Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 255

Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Feasibility Study of Mine Tailing’s Treatment by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans DSM 26636

Among the diverse types of pollutants produced by anthropogenic activities, metals represent a serious threat, due to their accumulation in ecosystems and their elevated toxicity. The mine tailings of abandoned mines contain high levels of metals such as arsenic (As), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and lead (Pb), which do not suffer any degradation process, they are accumulated in environment. Abandoned mine tailings potentially could contaminate rivers and aquifers representing a risk for human health due to their high metal content. In an attempt to remove the metals and thereby mitigate the environmental pollution, an environmentally friendly and economical method of bioremediation has been introduced. Bioleaching has been actively studied over the last several years, and it is one of the bioremediation solutions used to treat heavy metals contained in sewage sludge, sediment and contaminated soil. Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, an extremely acidophilic, chemolithoautotrophic, gram-negative, rod shaped microorganism, which is typically related to Cu mining operations (bioleaching), has been well studied for industrial applications. The sulfuric acid produced plays a major role in bioleaching. Specifically, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans strain DSM 26636 has been able to leach Al, Ni, V, Fe, Mg, Si, and Ni contained in slags from coal combustion wastes. The present study reports the ability of A. thiooxidans DSM 26636 for the bioleaching of metals contained in two different mine tailing samples (MT1 and MT2). It was observed that Al, Fe, and Mn were removed in 36.3±1.7, 191.2±1.6, and 4.5±0.2 mg/kg for MT1, and in 74.5±0.3, 208.3±0.5, and 20.9±0.1 for MT2. Besides, < 1.5 mg/kg of Au and Ru were also bioleached from MT1; in MT2, bioleaching of Zn was observed at 55.7±1.3 mg/kg, besides removal of < 1.5 mg/kg was observed for As, Ir, Li, and 0.6 for Os in this residue. These results show the potential of strain DSM 26636 for the bioleaching of metals that came from different mine tailings.

Effect of Core Puncture Diameter on Bio-Char Kiln Efficiency

Biochar has been used as a soil amendment since it has high porous structure and has proper nutrients and chemical properties for plants. Product yields produced from biochar kiln are dependent on process parameters and kiln types used. The objective of this research is to investigate the effect of core puncture diameter on biochar kiln efficiency, i.e., yields of biochar and produced gas. Corncobs were used as raw material to produce biochar. Briquettes from agricultural wastes were used as fuel. Each treatment was performed by changing the core puncture diameter. From the experiment, it is revealed that the yield of biochar at the core puncture diameter of 3.18 mm, 4.76 mm, and 6.35 mm was 10.62 wt. %, 24.12 wt. %, and 12.24 wt. %, of total solid yields, respectively. The yield of produced gas increased with increasing the core puncture diameter. The maximum percentage by weight of the yield of produced gas was 81.53 wt. % which was found at the core puncture diameter of 6.35 mm. The core puncture diameter was furthermore found to affect the temperature distribution inside the kiln and its thermal efficiency. In conclusion, the high efficient biochar kiln can be designed and constructed by using the proper core puncture diameter.

Bioleaching of Metals Contained in Spent Catalysts by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans DSM 26636

Spent catalysts are considered as hazardous residues of major concern, mainly due to the simultaneous presence of several metals in elevated concentrations. Although hydrometallurgical, pyrometallurgical and chelating agent methods are available to remove and recover some metals contained in spent catalysts; these procedures generate potentially hazardous wastes and the emission of harmful gases. Thus, biotechnological treatments are currently gaining importance to avoid the negative impacts of chemical technologies. To this end, diverse microorganisms have been used to assess the removal of metals from spent catalysts, comprising bacteria, archaea and fungi, whose resistance and metal uptake capabilities differ depending on the microorganism tested. Acidophilic sulfur oxidizing bacteria have been used to investigate the biotreatment and extraction of valuable metals from spent catalysts, namely Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidithiobacillus ferroxidans, as they present the ability to produce leaching agents such as sulfuric acid and sulfur oxidation intermediates. In the present work, the ability of A. thiooxidans DSM 26636 for the bioleaching of metals contained in five different spent catalysts was assessed by growing the culture in modified Starkey mineral medium (with elemental sulfur at 1%, w/v), and 1% (w/v) pulp density of each residue for up to 21 days at 30 °C and 150 rpm. Sulfur-oxidizing activity was periodically evaluated by determining sulfate concentration in the supernatants according to the NMX-k-436-1977 method. The production of sulfuric acid was assessed in the supernatants as well, by a titration procedure using NaOH 0.5 M with bromothymol blue as acid-base indicator, and by measuring pH using a digital potentiometer. On the other hand, Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometry was used to analyze metal removal from the five different spent catalysts by A. thiooxidans DSM 26636. Results obtained show that, as could be expected, sulfuric acid production is directly related to the diminish of pH, and also to highest metal removal efficiencies. It was observed that Al and Fe are recurrently removed from refinery spent catalysts regardless of their origin and previous usage, although these removals may vary from 9.5 ± 2.2 to 439 ± 3.9 mg/kg for Al, and from 7.13 ± 0.31 to 368.4 ± 47.8 mg/kg for Fe, depending on the spent catalyst proven. Besides, bioleaching of metals like Mg, Ni, and Si was also obtained from automotive spent catalysts, which removals were of up to 66 ± 2.2, 6.2±0.07, and 100±2.4, respectively. Hence, the data presented here exhibit the potential of A. thiooxidans DSM 26636 for the simultaneous bioleaching of metals contained in spent catalysts from diverse provenance.

