International Science Index

232
10007834
Prediction of Time to Crack Reinforced Concrete by Chloride Induced Corrosion
Abstract:

In this paper, a review of different mathematical models which can be used as prediction tools to assess the time to crack reinforced concrete (RC) due to corrosion is investigated. This investigation leads to an experimental study to validate a selected prediction model. Most of these mathematical models depend upon the mechanical behaviors, chemical behaviors, electrochemical behaviors or geometric aspects of the RC members during a corrosion process. The experimental program is designed to verify the accuracy of a well-selected mathematical model from a rigorous literature study. Fundamentally, the experimental program exemplifies both one-dimensional chloride diffusion using RC squared slab elements of 500 mm by 500 mm and two-dimensional chloride diffusion using RC squared column elements of 225 mm by 225 mm by 500 mm. Each set consists of three water-to-cement ratios (w/c); 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 and two cover depths; 25 mm and 50 mm. 12 mm bars are used for column elements and 16 mm bars are used for slab elements. All the samples are subjected to accelerated chloride corrosion in a chloride bath of 5% (w/w) sodium chloride (NaCl) solution. Based on a pre-screening of different models, it is clear that the well-selected mathematical model had included mechanical properties, chemical and electrochemical properties, nature of corrosion whether it is accelerated or natural, and the amount of porous area that rust products can accommodate before exerting expansive pressure on the surrounding concrete. The experimental results have shown that the selected model for both one-dimensional and two-dimensional chloride diffusion had ±20% and ±10% respective accuracies compared to the experimental output. The half-cell potential readings are also used to see the corrosion probability, and experimental results have shown that the mass loss is proportional to the negative half-cell potential readings that are obtained. Additionally, a statistical analysis is carried out in order to determine the most influential factor that affects the time to corrode the reinforcement in the concrete due to chloride diffusion. The factors considered for this analysis are w/c, bar diameter, and cover depth. The analysis is accomplished by using Minitab statistical software, and it showed that cover depth is the significant effect on the time to crack the concrete from chloride induced corrosion than other factors considered. Thus, the time predictions can be illustrated through the selected mathematical model as it covers a wide range of factors affecting the corrosion process, and it can be used to predetermine the durability concern of RC structures that are vulnerable to chloride exposure. And eventually, it is further concluded that cover thickness plays a vital role in durability in terms of chloride diffusion.

Paper Detail
3
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231
10007565
Assessment of Occupational Exposure and Individual Radio-Sensitivity in People Subjected to Ionizing Radiation
Abstract:

The estimation of accumulated radiation doses in people professionally exposed to ionizing radiation was performed using methods of biological (chromosomal aberrations frequency in lymphocytes) and physical (radionuclides analysis in urine, whole-body radiation meter, individual thermoluminescent dosimeters) dosimetry. A group of 84 "A" category employees after their work in the territory of former Semipalatinsk test site (Kazakhstan) was investigated. The dose rate in some funnels exceeds 40 μSv/h. After radionuclides determination in urine using radiochemical and WBC methods, it was shown that the total effective dose of personnel internal exposure did not exceed 0.2 mSv/year, while an acceptable dose limit for staff is 20 mSv/year. The range of external radiation doses measured with individual thermo-luminescent dosimeters was 0.3-1.406 µSv. The cytogenetic examination showed that chromosomal aberrations frequency in staff was 4.27±0.22%, which is significantly higher than at the people from non-polluting settlement Tausugur (0.87±0.1%) (р ≤ 0.01) and citizens of Almaty (1.6±0.12%) (р≤ 0.01). Chromosomal type aberrations accounted for 2.32±0.16%, 0.27±0.06% of which were dicentrics and centric rings. The cytogenetic analysis of different types group radiosensitivity among «professionals» (age, sex, ethnic group, epidemiological data) revealed no significant differences between the compared values. Using various techniques by frequency of dicentrics and centric rings, the average cumulative radiation dose for group was calculated, and that was 0.084-0.143 Gy. To perform comparative individual dosimetry using physical and biological methods of dose assessment, calibration curves (including own ones) and regression equations based on general frequency of chromosomal aberrations obtained after irradiation of blood samples by gamma-radiation with the dose rate of 0,1 Gy/min were used. Herewith, on the assumption of individual variation of chromosomal aberrations frequency (1–10%), the accumulated dose of radiation varied 0-0.3 Gy. The main problem in the interpretation of individual dosimetry results is reduced to different reaction of the objects to irradiation - radiosensitivity, which dictates the need of quantitative definition of this individual reaction and its consideration in the calculation of the received radiation dose. The entire examined contingent was assigned to a group based on the received dose and detected cytogenetic aberrations. Radiosensitive individuals, at the lowest received dose in a year, showed the highest frequency of chromosomal aberrations (5.72%). In opposite, radioresistant individuals showed the lowest frequency of chromosomal aberrations (2.8%). The cohort correlation according to the criterion of radio-sensitivity in our research was distributed as follows: radio-sensitive (26.2%) — medium radio-sensitivity (57.1%), radioresistant (16.7%). Herewith, the dispersion for radioresistant individuals is 2.3; for the group with medium radio-sensitivity — 3.3; and for radio-sensitive group — 9. These data indicate the highest variation of characteristic (reactions to radiation effect) in the group of radio-sensitive individuals. People with medium radio-sensitivity show significant long-term correlation (0.66; n=48, β ≥ 0.999) between the values of doses defined according to the results of cytogenetic analysis and dose of external radiation obtained with the help of thermoluminescent dosimeters. Mathematical models based on the type of violation of the radiation dose according to the professionals radiosensitivity level were offered.

