversity. Despite its high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll condition, the archipelago has experienced phytoplankton blooms, especially in the western section between Isabela and Fernandina Islands. However, little is known about how climate variability will affect future phytoplankton standing stock in the Galápagos, and no consistent protocols currently exist to quantify phytoplankton biomass, identify species, or monitor for potential harmful algal blooms (HABs) within the archipelago. This analysis investigates physical, chemical, and biological oceanic variables that contribute to algal blooms within the GMR, using 4 km Aqua MODIS satellite imagery and 0.125-degree wind stress data from January 2003 to December 2016. Furthermore, this study analyzes chlorophyll-a concentrations at varying spatial scales— within the greater archipelago, as well as within five smaller bioregions based on species biodiversity in the GMR. Seasonal and interannual trend analyses, correlations, and hotspot identification were performed. Results demonstrate that chlorophyll-a is expressed in two seasons throughout the year in the GMR, most frequently in September and March, with a notable hotspot in the Elizabeth Bay bioregion. Interannual chlorophyll-a trend analyses revealed highest peaks in 2003, 2007, 2013, and 2016, and variables that correlate highly with chlorophyll-a include surface temperature and particulate organic carbon. This study recommends future in situ sampling locations for phytoplankton monitoring, including the Elizabeth Bay bioregion. Conclusions from this study contribute to the knowledge of oceanic drivers that catalyze primary productivity and consequently affect species biodiversity within the GMR. Additionally, this research can inform policy and decision-making strategies for species conservation and management within bioregions of the Galápagos.

Identification of Microbial Community in an Anaerobic Reactor Treating Brewery Wastewater

The study of microbial ecology and their function in anaerobic digestion processes are essential to control the biological processes. This is to know the symbiotic relationship between the microorganisms that are involved in the conversion of complex organic matter in the industrial wastewater to simple molecules. In this study, diversity and quantity of bacterial community in the granular sludge taken from the different compartments of a full-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating brewery wastewater was investigated using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). The phylogenetic analysis showed three major eubacteria phyla that belong to Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Chloroflexi in the full-scale UASB reactor, with different groups populating different compartment. The result of qPCR assay showed high amount of eubacteria with increase in concentration along the reactor’s compartment. This study extends our understanding on the diverse, topological distribution and shifts in concentration of microbial communities in the different compartments of a full-scale UASB reactor treating brewery wastewater. The colonization and the trophic interactions among these microbial populations in reducing and transforming complex organic matter within the UASB reactors were established.

Intellectual Property Protection of CRISPR Related Technologies
CRISPR research has the potential to completely transform life science, agriculture, live-stock and the health care industry. The Intellectual Property derived from its research has raised significant attention in the academic as well as the biopharmaceutical industry culminating an urgent need for strategic IP protection. We review the rudimentary concepts and key competitors of CRISPR technologies as well as the paramount strategies for intellectual property protection. Further, we elaborate on prosecution issues related to CRISPR patents as well as possible solutions to various patent laws, interferences and litigation. Finally, we address how the bioinformatics of the CRISPR technology begs an inquiry into issues of privacy and a host of ethical concerns.
Pyrethroid Resistance and Its Mechanism in Field Populations of the Sand Termite, Psammotermes hypostoma Desneux

Termites are eusocial insects that are found on all continents except Antarctica. Termites have serious destructive impact, damaging local huts and crops of poor subsistence. The annual cost of termite damage and its control is determined in the billions globally. In Egypt, most of these damages are due to the subterranean termite species especially the sand termite, P. hypostoma. Pyrethroids became the primary weapon for subterranean termite control, after the use of chlorpyrifos as a soil termiticide was banned. Despite the important role of pyrethroids in termite control, its extensive use in pest control led to the eventual rise of insecticide resistance which may make many of the pyrethroids ineffective. The ability to diagnose the precise mechanism of pyrethroid resistance in any insect species would be the key component of its management at specified location for a specific population. In the present study, detailed toxicological and biochemical studies was conducted on the mechanism of pyrethroid resistance in P. hypostoma. The susceptibility of field populations of P. hypostoma against deltamethrin, α-cypermethrin and ƛ-cyhalothrin was evaluated. The obtained results revealed that the workers of P. hypostoma have developed high resistance level against the tested pyrethroids. Studies carried out through estimation of detoxification enzyme activity indicated that enhanced esterase and cytochrome P450 activities were probably important mechanisms for pyrethroid resistance in field populations. Elevated esterase activity and also additional esterase isozyme were observed in the pyrethroid-resistant populations compared to the susceptible populations. Strong positive correlation between cytochrome P450 activity and pyrethroid resistance was also reported. |Deltamethrin could be recommended as a resistance-breaking pyrethroid that is active against resistant populations of P. hypostoma.

