Open Access Original Research Article

Ecosystem Services of the Argan Forest, the Current State and Trends

Ahmed Karmaoui

Advances in Research, Volume 8, Issue 1, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/21353

The arganeraie is a traditional agro-ecosystem based on a balance between resources and human exploitation. The argan tree plays an important role in the subsistence of the people of the south east region of Morocco through its multi-use (its ecosystem services), and its role in fighting against desertification. Currently, the threat of the argan forest deterioration is a major concern both for local population, for planers and for scientists. There have indeed several decades a reduction of tree cover, both in area occupied and density of trees and therefore the associated ecosystem services. With this concern, we will study firstly, the space of the argan tree by trying to identify the ecosystem services and the key indicators of stress in this space. Then, we will assess the current state and likely future state of argan forest ecosystem services relative to anthropogenic pressure and climate change. The information found will be the basis of the “Integrative Science for Society and the Environment” (ISSE) model developed by ILTER in 2007. This Meta paper is not based on original evidence, but on existing studies.

Open Access Original Research Article

Use of a Hybrid MCDM-GIS Model for Planning and Ranking Rural Service Centers: Case Study: Central Zone of the Indica County

Amir Bastaminia, Omran Kohzadi, Morteza Omidipour, Eisa Miri, Hamid Partoo

Advances in Research, Volume 8, Issue 1, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/28727

The aim of this study was to develop a method for spatial zoning and the establishment of rural service centers in the central zone of Indica county with consideration of environmental, social, and economic criteria. The research type is applied and the research method is descriptive-analytical.  First, using the Delphi method, the most important factors influenced in the establishment of rural service centers were identified. Boolean logic was used to assess the status of existing settlement centers, and hybrid MCDM_ GIS method was used to plan for the establishment of new rural service centers. Finally, results of the research proposed a model for organizing the establishment of rural service centers in the study area. The analysis of the identified zones suggests that the areas which were more populated and had higher levels of infrastructure facilities and services were located in the most suitable zones. Moreover, among the natural factors, the land slope played the greatest role in selecting a location for the establishment of a rural service center.

Open Access Original Research Article

‘For the Love of the Environment’ Reflections on Professional Music Practice and Climate Change in Nigeria

O. S. Adekogbe

Advances in Research, Volume 8, Issue 1, Page 1-15
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/25819

The study is on the issues of noise pollution through professional music practice and its sociological impact on the environment in Nigeria. The study examines noise pollution through excessive sound pressure levels of music production by way of music merchandising, products promotion and live performances in indoor and outdoor venues in Nigeria. Data for this paper were gathered through observation of music production at social events and public places, interviews with music professionals and audiences using a Virtual Instrument; a Sound Pressure Level mobile application installed on a mobile phone for sound production measurement. The equivalent noise level using A-weighting was taken every fifteen minutes in each location between 6:00 am and 12:00 pm and the LAeq, T, of each research’s case study center, was calculated. Maximum LAeq, 6h of 105.40 dB was obtained in all the centers visited between 6:00 am and 12:00 pm while the minimum value of LAeq, 6h obtained for a residential area in the same period is 69.51 dBA. The findings of this paper reflect that the residents are exposed to average noise levels of 75 - 98 dB (A) or more every day which is higher than the recommended value of 60 dBA by World Health Organization (WHO).The paper concludes that the acoustic treatment of performance venues, training of music professionalism centers as well as appropriate legislation on awareness creation by the government are some significant ways to check noise pollution generated from professional music practice in order to make the acoustic environment more ecologically-friendly. This paper recommends that acceptable optimal standards for sound production either in enclosures or in open spaces should be established for effective sound control. More importantly, a lot of awareness and advocacy should be carried out in order to sensitize the citizenry on the dangers of very loud music which most times translate to noise.

Open Access Original Research Article

Recruitment and Distribution of Public Sector Health Workers and Determinants of Variation in Their Distribution in Enugu State, Nigeria

Benjamin Sunday C. Uzochukwu, Edmund Ndudi Ossai, Chinyere Cecilia Okeke, Ancilla Kate Umeobieri, Anne C. Ndu, Ogoamaka Chukwuogo

Advances in Research, Volume 8, Issue 1, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/28583

Aims: The aim of study was to assess the recruitment and distribution of public sector health workers and the determinants of variation in their distribution in Enugu state, Nigeria.

Study Design: A cross sectional comparative study design.

Place and Duration of Study: Public health facilities in Enugu state, Nigeria between April and May 2015.