Paper Detail
47
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230
10007340
Cyber Security Situational Awareness among Students: A Case Study in Malaysia
Abstract:

This paper explores the need for a national baseline study on understanding the level of cyber security situational awareness among primary and secondary school students in Malaysia. The online survey method was deployed to administer the data collection exercise. The target groups were divided into three categories: Group 1 (primary school aged 7-9 years old), Group 2 (primary school aged 10-12 years old), and Group 3 (secondary school aged 13-17 years old). A different questionnaire set was designed for each group. The survey topics/areas included Internet and digital citizenship knowledge. Respondents were randomly selected from rural and urban areas throughout all 14 states in Malaysia. A total of 9,158 respondents participated in the survey, with most states meeting the minimum sample size requirement to represent the country’s demographics. The findings and recommendations from this baseline study are fundamental to develop teaching modules required for children to understand the security risks and threats associated with the Internet throughout their years in school. Early exposure and education will help ensure healthy cyber habits among millennials in Malaysia.

Paper Detail
95
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229
10007347
Investigation of Possible Behavioural and Molecular Effects of Mobile Phone Exposure on Rats
Abstract:

The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-dependent pathway is the major intracellular signaling pathway implemented in both short- and long-term memory formation in the hippocampus which is the most studied brain structure because of its well documented role in learning and memory. However, little is known about the effects of RF-EMR exposure on NMDA receptor signaling pathway including activation of protein kinases, notably Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and chronic 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure on both passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and its phosphorylated form (pCaMKIIα). Rats were divided into the following groups: Sham rats, and rats exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMR for 2 h/day for 1 week (acute group) or 10 weeks (chronic group), respectively. Passive avoidance task was used as a behavioural method. The hippocampal levels of selected kinases were measured using Western Blotting technique. The results of passive avoidance task showed that both acute and chronic exposure to 900 MHz RF-EMR can impair passive avoidance behaviour with minor effects on chronic group of rats. The analysis of western blot data of selected protein kinases demonstrated that hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and pCaMKIIα were significantly higher in chronic group of rats as compared to acute groups. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that different duration times (1 week vs 10 weeks) of 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure have different effects on both passive avoidance behaviour of rats and hippocampal levels of selected protein kinases.

Paper Detail
58
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228
10007480
A Retrospective Cohort Study on an Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Linked to a Buffet Lunch Served during a Conference in Accra
Abstract:

On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.

Paper Detail
32
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227
10007645
Water Resources Vulnerability Assessment to Climate Change in a Semi-Arid Basin of South India
Abstract:

This paper examines vulnerability assessment of water resources in a semi-arid basin using the 4-step approach. The vulnerability assessment framework is developed to study the water resources vulnerability which includes the creation of GIS-based vulnerability maps. These maps represent the spatial variability of the vulnerability index. This paper introduces the 4-step approach to assess vulnerability that incorporates a new set of indicators. The approach is demonstrated using a framework composed of a precipitation data for (1975–2010) period, temperature data for (1965–2010) period, hydrological model outputs and the water resources GIS data base. The vulnerability assessment is a function of three components such as exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The current water resources vulnerability is assessed using GIS based spatio-temporal information. Rainfall Coefficient of Variation, monsoon onset and end date, rainy days, seasonality indices, temperature are selected for the criterion ‘exposure’. Water yield, ground water recharge, evapotranspiration (ET) are selected for the criterion ‘sensitivity’. Type of irrigation and storage structures are selected for the criterion ‘Adaptive capacity’. These indicators were mapped and integrated in GIS environment using overlay analysis. The five sub-basins, namely Arjunanadhi, Kousiganadhi, Sindapalli-Uppodai and Vallampatti Odai, fall under medium vulnerability profile, which indicates that the basin is under moderate stress of water resources. The paper also explores prioritization of sub-basinwise adaptation strategies to climate change based on the vulnerability indices.

Paper Detail
40
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226
10007688
Using SNAP and RADTRAD to Establish the Analysis Model for Maanshan PWR Plant
Abstract:
In this study, we focus on the establishment of the analysis model for Maanshan PWR nuclear power plant (NPP) by using RADTRAD and SNAP codes with the FSAR, manuals, and other data. In order to evaluate the cumulative dose at the Exclusion Area Boundary (EAB) and Low Population Zone (LPZ) outer boundary, Maanshan NPP RADTRAD/SNAP model was used to perform the analysis of the DBA LOCA case. The analysis results of RADTRAD were similar to FSAR data. These analysis results were lower than the failure criteria of 10 CFR 100.11 (a total radiation dose to the whole body, 250 mSv; a total radiation dose to the thyroid from iodine exposure, 3000 mSv).
Paper Detail
33
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225
10007249
Studies on Bioaccumulation of 51Cr by Ulva sp. and Ruppia maritima
Abstract:

