Water Hyacinth’s Extent and Its Implication on Water Quality in Lake Victoria, UgandaRead the full article
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Phytochemical Screening and In Vitro Evaluation of the Antioxidant Potential of Dichloromethane Extracts of Strychnos henningsii Gilg. and Ficus sycomorus L.
Medicinal plants are a rich source of antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenols, tannins, and alkaloids among others and are currently used as alternative and complementary drugs in the management of stress-related disorders. Strychnos henningsii and Ficus sycomorus have been traditionally used by the people of Mbeere, Embu county, Kenya, as medicine for the treatment of various oxidative stress-related disorders such as diabetes and rheumatism; however, no empirical data are available to authenticate the said claim. The aim of this study was to evaluate preliminary phytochemical screening and in vitro antioxidant activity of dichloromethane (DCM) leaf extract of S. henningsii and stem bark extract of F. sycomorus using DPPH, hydrogen peroxide, and ferric reducing power assays; total flavonoids and phenolic compounds were also determined by colorimetric assay and Folin–Ciocalteu reaction, respectively. Phytochemical screening showed that both extracts possessed saponins, flavonoids, phenols, steroids, alkaloids, and cardiac glycosides; however, terpenoids were found to be absent in S. henningsii. The total phenolic and flavonoid content of the DCM stem bark extract of F. sycomorus was lower than that of the leaf extract of S. henningsii. These extracts significantly exhibited strong antioxidant activities at different concentrations tested. The IC50 values of S. henningsii and F. sycomorus were 0.325 mg/ml and 0.330 mg/ml for hydrogen peroxide and 0.068 mg/ml and 0.062 mg/ml for DPPH, respectively. Both DCM leaf and stem bark extracts of S. henningsii and F. sycomorus were found to have strong ferric reducing power. Therefore, both extracts showed significant nonenzyme-based antioxidant activities. The two plants possess phytochemicals that have significant antioxidant properties.
Pedagogy for Teaching Fire Safety through Design-Based Immersion of the National Building Code 2016 with Feedback from Students of Undergraduate Architecture
This study is based on the feedback from 3rd-year architectural undergraduate students at a leading architectural education college in India. An undergraduate degree in architecture in India leads to a professional license to practice as an architect in India. Fire safety is also a component of the architectural curriculum, but there are concerns worldwide that architecture colleges may somehow not give the impetus fire safety education may require. A studio-based, immersive pedagogy was created to make fire safety more relevant and easy to grasp for architecture students. This method used integrating the interventions from the country’s fire code into the design using students’ self-created design problems, with which they were familiar. This design-based immersive integration of the National Building Code 2016 and its fire provisions were tested in this study. The detailed course pedagogical structure has been presented. The study was tested using feedback from the students at the end of the semester using an 11-part questionnaire which 32 students answered in an anonymous mode. The results show an overall positive response where the students prefer a design-based integrated fire safety curriculum which introduces fire codes to the students in the applied format. This study paves the way for more replications of the studio design-based integration of fire codes into the curricula of architecture colleges. Further studies will require this technique to undergo further testing by involving practitioners who have undergone this pedagogy and testing the same in building projects.
Impact of Fasting Blood Glucose Levels on Blood Pressure Parameters among Older Adults with Prediabetes
Prediabetes mellitus (pre-DM) is defined as blood glucose levels higher than normal but lower than the threshold for diabetes mellitus (DM) diagnosis. Four-limb blood pressure (BP) differences can help identify a significant risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). The current study aimed to determine the importance of BP and the ankle-brachial index (ABI) between two patient groups and the association between fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels and four-limb BP, ABI, interarm BP difference (IAD), and interleg BP difference (ILD). Moreover, the effect of cardiovascular risk factors on the development of pre-DM among older adults was evaluated. The participants were divided into the normal fasting glucose (NFG) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) groups. Data on physical characteristics, lipid profiles, four-limb BP, ABI, IAD, ILD, and cardiovascular risk factors were assessed. The IFG group had a significantly higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) and pulse pressure than the NFG group (). SBP was significantly positively correlated with FBG levels (). The IFG group had a lower ABI than the NFG group (). However, there was no significant difference in terms of IAD and ILD between the two groups. Furthermore, hypertension (HT), metabolic syndrome (MetS), and dyslipidemia were significantly correlated with a high prevalence of prediabetes (). Individuals with prediabetes had a higher BP than those with normoglycemia. Prediabetes was correlated with HT, MetS, and dyslipidemia.