Efficacy of Gamma Radiation on the Productivity of Bactrocera oleae Gmelin (Diptera: Tephritidae)
The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae Gmelin (Diptera: Tephritidae), is one of the most serious pests in olive orchards in growing province in Iran. The female lay eggs in green olive fruit and larvae hatch inside the fruit, where they feed upon the fruit matters. One of the main ecologically friendly and species-specific systems of pest control is the sterile insect technique (SIT) which is based on the release of large numbers of sterilized insects. The objective of our work was to develop a SIT against B. oleae by using of gamma radiation for the laboratory and field trial in Iran. Oviposition of female mated by irradiated males is one of the main parameters to determine achievement of SIT. To conclude the sterile dose, pupae were placed under 0 to 160 Gy of gamma radiation. The main factor in SIT is the productivity of females which are mated by irradiated males. The emerged adults from irradiated pupae were mated with untreated adults of the same age by confining them inside the transparent cages. The fecundity of the irradiated males mated with non-irradiated females was decreased with the increasing radiation dose level. It was observed that the number of eggs and also the percentage of the egg hatching was significantly (P < 0.05) affected in either IM x NF crosses compared with NM x NF crosses in F1 generation at all doses. Also, the statistical analysis showed a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the mean number of eggs laid between irradiated and non-irradiated females crossed with irradiated males, which suggests that the males were susceptible to gamma radiation. The egg hatching percentage declined markedly with the increase of the radiation dose of the treated males in mating trials which demonstrated that egg hatch rate was dose dependent. Our results specified that gamma radiation affects the longevity of irradiated B. oleae larvae (established from irradiated pupae) and significantly increased their larval duration. Results show the gamma radiation, and SIT can be used successfully against olive fruit flies.
Mass rearing and Effects of Gamma Irradiation on the Pupal Mortality and Reproduction of Citrus Leaf Miner Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae)

Citrus leaf miner (Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton) is native to Asia and one of the most serious pests of Iran’s citrus nursery stocks. In the present study, the possibility of insect mass rearing on four various citrus hosts and the effects of gamma irradiation on the pupal mortality and reproduction of this pest were studied. Trifoliate orange and grapefruit showed less infection, while the number of pupae in Valencia oranges and sweet lemons cages was so high. There was not any significant difference between weight of male and female pupae among different citrus hosts, but generally the weight of male pupae was less than females. Use of Valencia orange or sweet lemons seedlings in especial dark emergence and oviposition cages could be recommended for mass rearing of this pest. In this study, the effects of gamma radiation at doses 100 to 450 Gy on biological and reproductive parameters of the pest has been determined. The results show that mean percent of pupal mortality increased with increasing doses and reached to 28.67% at 450 Gy for male pupae and 38.367% for female pupae. Also, the mean values of this parameter were higher for irradiated female, which indicated the higher sensitivity of this sex. The gamma ray irradiation from 200 and 300 Gy caused decrease in male and female adult moth longevity, respectively. The eggs were laid by emerged females, and their hatchability was decreased by increasing gamma doses. The fecundity of females in both combinations of crosses (irradiated male × normal female and irradiated female × normal male) did not differ, but fertility of laid eggs by irradiated female × normal male affected seriously and the mean values of this parameter reached to zero at 300 Gy. The hatchability percentage of produced eggs by normal female × irradiated male at 300 Gy was 23.29% and reached to less than 2 % at 450 Gy as the highest tested dose. The results of this test show that females have more radio-sensitivity in comparison to males.