This study aims at contributing to the characterization of the process of biological incorporation of chromium by two benthonic species, the macroalgae Ulva sp. and the aquatic macrophyte Ruppia maritima, to subsidize future activities of monitoring the contamination of aquatic biota. This study is based on laboratory experiments to characterize the incorporation kinetics of the radiotracer 51Cr in two oxidation states (III and VI), under different salinities (7, 15, and 21 ‰). Samples of two benthonic species were collected on the margins of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), acclimated in the laboratory and subsequently subjected to experiments. In tests with 51Cr (III and IV), it was observed that accumulation of the metal in Ulva sp. has inverse relationship with salinity, while for R. maritima, the maximum accumulation occurs in salinity 21‰. In experiments with Cr(III), increases in the uptake of ion by both species were verified. The activity of Cr(III) was up to 19 times greater than the Cr(VI). As regards the potential for accumulation of metals, a better sensitivity of Ulva sp. for any chromium tri or hexavalent forms was verified, while for the Cr(VI) it will require low salinities and longer exposure (>24h). For R. maritima, the results showed the uptake of Cr(VI) increase along with time (>20h), because this species is more resistant for the hexavalent form and useful for any salinity as well.

Paper Detail
70
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224
10007351
Coastal Vulnerability Index and Its Projection for Odisha Coast, East Coast of India
Abstract:

Tropical cyclone is one among the worst natural hazards that results in a trail of destruction causing enormous damage to life, property, and coastal infrastructures. In a global perspective, the Indian Ocean is considered as one of the cyclone prone basins in the world. Specifically, the frequency of cyclogenesis in the Bay of Bengal is higher compared to the Arabian Sea. Out of the four maritime states in the East coast of India, Odisha is highly susceptible to tropical cyclone landfall. Historical records clearly decipher the fact that the frequency of cyclones have reduced in this basin. However, in the recent decades, the intensity and size of tropical cyclones have increased. This is a matter of concern as the risk and vulnerability level of Odisha coast exposed to high wind speed and gusts during cyclone landfall have increased. In this context, there is a need to assess and evaluate the severity of coastal risk, area of exposure under risk, and associated vulnerability with a higher dimension in a multi-risk perspective. Changing climate can result in the emergence of a new hazard and vulnerability over a region with differential spatial and socio-economic impact. Hence there is a need to have coastal vulnerability projections in a changing climate scenario. With this motivation, the present study attempts to estimate the destructiveness of tropical cyclones based on Power Dissipation Index (PDI) for those cyclones that made landfall along Odisha coast that exhibits an increasing trend based on historical data. The study also covers the futuristic scenarios of integral coastal vulnerability based on the trends in PDI for the Odisha coast. This study considers 11 essential and important parameters; the cyclone intensity, storm surge, onshore inundation, mean tidal range, continental shelf slope, topo-graphic elevation onshore, rate of shoreline change, maximum wave height, relative sea level rise, rainfall distribution, and coastal geomorphology. The study signifies that over a decadal scale, the coastal vulnerability index (CVI) depends largely on the incremental change in variables such as cyclone intensity, storm surge, and associated inundation. In addition, the study also performs a critical analysis on the modulation of PDI on storm surge and inundation characteristics for the entire coastal belt of Odisha State. Interestingly, the study brings to light that a linear correlation exists between the storm-tide with PDI. The trend analysis of PDI and its projection for coastal Odisha have direct practical applications in effective coastal zone management and vulnerability assessment.

Paper Detail
78
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223
10007007
Growth and Anatomical Responses of Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomatoes) under Microgravity and Normal Gravity Conditions
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
110
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222
10007020
The Effects of Local Factors on the Concentrations and Flora of Viable Fungi in School Buildings
Abstract:

A wide range of health effects among occupants are associated with the exposure to bioaerosols from fungal sources. Although the accurate role of these aerosols in causing the symptoms and diseases is poorly understood, the important effect of bioaerosol exposure on human health is well recognized. Thus, there is a need to determine all of the contributing factors related to the concentration of fungi in indoor air. In this study, we reviewed and summarized the different factors affecting the concentrations of viable fungi in school buildings. The literature research was conducted using Pubmed and Google Scholar. In addition, we searched the lists of references of selected articles. According to the literature, the main factors influencing the concentration of viable fungi in the school buildings are moisture damage in building structures, the season (temperature and humidity conditions), the type and rate of ventilation, the number and activities of occupants and diurnal variations. This study offers valuable information that can be used in the interpretation of the fungal analysis and to decrease microbial exposure by reducing known sources and/or contributing factors. However, more studies of different local factors contributing to the human microbial exposure in school buildings—as well as other type of buildings and different indoor environments—are needed.

Paper Detail
99
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221
10007568
Biochemical Changes in the Liver of Mice after Exposure to Different Doses of Diclofenac Sodium
Abstract:

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a group of widely used drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid diseases and to relieve pain and inflammation due to their analgesic anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. The therapeutic and many of the toxic effects of NSAIDs result from reversible inhibition of enzymes in the cyclooxygenase (COX) group. In the present investigation the effect of the drug on the concentration of lipids, and on the activity of the enzymes i.e. acid and alkaline phosphatase, GOT, GPT and lipid peroxidase were studied. There was a significant enhancement in the activities of both acid and alkaline phosphatase after 21 days of treatment. Proportionate increase in the MDA contents was observed after different days of diclofenac treatment. Cellular damage in the liver resulted in decrease in the activity of both GOT (Glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase) and GPT (Glutamate pyruvate transaminase) in both low and high dose groups. Significant decrease in the liver contents was also observed in both dose groups.

