Enzymatic saccharification of corn stover using Phanerochaete chrysosporium and Gloeophyllum trabeum and subsequent fermentation of the saccharification products to ethanol by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli K011 were achieved. Prior to simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) for ethanol production, solid-state fermentation was performed for four days on ground corn stover using either P. chrysosporium or G. trabeum to induce in situ cellulase production. During SSF with S. cerevisiae or E. coli, ethanol production was the highest on day 4 for all samples. For corn stover treated with P. chrysosporium, the conversion to ethanol was 2.29 g/100 g corn stover with S. cerevisiae as the fermenting organism, whereas for the sample inoculated with E. coli K011, the ethanol production was 4.14 g/100 g corn stover. Corn stover treated with G. trabeum showed a conversion 1.90 and 4.79 g/100 g corn stover with S. cerevisiae and E. coli K011 as the fermenting organisms, respectively. Other fermentation co-products, such as acetic acid and lactic acid, were also monitored. Acetic acid production ranged between 0.45 and 0.78 g/100 g corn stover, while no lactic acid production was detected throughout the 5 days of SSF. The results of our experiment suggest that it is possible to perform SSF of corn stover using P. chrysosporium, G. trabeum, S. cerevisiae and E. coli K011 for the production of fuel ethanol.
The assessment of diets in multi-ethnic cosmopolitan settings is challenging. A semi-quantitative 163-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was developed for the adult Singapore population, and this study aimed to assess its reproducibility and relative validity against 24-h dietary recalls (24 h DR) and biomarkers. The FFQ was administered twice within a six-month interval in 161 adults (59 Chinese, 46 Malay, and 56 Indian). Fasting plasma, overnight urine, and 24 h DR were collected after one month and five months. Intra-class correlation coefficients between the two FFQ were above 0.70 for most foods and nutrients. The median correlation coefficient between energy-adjusted deattenuated FFQ and 24 h DR nutrient intakes was 0.40 for FFQ1 and 0.39 for FFQ2, highest for calcium and iron, and lowest for energy and carbohydrates. Significant associations were observed between urinary isoflavones and soy protein intake (r = 0.46), serum carotenoids and fruit and vegetable intake (r = 0.34), plasma eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA + DHA) and fish/seafood intake (r = 0.36), and plasma odd chain saturated fatty acids (SFA) and dairy fat intake (r = 0.25). Associations between plasma EPA + DHA and fish/seafood intake were consistent across ethnic groups (r = 0.28-0.49), while differences were observed for other associations. FFQ assessment of dietary intakes in modern cosmopolitan populations remains feasible for the purpose of ranking individuals' dietary exposures in epidemiological studies.
Carotenoids are antioxidants with pharmaceutical potential. The major carotenoids important to humans are α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and β-cryptoxanthin. Some of the biological functions and actions of these individual carotenoids are quite similar to each other, whereas others are specific. Besides genotype and location, other environmental effects such as temperature, light, mineral uptake, and pH have been found affect carotenoid development in plant tissues and organs. Therefore, this research investigated the effects of the season and storage periods during postharvest handling on the accumulation of carotenoid in pumpkin. This study shows that long-term storage of pumpkins resulted in the accumulation of lutein and β-carotene with a slight decrease in zeaxanthin. The amounts of β-carotene ranged from 174.583±2.105 mg/100g to 692.871±22.019 mg/100g, lutein from 19.841±9.693 mg/100g to 59.481±1.645 mg/100g, and zeaxanthin from not detected to 2.709±0.118 mg/100g. The pumpkins were collected three times in a year; they differed in that zeaxanthin was present only in the first season, while the amounts of β-carotene and lutein were the highest in the second and third seasons, respectively. By identifying the key factors among the postharvest handling conditions that control specific carotenoid accumulations, a greater understanding of how to enhance the nutritional values of pumpkin and other crops will be gained. Postharvest storage conditions can markedly enhance and influence the levels of zeaxanthin, lutein, and β-carotene in pumpkin. This study describes how the magnitudes of these effects depend on the storage period and season.
WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Drug-drug interactions (DDIs) cause considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide and may lead to hospital admission. Sophisticated computerized drug information and monitoring systems, more recently established in many of the emerging economies, including Malaysia, are capturing useful information on prescribing. Our aim is to report on an investigation of potentially serious DDIs, using a university primary care-based system capturing prescription records from its primary care services.