An Algorithm of Regulation of Glucose-Insulin Concentration in the Blood

The pancreas is an elongated organ that extends across the abdomen, below the stomach. In addition, it secretes certain enzymes that aid in food digestion. The pancreas also manufactures hormones responsible for regulating blood glucose levels. In the present paper, we propose a mathematical model to study the homeostasis of glucose and insulin in healthy human, and a simulation of this model, which depicts the physiological events after a meal, will be represented in ordinary humans. The aim of this paper is to design an algorithm which regulates the level of glucose in the blood. The algorithm applied the concept of expert system for performing an algorithm control in the form of an "active" used to prescribe the rate of insulin infusion. By decomposing the system into subsystems, we have developed parametric models of each subsystem by using a forcing function strategy. The results showed a performance of the control system.

Cardiovascular Modeling Software Tools in Medicine

The high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases has provoked a raising interest in the development of mathematical models in order to evaluate the cardiovascular function both under physiological and pathological conditions. In this paper, a physical model of the cardiovascular system with intrinsic regulation is presented and implemented by using the object-oriented Modelica simulation software tools.  For this task, a multi-compartmental system previously validated with physiological data has been built, based on the interconnection of cardiovascular elements such as resistances, capacitances and pumping among others, by following an electrohydraulic analogy. The results obtained under both physiological and pathological scenarios provide an easy interpretative key to analyze the hemodynamic behavior of the patient. The described approach represents a valuable tool in the teaching of physiology for graduate medical and nursing students among others.

Causal Modeling of the Glucose-Insulin System in Type-I Diabetic Patients

In this paper, a simulation model of the glucose-insulin system for a patient undergoing diabetes Type 1 is developed by using a causal modeling approach under system dynamics. The OpenModelica simulation environment has been employed to build the so called causal model, while the glucose-insulin model parameters were adjusted to fit recorded mean data of a diabetic patient database. Model results under different conditions of a three-meal glucose and exogenous insulin ingestion patterns have been obtained. This simulation model can be useful to evaluate glucose-insulin performance in several circumstances, including insulin infusion algorithms in open-loop and decision support systems in closed-loop.

Identification of 332G>A Polymorphism in Exon 3 of the Leptin Gene and Partially Effects on Body Size and Tail Dimension in Sanjabi Sheep

The objective of the present study was to determine the polymorphism in the leptin (332G>A) and its association with biometric traits in Sanjabi sheep. For this purpose, blood samples from 96 rams were taken, and tail length, width tail, circumference tail, body length, body width, and height were simultaneously recorded. PCR was performed using specific primer to amplify 463 bp fragment including exon 3 of leptin gene, and PCR products were digested by Cail restriction enzymes. The 332G>A (at 332th nucleotide of exon 3 leptin gene) that caused an amino acid change from Arg to Gln was detected by Cail (CAGNNNCTG) endonuclease, as the endonuclease cannot cut this region if G nucleotide is located in this position. Three genotypes including GG (463), GA (463, 360and 103 bp) and GG (360 bp and 103 bp) were identified after digestion by enzyme. The estimated frequencies of three genotypes including GG, GA, and AA for 332G>A locus were 0.68, 0.29 and 0.03 and those were 0.18 and 0.82 for A and G alleles, respectively. In the current study, chi-square test indicated that 332G>A positions did not deviate from the Hardy–Weinberg (HW) equilibrium. The most important reason to show HW equation was that samples used in this study belong to three large local herds with a traditional breeding system having random mating and without selection. Shannon index amount was calculated which represent an average genetic variation in Sanjabi rams. Also, heterozygosity estimated by Nei index indicated that genetic diversity of mutation in the leptin gene is moderate. Leptin gene polymorphism in the 332G>A had significant effect on body length (P<0.05) trait, and individuals with GA genotype had significantly the higher body length compared to other individuals. Although animals with GA genotype had higher body width, this difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05). This non-synonymous SNP resulted in different amino acid changes at codon positions111(R/Q). As leptin activity is localized, at least in part, in domains between amino acid residues 106-1406, it is speculated that the detected SNP at position 332 may affect the activity of leptin and may lead to different biological functions. Based to our results, due to significant effect of leptin gene polymorphism on body size traits, this gene may be used a candidate gene for improving these traits.