Paper Detail
32
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220
10007768
Human Health Risk Assessment from Metals Present in a Soil Contaminated by Crude Oil
Abstract:

The main sources of soil pollution due to petroleum contaminants are industrial processes involve crude oil. Soil polluted with crude oil is toxic for plants, animals, and humans. Human exposure to the contaminated soil occurs through different exposure pathways: Soil ingestion, diet, inhalation, and dermal contact. The present study research is focused on soil contamination with heavy metals as a consequence of soil pollution with petroleum products. Human exposure pathways considered are: Accidentally ingestion of contaminated soil and dermal contact. The purpose of the paper is to identify the human health risk (carcinogenic risk) from soil contaminated with heavy metals. The human exposure and risk were evaluated for five contaminants of concern of the eleven which were identified in soil. Two soil samples were collected from a bioremediation platform from Muntenia Region of Romania. The soil deposited on the bioremediation platform was contaminated through extraction and oil processing. For the research work, two average soil samples from two different plots were analyzed: The first one was slightly contaminated with petroleum products (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil was 1420 mg/kgd.w.), while the second one was highly contaminated (TPH in soil was 24306 mg/kgd.w.). In order to evaluate risks posed by heavy metals due soil pollution with petroleum products, five metals known as carcinogenic were investigated: Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), ChromiumVI (CrVI), Nickel (Ni), and Lead (Pb). Results of the chemical analysis performed on samples collected from the contaminated soil evidence soil contamination with heavy metals as following: As in Site 1 = 6.96 mg/kgd.w; As in Site 2 = 11.62 mg/kgd.w, Cd in Site 1 = 0.9 mg/kgd.w; Cd in Site 2 = 1 mg/kgd.w; CrVI was 0.1 mg/kgd.w for both sites; Ni in Site 1 = 37.00 mg/kgd.w; Ni in Site 2 = 42.46 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 1 = 34.67 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 2 = 120.44 mg/kgd.w. The concentrations for these metals exceed the normal values established in the Romanian regulation, but are smaller than the alert level for a less sensitive use of soil (industrial). Although, the concentrations do not exceed the thresholds, the next step was to assess the human health risk posed by soil contamination with these heavy metals. Results for risk were compared with the acceptable one (10-6, according to World Human Organization). As, expected, the highest risk was identified for the soil with a higher degree of contamination: Individual Risk (IR) was 1.11×10-5 compared with 8.61×10-6. 

Paper Detail
19
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10006838
Flexural Properties of Halloysite Nanotubes-Polyester Nanocomposites Exposed to Aggressive Environment
Abstract:

This study aimed to investigate the effect of aggressive environment on the flexural properties of halloysite nanotubes-polyester nanocomposites. Results showed that the addition of halloysite nanotubes into polyester matrix was found to improve flexural properties of the nanocomposites in dry condition and after water-methanol exposure. Significant increase in surface roughness was also observed and measured by Alicona Infinite Focus optical microscope.

