Open Access Opinion Article

Proposal and Point of View on Targeting α-synuclein for the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

Yong-Peng Yu

Advances in Research, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/22584

Many scientific studies in the biochemical, genetic fields suggest that there were common mechanisms, such as genes, α-synuclein protein, tau protein, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and iron might be shared in Alzheimer disease (AD) and Parkinson disease (PD). α-synuclein is suggested to have a vital role in the pathogenesis of PD and is a promising therapeutic target. However, gap might always exist between clinical and basic researches. The failure of recent phase III trials of the anti-Amyloid-β (Aβ) monoclonal for AD prompts us to rethink PD therapy strategies. As multiple mechanisms are involved in PD pathogenesis and their relative roles might vary at different stages of this disease. Use of comprehensive prevention strategies and targets at different stages of PD might be a promising way to cure or prevent PD in the future.

Open Access Original Research Article

Risk Assessment for Subjective Evidence-Based Ethnography Applied in High Risk Environment

Philippe Fauquet-Alekhine

Advances in Research, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/21597

Subjective Evidence-Based Ethnography (SEBE) is a family of methods developed for investigation in social science based on subjective audio-video recordings with a miniature video-camera usually worn at eye-level (eye-tracking techniques are included). Despite its application to the analysis of high risk professions (e.g. anesthetists, aircraft pilots, nuclear reactor pilots) and the potential additional risks it induces, no suggestions regarding these concerns and no solutions helping researchers to anticipate this kind of risks are available in the literature. Aiming at filling this gap, we undertook a study of SEBE equipment applied to the analysis of workers’ activities on a nuclear power plant. The method was divided in three phases: i) observations and discussions on full scale simulators of activities undertaken by one or two workers (N=42) to characterize the consequences of the SEBE equipment, ii) bibliographic research combined with results of first phase to elaborate a risk assessment protocol, iii) analysis of its application in real operating situations (N=17). The elaborated protocol gave satisfactory results in terms of risk prevention and time application: No incident or accident occurred and the risk assessment took less than five minutes. The observations highlighted however a risk of side-effect (using SEBE equipment to justify subjects’ mistake or failure) giving greater importance to the necessity of this sort of risk assessment protocol. To date, the protocol needs to be tested in other industrial contexts in order to be improved and/or to confirm its robustness.

Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Self Concept and Anxiety on the Academic Excellence of Undergraduate Students

Manasseh N. Iroegbu

Advances in Research, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/15052

The focus of this study was on the influence of Self Concept and Anxiety on the Academic Excellence of Undergraduate Students. 190 students were randomly selected in the process of simple random sampling for the study. The scales used for the measurement of Self Concept and Anxiety were [1] self esteem scale and [2] test Anxiety Scale. A 2x2 factorial design was adopted while a two way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for unequal sample sizes was used for data analysis. The results showed that Anxiety had a significant influence on the academic excellence of the students, i.e. students with low anxiety performed better than those with high anxiety               [F (1,189) = 19.22, p<.05]. Self Concept of students did not have any significant influence on the academic excellence of the students [F (1,189) = 0.66, p>.05]. Likewise, there was no significant interaction of self concept and anxiety on academic excellence of the students [F (1,189) = 0.1, p>.05]. There is an imperative need to use psychological techniques to calm students down and deal with anxiety before any examination in order to guarantee reliable results.

Open Access Original Research Article

Quantifying Indian Ocean Subtropical High-runoff Relationships a Case Study over Campaspe River

Saqib Ur Rehman, Kashif Saleem, Abdul Jamil Khan, Absar Ahmed

Advances in Research, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/20258

El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is one of the factors that widely studied with respect to the variability in rainfall and streamflow. However, there are other factors which also influence the climate variability and patterns of the circulation. This study aims to investigate linkage between Indian Ocean High pressure indices and South Pacific high indices with the Campaspe River streamflow. It was found that the zonal movements of the high-pressure system of South Pacific and Indian Ocean largely affect the flow in the river. A regression model was constructed with Indian Ocean high pressure indices and South Pacific indices that explain 42% of the variability in the flow of the River. A Mann Kendall’s tau test was also applied in order to assess the trends in the data. A significant decreasing trend in the streamflow is correlated with the increasing trend in the Indian Ocean high pressure system.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Different Land Preparation Methods for Sawah System Development on Soil Productivity Improvement and Rice Grain Yield in Inland Valleys of Southeastern Nigeria

J. C. Nwite, B. A. Essien, C. I. Keke, C. A. Igwe, T. Wakatsuki

Advances in Research, Page 1-17
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/20792

The development of agriculture in inland valleys of Southeastern Nigeria could not be realized merely due to inability of the farmers to develop these potential and abundant inland valleys for such water loving crops like rice using appropriate water management systems.