METHODS: We retrospectively collected data from two academic years over 20 months from computerized databases at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) from users of the USM primary care services.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Three hundred and eighty-six DDI events were observed in a cohort of 208 exposed patients from a total of 23,733 patients, representing a 2-year period prevalence of 876·4 per 100,000 patients. Of the 208 exposed patients, 138 (66·3%) were exposed to one DDI event, 29 (13·9%) to two DDI events, 15 (7·2%) to three DDI events, 6 (2·9%) to four DDI events and 20 (9·6%) to more than five DDI events. Overall, an increasing mean number of episodes of DDIs was noted among exposed patients within the age category ≥70 years (P=0·01), an increasing trend in the number of medications prescribed (P<0·001) and an increasing trend in the number of long-term therapeutic groups (P<0·001).
WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: We describe the prevalence of clinically important DDIs in an emerging economy setting and identify the more common potentially serious DDIs. In line with the observations in developed economies, a higher number of episodes of DDIs were seen in patients aged ≥70 years and with more medications prescribed. The easiest method to reduce the frequency of DDIs is to reduce the number of medications prescribed. Therapeutic alternatives should be selected cautiously.
In this open-label pilot study, 20 adult patients hospitalized for acute bipolar mania received oral quetiapine as a single evening dose of 200 mg on day 1, increased by 200 mg/day on days 2, 3, and 4 until 800 mg/day taken in 2 divided doses on day 4. From day 5 onward, patients received a flexible total dose of 400-800 mg/day until completion of 3 weeks of treatment. Safety and tolerability were assessed by adverse-event (AE)-related dropouts in week 1, incidence of AEs including EPS, changes in electrocardiogram, and vital signs. Efficacy was assessed using the YMRS, PANSS, and CGI scales. Nineteen of 20 patients (95%) completed the quetiapine rapid titration during week 1. Significant improvement was observed in YMRS, PANSS, and CGI Severity of Illness scores by day 5, and was maintained throughout the study. A reduction of > or = 50% in YMRS score was achieved by 75% of patients by day 7, and maintained to day 21. Overall, 20% of patients discontinued due to AEs. Agitation was the most common cause of AE-related study discontinuation. Thirty-five per cent of patients required dose adjustment due to AEs after rapid dose administration was completed. Most patients tolerated rapid titration of quetiapine to 800 mg/day by day 4 of therapy, with a significant improvement in manic symptoms by day 7 of treatment.
Femoral neck fracture non-unions often present with significant difficult treatment decision as regards to surgical options and the risk of complication. We present three cases of femoral neck non-union treated with double screw stabilization technique using sliding compression hip screw and anti-rotational screw. The rationale for opting to these simple implants in our setting is discussed.
A trial was conducted to determine the influence of short-term exposure to high ambient temperature at 28 and 35 days of age on deep body temperatures (Tb) and subsequent growth of birds until 42 days of age. A total of 90 day old chicks were reared in stainless steel battery cages and were assigned at random into 18 pens of 5 birds each, with 9 pens containing males and another 9 pens containing females. Three treatment groups, each represented by 3 male and 3 female pens, were represented by T1 without any heat exposure, T2 with heat exposure starting at day 28 and T3 with heat exposure starting at day 35. Heat stress was defined as 180 min exposure to 35 +/- 1 degrees C. Tb and body weights were measured at 35, 37 and 39 days of age immediately following heat exposure. Heat stress resulted in higher Tb and Onset of heat stress at 28 days resulted in significantly lower Tb than onset of heat stress at 35 days. Lower Tb in T2 than T3 permitted recovery in body weight at 42 days. Sexes responded similarly to heat stress.
A total of 356 doctors responded to a survey on the timing and stability of choice of medical specialty. The majority of doctors made their final decision while working as a medical officer. One hundred (48.5%) of the doctors had made an earlier choice as medical students, 63 (30.6%) during their internship and 43 (20.9%) made their final choice while they were medical officers. Working experience in the specialty was the most important factor in determining final choice of specialty. Advice from consultants/seniors, better financial prospects and parental influence were more important for the male doctors while marriage and family considerations were more important for the female doctors in making their final choice.
Xylose-rich sawdust hydrolysate can be an economic substrate for the enzymatic production of xylitol, a specialty product. It is important to identify the process factors influencing xylitol production. This research aimed to screen the parameters significantly affecting bioxylitol synthesis from wood sawdust by xylose reductase (XR). Enzymatic bioxylitol production was conducted to estimate the effect of different variables reaction time (2-18 h), temperature (20-70 °C), pH (4.0-9.0), NADPH (1.17-5.32 g/L), and enzyme concentration (2-6 %) on the yield of xylitol. Fractional factorial design was followed to identify the key process factors. The screening design identified that time, temperature, and pH are the most significant factors influencing bioxylitol production among the variables with the values of 12 h, 35 °C, and 7.0, respectively. These conditions led to a xylitol yield of 71 % (w/w). This is the first report on the statistical screening of process variables influencing enzyme-based bioxylitol production from lignocellulosic biomass.
