SciCombinator

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Malnutrition has been a serious issue in Ghana and Africa as a whole. However, the potential of many indigenous fruits to combat it has not yet been tested. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the nutritional characteristics of four underutilized wild fruits (Gardeniaerubescens, Sclerocarya birrea, Diospyros mespiliformis, and Balanites aegyptiaca) of dietary interest in Ghana. The nutritional and antinutritional characteristics of the fruits were analyzed according to standard methods (laid down by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists and other well-known researchers) on a dry weight (dw) basis. The nutritional value of the fruits was high enough to contribute to the nutrient requirements of humans, with their iron (0.34⁻1.46 mg/100 g), zinc (0.81⁻2.97 mg/100 g), vitamin A (0.84⁻2.03 mg/100 g), and β-carotene (64.84⁻176.89 mg/100 g) contents worth special mention. The antinutrient content also ranged between 0.06⁻1.82 mg/g. Therefore, it is evident from the study that the fruits, although containing some levels of antinutrients, are nutrient-dense, suggesting their potency in fighting malnutrition in humans.

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The current therapeutic scenario for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) involves aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, and immunomodulators, but concerns regarding their safety profiles and high costs heavily impact their widespread use. In recent years, the beneficial effects thatbiophenols-from fruit and vegetables-have on human health have been investigated. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of phenolic fraction, from olive leaves and fruits, have been suggested, and a potential application in gut inflammation has been supported by in vitro and IBD-animal models studies. In the present review, we first introduced the potential therapeutic role of olive tree biophenolsin chronic inflammatory disease. Then, we aimed to describe their most interesting application for gut inflammation, as the results of basic science studies and animal experimental models. Finally, the potential role of olive tree biophenols in the setting of human IBD is discussed.

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The present study investigates the high temperature tribological performance of spark plasma sintered, nano- and micron-sized tungsten carbide (WC) bonded by 9 wt.% cobalt (Co). The composites were fabricated using a two-step procedure of mixing followed by spark plasma sintering (SPS). Ball-on-disc wear tests were conducted at a normal load of 30 N, linear speed of 0.1 m/s under dry conditions and at three different temperatures (room temperature, 300 °C and 600 °C). Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), optical profilometry and energy dispersive X-ray (EDS) spectroscopy were used to analyze the surface morphology and the wear track area. At room temperature, it was observed that the nano-sized WC composites exhibited better wear resistance than the micron-sized WC composites. The wear resistance of the nano-sized samples declined significantly relative to that of the micron-sized samples with an increase in temperature. This decline in performance was attributed to the higher surface area of nano-sized WC particles, which underwent rapid oxidation at elevated temperatures, resulting in poor wear resistance. The wear rate observed at 600 °C for the micron-sized WC composites was 75% lower than that of the nano-sized cemented carbide. Oxidative wear was observed to be the predominant wear mechanism for both cemented carbide samples at elevated temperatures.

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For the study, forty lambs were weighed and assigned into two treatments to determine the effects of feeding garlic powder on growth performance, rumen fermentation, and the health status of lambs infected with gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs). The lambs were fed with a basal diet without or with 50 g/kg garlic powder for 84 d. Data were analyzed by a general linear or mixed model of SAS software and differences were considered statistically significant if p ≤ 0.05. Results showed that garlic powder supplementation increased the lambs' average daily gain (p = 0.025), digestibility of dry matter (p = 0.019), and crude protein (p = 0.007). No significant changes were observed on the dry matter intake, feed conversion ratio, as well as the apparent digestibility of lipid and fiber. An interactive effect between treatment and feeding day was observed on ruminal pH (p < 0.001) and ammonia nitrogen concentration (p < 0.001). Ruminal pH (p < 0.001) and ammonia nitrogen concentration (p < 0.001) decreased with garlic powder supplementation, while ammonia nitrogen concentration increased (p = 0.001) with the extension of the feeding period. Garlic powder supplementation increased the total volatile fatty acid concentration (p < 0.001) in the rumen fluid, the molar proportion of acetic acid (p = 0.002), propionic acid (p < 0.001), and isovaleric acid (p = 0.049), but it decreased the ratio of acetic acid to propionic acid (p = 0.015). The lambs' fecal egg count decreased (p < 0.001), but the packed cell volume and body condition scores of lambs increased (p < 0.001) with garlic powder supplementation. In conclusion, feeding garlic powder increased growth performance, feed digestion, rumen fermentation, and the health status of lambs infected with GINs.