Cloning, Expression and Protein Purification of AV1 Gene of Okra Leaf Curl Virus Egyptian Isolate and Genetic Diversity between Whitefly and Different Plant Hosts

Begomoviruses are economically important plant viruses that infect dicotyledonous plants and exclusively transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Here, replicative form was isolated from Okra, Cotton, Tomato plants and whitefly infected with Begomoviruses. Using coat protein specific primers (AV1), the viral infection was verified with amplicon at 450 bp. The sequence of OLCuV-AV1 gene was recorded and received an accession number (FJ441605) from Genebank. The phylogenetic tree of OLCuV was closely related to Okra leaf curl virus previously isolated from Cameroon and USA with nucleotide sequence identity of 92%. The protein purification was carried out using His-Tag methodology by using Affinity Chromatography. The purified protein was separated on SDS-PAGE analysis and an enriched expected size of band at 30 kDa was observed. Furthermore, RAPD and SDS-PAGE were used to detect genetic variability between different hosts of okra leaf curl virus (OLCuV), cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV), tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCuV) and the whitefly vector. Finally, the present study would help to understand the relationship between the whitefly and different economical crops in Egypt.

Improved Predictive Models for the IRMA Network Using Nonlinear Optimisation
Cellular complexity stems from the interactions among thousands of different molecular species. Thanks to the emerging fields of systems and synthetic biology, scientists are beginning to unravel these regulatory, signaling, and metabolic interactions and to understand their coordinated action. Reverse engineering of biological networks has has several benefits but a poor quality of data combined with the difficulty in reproducing it limits the applicability of these methods. A few years back, many of the commonly used predictive algorithms were tested on a network constructed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) to resolve this issue. The network was a synthetic network of five genes regulating each other for the so-called in vivo reverse-engineering and modeling assessment (IRMA). The network was constructed in S. cereviase since it is a simple and well characterized organism. The synthetic network included a variety of regulatory interactions, thus capturing the behaviour of larger eukaryotic gene networks on a smaller scale. We derive a new set of algorithms by solving a nonlinear optimization problem and show how these algorithms outperform other algorithms on these datasets.
Hormones and Mineral Elements Associated with Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women in Eastern Slovakia

Osteoporosis is a multifactorial disease that results in reduced quality of life, causes decreased bone strength, and changes in their microarchitecture. Mostly postmenopausal women are at risk. In our study, we measured anthropometric parameters of postmenopausal women (104 women of control group – CG and 105 women of osteoporotic group - OG) and determined TSH hormone levels and PTH as well as mineral elements - Ca, P, Mg and enzyme alkaline phosphatase. Through the correlation analysis in CG, we have found association based on age and BMI, P and Ca, as well as Mg and Ca; in OG we determined interdependence based on an association of age and BMI, age and Ca. Using the Student's t test, we found significantly important differences in biochemical parameters of Mg (p ˂ 0,001) and TSH (p ˂ 0,05) between CG and OG.

Influence of Infrared Radiation on the Growth Rate of Microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana

Nowadays, the progressive decrease of primary natural resources and ongoing upward trend in terms of energy demand, have resulted in development of new generation technological processes which are focused on step-wise production and residues utilization. Thus, microalgae-based 3rd generation bioeconomy is considered one of the most promising approaches that allow production of value-added products and sophisticated utilization of residues biomass. In comparison to conventional biomass, microalgae can be cultivated in wide range of conditions without compromising food and feed production, and thus, addressing issues associated with negative social and environmental impacts. However, one of the most challenging tasks is to undergo seasonal variations and to achieve optimal growing conditions for indoor closed systems that can cover further demand for material and energetic utilization of microalgae. For instance, outdoor cultivation in St. Petersburg (Russia) is only suitable within rather narrow time frame (from mid-May to mid-September). At earlier and later periods, insufficient sunlight and heat for the growth of microalgae were detected. On the other hand, without additional physical effects, the biomass increment in summer is 3-5 times per week, depending on the solar radiation and the ambient temperature. In order to increase biomass production, scientists from all over the world have proposed various technical solutions for cultivators and have been studying the influence of various physical factors affecting biomass growth namely: magnetic field, radiation impact, and electric field, etc. In this paper, the influence of infrared radiation (IR) and fluorescent light on the growth rate of microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana has been studied. The cultivation of Chlorella sorokiniana was carried out in 500 ml cylindrical glass vessels, which were constantly aerated. To accelerate the cultivation process, the mixture was stirred for 15 minutes at 500 rpm following 120 minutes of rest time. At the same time, the metabolic needs in nutrients were provided by the addition of micro- and macro-nutrients in the microalgae growing medium. Lighting was provided by fluorescent lamps with the intensity of 2500 ± 300 lx. The influence of IR was determined using IR lamps with a voltage of 220 V, power of 250 W, in order to achieve the intensity of 13 600 ± 500 lx. The obtained results show that under the influence of fluorescent lamps along with the combined effect of active aeration and variable mixing, the biomass increment on the 2nd day was three times, and on the 7th day, it was eight-fold. The growth rate of microalgae under the influence of IR radiation was lower and has reached 22.6·106 cells·mL-1. However, application of IR lamps for the biomass growth allows maintaining the optimal temperature of microalgae suspension at approximately 25-28°C, which might especially be beneficial during the cold season in extreme climate zones.