Iatrogenic ureteric injuries are rare complications of abdomino-pelvic surgery but associated with high morbidity from infection and possible loss of renal function. A successful repair is related to the timing of diagnosis, site of injury and method of repair. This study was a retrospective review of outcomes of iatrogenic ureteric injury and factors contributing to successful operative repair. Twenty consecutive cases referred to the Urology Unit of the UKM Medical Center during an 11-year period from 1998 to 2009 were reviewed. Thirteen patients were diagnosed intraoperatively and underwent immediate repair. Seven patients had delayed diagnosis but also underwent immediate repair. In our series, there was no significant difference in outcome between injuries diagnosed intraoperatively versus injuries with delayed diagnosis. There was significant difference in the outcomes between methods of ureteric repair where ureter reimplantation via psoas hitch or Boari flap yielded better results than primary end-to-end anastomosis Three patients suffered loss of renal function from unsuccessful ureter repair. We conclude that all iatrogenic ureteric injury should be repaired immediately in the absence of overt sepsis. Ureter reimplantation using a Boari flap or psoas hitch is preferred to the end-to-end anastomosis especially when there is delayed diagnosis
We investigated the survival of a pandemic strain of influenza A H1N1 on a variety of common household surfaces where multiple samples were taken from 4 types of common household fomite at 7 time points. Results showed that influenza A H1N1sw virus particles remained infectious for 48 hours on a wooden surface, for 24 hours on stainless steel and plastic surfaces, and for 8 hours on a cloth surface, although virus recovery from the cloth may have been suboptimal. Our results suggest that pandemic influenza A H1N1 can survive on common household fomites for extended periods of time, and that good hand hygiene and regular disinfection of commonly touched surfaces should be practiced during the influenza season to help reduce transmission.
Nitrate-nitrogen leaching from agricultural areas is a major cause for groundwater pollution. Polluted groundwater with high levels of nitrate is hazardous and cause adverse health effects. Human consumption of water with elevated levels of NO3-N has been linked to the infant disorder methemoglobinemia and also to non-Hodgkin's disease lymphoma in adults. This research aims to study the temporal patterns and source apportionment of nitrate-nitrogen leaching in a paddy soil at Ladang Merdeka Ismail Mulong in Kelantan, Malaysia. The complex data matrix (128 x 16) of nitrate-nitrogen parameters was subjected to multivariate analysis mainly Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Discriminant Analysis (DA). PCA extracted four principal components from this data set which explained 86.4% of the total variance. The most important contributors were soil physical properties confirmed using Alyuda Forecaster software (R2 = 0.98). Discriminant analysis was used to evaluate the temporal variation in soil nitrate-nitrogen on leaching process. Discriminant analysis gave four parameters (hydraulic head, evapotranspiration, rainfall and temperature) contributing more than 98% correct assignments in temporal analysis. DA allowed reduction in dimensionality of the large data set which defines the four operating parameters most efficient and economical to be monitored for temporal variations. This knowledge is important so as to protect the precious groundwater from contamination with nitrate.
Forests are major components of the global carbon cycle, providing substantial feedback to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Our ability to understand and predict changes in the forest carbon cycle--particularly net primary productivity and carbon storage--increasingly relies on models that represent biological processes across several scales of biological organization, from tree leaves to forest stands. Yet, despite advances in our understanding of productivity at the scales of leaves and stands, no consensus exists about the nature of productivity at the scale of the individual tree, in part because we lack a broad empirical assessment of whether rates of absolute tree mass growth (and thus carbon accumulation) decrease, remain constant, or increase as trees increase in size and age. Here we present a global analysis of 403 tropical and temperate tree species, showing that for most species mass growth rate increases continuously with tree size. Thus, large, old trees do not act simply as senescent carbon reservoirs but actively fix large amounts of carbon compared to smaller trees; at the extreme, a single big tree can add the same amount of carbon to the forest within a year as is contained in an entire mid-sized tree. The apparent paradoxes of individual tree growth increasing with tree size despite declining leaf-level and stand-level productivity can be explained, respectively, by increases in a tree's total leaf area that outpace declines in productivity per unit of leaf area and, among other factors, age-related reductions in population density. Our results resolve conflicting assumptions about the nature of tree growth, inform efforts to undertand and model forest carbon dynamics, and have additional implications for theories of resource allocation and plant senescence.