Paper Detail
126
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218
10006571
PM10 Chemical Characteristics in a Background Site at the Universidad Libre Bogotá
Abstract:
One of the most important factors for air pollution is that the concentrations of PM10 maintain a constant trend, with the exception of some places where that frequently surpasses the allowed ranges established by Colombian legislation. The community that surrounds the Universidad Libre Bogotá is inhabited by a considerable number of students and workers, all of whom are possibly being exposed to PM10 for long periods of time while on campus. Thus, the chemical characterization of PM10 found in the ambient air at the Universidad Libre Bogotá was identified as a problem. A Hi-Vol sampler and EPA Test Method 5 were used to determine if the quality of air is adequate for the human respiratory system. Additionally, quartz fiber filters were utilized during sampling. Samples were taken three days a week during a dry period throughout the months of November and December 2015. The gravimetric analysis method was used to determine PM10 concentrations. The chemical characterization includes non-conventional carcinogenic pollutants. Atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) was used for the determination of metals and VOCs were analyzed using the FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) method. In this way, concentrations of PM10, ranging from values of 13 µg/m3 to 66 µg/m3, were obtained; these values were below standard conditions. This evidence concludes that the PM10 concentrations during an exposure period of 24 hours are lower than the values established by Colombian law, Resolution 610 of 2010; however, when comparing these with the limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO), these concentrations could possibly exceed permissible levels.
Paper Detail
120
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217
10006264
In vitro Effects of Salvia officinalis on Bovine Spermatozoa
Abstract:
In vitro storage and processing of animal semen represents a risk factor to spermatozoa vitality, potentially leading to reduced fertility. A variety of substances isolated from natural sources may exhibit protective or antioxidant properties on the spermatozoon, thus extending the lifespan of stored ejaculates. This study compared the ability of different concentrations of the Salvia officinalis extract on the motility, mitochondrial activity, viability and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by bovine spermatozoa during different time periods (0, 2, 6 and 24 h) of in vitro culture. Spermatozoa motility was assessed using the Computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system. Cell viability was examined using the metabolic activity MTT assay, the eosin-nigrosin staining technique was used to evaluate the sperm viability and ROS generation was quantified using luminometry. The CASA analysis revealed that the motility in the experimental groups supplemented with 0.5-2 µg/mL Salvia extract was significantly lower in comparison with the control (P<0.05; Time 24 h). At the same time, a long-term exposure of spermatozoa to concentrations ranging between 0.05 µg/mL and 2 µg/mL had a negative impact on the mitochondrial metabolism (P<0.05; Time 24 h). The viability staining revealed that 0.001-1 µg/mL Salvia extract had no effects on bovine male gametes, however 2 µg/mL Salvia had a persisting negative effect on spermatozoa (P<0.05). Furthermore 0.05-2 µg/mL Salvia exhibited an immediate ROS-promoting effect on the sperm culture (P>0.05; Time 0 h and 2 h), which remained significant throughout the entire in vitro culture (P<0.05; Time 24 h). Our results point out to the necessity to examine specific effects the biomolecules present in Salvia officinalis may have individually or collectively on the in vitro sperm vitality and oxidative profile.
Paper Detail
260
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10006266
The Effect of Acute Toxicity and Thyroid Hormone Treatments on Hormonal Changes during Embryogenesis of Acipenser persicus
Abstract:
Production of high quality fish eggs with reasonable hatching rate makes a success in aquaculture industries. It is influenced by the environmental stimulators and inhibitors. Diazinon is a widely-used pesticide in Golestan province (Southern Caspian Sea, North of Iran) which is washed to the aquatic environment (3 mg/L in the river). It is little known about the effect of this pesticide on the embryogenesis of sturgeon fish, the valuable species of the Caspian Sea. Hormonal content of the egg is an important factor to guaranty the successful passes of embryonic stages. In this study, the fate of Persian sturgeon embryo to 24, 48, 72, and 96-hours exposure of diazinon (LC50 dose) was tested. Also, the effect of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) on these embryos was tested concurrently or separately with diazinon LC 50 dose. Fertilized eggs are exposed to T3 (low dose: 1 ng/ml, high dose: 10 ng/ml), T4 (low dose: 1 ng/ml, high dose: 10 ng/ml). Six eggs were randomly selected from each treatment (with three replicates) in five developmental stages (two cell- division, neural, heart present, heart beaten, and hatched larvae). The possibility of changing T3, T4, and cortisol contents of the embryos were determined in all treated groups and in every mentioned embryonic stage. The hatching rate in treated groups was assayed at the end of the embryogenesis to clarify the effect of thyroid hormones and diazinon. The results indicated significant differences in thyroid hormone contents, but no significant differences were recognized in cortisol levels at various early life stages of embryos. There was also significant difference in thyroid hormones in (T3, T4) + diazinon treated embryos (P˂0.05), while no significant difference between control and treatments in cortisol levels was observed. The highest hatching rate was recorded in HT3 treatment, while the lowest hatching rate was recorded for diazinon LC50 treatment. The result confirmed that Persian sturgeon embryo is less sensitive to diazinon compared to teleost embryos, and thyroid hormones may increase hatching rate even in the presence of diazinon.
Paper Detail
252
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215
10006538
Radiation Effects in the PVDF/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites
Abstract:

Exposure to ionizing radiation has been found to induce changes in poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) homopolymers. The high dose gamma irradiation process induces the formation of C=C and C=O bonds in its [CH2-CF2]n main chain. The irradiation also provokes crosslinking and chain scission. All these radio-induced defects lead to changes in the PVDF crystalline structure. As a consequence, it is common to observe a decrease in the melting temperature (TM) and melting latent heat (LM) and some changes in its ferroelectric features. We have investigated the possibility of preparing nanocomposites of PVDF with graphene oxide (GO) through the radio-induction of molecular bonds. In this work, we discuss how the gamma radiation interacts with the nanocomposite crystalline structure.

Paper Detail
147
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214
10006089
Web-Based Instructional Program to Improve Professional Development: Recommendations and Standards for Radioactive Facilities in Brazil
Abstract:

This web based project focuses on continuing corporate education and improving workers' skills in Brazilian radioactive facilities throughout the country. The potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) shall contribute to improve the global communication in this very large country, where it is a strong challenge to ensure high quality professional information to as many people as possible. The main objective of this system is to provide Brazilian radioactive facilities a complete web-based repository - in Portuguese - for research, consultation and information, offering conditions for learning and improving professional and personal skills. UNIPRORAD is a web based system to offer unified programs and inter-related information about radiological protection programs. The content includes the best practices for radioactive facilities in order to meet both national standards and international recommendations published by different organizations over the past decades: International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN). The website counts on concepts, definitions and theory about optimization and ionizing radiation monitoring procedures. Moreover, the content presents further discussions related to some national and international recommendations, such as potential exposure, which is currently one of the most important research fields in radiological protection. Only two publications of ICRP develop expressively the issue and there is still a lack of knowledge of fail probabilities, for there are still uncertainties to find effective paths to quantify probabilistically the occurrence of potential exposures and the probabilities to reach a certain level of dose. To respond to this challenge, this project discusses and introduces potential exposures in a more quantitative way than national and international recommendations. Articulating ICRP and AIEA valid recommendations and official reports, in addition to scientific papers published in major international congresses, the website discusses and suggests a number of effective actions towards safety which can be incorporated into labor practice. The WEB platform was created according to corporate public needs, taking into account the development of a robust but flexible system, which can be easily adapted to future demands. ICTs provide a vast array of new communication capabilities and allow to spread information to as many people as possible at low costs and high quality communication. This initiative shall provide opportunities for employees to increase professional skills, stimulating development in this large country where it is an enormous challenge to ensure effective and updated information to geographically distant facilities, minimizing costs and optimizing results.