Case Study on Innovative Aquatic-Based Bioeconomy for Chlorella sorokiniana
Over the last decade due to climate change and a strategy of natural resources preservation, the interest for the aquatic biomass has dramatically increased. Along with mitigation of the environmental pressure and connection of waste streams (including CO2 and heat emissions), microalgae bioeconomy can supply food, feed, as well as the pharmaceutical and power industry with number of value-added products. Furthermore, in comparison to conventional biomass, microalgae can be cultivated in wide range of conditions without compromising food and feed production, thus addressing issues associated with negative social and the environmental impacts. This paper presents the state-of-the art technology for microalgae bioeconomy from cultivation process to production of valuable components and by-streams. Microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana were cultivated in the pilot-scale innovation concept in Hamburg (Germany) using different systems such as race way pond (5000 L) and flat panel reactors (8 x 180 L). In order to achieve the optimum growth conditions along with suitable cellular composition for the further extraction of the value-added components, process parameters such as light intensity, temperature and pH are continuously being monitored. On the other hand, metabolic needs in nutrients were provided by addition of micro- and macro-nutrients into a medium to ensure autotrophic growth conditions of microalgae. The cultivation was further followed by downstream process and extraction of lipids, proteins and saccharides. Lipids extraction is conducted in repeated-batch semi-automatic mode using hot extraction method according to Randall. As solvents hexane and ethanol are used at different ratio of 9:1 and 1:9, respectively. Depending on cell disruption method along with solvents ratio, the total lipids content showed significant variations between 8.1% and 13.9 %. The highest percentage of extracted biomass was reached with a sample pretreated with microwave digestion using 90% of hexane and 10% of ethanol as solvents. Proteins content in microalgae was determined by two different methods, namely: Total Kejadahl Nitrogen (TKN), which further was converted to protein content, as well as Bradford method using Brilliant Blue G-250 dye. Obtained results, showed a good correlation between both methods with protein content being in the range of 39.8–47.1%. Characterization of neutral and acid saccharides from microalgae was conducted by phenol-sulfuric acid method at two wavelengths of 480 nm and 490 nm. The average concentration of neutral and acid saccharides under the optimal cultivation conditions was 19.5% and 26.1%, respectively. Subsequently, biomass residues are used as substrate for anaerobic digestion on the laboratory-scale. The methane concentration, which was measured on the daily bases, showed some variations for different samples after extraction steps but was in the range between 48% and 55%. CO2 which is formed during the fermentation process and after the combustion in the Combined Heat and Power unit can potentially be used within the cultivation process as a carbon source for the photoautotrophic synthesis of biomass.
The Fracture Resistance of Zirconia Based Dental Crowns from Cyclic Loading: A Function of Relative Wear Depth

This in vitro study focused on investigating the fatigue resistance of veneered zirconia molar crowns with different veneering ceramic thicknesses, simulating the relative wear depths under simulated cyclic loading. A mandibular first molar was prepared and then scanned using computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology to fabricate 32 zirconia copings of uniform 0.5 mm thickness. The manufactured copings then veneered with 1.5 mm, 1.0 mm, 0.5 mm, and 0.0 mm representing 0%, 33%, 66%, and 100% relative wear of a normal ceramic thickness of 1.5 mm. All samples were thermally aged to 6000 thermo-cycles for 2 minutes with distilled water between 5 ˚C and 55 ˚C. The samples subjected to cyclic fatigue and fracture testing using SD Mechatronik chewing simulator. These samples are loaded up to 1.25x10⁶ cycles or until they fail. During fatigue, testing, extensive cracks were observed in samples with 0.5 mm veneering layer thickness. Veneering layer thickness 1.5-mm group and 1.0-mm group were not different in terms of resisting loads necessary to cause an initial crack or final failure. All ceramic zirconia-based crown restorations with varying occlusal veneering layer thicknesses appeared to be fatigue resistant. Fracture load measurement for all tested groups before and after fatigue loading exceeded the clinical chewing forces in the posterior region. In general, the fracture loads increased after fatigue loading and with the increase in the thickness of the occlusal layering ceramic.

Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Sunflower Oil Using Central Composite Design

The current study investigated the effect of catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio on biodiesel production by using central composite design. Biodiesel was produced by transesterification using sodium hydroxide as a homogeneous catalyst, a laboratory scale reactor consisting of flat bottom flask mounts with a reflux condenser and a heating plate was used to produce biodiesel. Key parameters, including, time, temperature and mixing rate were kept constant at 60 minutes, 60 oC and 600 RPM, respectively. From the results obtained, it was observed that the biodiesel yield depends on catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio. The highest yield of 50.65% was obtained at catalyst ratio of 0.5 wt.% and methanol to oil mole ratio 10.5. The analysis of variances of biodiesel yield showed the R Squared value of 0.8387. A quadratic mathematical model was developed to predict the biodiesel yield in the specified parameters ranges.

Malt Bagasse Waste as Biosorbent for Malachite Green: An Ecofriendly Approach for Dye Removal from Aqueous Solution

In this study, malt bagasse, a low-cost waste biomass, was tested as a biosorbent to remove the cationic dye Malachite green (MG) from aqueous solution. Batch biosorption experiments were investigated as functions of different experimental parameters such as initial pH, salt (NaCl) concentration, contact time, temperature and initial dye concentration. Higher removal rates of MG were obtained at pH 8 and 10. The equilibrium and kinetic studies suggest that the biosorption follows Langmuir isotherm and the pseudo-second-order model. The maximum monolayer adsorption capacity was estimated at 117.65 mg/g (at 45 °C). According to Dubinin–Radushkevich (D-R) isotherm model, biosorption of MG onto malt bagasse occurs physically. The thermodynamic parameters such as Gibbs free energy, enthalpy and entropy indicated that the MG biosorption onto malt bagasse is spontaneous and endothermic. The results of the ionic strength effect indicated that the biosorption process under study had a strong tolerance under high salt concentrations. It can be concluded that malt bagasse waste has potential for application as biosorbent for removal of MG from aqueous solution.

Assessing the Antimicrobial Activity of Chitosan Nanoparticles by Fluorescence-Labeling

Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide prepared by the N-deacetylation of chitin. In this study, the physicochemical and antibacterial properties of chitosan nanoparticles, produced by ultrasound irradiation, were evaluated. The physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles were determined by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential analysis. Chitosan nanoparticles inhibited the growth of E. coli. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were lower than 0.5 mg/mL, and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values were similar or higher than MIC values. Confocal laser scanning micrographs (CLSM) were used to observe the interaction between E. coli suspensions mixed with FITC-labeled chitosan polymers and nanoparticles.

The Effect of Temperature and Salinity on the Growth and Carotenogenesis of Three Dunaliella Species (Dunaliella sp. Lake Isolate, D. salina CCAP 19/18, and D. bardawil LB 2538) Cultivated under Laboratory Conditions

In this study, 3 species of Dunaliella (Dunaliella sp. Salt Lake isoalte (Tuz Gölü), Dunaliella salina CCAP19/18, and Dunaliella bardawil LB 2538) and their optical density, dry matter, chlorophyll a, total carotenoids, and β-carotene production were investigated in a batch system. The aim of this research was to compare carotenoids, and β-carotene production were investigated in a batch those 3 species. Therefore 2 stress factors were used: 2 different temperatures (20°C and 30°C) and 2 different salinities (30‰, and 60‰) were tested over a 17-day study. The highest growth and chlorophyll a was reported for Dunaliella sp. under 20°C/30‰ and 20°C/60‰ conditions respectively followed by D. bardawil and D. salina. Significant differences were noticed (p<0.05) for the other 3 species. The growth decreased as temperature and salinity increased since the lowest growth was noticed for the 30°C/60‰ group. The chlorophyll a content decreased also as temperature increased however when the NaCl concentration increased an augmentation of the content was noticed . In the 17th day of experiment the highest carotenoids concentration was reported for D. bardawil 20°C/30‰ (65,639±0,400 μg.mL−1) and the most important β carotene concentration was for D. salina 20°C/60‰ (8,98E-07±0,013 mol/L).