BeamGA Median: A Hybrid Heuristic Search Approach
The median problem is significantly applied to derive the most reasonable rearrangement phylogenetic tree for many species. More specifically, the problem is concerned with finding a permutation that minimizes the sum of distances between itself and a set of three signed permutations. Genomes with equal number of genes but different order can be represented as permutations. In this paper, an algorithm, namely BeamGA median, is proposed that combines a heuristic search approach (local beam) as an initialization step to generate a number of solutions, and then a Genetic Algorithm (GA) is applied in order to refine the solutions, aiming to achieve a better median with the smallest possible reversal distance from the three original permutations. In this approach, any genome rearrangement distance can be applied. In this paper, we use the reversal distance. To the best of our knowledge, the proposed approach was not applied before for solving the median problem. Our approach considers true biological evolution scenario by applying the concept of common intervals during the GA optimization process. This allows us to imitate a true biological behavior and enhance genetic approach time convergence. We were able to handle permutations with a large number of genes, within an acceptable time performance and with same or better accuracy as compared to existing algorithms.
Displaying of GnRH Peptides on Bacteriophage T7 and Its Immunogenicity in Mice Model

T7 phage could be used as a perfect vector for peptides expression and haptens presentation. T7-3GnRH recombinant phage was constructed by inserting three copies of Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) gene into the multiple cloning site of T7 Select 415-1b phage genome. The positive T7-3GnRH phage was selected by using polymerase chain reaction amplification, and the p10B-3GnRH fusion protein was verified by SDS-PAGE and Western-blotting assay. T7-3GnRH vaccine was made and immunized with 1010 pfu in 0.2 ml per dose in mice. Blood samples were collected at an interval in weeks, and anti-GnRH antibody and testosterone concentrations were detected by ELISA and radioimmunoassay, respectively. The results show that T7-3GnRH phage particles confer a high immunogenicity to the GnRH-derived epitope. Moreover, the T7-3GnRH vaccine induced higher level of anti-GnRH antibody than ImproVac®. However, the testosterone concentrations in both immunized groups were at a similar level, and the testis developments were significantly inhibited compared to controls. These findings demonstrated that the anti-GnRH antibody could neutralize the endogenous GnRH to down regulate testosterone level and limit testis development, highlighting the potential value of T7-3GnRH in the immunocastration vaccine research.

CompPSA: A Component-Based Pairwise RNA Secondary Structure Alignment Algorithm
The biological function of an RNA molecule depends on its structure. The objective of the alignment is finding the homology between two or more RNA secondary structures. Knowing the common functionalities between two RNA structures allows a better understanding and a discovery of other relationships between them. Besides, identifying non-coding RNAs -that is not translated into a protein- is a popular application in which RNA structural alignment is the first step A few methods for RNA structure-to-structure alignment have been developed. Most of these methods are partial structure-to-structure, sequence-to-structure, or structure-to-sequence alignment. Less attention is given in the literature to the use of efficient RNA structure representation and the structure-to-structure alignment methods are lacking. In this paper, we introduce an O(N2) Component-based Pairwise RNA Structure Alignment (CompPSA) algorithm, where structures are given as a component-based representation and where N is the maximum number of components in the two structures. The proposed algorithm compares the two RNA secondary structures based on their weighted component features rather than on their base-pair details. Extensive experiments are conducted illustrating the efficiency of the CompPSA algorithm when compared to other approaches and on different real and simulated datasets. The CompPSA algorithm shows an accurate similarity measure between components. The algorithm gives the flexibility for the user to align the two RNA structures based on their weighted features (position, full length, and/or stem length). Moreover, the algorithm proves scalability and efficiency in time and memory performance.
Growth and Anatomical Responses of Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomatoes) under Microgravity and Normal Gravity Conditions

