This study evaluates the mechanical, durability, and residual compressive strength (after being exposed to 20, 120, 250, 400 and 600 °C) of mortar that uses recycled iron powder (RIP) as a fine aggregate. Within this context, mechanical strength, shrinkage, durability, and residual strength tests were performed on mortar made with seven different percentages (0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 30% and 50%) of replacement of natural sand (NS) by RIP. It was found that the mechanical strength of mortar increased when replaced with up to 30% NS by RIP. In addition, the increase was 30% for compressive, 18% for tensile, and 47% for flexural strength at 28 days, respectively, compared to the reference mortar (mortar made with 100% NS). Shrinkage was observed for the mortar made with 100% NS, while both shrinkage and expansion occurred in the mortar made with RIP, especially for RIP higher than 5%. Furthermore, significantly lower porosity and capillary water absorption were observed for mortar made with up to 30% RIP, compared to that made with 100% NS, which decreased by 36% for porosity and 48% for water absorption. As the temperature increased, the strength decreased for all mixes, and the drop was more pronounced for the temperatures above 250 °C and 50% RIP. This study demonstrates that up to 30% RIP can be utilized as a fine aggregate in mortar due to its better mechanical and durability performances.
The transition of orthogonal smectic A (SmA) phase to the tilted phases, upon lowering the temperature, is explored with a discrete phenomenological model and the phase diagrams are presented. The results show that the transition of SmA to uniplanar structures can be affected by the effect of chirality. The areas showing the uniplanar phase in the phase diagrams diminish with the increase in effect of chirality.
The toxicity of Clostridium bifermentans serovar malaysia to mosquito larvae is due to protein toxins, belonging to a novel class of insecticidal toxins. Toxic extracts contains three major proteins of 66, 18 and 16 kDa. The 18-kDa and 16-kDa proteins are probably involved in toxicity. They are synthesised during sporulation, concomitant with activity. They are absent from non-toxic strains of C. bifermentans and are present at very low levels in non-toxic C. bifermentans serovar malaysia cultures produced at 42 degrees C. The 66-kDa protein is present throughout the growth phases of C. bifermentans serovar malaysia, and an immunologically related 66-kDa protein is present in non-toxic C. bifermentans strains.
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.
In this study, simulation and optimisation of the purification of bioethanol from an azeotropic mixture was done using the Aspen HYSYS and the Response Surface Methodology (RSM), respectively, to achieve an acceptable bioethanol content with minimal energy use. The objective of this study is to develop the simulation process of bioethanol production from a fermentation effluent. Additionally, the effects of parameters such as solvent temperature, number of entrainer feed stage, mass flow rate and third components of the process for production of bioethanol were studied. As bioethanol is a product of biofuel production, the main challenge facing bioethanol production is the separation of high purity ethanol. However, the separation of ethanol and water can be achieved with the addition of a suitable solvent such as 1,3-butylene glycol (13C4Diol), mixture 13C4Diol and ethylene glycol (EGlycol) and mixture 13C4Diol and glycol ethyl ether (DEG) in the extractive distillation process. For the 13C4Diol mixture, the temperature of entrainer is 90oC with 1500 kg/hr of entrainer rate, while the number of entrainer feed stage is one. The optimum conditions for mixture 13C4Diol and EGlycol require a temperature of entrainer of 90.77oC with an entrainer rate of 1500 kg/hr, while the number of entrainer feed stage is one. Lastly, for optimum conditions for the mixture 13C4Diol and DEG, the temperature of entrainer should be 90oC with an entrainer rate of 1564.04 kg/hr, while the number of entrainer feed stage is one. This study shows that process simulation and optimisation can enhance the removal of water from an azeotropic mixture.
Dengue 2 and 4 viruses obtained from dengue-infected patients were maintained in a C6/36 Aedes albopictus Skuse cell line and used to infect adult female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Each serotype was mixed separately with fresh human erythrocytes and fed to adult female mosquitoes using an artificial membrane feeding technique. Fully engorged mosquitoes were selected and retained at 26 degrees C, 28 degrees C and 30 degrees C to observe dengue virus development in Aedes vectors. Virus detection was carried out by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The virus was first detected on Day 9 at 26 degrees C and 28 degrees C and on Day 5 at 30 degrees C for both dengue 2 and 4. The study shows the incubation period of the viruses decreased when the extrinsic incubation temperature increases.
Selenium is an essential micronutrient with significant antioxidant activity promising in mitigating the formation of acrylamide during high-temperature roasting. In this study, green coffee beans pretreated with selenium (Se-coffee) were investigated on their selenium uptake, selenium retention in green and roasted beans, antioxidant activities, and formation of acrylamide during conventional and superheated steam roasting. Comparisons were made with positive (pretreated without selenium) and negative (untreated) controls. The acrylamide formation was significantly inhibited in Se-coffee (108.9-165.3 μg/kg) compared to the positive and negative controls by 73.9% and 52.8%, respectively. The reduction of acrylamide by superheated steam roasting only observed in the untreated coffee beans (negative control) by 32.4% parallel to the increase in its antioxidant activity. Selenium pretreatment significantly increased antioxidant activity of the roasted Se-coffee beans after roasting although soaking pretreatment significantly reduced antioxidant activity in the green beans. Acrylamide reduction in the roasted coffee beans strongly correlated with the change in antioxidant capacities after roasting (∆FRAP, 0.858; ∆DPPH, 0.836). The results indicate that the antioxidant properties of the organic selenium suppressed acrylamide formation during coffee roasting.