Dengue virus type 4 (DENV-4) circulates in tropical and subtropical countries from Asia and the Americas. Despite the importance of dengue virus distribution, little is known about the worldwide viral spread. Following a Bayesian phylogenetic approach we inferred the evolutionary history of 310 isolates sampled from 37 countries during the time period 1956-2008 and the spreading dynamics for genotypes I and II. The region (tropical rainforest biome) comprised by Malaysia-Thailand was the most likely ancestral area from which the serotype has originated and spread. Interestingly, cross-correlation analysis on demographic time series with the Asian sequences showed a statistically significant negative correlation that could be suggestive of competition among genotypes within the same serotype.
Sternal dehiscence is a rare but devastating complication following median sternotomy for cardiac surgery. The optimal technique for sternal closure is unclear. We conducted this prospective randomized trial to compare the incidence of sternal dehiscence after figure-of-8 and simple interrupted suturing in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. Between January 2007 and June 2008, 98 patients had figure-of-8 suturing and 97 had interrupted sutures. The mean age of the patients was 60.9 +/- 7.6 years. The overall sternal dehiscence rate was 8%; 7 cases in the in figure-of-8 group and 9 in the interrupted group. Thirteen patients had no wound infection and healed with conservative treatment. Only 3 patients had sternal dehiscence with infection: 2 with simple interrupted closure and 1 with figure-of-8 sternal closure. There was no significant difference in rates of sternal dehiscence between the 2 groups. It was concluded that figure-of-8 sternal suturing is equally effective as simple interrupted suturing in preventing sternal dehiscence.
The aim of this study was to compare 6% hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 with 4% succinylated gelatin for priming the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit and as volume replacement in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass, in terms of postoperative bleeding, blood transfusion requirements, renal function, and outcome after surgery. Forty-five patients received 6% hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 (Voluven) and another 45 were given 4% succinylated gelatin (Gelofusine) as the priming solution for the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit as well as for volume replacement. Postoperative bleeding was quantified from the hourly chest drainage in the first 4 h and at 24 h postoperatively. The baseline characteristics of both groups were similar. In the hydroxyethyl starch group, the total amount of colloid used was 1.9 +/- 1.0 L, while the gelatin group had 2.0 +/- 0.7 L. There was no significant difference in hourly chest drainage between groups. Blood transfusion requirements, estimated glomerular filtration rate, extubation time, intensive care unit and hospital stay were similar in both groups. It was concluded that 6% hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 is a safe alternative colloid for priming the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit and volume replacement in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery.
Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis), a potential raw material for bioethanol production due to its high cellulose content, was used as a novel feedstock for enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol production using biological pretreatment. To improve ethanol production, rubberwood was pretreated with white rot fungus Ceriporiopsis subvermispora to increase fermentation efficiency. The effects of particle size of rubberwood (1 mm, 0.5 mm, and 0.25 mm) and pretreatment time on the biological pretreatment were first determined by chemical analysis and X-ray diffraction and their best condition obtained with 1 mm particle size and 90 days pretreatment. Further morphological study on rubberwood with 1 mm particle size pretreated by fungus was performed by FT-IR spectra analysis and SEM observation and the result indicated the ability of this fungus for pretreatment. A study on enzymatic hydrolysis resulted in an increased sugar yield of 27.67% as compared with untreated rubberwood (2.88%). The maximum ethanol concentration and yield were 17.9 g/L and 53% yield, respectively, after 120 hours. The results obtained demonstrate that rubberwood pretreated by C. subvermispora can be used as an alternative material for the enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol production.
An analytical method that facilitated the analysis of 11 pharmaceuticals residue (caffeine, prazosin, enalapril, carbamazepine, nifedipine, levonorgestrel, simvastatin, hydrochlorothiazide, gliclazide, diclofenac-Na, and mefenamic acid) with a single pre-treatment protocol was developed. The proposed method included an isolation and concentration procedure using solid phase extraction (Oasis HLB), a separation step using high-performance liquid chromatography, and a detection procedure that applies time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The method was validated for drinking water (DW), surface water (SW), sewage treatment plant (STP) influent and effluent, and hospital (HSP) influent and effluent. The limits of quantification were as low as 0.4, 1.6, 5, 3, 2.2 and 11 ng/L in DW, SW, HSP influent and effluent, STP effluent, and STP influent, respectively. On average, good recoveries higher than 75% were obtained for most of the target analytes in all matrices. Matrix effect was evaluated for all samples matrices. The proposed method successfully determined and quantified the target compounds in raw and treated wastewater of four STPs and three hospitals in Malaysia, as well as in two SW sites. The results showed that a number of the studied compounds pose moderate to high persistency in sewage treatment effluents as well as in the recipient rivers, namely; caffeine, simvastatin, and hydrochlorothiazide. Ten out of 11 compounds were detected and quantified in 13 sampling points. Caffeine was detected with the highest level, with concentrations reaching up to 9099 ng/L in STP influent.