Open Access Short communication

Levels of Zinc, Iron and Lead in Canned Fish Sold in Jos, Nigeria

Kiri H. Jaryum, Samuel Y. Gazuwa, Samson I. Wuti, Joseph Ameh

Advances in Research, Page 1-6
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/26444

Introduction: Both nutritional metals such zinc and iron, and toxic metals, such as lead, present in food above certain permissible levels, pose danger to consumers. Fish harvested from contaminated waters tend to have high levels of these metals. Moreover, the level of contamination could be aggravated by processing and canning.

Aim: In this research, we determined the extent to which zinc, iron and lead are present in canned fish commonly sold in Nigerian markets.

Place and Duration of Study: This research was conducted in the Department of Science Laboratory Technology of the University of Jos, Nigeria, between the months of November, 2010 16 and May, 2011.

Materials and Methods: Canned tuna and sardine produced by different manufacturers were obtained in Jos market, Nigeria. Measurement of metal concentration in the canned fish was carried out by using atomic absorption spectrometer.

Results: The range obtained for the elements analyzed in µg/g (dry weight) in both the fish and fish oil are as follows: Zn, 22.06±0.05 - 216.67±0.52; Fe, 13.48±0.29 - 182.32±0.12; and Pb, 13.63±0.22 – 235.12±0.10.

Conclusion: The metals levels were generally above their respective FAO/WHO recommended limits. Statistical analysis showed significant difference (p = 0.05) between the metal concentrations in canned fish from one manufacturer and the other. We recommend that further research on metal content of canned fish sold in Nigeria be done with a view to ascertaining the level of these metals ingested by the populace.

Open Access Minireview Article

Health Information Dissemination in an Era of Globalization among the Igbos of Southeast Nigeria: Harvesting Resilient Traditional Mass Media Systems to Advantage

Okafor Godson Okwuchukwu, Nwankwo Ignatius Uche, Oli Nneka Perpetual, Oguamanam Gabriel Onyebuchi

Advances in Research, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/22545

The objectives of this review paper are twofold. One objective is to examine some resilient traditional mass communication systems of the Igbos of Nigeria. A second objective is to make a strong argument for the optimal use of traditional mass communication channels of the Igbos to strengthen weak health information dissemination systems in the area. The need to harvest existing traditional mass communication channels for propagation and dissemination of health information is sequel to poor performance or failure of several health programmes like use of insecticide treated nets, family planning, exclusive breast feeding and environmental sanitation etc to make the desired impact in the area. More worrisome is the fact that community participation, which is crucial for success of such programmes is at very low level. This situation has been attributed to lapses in health information dissemination strategies, hence this study. The paper identified and strongly canvassed for involvement of age long Igbo traditional mass communication approaches like talking drum, town criers, open market initiatives, smoke signal and the age grades for adequate dissemination of health related information in the area. This it submitted will boost access to appropriate health information and overall performance of the general health services sector in the area.

Open Access Original Research Article

An Algorithm for Global Optimal Strategies and Returns in One Fell Swoop, for a Class of Stationary Equipment Replacement Problems with Age Transition Perspectives, Based on Nonzero Starting Ages

Ukwu Chukwunenye

Advances in Research, Page 1-20
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/26667

Aim: This research article aimed at formulating and designing an Excel automated solution-based algorithm for the optimal policy prescriptions and the corresponding returns for all feasible nonzero starting ages in one fell swoop, for a class of equipment replacement problems with stationary pertinent data.

Methodology: The aim was achieved by the exploitation of the structure of the states given as functions of the decision periods, and the use of starting age index one, in age-transition dynamic programming recursions, combined with dexterous reasoning regarding the implicit dependence of the dynamic programming recursions on stage numbers. Finally, the article deployed the template to obtain alternate batch optimal replacement strategies for some problem instances, with horizon lengths of 2 to12 years, and the full set of nonzero starting ages.

Results: The investigation revealed that  if   is a fixed replacement age in a base problem with horizon length and a single starting age  then the optimal solutions and corresponding rewards for the  stage problem from stage  to stage  coincide with those of the base problem, not only for the single starting age, but for the entire set of feasible nonzero starting ages in stage  of the  stage problem. By an appeal to the structure of the states at each stage and the deployment of  the preliminary starting age  master stroke  in the stage problem, the optimal policy prescriptions and rewards for the base problem for the full  set  of feasible starting ages coincide with those of  the  stage problem from stage  to stage  resulting in  different problems being solved at once.

Conclusion: If  then are stage  optimal decisions and  reward from the template with horizon length  if and only if   are the corresponding optimal decisions  and reward  in stage  for the template with  the horizon length .

Open Access Original Research Article

Calcium Ion Binding Characteristics of Porcine Pancreatic Alpha Amylase outside Active Site Domain and Implications: Theory and Experimentation

Ikechukwu Iloh Udema

Advances in Research, Page 1-17
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/26332

Aims: To: i) show that unfolding and folding of an enzyme can be investigated or interpreted using different aspects of the same model ii) determine the folding rate constant; iii) determine the equilibrium constant for folding; iv) determine activation parameters for unfolding and folding and apparent thermodynamic parameters for calcium ion binding and folding of the enzyme.

Study Design: Experimental.

Place and Duration: Department of Biochemistry, Ambrose Alli University and Research Division of Ude International Concepts Limited (RC 862217) B. B. Agbor Delta, Nigeria. The research spanned between 2013 and 2016. 