The relationship between heavy metal and trophic properties in polymictic lake at Sembrong Lake, Peninsular Malaysia was assessed. Sixteen parameters, including heavy metals and trophic parameters were monitored. pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen and heavy metals level changes significantly influenced by the dynamic of polymictic mixing pattern. The mean concentrations of heavy metals in the reservoir decreased in the following order: Fe > Mn > Zn > Cu > As > Pb. The result showed that this polymictic lake is being threatened by cultural eutrophication with TSI value range from 72.40 to 80.41 and classified as a hypereutrophic lake. The levels of heavy metal pollution in the reservoir range from slightly polluted to polluted. Factor analysis was performed to determine the relationship between heavy metals and trophic parameters. Five factors were responsible for data structure and explained the 83% of total variance. These factors differentiate each group of parameters according to their common characteristics. Photosynthesis, respiration and redox processes were main factors contributing to the variability of both properties.
A D-shaped polarization-maintaining fiber (PMF) as fiber optic sensor for the simultaneous monitoring of strain and the surrounding temperature is presented. A mechanical end and edge polishing system with aluminum oxide polishing film is utilized to perform sequential polishing on one side (lengthwise) of the PMF in order to fabricate a D-shaped cross-section. Experimental results show that the proposed sensor has high sensitivity of 46 pm/µε and 130 pm/°C for strain and temperature, respectively, which is significantly higher than other recently reported work (mainly from 2013) related to fiber optic sensors. The easy fabrication method, high sensitivity, and good linearity make this sensing device applicable in various applications such as health monitoring and spatial analysis of engineering structures.
Hyperbranched polyisoprene was prepared by anionic copolymerization under high vacuum condition. Size exclusion chromatography was used to characterize the molecular weight and branching nature of these polymers. The characterization by differential scanning calorimetry and melt rheology indicated lower Tg and complex viscosity in the branched polymers as compared with the linear polymer. Degradation kinetics of these polymers was explored using thermogravimetric analysis via non-isothermal techniques. The polymers were heated under nitrogen from ambient temperature to 600°C using heating rates from 2 to 15°C min-1. Three kinetics methods namely Friedman, Flynn-Wall-Ozawa and Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose were used to evaluate the dependence of activation energy (Ea ) on conversion (α). The hyperbranched polyisoprene decomposed via multistep mechanism as manifested by the nonlinear relationship between α and Ea while the linear polymer exhibited a decline in Ea at higher conversions. The average Ea values range from 258 to 330 kJ mol-1 for the linear, and from 260 to 320 kJ mol-1 for the branched polymers. The thermal degradation of the polymers studied involved one-dimensional diffusion mechanism as determined by Coats-Redfern method. This study may help in understanding the effect of branching on the rheological and decomposition kinetics of polyisoprene.
High environmental temperature has detrimental effects on the gastrointestinal tract of poultry. An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of acute heat stress on endogenous amino acid (EAA) flow in broiler chickens. A total of 90, day-old broiler chicks were housed in battery cages in an environmentally controlled chamber. Chicks were fed a nitrogen-free diet on day 42 following either no heat exposure (no-heat) or 2 weeks exposure to 35 ± 1 °C for 3 h from days 28 to 42 (2-week heat) or 1 week exposure to 35 ± 1 °C for 3 h from days 35 to 42 (1 week heat). The most abundant amino acid in the ileal flow was glutamic acid, followed by aspartic acid, serine and threonine in non-heat stressed group. The EAA flow in 1-week heat and 2-week heat birds were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those under no heat exposure (14682, 11161 and 9597 mg/kg of dry matter intake respectively). Moreover, the EAA flow of 2-week heat group was less than 1-week heat group by approximately 36%. These observations suggest that the effect of heat stress on EAA flow is mostly quantitative; however, heat stress may also alter the content of EAA flow qualitatively.
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.