Methodology: A three stage sampling technique was used to select 376 public health workers in urban and rural areas of the state. The respondents were interviewed using a self administered questionnaire. Data entry and analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20. Chi square test of statistical significance was used in the analysis and level of significance was determined by a p value of <0.05.

Results: Of the 376 health workers that participated in the study, 293 were from urban while 83 were from rural health facilities. All the health workers in the two study groups were aware of methods of recruitment into the public sector health service and the radio was the major source of information. Majority of the health workers, (urban, 84.3% and rural, 96.4%) were also aware that there were more health workers in the urban when compared to the rural. Lack of social amenities in the rural area was perceived by the health workers as the main reason for the imbalance in the distribution of health workers in urban and rural areas. Also, majority of the health workers, (urban, 75.4% and rural, 95.2%) were of the opinion that indigenous health workers should be trained to work in rural areas and that training centers for health workers should be located in the rural area, (urban, 77.8% and rural, 91.6%).

Conclusion: There was a similarity in the recruitment but a great imbalance in the distribution of the public sector health workers between the urban and rural areas of Enugu state. Efforts should be made towards attracting and retaining health workers in rural areas. Measures like use of incentives, training of indigenous health workers and location of training centers for health workers in rural areas could be adopted.

Open Access Original Research Article

Pluronic – Grafted Copolymers as Nanoplatforms for Effectively Delivering Hydrophobic Anticancer Drugs

Ngoc The Nguyen, T. T. Thuy Nguyen, Phuong Do, T. T. Chau Nguyen, Van Toan Nguyen, Dai Hai Nguyen, Cuu Khoa Nguyen, Ngoc Quyen Tran

Advances in Research, Volume 8, Issue 1, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/28869

Several kinds of anticancer drugs have significantly contributed in cancer therapy but these drugs exhibited several side-effect. There has recently been an emerging approach in drug development by which efficient exploitation of using nanocarriers. The drug delivery nanocarriers are considering as a sustainable and innovative development. In these studies, two kinds of pluronic-conjugated polymers were prepared in a green synthetic process via conjugate of thermosensitive copolymer pluronic F127 (F127) derivative onto amine-functionalized generation 4.0 polyamidoamine (PAMAM G4.0) dendrimer or heparin. The pluronic–functionalized polymers (G4.0-F127 and Hep-F127) were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), Gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), which revealed that size of these nanocarriers were below 180 nm in diameter. The G4.0-F127 nanocarriers exhibited a high entrapment-efficiency (EE) of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), approximately 71.35±1.75% of fed drug, which was significantly higher than that of PAMAM G4.0 at 42.18±1.89% and F127 at 18.75±2.25%. For Hep-F127, the nanocarriers exhibited a high drug loading efficiency with 5-FU, Erlotinib hydrochloride (Erlo) and Cisplatin (Cis) at 37°C. Releasing studies indicated that the nanocarriers could be used for delivering several kinds of hydrophobic drugs and the drug-loaded systems have showed a significantly antiproliferative activity. The obtained results demonstrated that F127-conjugated polymers could be potential nanocarriers for drug delivery systems.

Open Access Original Research Article

Flexural Behavior of Steel–concrete–steel Sandwich Slabs

K. M. El-sayed, N. N. Khalil, T. A. El Backlesh

Advances in Research, Volume 8, Issue 1, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2016/29007

Aims: Study the flexural behavior of steel–concrete–steel sandwich slabs.

Methodology: Ten SCS slabs full scale specimens were prepared and experimentally tested taking into account the variables of this study.

Study Design: Parametric study is carried out by varying the thickness of (bottom & top) steel plates and types of shear connectors.

Results: The experimental results included ultimate load, vertical deflection at three points, slip between steel plate & concrete core and mode of failure.

Conclusion: Test results show that steel-concrete-steel slabs have good flexural characteristics. The failure modes observed during experiments were occurred due to shear studs rupture, concrete cracking and yielding of steel plates. The shear studs was found to be effective not only in ultimate load capacity but also in vertical deflection.

Open Access Review Article

On Hamiltonian Path and Circuits in Non-Abelian Finite Groups

G. N. Shuaibu, D. Samaila

Advances in Research, Volume 8, Issue 1, Page 1-10

The main objective of this paper is to determine the non-Abelian finite groups which contain only Abelian and Hamiltonian subgroups and to obtain some of their fundamental properties. Two exceptional groups of orders 16 and 24 were examined and are completely determined using GAP. These were achieved from the fact that if a group G contains at least one Hamiltonian subgroup and if all its subgroups are Abelian or Hamiltonian, then the group itself is Hamiltonian. We finally generate some Hamiltonian circuits in the two non-Abelian groups and then present a method of finding the number of circuits in any finite group.