Methodology: Bernfeld method of enzyme assay was used. Controls were free from calcium chloride. Porcine alpha amylase was assayed at different thermodynamic temperatures for duration of 5 minutes.

Results: The enthalpy of activation (e.g., 401.32±7.07 J/mol) for unfolding, was higher at lower temperature and higher salt concentration. The magnitude of entropy of activation (e.g., - 279±0.06 J/mol.K) and free energy of activation (89.09±0.01 kJ/mol) for unfolding was higher at higher temperature and lower salt concentration. Activation energy (2.98±0.01 kJ/mol) was higher at higher concentration of calcium chloride. Free energy of activation, exothermic enthalpy and negative entropy for folding were higher at higher temperatures except at 333.15 K with respect to entropy change. Calcium ion binding constant decreased with increase in temperature and binding was spontaneous, exothermic and positive in entropic term. Folding equilibrium constant values were lower at higher temperatures. Free energy of folding though spontaneous showed irregular trend while the positive entropy increased but decreased at 333.15 K. The exothermic enthalpy for folding was low.

Conclusion: The data generated fitted well to the first order equation for calcium ion treated enzyme. The presence of calcium salt stabilized the enzyme against unfolding hence the high free energy and negative entropy of activation (an expression of increased order of the complex) of unfolding. Calcium ion binding and folding of porcine pancreatic alpha amylase, though exothermic, are entropically driven (entropic term > enthalpic term) and spontaneous. The presence of calcium ion resulted in significant change in the velocity of amylolysis (P < 0.05).

Open Access Original Research Article

A Multi-dimensional Approach to Analyse the Core Dimensions of Organizational Culture in a Research and Development Organization in Tamil Nadu, India

Vijaya Mani, Ramyaa Shree S

Advances in Research, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/25878

The research paper aims to analyse the core dimensions of Organizational Culture in a R&D institution that is completely dedicated to research in Basic and Allied Sciences. The sole purpose of this research is to capture those dimensions amenable to R&D activities in this organization that will lead to higher R&D performance. The research examines factors like Strategy, Structure, Resources, Risk taking, Job & Role Characteristics, Team Dynamics, Collaboration & Networking, Leadership,  Reward System, Safety & Health and Customer Satisfaction in the context of the organization. Research data was collected using a questionnaire from a sample of (n = 110) respondents within the institute. All the variable items for Organisational Culture were measured using a five-point Likert scale. Parametric and Non-Parametric tests were used to analyze the dimensions of culture, relationship between organizational culture and job satisfaction of employees and also the influence of demographic factors on organizational culture.The paper also includes recommendations to guide the management of the organization to identify and inculcate cultural values that will enhance R&D activities and to gradually abandon those practices that hinder creativity and innovativeness among the employees.

Open Access Original Research Article

Modelling, Simulation & Analysis of Electro Magnetic Valve Actuator (EMVA) for Automotive System

B. K. Aliyu, J. I. Musa

Advances in Research, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/27260

Several variable valve-train technologies are being aggressively pursued to increase the efficiency of automotive engines. Electromagnetic Valve Actuation (EMVA) is a promising alternative that uses electromagnetic actuators to replace the conventional camshaft and aims to provide fully flexible valve timing control. This "camless" valve-train provides great opportunities for the automotive industry. In this study, we seek to develop a novel mathematical model for the EMVA system with the hope that great engineering insight will be unveiled for the system. To develop such a novel mathematical model firstly, we modelled the EMVA capturing the initial mode which is the same with that of the cam system. Secondly, we designed a PID controller with a set-point tracking scheme to capture the transition mode and holding mode. Simulation results in MATLAB/Simulink of the theoretical lift profile of the EMVA were imported into Curve Fitting Toolbox of MATLAB and the novel model was realized. Experimentally measured data for the lift profile were then fitted with this model and the experimental model realized varied from the theoretical one by just the number of terms. Thus, our novel lift profile model from experimental data was differentiated to give velocity, acceleration and jerk profiles of the EMVA in MATLAB/Simulink and in MAPLE. This created the platform for comparison of analytical and numerical results, using the analytical solution as the benchmark. Analytical and numerical comparisons of the mathematical models were done and invaluable scientific insight was gained for the systems as regards the landing velocity of the valve seat as it affects mechanical wear and high intensity noise during operation.

Open Access Review Article

Phosphate Fertilizer Sources and Use in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

Kisinyo Peter Oloo

Advances in Research, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/26171

Most African soils are low in phosphorus (P) and farmers are increasingly using more P fertilizers to improve crop production. Phosphate rocks (PR) deposits which are the major source of P are unfortunately finite. This is likely to cause world food crisis, especially in Africa due to its high human population growth rate. Conflicting information on the quantity of existing PR reserves has made it difficult to accurately predict how long they would last so as to plan for its judicious use. World PR deposits are currently estimated at 290 billion tonnes and potentially 490 billion tonnes. These reserves at the current production rate of 160 - 170 million tonnes per year are likely to be depleted between the years 2311 and 2411 and Africa will be most affected due to high human population grow rate. With the eminent threat of PR deposits depletion, Africa therefore needs to adopt farming practices that will reduce the use of P fertilizers without negatively affecting its crop productivity. Practices such as soil erosion control, use of P efficient crop germplasms, P solubilizing organisms and organic materials are perceived to reduce soil P loss and increase its use efficiency by plants.