Quality of Life of Palestinian Patients on Hemodialysis: Cross-Sectional Observational Study
Background. Hemodialysis is life-saving and life-altering, affecting patients’ quality of life. The management of dialysis patients often focuses on renal replacement therapy to improve clinical outcomes and remove excess fluid; however, the patient’s quality of life is often not factored in. Objective. This study aimed to explore the factors affecting the quality of life of patients on dialysis in Palestine using the Kidney Disease Quality of Life (KDQOL-SFTM) questionnaire. Methods. A multicenter cross-sectional observational study was conducted at multiple dialysis centers in Palestine, including 271 participants receiving renal replacement therapy. Demographics, socioeconomic, and disease status data were collected. The Arabic version of KDQOL-SFTM was used to assess dialysis patient quality of life. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS to find correlations among patient factors and the questionnaire’s three main domains, the kidney disease component summaries (KDCS), mental component summaries (MCS), and physical component summaries (PCS). Results. Mean KDCS, MCS, and PCS scores were 59.86, 47.10, and 41.15, respectively. KDC scores were lower among participants aged 40 years or older, with lower incomes, and with diabetes. PCS and MCS scores were lower among patients aged >40, less educated, and lower-income participants. There was a positive correlation between MCS and KDCS (r = 0.634, -value <0.001), PCS and KDCS (r = 0.569, -value <0.001), as well as MCS and PCS (r = 0.680, -value <0.001). Conclusion. In this study, the KDQOL-SFTM questionnaire revealed lower PCS scores among hemodialysis patients in Palestine. Furthermore, the three domains of the questionnaire were adversely affected by patient income and education status. In addition, physical role, work status, and emotional role showed the lowest scores among the three main domains. Therefore, continuous assessment of patients’ quality of life during their journey of hemodialysis using the KDQOL-SFTM along with the clinical assessment will allow the healthcare professionals to provide interventions to optimize their care.
Analysis of Selected Soil Properties in Relation to Soil and Water Conservation Practices in Sibiya Arera, Soro District, South Central Ethiopia
Soil erosion by water is a severe and continuous ecological problem in the south central highlands of Ethiopia. Limited use of soil and water conservation technologies by farmers is one of the major causes that have resulted in accelerated soil erosion. Within this context, significant attention has been given to soil and water conservation practices. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of soil and water conservation practices on soil physicochemical properties after being practiced continuously for up to 10 years. The physicochemical properties of soil of landscape with physical soil and water conservation structures without biological conservation measures and physical soil and water conservation structures combined with biological conservation measures were compared with soil of landscape without soil and water conservation practices. The result of analysis disclosed that soil and water conservation interventions (both with biological and without biological measures) significantly increased the soil pH, soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and available phosphorus content than the soil of landscape without soil and water conservation practices. The results of the analysis also showed that the mean value of cation exchange capacity and exchangeable bases (K+, Na+, , and ) of the soil under nonconserved farm field was significantly lower as compared to the soil of adequately managed farm fields. The findings of this study clarified that there was significant variation in soil properties. This variation could be due to uneven transport of soil particles by runoff. Therefore, soil conservation structures supported with biological measures improves the soil’s physicochemical properties.
Volatile Compounds, Fatty Acids Constituents, and Antimicrobial Activity of Cultured Spirulina (Arthrospira fusiformis) Isolated from Lake Mariout in Egypt
In this study, Arthrospira fusiformis previously isolated from Lake Mariout (Alexandria, Egypt) was cultivated in the laboratory using a medium for pharmaceutical grade Arthrospira, named as Amara and Steinbüchel medium. Hot water extract of the Egyptian Spirulina was prepared by autoclaving dried biomass in distilled water at 121°C for 15 min. This algal water extract was analyzed by GC-MS to evaluate its volatile compounds and fatty acids composition. The antimicrobial activity of phycobiliprotein extract from Arthrospira fusiformis using phosphate buffer was evaluated against thirteen microbial strains (two Gram-positive bacteria, eight Gram-negative bacteria, one yeast, and two filamentous fungi). The major components of fatty acids in the hot extract of Egyptian A. fusiformis were hexadecanoic acid (palmitic acid, 55.19%) and octadecanoic acid (stearic acid, 27.14%). The main constituents of its volatile compounds were acetic acid (43.33%) and oxalic acid (47.98%). The most potent antimicrobial effect of phycobiliprotein extract was obtained against two Gram-negative bacteria Salmonella typhi and Proteus vulgaris, filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger, and the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans (all of which showed MIC values of 58.1 μg/ml). Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium come second in their susceptibility to the phycobiliprotein extract from Arthrospira fusiformis and Serratia marcescens and Aspergillus flavus are the least in susceptibility, with MIC values of 116.2 and 232.5 μg/ml, respectively, while phycobiliprotein extract has no antibacterial effect on methicillin-resistant as well as susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Shigella sonnei. These findings confirmed the nutritional value of Egyptian A. fusiformis isolated from Lake Mariout and suggest the potential use of this strain as an ingredient in the cooking of some foods to increase the level of stearic acid and palmitic acid. Moreover, its effective antibacterial activities against some important and highly resistant to antibiotics bacterial pathogens in addition to its antifungal effects recommend the therapeutic use of its biomass.