In an attempt to replicate the successful Japanese Satoyama watershed management model in the African agro-ecosystems, sawah rice cultivation technology has been introduced to farmers’ fields. A study was conducted in an inland valley at Akaeze, Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Southeastern Nigeria, in 2012, 2013 and 2014 cropping seasons using the same watershed and treatments, to assess the effects of different tillage environments and different amendments in sawah water management system on soil chemical properties and rice grain yield. Sawah described as an Indo-Malaysian word for padi, refers to leveled rice field surrounded by bunds with inlets and outlets for irrigation and drainage. A split- plot in a randomized complete block design was used to evaluate these two factors. The four tillage environments (complete sawah tillage- bunded, puddled and leveled rice field (CST); farmers tillage environment- no bunding and leveling rice field (FTE); incomplete sawah tillage- bundding with little leveling and puddling rice field (ICST) and partial sawah tillage- bunding with no puddling and leveling rice field (PST)) for rice growing served as main plots. The amendments, which constituted the sub-plots, were applied in the following forms: 10 t ha-1 rice husk ash, 10 t ha-1 of rice husk, 400 kgha-1 of N.P.K. 20:10:10,                   10 t ha-1 of poultry droppings, and 0 t ha-1 (control). The additive residual effects of the amendments were not studied in the course of this research. A bulk soil sample was collected at 0-20 cm depth in the location before tillage and amendments for initial soil characteristics. At each harvest, another set of soil sample was collected on different treated plots to ascertain the changes that occurred in the soil due to treatments application. Selected soil chemical properties analyzed include; soil pH, OC, total nitrogen, exchangeable bases (Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and K+) and CEC, while the rice grain yields was also measured at each harvest. The soil amendments were analyzed for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, and organic carbon. Data collected were subjected to statistical analysis using Genstat 3 7.2 Edition. Results showed that the soil pH, organic carbon (OC) and total nitrogen (TN) including the exchangeable bases were significantly (p < 0.05) improved by different tillage parameters for the three years of study. CEC was significantly (p < 0.05) improved by the tillage environments on the 2nd and 3rd year of studies. Soil amendments significantly (p < 0.05) improved the soil pH, OC, TN and all the exchangeable bases within the periods of study. The interaction significantly (p < 0.05) improved the soil exchangeable Ca2+ and Mg2+ on the third year of study. The result showed a significant improvement on the rice grain yield by the tillage environments and amendments within the periods of study. It was also obtained that all the sawah adopted tillage environments positively improved both the soil parameters and rice grain yield relatively higher than the farmers’ tillage environment.

Open Access Review Article

Evaluation of Technical Innovations in Bus Rapid Transit System in Lagos State, Nigeria

D. E. Amiegbebhor, J. B. Akarakiri, O. F. Dickson

Advances in Research, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/20585

Lagos state is one of the largest cities in the world with an estimated population of 18,000,000 on a land mass of 3,577 sqkm. Urban mobility, Road traffic and congestion have been major challenges in the State for many years; The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme was introduced to help alleviate these problems. In the light of this, the technical innovation in the operation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Lagos State was evaluated and the outcome of the evaluation was compared with international BRT standards. Data was collected through guided oral interview with the use of questionnaire. Also, secondary data was used. Results showed that the introduction of BRT system in Lagos State is still at its pilot phase of operation but gradually advancing to BRT Classic which is the full operational BRT System of international standard. Presently, existing BRT innovation in Lagos includes BRT terminals and stations, dedicated lanes and bilateral stations, on-going median stations, provision of coloured delineators and colorized pavement on intersections as well as creation of space for BRT depots and terminals. The paper concluded that there is need for further improvement on the existing Lagos State BRT standard so that it will be able to compare well with International BRT standards.

Open Access Review Article

Evaluation of Flow Assurance in Onshore Production Facilities in the Niger Delta

Igwilo Kevin Chinwuba, Onwugbuchulem Chibunma Vivian, Ohia Nnaemeka Princewill

Advances in Research, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/20299

Flow assurance is the efficient and successful flow of fluids in pipes. Some of the flow assurance challenges that can be encountered include hydrate formation, sand production, wax precipitation, scale deposits and emulsion problems. In onshore production facilities in the Niger Delta, wax deposition is the major challenge to efficient fluid flow. Consequently, it has been the focus of research to profer effective predictive and preventive solutions to a problem that has been tackled with curative methods for decades. This paper investigated paraffinic wax deposition using laboratory tests and field simulation with PipeSim; a pipeline simulator. The tests gave wax content results of 3.73% and 4.77% for samples A and B. The Simulation gave results of 3.71% and 4.78% for samples A and B, producing a good match when compared against the test results with a difference of less than ﻪ0.05%. This paper therefore recommends the use of PipeSim simulation package for wax deposition determination and prediction especially in the absence of laboratory data in addition to properly scheduled pigging and solvent injections to check wax deposition in facilities handling waxy crude oil.