Microgravity is known to be a major abiotic stress in space which affects plants depending on the duration of exposure. In this work, tomatoes seeds were exposed to long hours of simulated microgravity condition using a one-axis clinostat. The seeds were sown on a 1.5% combination of plant nutrient and agar-agar solidified medium in three Petri dishes. One of the Petri dishes was mounted on the clinostat and allowed to rotate at the speed of 20 rpm for 72 hours, while the others were subjected to the normal gravity vector. The anatomical sections of both clinorotated and normal gravity plants were made after 72 hours and observed using a Phase-contrast digital microscope. The percentage germination, as well as the growth rate of the normal gravity seeds, was higher than the clinorotated ones. The germinated clinorotated roots followed different directions unlike the normal gravity ones which grew towards the direction of gravity vector. The clinostat was able to switch off gravistimulation. Distinct cellular arrangement was observed for tomatoes under normal gravity condition, unlike those of clinorotated ones. The root epidermis and cortex of normal gravity are thicker than the clinorotated ones. This implied that under long-term microgravity influence, plants do alter their anatomical features as a way of adapting to the stress condition.

An Alternative Antimicrobial Approach to Fight Bacterial Pathogens from Phellinus linteus

The objective of this research was focused on investigating in vitro antimicrobial activity of Phellinus linteus fruiting body extracts on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Phellinus linteus fruiting body was extracted with ethanol and ethyl acetate and was vaporized. The disc diffusion assay was used to assess antimicrobial activity against tested bacterial strains. Primary screening of chemical profile of crude extract was determined by using thin layer chromatography. The positive control and the negative control were used as erythromycin and dimethyl sulfoxide, respectively. Initial screening of Phellinus linteus crude extract with the disc diffusion assay demonstrated that only ethanol had greater antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The MIC assay showed that the lower MIC was observed with 0.5 mg/ml of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and 0.25 mg/ml. of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. TLC chemical profile of extract was represented at Rf ≈ 0.71-0.76.

Structuring and Visualizing Healthcare Claims Data Using Systems Architecture Methodology
Healthcare delivery systems around the world are in crisis. The need to improve health outcomes while decreasing healthcare costs have led to an imminent call to action to transform the healthcare delivery system. While Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering have primarily focused on biological level data and biomedical technology, there is clear evidence of the importance of the delivery of care on patient outcomes. Classic singular decomposition approaches from reductionist science are not capable of explaining complex systems. Approaches and methods from systems science and systems engineering are utilized to structure healthcare delivery system data. Specifically, systems architecture is used to develop a multi-scale and multi-dimensional characterization of the healthcare delivery system, defined here as the Healthcare Delivery System Knowledge Base. This paper is the first to contribute a new method of structuring and visualizing a multi-dimensional and multi-scale healthcare delivery system using systems architecture in order to better understand healthcare delivery.
Adjustment and Scale-Up Strategy of Pilot Liquid Fermentation Process of Azotobacter sp.

The genus Azotobacter has been widely used as bio-fertilizer due to its significant effects on the stimulation and promotion of plant growth in various agricultural species of commercial interest. In order to obtain significantly viable cellular concentration, a scale-up strategy for a liquid fermentation process (SmF) with two strains of A. chroococcum (named Ac1 and Ac10) was validated and adjusted at laboratory and pilot scale. A batch fermentation process under previously defined conditions was carried out on a biorreactor Infors®, model Minifors of 3.5 L, which served as a baseline for this research. For the purpose of increasing process efficiency, the effect of the reduction of stirring speed was evaluated in combination with a fed-batch-type fermentation laboratory scale. To reproduce the efficiency parameters obtained, a scale-up strategy with geometric and fluid dynamic behavior similarities was evaluated. According to the analysis of variance, this scale-up strategy did not have significant effect on cellular concentration and in laboratory and pilot fermentations (Tukey, p > 0.05). Regarding air consumption, fermentation process at pilot scale showed a reduction of 23% versus the baseline. The percentage of reduction related to energy consumption reduction under laboratory and pilot scale conditions was 96.9% compared with baseline.