Ethanol and Biomass Production from Spent Sulfite Liquor by Filamentous Fungi

Since filamentous fungi are capable of assimilating several types of sugars (hexoses and pentoses), they are potential candidates for bioconversion of spent sulfite liquor (SSL). Three filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus oryzae, Mucor indicus, and Rhizopus oryzae were investigated in this work. The SSL was diluted in order to obtain concentrations of 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90% and supplemented with two types of nutrients. The results from cultivations in shake flask showed that A. oryzae and M. indicus were not able to grow in pure SSL and SSL90% while R. oryzae could grow only in SSL50% and SSL60%. Cultivation with A. oryzae resulted in the highest yield of produced fungal biomass, while R. oryzae cultivation resulted in the lowest fungal biomass yield. Although, the mediums containing yeast extract, (NH4)2SO4, KH2PO4, CaCl2∙2H2O, and MgSO4∙7H2O as nutrients supplementations produced higher fungal biomass compared to the mediums containing NH4H2PO4 and ammonia, but there was no significant difference between two types of nutrients in terms of sugars and acetic acid consumption rate. The sugars consumption in M. indicus cultivation was faster than A. oryzae and R. oryzae cultivation. Acetic acid present in SSL was completely consumed during cultivation of all fungi. M. indicus was the best and fastest ethanol producer from SSL among the fungi examined, when yeast extract and salts were used as nutrients supplementations. Furthermore, no further improvement in ethanol concentration and rate of sugars consumption was obtained in medium supplemented with NH4H2PO4 and ammonia compared to medium containing yeast extract, (NH4)2SO4, KH2PO4, CaCl2∙2H2O, and MgSO4∙7H2O. On the other hand, the higher dilution of SSL resulted in a better fermentability, and better consumption of sugars and acetic acid.

Optimization of Lead Bioremediation by Marine Halomonas sp. ES015 Using Statistical Experimental Methods

Bioremediation technology is now used for treatment instead of traditional metal removal methods. A strain was isolated from Marsa Alam, Red sea, Egypt showed high resistance to high lead concentration and was identified by the 16S rRNA gene sequencing technique as Halomonas sp. ES015. Medium optimization was carried out using Plackett-Burman design, and the most significant factors were yeast extract, casamino acid and inoculums size. The optimized media obtained by the statistical design raised the removal efficiency from 84% to 99% from initial concentration 250 ppm of lead. Moreover, Box-Behnken experimental design was applied to study the relationship between yeast extract concentration, casamino acid concentration and inoculums size. The optimized medium increased removal efficiency to 97% from initial concentration 500 ppm of lead. Immobilized Halomonas sp. ES015 cells on sponge cubes, using optimized medium in loop bioremediation column, showed relatively constant lead removal efficiency when reused six successive cycles over the range of time interval. Also metal removal efficiency was not affected by flow rate changes. Finally, the results of this research refer to the possibility of lead bioremediation by free or immobilized cells of Halomonas sp. ES015. Also, bioremediation can be done in batch cultures and semicontinuous cultures using column technology.

Detecting Rat’s Kidney Inflammation Using Real Time Photoacoustic Tomography

Photoacoustic Tomography (PAT) is a promising medical imaging modality that combines optical imaging contrast with the spatial resolution of ultrasound imaging. It can also distinguish the changes in biological features. But, real-time PAT system should be confirmed due to photoacoustic effect for tissue. Thus, we have developed a real-time PAT system using a custom-developed data acquisition board and ultrasound linear probe. To evaluate performance of our system, phantom test was performed. As a result of those experiments, the system showed satisfactory performance and its usefulness has been confirmed. We monitored the degradation of inflammation which induced on the rat’s kidney using real-time PAT.

The Role and Importance of Genome Sequencing in Prediction of Cancer Risk

The role and relative importance of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the development of complex diseases such as cancer still remains a controversial issue. Determining the amount of variation explained by these factors needs experimental data and statistical models. These models are nevertheless based on the occurrence and accumulation of random mutational events during stem cell division, thus rendering cancer development a stochastic outcome. We demonstrate that not only individual genome sequencing is uninformative in determining cancer risk, but also assigning a unique genome sequence to any given individual (healthy or affected) is not meaningful. Current whole-genome sequencing approaches are therefore unlikely to realize the promise of personalized medicine. In conclusion, since genome sequence differs from cell to cell and changes over time, it seems that determining the risk factor of complex diseases based on genome sequence is somewhat unrealistic, and therefore, the resulting data are likely to be inherently uninformative.

Inulinase Immobilization on Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles Prepared with Soy Protein Isolate Conjugated Bovine Serum Albumin for High Fructose Syrup Production

Inulinase from Aspergillus niger was covalently immobilized on magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs/Fe3O4) covered with soy protein isolate (SPI/Fe3O4) functionalized by bovine serum albumin (BSA) nanoparticles. MNPs are promising enzyme carriers because they separate easily under external magnetic fields and have enhanced immobilized enzyme reusability. As MNPs aggregate simply, surface coating strategy was employed. SPI functionalized by BSA was a suitable candidate for nanomagnetite coating due to its superior biocompatibility and hydrophilicity. Fe3O4@SPI-BSA nanoparticles were synthesized as a novel carrier with narrow particle size distribution. Step by step fabrication monitoring of Fe3O4@SPI-BSA nanoparticles was performed using field emission scanning electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. The results illustrated that nanomagnetite with the spherical morphology was well monodispersed with the diameter of about 35 nm. The average size of the SPI-BSA nanoparticles was 80 to 90 nm, and their zeta potential was around −34 mV. Finally, the mean diameter of fabricated Fe3O4@SPI-BSA NPs was less than 120 nm. Inulinase enzyme from Aspergillus niger was covalently immobilized through gluteraldehyde on Fe3O4@SPI-BSA nanoparticles successfully. Fourier transform infrared spectra and field emission scanning electron microscopy images provided sufficient proof for the enzyme immobilization on the nanoparticles with 80% enzyme loading.