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Increased orosomucoid-like 3 (ORMDL3) expression levels, due to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), have been associated with several inflammatory diseases, including asthma and inflammatory bowel diseases. ORMDL proteins inhibit serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT), the first rate-limiting enzyme in de novo sphingolipid synthesis and alter cellular calcium homeostasis. Both processes are essential for immune response. The present study addresses ORMDL3 protein involvement in macrophage physiology using an overexpressing knock-in mouse model. Ceramide content was notably different in the bone-marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) from the transgenic mouse model compared with the wild type (WT) macrophages. Our data revealed an alteration of de novo production of sphinganine upon BMDM activation in the transgenic mouse. Gene-expression analysis showed that alteration in ORMDL3 expression levels did not affect activation or macrophage polarization. Nevertheless, we studied phagocytosis and autophagy-crucial processes that are dependent on lipid membrane composition. Phagocytosis in transgenic macrophages was not affected by ORMDL3 overexpression, but we did find a reduction in toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4)-mediated autophagy. Both genetic and functional studies have pointed to autophagy as an essential pathway involved in inflammation. We believe that our work provides new insights into the functional link between ORMDL3 expression and inflammatory diseases.

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In this study, the change in the physical, chemical, microstructural, and rheological properties of a road bitumen modified with reactive terpolymer (Elvaloy®RET) was investigated. For this purpose, four different Elvaloy®RET percentages (0%, 0.4%, 0.8%, and 1.2% by wt.) were mixed with B 160/220 bitumen. Firstly, the obtained samples were subjected to a short and long-term aging process using a rotating thin-film oven test and pressurized aging vessel, respectively. Then, the engineering characteristics of the samples were investigated using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and conventional and Superpave bitumen tests. The results showed that Elvaloy®RET reacted with the main macromolecular groups in the bitumen, and that the modified bitumens behaved as a homogenous single phase structure as a result of this reaction. Conventional tests showed that Elvaloy®RET-modified bitumens were much harder than pure bitumen and had better aging resistance. Furthermore, the penetration classes of these bitumens changed and their temperature sensitivities decreased significantly. Rheological tests showed that the Elvaloy®RET additive increased the resistance of the bitumen against fatigue cracking and particularly permanent deformation. Moreover, the high temperature performance class of the bitumen also increased. However, parallel to the hardening of the bitumen, a reduction in its resistance to cracking at low temperature was observed.

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This study aimed to compare the screening and diagnosis of maternal syphilis in Shanghai between the national and municipal prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of syphilis policies, and then to assess whether PMTCT programs and enhancing healthcare infrastructure could bring about an early detection of maternal syphilis. Detection of maternal syphilis was initiated in 2001 and then scaled-up in 2011 along with the enhancement of antenatal healthcare infrastructure. The initial five-year periods of municipal and national PMTCT policies were defined as the “exploring period” (2002⁻2006) and the “comprehensive period” (2011⁻2015). The demographic and gestational weeks (GW) of syphilis screening and diagnosis were analyzed to identify the factors affecting early detection. During the study period, maternal syphilis screening increased from 83,718 in 2002 to 243,432 in 2015. Of the 1,894,062 pregnant women screened, 1526 and 2714 participants were diagnosed with maternal syphilis in 2002⁻2006 and 2011⁻2015, respectively. The average age of diagnosis was 28.36 years and non-residents accounted for 71.1%. In the comprehensive period, more women received early syphilis screening (14.0% vs. 10.8%) and diagnosis (13.3% vs. 7.3%) within 12 GWs compared with the exploring period. Significantly, early detection grew during 2011⁻2015, which was not seen in the exploring period. Multivariate analysis revealed a greater possibility for infected women to be diagnosed within 16 GWs (OR = 2.76) in the comprehensive period, but those who were non-residents and unemployed were less likely to receive early detection. In conclusion, early detection of maternal syphilis has been remarkably improved. More emphasis is required on the development of pro-vulnerable policies and the implementation of tailored health education to improve the accessibility of routine antenatal care and awareness of syphilis prevention.