Matched MeSH terms: Body Temperature Regulation/physiology*; Hot Temperature*
The increasing concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere has caused significant environmental changes, particularly to the lower plants such as terrestrial algae and lichens that alter species composition, and therefore can contribute to changes in community landscape. A study to understand how increased CO₂ in the atmosphere will affect algal density with minimal adjustment on its natural ecosystem, and the suitability of the algae to be considered as a biomarker, has been conducted. The current work was conducted in the Free-Air-Carbon Dioxide-Enrichment (FACE) system located in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia. CO₂ was injected through special valves located along the ring surrounding specimen trees where 10 × 10 cm quadrats were placed. A total of 16 quadrats were randomly placed on the bark of 16 trees located inside the FACE system. This system will allow data collection on the effect of increased CO₂ without interfering or changing other parameters of the surrounding environment such as the wind speed, wind direction, humidity, and temperature. The initial density Trebouxia sp. was pre-determined on 1 March 2015, and the final density was taken slightly over a year later, on 15 March 2016. The exposure period of 380 days shed some light in understanding the effect of CO₂ on these non-complex, short life cycle lower plants. The results from this research work showed that the density of algae is significantly higher after 380 days exposure to the CO₂-enriched environment, at 408.5 ± 38.5 × 10⁴ cells/cm², compared to the control site at 176.5 ± 6.9 × 10⁴ cells/cm² (independent t-test, p < 0.001). The distance between the trees and the injector valves is negatively correlated. Quadrats located in the center of the circular ring recorded lower algal density compared to the ones closer to the CO₂ injector. Quadrat 16, which was nearing the end of the CO₂ valve injector, showed an exceptionally high algal density-2-fold higher than the average density at 796 ± 38.5 × 10⁴ cells/cm². In contrast, Quadrat 9, which was located in the center of the ring (lower CO₂ concentration), recorded only 277 ± 38.5 × 10⁴ cells/cm², which further supports the previous claim. Based on the data obtained, this study provides useful data in understanding the positive effect of CO₂ on algal density, in a natural environment, and suggests the use of epiphytic terrestrial algae as a biomarker.
A lipase catalysed enantioselective hydrolysis process under in situ racemization of the remaining (R)-ibuprofen ester substrate with sodium hydroxide as the catalyst was developed for the production of S-ibuprofen from (R,S)-ibuprofen ester in isooctane. Detailed investigations on parameters study indicated that 0.5 M NaOH, addition of 20% (v/v) co-solvent (dimethyl sulphoxide), operating temperature of 45 degrees C, and 40 mmol/L substrate gave 86% conversion and 99.4% optical purity of S-ibuprofen in dynamic kinetic resolution. Meanwhile, in common enzymatic kinetic resolution process, only 42% conversion of the racemate and 93% enantiomeric excess of the product was obtained which are of lower values as compared to dynamic kinetic resolution. The S-ibuprofen produced during each process was evaluated and approximately 50% increment in concentration of S-acid product was produced when dynamic kinetic resolution was applied into the process.
The effects of salinity on the embryonic and larvae stage of Crassostrea iredalei
were investigated. Fertilised eggs and one day old D-larvae were subjected to salinities
ranging from 0 to 30 ppt at temperature of 30±2°C. At salinity lower than 10 ppt, 100%
mortality was observed. For embryo development, the highest survival was observed at
salinity 25 ppt with 80.9±2.2% survival with no significant difference compared to 15 and
30 ppt. Shell height and length were both greatest at salinity 30 ppt. Throughout the 11
days culture, the highest larval survival occurred at salinity 15 ppt with no significant
difference compared to all other salinities except 10 ppt. Larval shell sizes showed no
significant differences between salinities, except for 10 ppt. Optimum culture condition for
larvae growth are salinities ranging from 15 to 30 ppt whereby the larval of this species
can tolerate wider range of salinity compared to other oyster species and thus, making it a
competitive species to be cultured.
Topical keratolytic agents such as benzoyl peroxide (BP) and salicylic acid (SA) are one of the common treatments for inflammatory skin diseases. However, the amount of drug delivery through the skin is limited due to the stratum corneum. The purposes of this study were to investigate the ability of fish oil to act as penetration enhancer for topical keratolytic agents and to determine the suitable gelator for formulating stable fish oil oleogels. 2 types of gelling agents, beeswax and sorbitan monostearate (Span 60), were used to formulate oleogels. To investigate the efficacy of fish oil oleogel permeation, commercial hydrogels of benzoyl peroxide (BP) and salicylic acid (SA) were used as control, and comparative analysis was performed using Franz diffusion cell. Stability of oleogels was determined by physical assessments at 20°C and 40°C storage. Benzoyl peroxide (BP) fish oil oleogels containing beeswax were considered as better formulations in terms of drug permeation and cumulative drug release. All the results were found to be statistically significant (p<0.05, ANOVA) and it was concluded that the beeswax-fish oil combination in oleogel can prove to be beneficial in terms of permeation across the skin and stability.
Xylose reductase (XR) is an oxidoreductase having potential applications in the production of various specialty products, mainly xylitol. It is important to screen for compounds that can decrease XR activity and consequently can decrease xylitol production. We have identified the byproducts in the hemicellulosic hydrolysate that inhibit XR from Candida tropicalis and measured their effects. XR inhibitory activities of byproducts, glucose, acetic acid, arabinose, lignin-degradation products (LDPs), furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), were evaluated by measuring the MIC and IC50 values. XR activity was 11.2 U/ml. Acetic acid, LDPs, furfural and HMF significantly inhibited XR with IC50 values of 11, 6.4, 2.3 and 0.4 g/l, respectively. This is the first report on the inhibitory activities of several byproducts for XR.
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.