Development of a Software System for Management and Genetic Analysis of Biological Samples for Forensic Laboratories

Due to the high reliability reached by DNA tests, since the 1980s this kind of test has allowed the identification of a growing number of criminal cases, including old cases that were unsolved, now having a chance to be solved with this technology. Currently, the use of genetic profiling databases is a typical method to increase the scope of genetic comparison. Forensic laboratories must process, analyze, and generate genetic profiles of a growing number of samples, which require time and great storage capacity. Therefore, it is essential to develop methodologies capable to organize and minimize the spent time for both biological sample processing and analysis of genetic profiles, using software tools. Thus, the present work aims the development of a software system solution for laboratories of forensics genetics, which allows sample, criminal case and local database management, minimizing the time spent in the workflow and helps to compare genetic profiles. For the development of this software system, all data related to the storage and processing of samples, workflows and requirements that incorporate the system have been considered. The system uses the following software languages: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in Web technology, with NodeJS platform as server, which has great efficiency in the input and output of data. In addition, the data are stored in a relational database (MySQL), which is free, allowing a better acceptance for users. The software system here developed allows more agility to the workflow and analysis of samples, contributing to the rapid insertion of the genetic profiles in the national database and to increase resolution of crimes. The next step of this research is its validation, in order to operate in accordance with current Brazilian national legislation.

Electrocardiogram Signal Denoising Using a Hybrid Technique
This paper presents an efficient method of electrocardiogram signal denoising based on a hybrid approach. Two techniques are brought together to create an efficient denoising process. The first is an Adaptive Dual Threshold Filter (ADTF) and the second is the Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT). The presented approach is based on three steps of denoising, the DWT decomposition, the ADTF step and the highest peaks correction step. This paper presents some application of the approach on some electrocardiogram signals of the MIT-BIH database. The results of these applications are promising compared to other recently published techniques.
Mutation Analysis of the ATP7B Gene in 43 Vietnamese Wilson’s Disease Patients
Wilson’s disease (WD) is an autosomal recessive disorder of the copper metabolism, which is caused by a mutation in the copper-transporting P-type ATPase (ATP7B). The mechanism of this disease is the failure of hepatic excretion of copper to bile, and leads to copper deposits in the liver and other organs. The ATP7B gene is located on the long arm of chromosome 13 (13q14.3). This study aimed to investigate the gene mutation in the Vietnamese patients with WD, and make a presymptomatic diagnosis for their familial members. Forty-three WD patients and their 65 siblings were identified as having ATP7B gene mutations. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood samples; 21 exons and exon-intron boundaries of the ATP7B gene were analyzed by direct sequencing. We recognized four mutations ([R723=; H724Tfs*34], V1042Cfs*79, D1027H, and IVS6+3A>G) in the sum of 20 detectable mutations, accounting for 87.2% of the total. Mutation S105* was determined to have a high rate (32.6%) in this study. The hotspot regions of ATP7B were found at exons 2, 16, and 8, and intron 14, in 39.6 %, 11.6 %, 9.3%, and 7 % of patients, respectively. Among nine homozygote/compound heterozygote siblings of the patients with WD, three individuals were determined as asymptomatic by screening mutations of the probands. They would begin treatment after diagnosis. In conclusion, 20 different mutations were detected in 43 WD patients. Of this number, four novel mutations were explored, including [R723=; H724Tfs*34], V1042Cfs*79, D1027H, and IVS6+3A>G. The mutation S105* is the most prevalent and has been considered as a biomarker that can be used in a rapid detection assay for diagnosis of WD patients. Exons 2, 8, and 16, and intron 14 should be screened initially for WD patients in Vietnam. Based on risk profile for WD, genetic testing for presymptomatic patients is also useful in diagnosis and treatment.
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