Improvement of Antibacterial Activity for Ceftazidime by Partially Purified Tannase from Penicillium expansum

Tannase has wide applications in food, beverage, brewing, cosmetics and chemical industries and one of the major applications of tannase is the production of gallic acid. Gallic acid is used for manufacturing of trimethoprim. In the present study, a local fungal strain of Penicillium expansum A4 isolated from spoilt apple samples gave the highest production level of tannase. Tannase was partially purified with a recovery yield of 92.52% and 6.32 fold of purification by precipitation using ammonium sulfate at 50% saturation. Tannase led to increased antimicrobial activity of ceftazidime against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and S. aureus and had a synergism effect at low concentrations of ceftazidime, and thus, tannase may be a useful adjuvant agent for the treatment of many bacterial infections in combination with ceftazidime.

Effect of Span 60, Labrasol, and Cholesterol on Labisia pumila Loaded Niosomes Quality

Labisia pumila (LP) plant extract has the potential to be applied in cosmeceutical products due to its anti-photoaging properties. The main purpose of this study was to improve transdermal delivery of LP by encapsulating LP in niosomes. Niosomes loaded LPs were prepared by coacervation phase separation method using non-ionic surfactant (Span 60), labrasol, and cholesterol. The optimum formula obtained were Span 60, labrasol and cholesterol at the mole ratio of 6:1:4. At the optimum formulation, the niosome obtained significantly improved the quality of transdermal penetration of LP compared to free LP.

Characteristics of the Storage Stability for Different Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains

Storage stability is the important factor of baker's yeast quality. Effect of the storage period (fifteen days) on storage sugars and cell viability of baker's yeast, produced from three S. cerevisiae strains (FC-620, FH-620, and FAT-12) as comparison with baker's yeast produced by S. cerevisae F-707 (original strain of baker's yeast factory) were investigated. Studied trehalose and glycogen content ranged from 10.19 to 14.79 % and from 10.05 to 10.69 % (d.w.), respectively before storage. The trehalose and glycogen content of all strains was decreased by increasing the storage period with no significant differences between the reduction rates of trehalose. Meanwhile, reduction rates of glycogen had significant differences between different strains, where the FH-620 and FC-620 strains had lowest rates as 18.12 and 20.70 %, respectively. Also, total viable cells and gassing power of all strains were decreased by increasing the storage period. FH-620 and FC-620 strains had the lowest values of reduction rates as an indicator of storage resistant. Where the reduction rates in total viable cells of FH-620 and FC-620 strains were 22.05 and 24.70%, respectively, while the reduction rates of gassing power were 20.90 and 24.30%, in the same order. On other hand, FAT-12 strain was more sensitive to storage as compared to original strain, where the reduction rates were 35.60 and 35.75%, respectively for total viable cells and gassing power.

Synthesis of Highly Sensitive Molecular Imprinted Sensor for Selective Determination of Doxycycline in Honey Samples
Doxycycline (DXy) is a cycline antibiotic, most frequently prescribed to treat bacterial infections in veterinary medicine. However, its broad antimicrobial activity and low cost, lead to an intensive use, which can seriously affect human health. Therefore, its spread in the food products has to be monitored. The scope of this work was to synthetize a sensitive and very selective molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) for DXy detection in honey samples. Firstly, the synthesis of this biosensor was performed by casting a layer of carboxylate polyvinyl chloride (PVC-COOH) on the working surface of a gold screen-printed electrode (Au-SPE) in order to bind covalently the analyte under mild conditions. Secondly, DXy as a template molecule was bounded to the activated carboxylic groups, and the formation of MIP was performed by a biocompatible polymer by the mean of polyacrylamide matrix. Then, DXy was detected by measurements of differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). A non-imprinted polymer (NIP) prepared in the same conditions and without the use of template molecule was also performed. We have noticed that the elaborated biosensor exhibits a high sensitivity and a linear behavior between the regenerated current and the logarithmic concentrations of DXy from 0.1 pg.mL−1 to 1000 pg.mL−1. This technic was successfully applied to determine DXy residues in honey samples with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.1 pg.mL−1 and an excellent selectivity when compared to the results of oxytetracycline (OXy) as analogous interfering compound. The proposed method is cheap, sensitive, selective, simple, and is applied successfully to detect DXy in honey with the recoveries of 87% and 95%. Considering these advantages, this system provides a further perspective for food quality control in industrial fields.
Green Synthesized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: A Nano-Nutrient for the Growth and Enhancement of Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) Plant

Iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe2O3NPs) are widely used in different applications due to its ecofriendly nature and biocompatibility. Hence, in this investigation, biosynthesized Fe2O3NPs influence on flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) plant was examined. The biosynthesized nanoparticles were found to be cubic phase which is confirmed by XRD analysis. FTIR analysis confirmed the presence of functional groups corresponding to the iron oxide nanoparticle. The elemental analysis also confirmed that the obtained nanoparticle is iron oxide nanoparticle. The scanning electron microscopy and the transmission electron microscopy confirm that the average particle size was around 56 nm. The effect of Fe2O3NPs on seed germination followed by biochemical analysis was carried out using standard methods. The results obtained after four days and 11 days of seed vigor studies showed that the seedling length (cm), average number of seedling with leaves, increase in root length (cm) was found to be enhanced on treatment with iron oxide nanoparticles when compared to control. A positive correlation was noticed with the dose of the nanoparticle and plant growth, which may be due to changes in metabolic activity. Hence, to evaluate the change in metabolic activity, peroxidase and catalase activities were estimated. It was clear from the observation that higher concentration of iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe2O3NPs 1000 mg/L) has enhanced peroxidase and catalase activities and in turn plant growth. Thus, this study clearly showed that biosynthesized iron oxide nanoparticles will be an effective nano-nutrient for agriculture applications.

Valorization of Beer Brewing Wastes by Composting
The aim of this work was to study the viability of recycling the residual yeast and diatomaceous earth (RYDE) slurry generated by the beer brewing industry by composting with animal manures, as well as to evaluate the quality of the composts obtained. Two pilot composting trials were carried out with different mixes: cow manure/RYDE slurry (Pile CM) and sheep manure/RYDE slurry (Pile SM). For all piles, wood chips were applied as bulking agent. The process was monitored by evaluating standard physical and chemical parameters. The compost quality was assessed by the heavy metals content and phytotoxicity. Both piles reached a thermophilic phase in the first day, however having different trends. The pH showed a slight alkaline character. The C/N reached values lower than 19 at the end of composting process. Generally, all the piles exhibited absence of heavy metals. However, the pile SM exhibited phytotoxicity. This study showed that RYDE slurry can be valorized by composting with cow manure.
Extracellular Laccase Production by Co-culture between Galactomyces reesii IFO 10823 and Filamentous Fungal Strains Isolated from Fungus Comb Using Natural Inducer

Extracellular laccases are copper-containing microbial enzymes with many industrial biotechnological applications. This study evaluated the ability of nutrients in coconut coir to enhance the yield of extracellular laccase of Galactomyces reesii IFO 10823 and develop a co-culture between this yeast and other filamentous fungi isolated from the fungus comb of Macrotermes sp. The co-culture between G. reesii IFO 10823 and M. indicus FJ-M-5 (G3) gave the highest activity at 580.20 U/mL. When grown in fermentation media prepared from coconut coir and distilled water at 70% of initial moisture without supplement addition, G3 produced extracellular laccase of 113.99 U/mL.

Microbial Fuel Cells and Their Applications in Electricity Generating and Wastewater Treatment

This research is an experimental research which was done about microbial fuel cells in order to study them for electricity generating and wastewater treatment. These days, it is very important to find new, clean and sustainable ways for energy supplying. Because of this reason there are many researchers around the world who are studying about new and sustainable energies. There are different ways to produce these kind of energies like: solar cells, wind turbines, geothermal energy, fuel cells and many other ways. Fuel cells have different types one of these types is microbial fuel cell. In this research, an MFC was built in order to study how it can be used for electricity generating and wastewater treatment. The microbial fuel cell which was used in this research is a reactor that has two tanks with a catalyst solution. The chemical reaction in microbial fuel cells is a redox reaction. The microbial fuel cell in this research is a two chamber MFC. Anode chamber is an anaerobic one (ABR reactor) and the other chamber is a cathode chamber. Anode chamber consists of stabilized sludge which is the source of microorganisms that do redox reaction. The main microorganisms here are: Propionibacterium and Clostridium. The electrodes of anode chamber are graphite pages. Cathode chamber consists of graphite page electrodes and catalysts like: O2, KMnO4 and C6N6FeK4. The membrane which separates the chambers is Nafion117. The reason of choosing this membrane is explained in the complete paper. The main goal of this research is to generate electricity and treating wastewater. It was found that when you use electron receptor compounds like: O2, MnO4, C6N6FeK4 the velocity of electron receiving speeds up and in a less time more current will be achieved. It was found that the best compounds for this purpose are compounds which have iron in their chemical formula. It is also important to pay attention to the amount of nutrients which enters to bacteria chamber. By adding extra nutrients in some cases the result will be reverse.  By using ABR the amount of chemical oxidation demand reduces per day till it arrives to a stable amount.