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Purpose: To examine the effect of acute moderate-intensity continuous exercise performed under normobaric severe hypoxia on cognition, compared to sea-level normoxia. Methods: Thirty healthy inactive women randomly performed two experimental trials separated by at least three days but at approximately the same time of day. Executive functions were measured during the follicular stage via an interference control task before (rest) and during exercise with 45% peak power output under normobaric normoxia (PIO₂ = 150 mmHg, FIO₂ = 0.21), and (2) hypoxia (PIO₂ = 87 mmHg, FIO₂ = 0.12, simulated at an altitude of 4000 m). Reaction time (RT), accuracy rate (AC), heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, and peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO₂) were collected before and during exercise. Results: RT (p < 0.05, η²p = 0.203) decreased during moderate exercise when compared at rest, while a short bout of severe hypoxia improved RT (p < 0.05, η²p = 0.134). Exercise and hypoxia had no effects on AC (p > 0.05). No significant associations were found between the changes of RT and SpO₂ under the conditions of normoxia and hypoxia (p > 0.05). Conclusions: At the same phase of the menstrual cycle, a short bout of severe hypoxia simulated at 4000 m altitude caused no impairment at rest. RT during moderate exercise ameliorated in normoxia and severe hypoxia, suggesting that both exercise and short-term severe hypoxia have benefits on cognitive function in sedentary young women.

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The formation of serrated chips is an important feature during machining of difficult-to-cut materials, such as titanium alloy, nickel based alloy, and some steels. In this study, Ti6Al4V alloys with equiaxial and acicular martensitic microstructures were adopted to analyze the effects of material structures on the formation of serrated chips in straight line micro orthogonal machining. The martensitic alloy was obtained using highly efficient electropulsing treatment (EPT) followed by water quenching. The results showed that serrated chips could be formed on both Ti6Al4V alloys, however the chip features varied with material microstructures. The number of chip segments per unit length of the alloy with martensite was more than that of the equiaxial alloy due to poor ductility. Besides, the average cutting and thrust forces were about 8.41 and 4.53 N, respectively, for the equiaxed Ti6Al4V alloys, which were consistently lower than those with a martensitic structure. The high cutting force of martensitic alloy is because of the large yield stress required to overcome plastic deformation, and this force is also significantly affected by the orientations of the martensite. Power spectral density (PSD) analyses indicated that the characteristic frequency of cutting force variation of the equiaxed alloy ranged from 100 to 200 Hz, while it ranged from 200 to 400 Hz for workpieces with martensites, which was supposedly due to the formation of serrated chips during the machining process.

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The aim of the work is to evaluate the effectiveness of the risk communication strategies in cases of unsafe drinking water supply in Sardinia, the Italian context with the highest population distrust in drinking water safety. During the period 2010⁻2015, the ordinances published on the institutional websites were analyzed, and the population risk perception was evaluated by applying, for the first time in public health threats, the “OUTRAGE Prediction & Management” software released by Sandman. Overall, 417 ordinances issued by the Sardinian Municipalities were found. Only 1.5% of the ordinances reported information about parameters, concentrations, and risks to health, whereas 4.8% indicated only the parameters and non-standard levels. By contrast, 53.2% specified only the non-standard parameter, and 40.5% indicated a generic non-drinking motivation. The outrage assessment showed values exceeding the threshold of risk acceptance, attributable to the lack and low clarity of the information reported by the ordinances. The present study allowed us to highlight critical issues in risk communication of the quality of drinking water.