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  • ISSN: 2333-7117
    Early Online
    Volume 5, Issue 1
    Short Communication
    Benita Claire Percival, Angela Wann, Jinit Masania, Jessica Sinclair, Nikol Sullo, and Martin Grootveld*
    Introduction/Objectives: The deleterious health effects of tobacco smoking are now widely recognized and documented. High-resolution 1H NMR analysis of human saliva provides a high level of valuable molecular information regarding the nature and levels of a wide range of both endogenous and exogenous agents therein. This investigation focused on the detection of molecular modifications to the salivary 1H NMR profiles of cigarette smokers following smoking of a single cigarette product.
    Methods: Cigarette-smoking human participants (6 female, 7 male) provided saliva samples both prior and subsequent to smoking a single cigarette (the former following a 12 hr. overnight fasting/smoking-abstention period). A group of n = 7 non-smoking controls also provided saliva samples before and after a 4.0 min. 'smoking mimic' time period.1H NMR analysis of supernatants derived therefrom was conducted at an operating frequency of 400 MHz.
    Results: 1H NMR analysis revealed that single cigarette smoking episodes gave rise to substantial increases in the salivary concentrations of methanol (p<10-6) and propane-1,2-diol (p = 2.0 x 10-4), i.e. ca. 40- and 3.2-fold escalations in their mean levels respectively; the identity of methanol was confirmed by GC-MS analysis. As expected, there were no modifications to these tobacco smoking marker levels in control group participants following acorresponding 4.0 min. non-smoking period.
    Conclusions: 1H NMR analysis of human saliva provided much valuable information on the infiltration of toxins and further agents from cigarette smoke into this biofluid. The marked elevations in salivary methanol levels observed are of much concern in view of its documented toxicological properties and adverse health effects.
    Review Article
    Hacisalihoglu B, Turanli-Yildiz B, and Petek Z. Cakar*
    Microbial biofuel production using renewable resources is an important alternative to conventional petroleum-based fuels. In this respect, conversion of the cellulosic biomass as the renewable resource to simple sugars and biofuels is the mainstrategy. Among a variety of biofuel types, ethanol is a widely studied biofuel, and ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass is a major field of research. For efficient ethanol production, improvements in both the producer microorganism and the process are required. Most of the research for the improvement of the microorganism focuses on sugar utilization, tolerance to inhibitor stresses that occur during ethanol production, and tolerance to ethanol as the product. As all of these properties are genetically complex (multigenic) properties, evolutionary engineering, based on random mutation and systematic selection of desired phenotypes without the need for prior genetic or biochemical information about the basis of the desired phenotype, is a powerful and practical strategy to obtain these desired phenotypes. In this review, evolutionary engineering applications of microbial ethanol production are discussed, regarding sugar utilization, inhibitor and ethanol stress tolerance.
    Research Article
    Yahya Al Qudah, Hamzeh Telfah, Ayman Hammoudeh, and Sabri Mahmoud*
    Jordanian Dolomite was investigated as a heterogeneous catalyst in biodiesel production from Jatropha oil. In order to study the thermal activation process of dolomite, dolomite samples were thermally treated for two hours at 100, 200, 300, 400 500, 600, 700 and 800°C as well as for various time intervals at 800°C. Structural and compositional changes were characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD) and infra-red spectroscopy (IR). No changes could be observed by heating up to 500oC but heating to 600oC causes the magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) to decompose into magnesium oxide while the fraction of calcite (CaCO3) grows at the expense of dolomite. The resulting system showed however a rather low activity (~20% transesterification) as a catalyst in the transesterification of Jatropha oil. Highly active catalysts could be produced by heating the dolomite up to 800°C for at least half an hour where the degree of transesterification exceeded 96% at 60°C and a methanol-to-oil molar ratio of 6; the minimum activated dolomite-to-oil mass ratio that gives such a high yield was 1:50 (2%). This high activity was found to correlate with the decomposition of CaCO3 into CaO. Activated dolomite was however found to be non-recyclable as the used catalyst gave when reused a degree of transesterification not higher than 2% suggesting the homogenous nature of the actual catalyst. Nevertheless, activated dolomite can be regarded as a cheaper replacement for the conventionally used potassium hydroxide catalyst.