Beijerinckia indica Extracellular Extract Mediated Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles with Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities against Clinical Pathogens

This work investigated the use of Beijerinckia indica extracellular extract for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles using AgNO3. The formation of nanoparticles was confirmed by different methods, such as UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, XRD, FTIR, EDX, and TEM analysis. The formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was confirmed by the change in color from light yellow to dark brown. The absorbance peak obtained at 430 nm confirmed the presence of silver nanoparticles. The XRD analysis showed the cubic crystalline phase of the synthesized nanoparticles. FTIR revealed the presence of groups that acts as stabilizing and reducing agents for silver nanoparticles formation. The synthesized silver nanoparticles were generally found to be spherical in shape with size ranging from 5 to 20 nm, as evident by TEM analysis. These nanoparticles were found to inhibit pathogenic bacterial strains. This work proved that the bacterial extract is a potential eco-friendly candidate for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles with promising antibacterial and antioxidant properties. 

Processing and Economic Analysis of Rain Tree (Samanea saman) Pods for Village Level Hydrous Bioethanol Production

Biofuel is one of the renewable energy sources adapted by the Philippine government in order to lessen the dependency on foreign fuel and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Rain tree pods were seen to be a promising source of bioethanol since it contains significant amount of fermentable sugars. The study was conducted to establish the complete procedure in processing rain tree pods for village level hydrous bioethanol production. Production processes were done for village level hydrous bioethanol production from collection, drying, storage, shredding, dilution, extraction, fermentation, and distillation. The feedstock was sundried, and moisture content was determined at a range of 20% to 26% prior to storage. Dilution ratio was 1:1.25 (1 kg of pods = 1.25 L of water) and after extraction process yielded a sugar concentration of 22 0Bx to 24 0Bx. The dilution period was three hours. After three hours of diluting the samples, the juice was extracted using extractor with a capacity of 64.10 L/hour. 150 L of rain tree pods juice was extracted and subjected to fermentation process using a village level anaerobic bioreactor. Fermentation with yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) can fasten up the process, thus producing more ethanol at a shorter period of time; however, without yeast fermentation, it also produces ethanol at lower volume with slower fermentation process. Distillation of 150 L of fermented broth was done for six hours at 85 °C to 95 °C temperature (feedstock) and 74 °C to 95 °C temperature of the column head (vapor state of ethanol). The highest volume of ethanol recovered was established at with yeast fermentation at five-day duration with a value of 14.89 L and lowest actual ethanol content was found at without yeast fermentation at three-day duration having a value of 11.63 L. In general, the results suggested that rain tree pods had a very good potential as feedstock for bioethanol production. Fermentation of rain tree pods juice can be done with yeast and without yeast.

The Contribution of the PCR-Enzymatic Digestion in the Positive Diagnosis of Proximal Spinal Muscular Atrophy in the Moroccan Population
The proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a group of neuromuscular disorders characterized by progressive muscle weakness due to the degeneration and loss of anterior motor neurons of the spinal cord. Depending on the age of onset of symptoms and their evolution, four types of SMA, varying in severity, result in a mutations of the SMN gene (survival of Motor neuron). We have analyzed the DNA of 295 patients referred to our genetic counseling; since January 1996 until October 2014; for suspected SMA. The homozygous deletion of exon 7 of the SMN gene was found in 133 patients; of which, 40.6% were born to consanguineous parents. In countries like Morocco, where the frequency of heterozygotes for SMA is high, genetic testing should be offered as first-line and, after careful clinical assessment, especially in newborns and infants with congenital hypotonia unexplained and prognosis compromise. The molecular diagnosis of SMA allows a quick and certainly diagnosis, provide adequate genetic counseling for families at risk and suggest, for couples who want prenatal diagnosis. The analysis of the SMN gene is a perfect example of genetic testing with an excellent cost/benefit ratio that can be of great interest in public health, especially in low-income countries. We emphasize in this work for the benefit of the generalization of molecular diagnosis of SMA by the technique of PCR-enzymatic digestion in other centers in Morocco.
Cadmium Filter Cake of a Hydrometallurgical Zinc Smelter as a New Source for the Biological Synthesis of CdS Quantum Dots
The cadmium sulfide nanoparticles were synthesized from the nickel-cadmium cake of a hydrometallurgical zinc producing plant and sodium sulfide as Cd2+ and S-2 sources, respectively. Also, the synthesis process was performed by using the secretions of Bacillus licheniformis as bio-surfactant. Initially, in order to obtain a cadmium rich solution, two following steps were carried out: 1) Alkaline leaching for the removal of zinc oxide from the cake, and 2) acidic leaching to dissolve cadmium from the remained solid residue. Afterward, the obtained CdSO4 solution was used for the nanoparticle biosynthesis. Nanoparticles were characterized by the energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) to confirm the formation of CdS crystals with cubic structure. Also, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was applied to determine the particle sizes which were in 2-10 nm range. Moreover, the presence of the protein containing bio-surfactants was approved by using infrared analysis (FTIR). In addition, the absorbance below 400 nm confirms quantum particles’ size. Finally, it was shown that valuable CdS quantum dots could be obtained from the industrial waste products via environment-friendly biological approaches.
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