Paper Detail
435
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213
10006815
Acute Myocardial Infarction Associated with Ingestion of Herbal Mixtures Containing Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: A Case Study
Abstract:
We reviewed an unusual case of a 65-year-old male taking an herbal mixture containing compounds with anticholinesterase activity for a long period of time, presented with acute my myocardial infarction and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome followed by death. Clinically, there are findings correlated with anticholinesterase activity, such as bilateral miosis, diaphoresis, vomiting and fasciculation without a history of any toxic ingestion or exposure. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry screening studies identified the presence of thymol, anethole in the herbal extract and butylated hydroxytoluene in the blood sample. Hence, with this case report, we intend to highlight the necessity of evaluating the long-term use of the herbal mixture.
Paper Detail
91
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212
10007721
Submicron Laser-Induced Dot, Ripple and Wrinkle Structures and Their Applications
Abstract:

Polymers exposed to laser or plasma treatment or modified with different wet methods which enable the introduction of nanoparticles or biologically active species, such as amino-acids, may find many applications both as biocompatible or anti-bacterial materials or on the contrary, can be applied for a decrease in the number of cells on the treated surface which opens application in single cell units. For the experiments, two types of materials were chosen, a representative of non-biodegradable polymers, polyethersulphone (PES) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) as biodegradable material. Exposure of solid substrate to laser well below the ablation threshold can lead to formation of various surface structures. The ripples have a period roughly comparable to the wavelength of the incident laser radiation, and their dimensions depend on many factors, such as chemical composition of the polymer substrate, laser wavelength and the angle of incidence. On the contrary, biopolymers may significantly change their surface roughness and thus influence cell compatibility. The focus was on the surface treatment of PES and PHB by pulse excimer KrF laser with wavelength of 248 nm. The changes of physicochemical properties, surface morphology, surface chemistry and ablation of exposed polymers were studied both for PES and PHB. Several analytical methods involving atomic force microscopy, gravimetry, scanning electron microscopy and others were used for the analysis of the treated surface. It was found that the combination of certain input parameters leads not only to the formation of optimal narrow pattern, but to the combination of a ripple and a wrinkle-like structure, which could be an optimal candidate for cell attachment. The interaction of different types of cells and their interactions with the laser exposed surface were studied. It was found that laser treatment contributes as a major factor for wettability/contact angle change. The combination of optimal laser energy and pulse number was used for the construction of a surface with an anti-cellular response. Due to the simple laser treatment, we were able to prepare a biopolymer surface with higher roughness and thus significantly influence the area of growth of different types of cells (U-2 OS cells).

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12
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10005846
A Four-Year Study of Thyroid Carcinoma in Hail Region: Increased Incidence
Abstract:

Background and Objective: In most areas of the world, the incidence of thyroid cancer has been increasing over the last decade, mostly due to a combination of early detection of the neoplasm resulting from sensitive procedures and increased population exposure to radiation and unrecognized carcinogens. Methods: Cases of thyroid cancer have been retrieved from the cancer registry at King Khalid Hospital during the period from August 2012 to April 2016. Age, gender and histopathologic types have been recorded. Results: Thyroid carcinoma ranked as the second most common malignancy in females (25%) after breast cancer (31%). It constituted 20.8% of all newly diagnosed cancer cases. As for males, it ranked the 4th type of malignancy after gastrointestinal cancer, lymphomas and soft tissue sarcomas. Mean age for females and males was 38.7 +/- 13.2 and 60.25 +/- 11.5 years, respectively, and the difference between the two groups was statistically significant (p value = 0.0001). Fifty-five (82%) were papillary carcinomas including 10 follicular variant of papillary (FVPC), and eight papillary micro carcinomas (PMC) and two tall cell/oncocytic variants. Follicular carcinomas constituted two (3.1%), while two (3.1%) were anaplastic, and two (3.1%) were medullary. Conclusion: Thyroid cancer incidence in Hail is ranking as the 2nd most common female malignancy similar to other regions in the Kingdom. However, this high incidence contrasts with much lower rates worldwide.