    Aissata MI*
    The development of successful improved sorghum varieties for the Western Africa requires the incorporation of farmer's perceptions and desires into the end product. Failure to do this in the past probably explains the low rate of adoption of improved varieties in Niger. Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools, such as focus group discussions and survey questionnaires, were used to collect data from farmers on their sorghum farming systems, their production constraints, and their preferences and their acceptance of new improved sorghum varieties. A survey involving 100 small-scale farmers was conducted in two villages in the region of Maradi. Results revealed that sorghum production systems in Niger are improving even though the practice of agriculture is still largely characterized by marginal growing environments. They also showed that 46% of farmers were growing improved varieties with inorganic fertilizer and fungicides in very small quantities. Relatively high incidences of heat, drought and low soil fertility, spatial variability in rainfall patterns, low use of external inputs such as improved varieties, and the use of traditional agricultural implements characterized the growing environments. Major production constraints include lack of modern agricultural equipment, parasitic pests and diseases (Striga, sorghum midge, mildew, long smut), lack of education, lack of improved varieties, poor soils, the weather (drought, wind), long maturity period of landraces, low grain yield potential and lack of sufficient arable land. Earliness and high yield of improved varieties were the most important criteria for farmers to choose a new variety, but they indicated they would not totally reject their local varieties because of social considerations. Cultivar improvement should therefore target characteristics of local varieties in the creation of new ones. Early maturing varieties with high yield potential, resistance to drought, sorghum midge, downy mildew and long smut would be welcomed by farmers.
    Aissata MI*
    Cytoplasmic male sterility system has been widely been used for increasing sorghum yield through heterosis exploitation. To effectively use male-sterility inducing cytoplasm, it is necessary to identify restorers and lines that are suitable for conversion to male sterility. The present study was undertaken to determine the fertility/sterility reactions of a subset of entries from a total of 1019 accessions of two collections (1976 and 2003) of landrace sorghums crossed onto two CMS lines NE223A and Tx623A. The male-sterile lines were Kafir-milo derivatives. Three hundred and forty test-crosses were generated and evaluated in two environments in Niger. Studies revealed four F1 test-crosses (NE223A x L95-1, NE223A x L95-3, NE223A x L119-2 and NE223A x L102-1) with complete sterility across the two locations. The corresponding parental lines were therefore recommended for conversion to male sterile. However, forty (40) additional test-crosses showed male sterility at Maradi only and two others at Konni respectively, whereas 286 and 272 hybrids shed pollen. The pollen parents of the fertile test crosses were classified as fertility restorers. The male-sterility of female NE223A was maintained by more lines (42) than Tx623A (8) while, at the same time, there were more sterile crosses within the 2003 collection than within the 1976 collection. According to the classification of sorghum races, the sub-group guinea-margaritiferum had the highest number of lines without restorer genes.
    Special Issue on Diverse Roles of Nitric Oxide in Biomaterials and Implants
    Review Article
    Petukhov VI1*, Baumane LH2, Dmitriev EV3 and Vanin АF4
    Abstract: The paper informs about the specific shifts in metal-ligand homeostasis (MLH) of epidermic cells (hair) in Chernobyl accident liquidators, which are viewed by the authors as biomarkers of oxidative/nitrosative stress. The detected (by EPR-analysis) relationships between NO-production and MLH quantitative shifts can be indicative of the possible participation of nitric oxide in generation of cell electric potential.
    Special Issue on Wheat Grain and Its Impact on Human Health
    Review Article
    Yun Zhao and Wujun Ma*
    Alpha amylase (α-amylase) (EC 3.2.1.1) is an endo-amylolytic enzyme that plays an important role in seed germination in wheat. However, excessive α-amylase in post-harvest wheat grains has a negative effect on wheat yield and end-products quality. A wide range of studies have been carried out on wheat alpha amylase due to its important biological roles in post-harvest spouting. In this article, past researches in the aspects of its biochemical activity assay, suppressor, genetic mechanism, and expression regulation in wheat plants were reviewed. Its impacts on breadmaking quality as well as a range of human health related issues were also covered.
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