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287
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10006187
Comparison of Wind Fragility for Window System in the Simplified 10 and 15-Story Building Considering Exposure Category
Abstract:
Window system in high rise building is occasionally subjected to an excessive wind intensity, particularly during typhoon. The failure of window system did not affect overall safety of structural performance; however, it could endanger the safety of the residents. In this paper, comparison of fragility curves for window system of two residential buildings was studied. The probability of failure for individual window was determined with Monte Carlo Simulation method. Then, lognormal cumulative distribution function was used to represent the fragility. The results showed that windows located on the edge of leeward wall were more susceptible to wind load and the probability of failure for each window panel increased at higher floors.
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181
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209
10006562
Optimized Energy Scheduling Algorithm for Energy Efficient Wireless Sensor Networks
Abstract:

Wireless sensor networks can be tiny, low cost, intelligent sensors connected with advanced communication systems. WSNs have pulled in significant consideration as a matter of fact that, industrial as well as medical solicitations employ these in monitoring targets, conservational observation, obstacle exposure, movement regulator etc. In these applications, sensor hubs are thickly sent in the unattended environment with little non-rechargeable batteries. This constraint requires energy-efficient systems to drag out the system lifetime. There are redundancies in data sent over the network. To overcome this, multiple virtual spine scheduling has been presented. Such networks problems are called Maximum Lifetime Backbone Scheduling (MLBS) problems. Though this sleep wake cycle reduces radio usage, improvement can be made in the path in which the group heads stay selected. Cluster head selection with emphasis on geometrical relation of the system will enhance the load sharing among the nodes. Also the data are analyzed to reduce redundant transmission. Multi-hop communication will facilitate lighter loads on the network.

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118
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208
10006138
Snails and Fish as Pollution Biomarkers in Lake Manzala and Laboratory C: Laboratory Exposed Snails to Chemical Mixtures
Abstract:
Snails are considered as suitable diagnostic organisms for heavy metal–contaminated sites. Biomphalaria alexandrina snails are used in this work as pollution bioindicators after exposure to chemical mixtures consisted of heavy metals (HM); zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and lead (Pb); and persistent organic pollutants; Decabromodiphenyl ether 98% (D) and Aroclor 1254 (A). The impacts of these tested chemicals, individual and mixtures, on liver and kidney functions, antioxidant enzymes, complete blood picture, and tissue histology were studied. Results showed that Cu was proved to be the highly toxic against snails than Zn and Pb where LC50 values were 1.362, 213.198 and 277.396 ppm, respectively. Also, B. alexandrina snails exposed to the mixture of HM (¼ LC5 Cu, Pb and Zn) showed the highest bioaccumulation of Cu and Zn in their whole tissue, the most significant increase in AST, ALT & ALP activities and the highest significant levels of total protein, albumin and globulin. Results showed significant alterations in CAT activity in snail tissue extracts while snail samples exposed to most experimental tests showed significant increase in GST activity. Snail samples that exposed to HM mixtures showed a significant decrease in total hemocytes count while snail samples that exposed to mixtures containing A & D showed a significant increase in total hemocytes and Hyalinocytes. Histopathological alterations in snail samples exposed to individual HM and their mixtures for 4 weeks showed degeneration, edema, hyper trophy and vaculation in head-foot muscle, degeneration and necrotic changes in the digestive gland and accumulation in most tested organs. Also, the hermaphrodite gland showed mature ova with irregular shape and reduction in sperm number. In conclusion, the resulted damage and alterations in B. alexandrina studied parameters can be used as bioindicators to the presence of pollutants in its habitats.
Paper Detail
227
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207
10005441
Characterization of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Ambient Air PM2.5 in an Urban Site of Győr, Hungary
Abstract:
In Hungary, the measurement of ambient PM10-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations is great importance for a number of reasons related to human health, the environment and compliance with European Union legislation. However, the monitoring of PAHs associated with PM2.5 aerosol fraction is still incomplete. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate the concentration levels of PAHs in PM2.5 urban aerosol fraction. PM2.5 and associated PAHs were monitored in November 2014 in an urban site of Győr (Northwest Hungary). The aerosol samples were collected every day for 24-hours over two weeks with a high volume air sampler provided with a PM2.5 cut-off inlet. The levels of 19 PAH compounds associated with PM2.5 aerosol fraction were quantified by a gas chromatographic method. Polluted air quality for PM2.5 (>25 g/m3) was indicated in 50% of the collected samples. The total PAHs concentrations ranged from 2.1 to 37.3 ng/m3 with the mean value of 12.4 ng/m3. Indeno(123-cd)pyrene (IND) and sum of three benzofluoranthene isomers were the most dominant PAH species followed by benzo(ghi)perylene and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). Using BaP-equivalent approach on the concentration data of carcinogenic PAH species, BaP, and IND contributed the highest carcinogenic exposure equivalent (1.50 and 0.24 ng/m3 on average). A selected number of concentration ratios of specific PAH compounds were calculated to evaluate the possible sources of PAH contamination. The ratios reflected that the major source of PAH compounds in the PM2.5 aerosol fraction of Győr during the study period was fossil fuel combustion from automobiles.
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1549
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10005619
Biogas Enhancement Using Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes
Abstract:

Quick development and usage of nanotechnology have resulted to massive use of various nanoparticles, such as iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) and multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). Thus, this study investigated the role of IONPs and MWCNTs in enhancing bioenergy recovery. Results show that IONPs at a concentration of 750 mg/L and MWCNTs at a concentration of 1500 mg/L induced faster substrate utilization and biogas production rates than the control. IONPs exhibited higher carbon oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency than MWCNTs while on the contrary, MWCNT performance on biogas generation was remarkable than IONPs. Furthermore, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigation revealed extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) excretion from AGS had an interaction with nanoparticles. This interaction created a protective barrier to microbial consortia hence reducing their cytotoxicity. Microbial community analyses revealed genus predominance of bacteria of Anaerolineaceae and Longilinea. Their role in biodegradation of the substrate could have highly been boosted by nanoparticles. The archaea predominance of the genus level of Methanosaeta and Methanobacterium enhanced methanation process. The presence of bacteria of genus Geobacter was also reported. Their presence might have significantly contributed to direct interspecies electron transfer in the system. Exposure of AGS to nanoparticles promoted direct interspecies electron transfer among the anaerobic fermenting bacteria and their counterpart methanogens during the anaerobic digestion process. This results provide useful insightful information in understanding the response of microorganisms to IONPs and MWCNTs in the complex natural environment.

Paper Detail
485
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10005693
Radon-222 Concentration and Potential Risk to Workers of Al-Jalamid Phosphate Mines, North Province, Saudi Arabia
Abstract:

Usually, phosphate deposits contain 238U and 232Th in addition to their decay products. Due to their different pathways in the environment, the 238U/232Th activity concentration ratio usually found to be greater than unity in phosphate sediments. The presence of these radionuclides creates a potential need to control exposure of workers in the mining and processing activities of the phosphate minerals in accordance with IAEA safety standards. The greatest dose to workers comes from exposure to radon, especially 222Rn from the uranium series, and has to be controlled. In this regard, radon (222Rn) was measured in the atmosphere (indoor and outdoor) of Al-Jalamid phosphate-mines working area using a portable radon-measurement instrument RAD7, in a purpose of radiation protection. Radon was measured in 61 sites inside the open phosphate mines, the phosphate upgrading facility (offices and rooms of the workers, and in some open-air sites) and in the dwellings of the workers residence-village that lies at about 3 km from the mines working area. The obtained results indicated that the average indoor radon concentration was about 48.4 Bq/m3. Inside the upgrading facility, the average outdoor concentrations were 10.8 and 9.7 Bq/m3 in the concentrate piles and crushing areas, respectively. It was 12.3 Bq/m3 in the atmosphere of the open mines. These values are comparable with the global average values. Based on the average values, the annual effective dose due to radon inhalation was calculated and risk estimates have been done. The average annual effective dose to workers due to the radon inhalation was estimated by 1.32 mSv. The potential excess risk of lung cancer mortality that could be attributed to radon, when considering the lifetime exposure, was estimated by 53.0x10-4. The results have been discussed in detail.

Paper Detail
320
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10005311
Applications of High Intensity Ultrasound to Modify Millet Protein Concentrate Functionality
Abstract:
Millets as a new source of plant protein were not used in food applications due to its poor functional properties. In this study, the effect of high intensity ultrasound (frequency: 20 kHz, with contentious flow) (US) in 100% amplitude for varying times (5, 12.5, and 20 min) on solubility, emulsifying activity index (EAI), emulsion stability (ES), foaming capacity (FC), and foaming stability (FS) of millet protein concentrate (MPC) were evaluated. In addition, the structural properties of best treatments such as molecular weight and surface charge were compared with the control sample to prove the US effect. The US treatments significantly (P<0.05) increased the solubility of the native MPC (65.8±0.6%) at all sonicated times with the maximum solubility that is recorded at 12.5 min treatment (96.9±0.82 %). The FC of MPC was also significantly affected by the US treatment. Increase in sonicated time up to 12.5 min significantly increased the FC of native MPC (271.03±4.51 ml), but higher increase reduced it significantly. Minimal improvements were observed in the FS of all sonicated MPC compared to the native MPC. Sonicated time for 12.5 min affected the EAI and ES of the native MPC more markedly than 5 and 20 min that may be attributed to higher increase in proteins tendency to adsorption at the oil and water interfaces after the US treatment at this time. SDS-PAGE analysis showed changes in the molecular weight of MPC that attributed to shearing forces created by cavitation phenomenon. Also, this phenomenon caused an increase in the exposure of more amino acids with negative charge in the surface of US treated MPC, that was demonstrated by Zetasizer data. High intensity ultrasound, as a green technology, can significantly increase the functional properties of MPC and can make this usable for food applications.
Paper Detail
502
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10005316
Experimental and Analytical Dose Assessment of Patient's Family Members Treated with I-131
Abstract:
Radiation exposure to the patient's family members is one of the major concerns during thyroid cancer radionuclide therapy. The aim of this study was to measure the total effective dose of the family members by means of thermoluminescence personal dosimeter, and compare with those calculated by analytical methods. Eighty-five adult family members of fifty-one patients volunteered to participate in this research study. Considering the minimum and maximum range of dose rate from 15 µsv/h to 120 µsv/h at patients' release time, the calculated mean and median dose values of family members were 0.45 mSv and 0.28 mSv, respectively. Moreover, almost all family members’ doses were measured to be less than the dose constraint of 5 mSv recommended by Basic Safety Standards. Considering the influence parameters such as patient dose rate and administrated activity, the total effective doses of family members were calculated by TEDE and NRC formulas and compared with those of experimental results. The results indicated that, it is fruitful to use the quantitative calculations for releasing patients treated with I-131 and correct estimation of patients' family doses.
Paper Detail
530
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