Background: A range of psychological issues often accompany breast cancer chemotherapy. Due to their ubiquity, mobile phones have been used to deliver supportive interventions addressing these issues. However, we currently lack sufficient evidence to guide the design of such interventions. Aim: To analyse and synthesise available evidence on the effectiveness of mobile-phone-based (mHealth) interventions in alleviating the psychological issues experienced by women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted from 14 relevant databases. Revman 5.4 was used to pool the quantitative results from comparable studies for statistical meta-analysis. For clinically heterogeneous studies where statistical pooling of results was not possible, a narrative summary was used to present the findings. Results: The review included nine RCTs which covered 1457 patients. The meta-analysis results indicated a significant improvement in the quality of life (standardised mean difference [SMD] = 0.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.07, 0.58], p = .01, I2 = 17%). No significant effects were found for anxiety (SMD = -0.01, 95% CI [-0.26, 0.25], p = .96, I2 = 53%) and depression (SMD = 0.02, 95% CI [-0.17, 0.20], p = .87, I2 = 0%). Individual studies suggest reduced symptom prevalence (p = .033, d = 0.27), symptom distress (p = .004, d = 0.34), symptom interference (p = .02, d = 0.51), supportive care needs (p < .05, d = 2.43); improved self-efficacy (p = .03, d = 0.53), self-esteem (p < .001, d = 0.87) and emotional functioning (p = .008, d = 0.30). The methodological quality ranged from low to moderate. Conclusion: mHealth interventions might help address certain psychological issues experienced by this population, although the evidence is still being gathered and not yet conclusive. More rigorous trials are warranted to confirm the suitable duration while addressing the methodological flaws found in previous studies. Prospero registration number: CRD42021224307.
Bulk density (ρb), a soil physical property critical for estimating soil carbon storing potentials, is often under-reported in many tropical soil databases because of the difficulty and tedious nature of its measurement in the field. In this study, a pedotransfer function was developed to estimate the bulk density of topsoils (0–30 cm) of Nimbia Forest Reserve, Nigeria. Easily measured soil variables including sand content, total organic carbon and moisture contents were used as predictor variables. A pedotransfer function (PTF) was derived based on multiple linear regression model. Bulk density values for the forest soils varied from 0.78 to 1.28 g/cm3 with a mean value of 1.03 g/cm3. All the metrics used for the validation of the pedotransfer function show the model is statistically significant confirming its usefulness. The RMSE, R-squared and MAE of the pedotransfer function are 0.07498, 0.42231 and 0.058934, respectively. Given that this is the first PTF developed for bulk density estimation in the study area, we recommend a comparison of this new model with others that can be developed using machine learning algorithms and other statistical techniques. The PTF developed in this study will find application in the calculation of the soil organic carbon stocks in the Nimbia Forest Reserve to provide baseline estimates—a decision support tool for sustainable soil management and possible climate change mitigation.
Natural and forest-rich ecosystems are determinants of environmental sustainability, which are threatened by forest land conversion for agricultural purposes, especially in less-developed contexts. Moreover, human behaviour is central to achieving the much desired ecologically balanced environment. Hence, a partly novel model informed by the theory of planned behaviour was used in the examination of forest land conversion for agricultural purposes. The study design was a cross-sectional survey targeted at a group of farmers of southwestern Nigeria. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire among 320 randomly selected crop farmers. Independent samples t test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to test the significance of difference in respondents' forest conversion behaviour across subgroups of gender and age/education, respectively. Stepwise multiple linear regression was used to identify the determinants of forest conversion behaviour. Results showed that 87.8% of respondents had ever engaged in forest conversion. Gender and education had no significant effect on forest conversion behaviour ( p > 0.05), but age did ( p < 0.05). Attitude was the best determinant (β = 0.289, r = 0.510, R ² = 0.260, p < 0.001), subjective norm was better (β = 0.257, r = 0.496, R ² = 0.055, p < 0.001), while perceived behavioural control was good (β = 0.131, r = 0.398, p < 0.001, R ² = 0.012, p < 0.005). The three variables correlated with intention by a degree of 57.2% (multiple R = 0.572), while they explained 32.7% of the variance in intention ( R ² =0.327). Intention was also found to be a significant determinant of behaviour (β = 0.222, r = 0.222, R ² = 0.049, p < 0.001). Middle age predisposes to, whereas younger and older age protects against greater extent of forest conversion. The partly novel model derived from the theory of planned behaviour proves the likely viability of the pursuit of socio-psychologically predicated interventions to enthrone forest conservation.
Globally, ecosystems have suffered from anthropogenic stressors as we enter the sixth mass extinction within the Anthropocene. In response, the UN has declared 2020–2030 the Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, aiming to mitigate ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. Freshwater ecosystems are disproportionately impacted relative to marine or terrestrial systems and ecological restoration is needed to preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Paradoxically, freshwater is among Earth's most vital ecosystem services. Here we identify meaningful considerations from a freshwater perspective that will lead to progression toward the restoration of freshwater ecosystems: work across terrestrial and freshwater boundaries during restoration, emulate nature, think and act on a watershed scale, design for environmental heterogeneity, mitigate threats alongside restoration, identify bright spots, think long term (a decade is not long enough), and embrace social–ecological systems thinking. Further, we reflect upon the three implementation pathways identified by the UN to translate these considerations into practice in hopes of “bending the curve” for freshwater biodiversity and ecosystems. Pathway 1, building a global movement, could create a network to share experiences and knowledge promoting vicarious learning, ultimately leading to more effective restoration. Pathway 2, generating political support, will be necessary to institutionalize ecosystem protection and restoration by demonstrating the value of freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. Pathway 3, building technical capacity, aims to improve the current and often ineffective restoration toolbox by incorporating evidence syntheses (i.e., appraisal of evidence base) and Indigenous ways of knowing (i.e., two eyed seeing). Given that freshwater ecosystems are in dire need of repair, it is our hope that these considerations and implementation pathways will contribute to an actionable and productive Decade for Ecosystem Restoration. The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration holds much promise but there is need to ensure that efforts extend beyond terrestrial systems to include freshwater ecosystems. Freshwater biodiversity is in crisis and is often ignored. Here we provide suggestions for ensuring that freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity benefit from the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
Vulnerability to climate change and variability impacts has been identified as a major cog in the wheel of both livelihood and resilience, particularly in vulnerable groups in rural areas. This study aims to assess genders’ vulnerability dimension to climate change and variability in REDD + (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation+) piloted site/clusters, Cross River State, Nigeria. Data were proportionately collected from selected 200 respondents on gender disaggregated level using questionnaires. The assessment adopted the sustainable livelihood approach (livelihood vulnerability index) and compared the results with the IPCC vulnerability standard of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity weighted mean. The results revealed a significant difference in the vulnerability dimension of both women and men disaggregated levels (LVI: men 0.509, women 0.618). The women category was more vulnerable to six out of seven major components of LVI assessed: (livelihood strategies (0.646), social networks (0.364), water (0.559), health (0.379), food and nutrition (0.507), and natural hazards and climate variability (0.482), while men only vulnerable to socio-demographic major component (0.346). Vulnerability indices also showed women to be more exposed (0.482), and sensitive (0.489) with the least adaptive capacities (0.462) to the climate change and variability impacts. Overall, on the IPCC-LVI index, women are more vulnerable (0.0098) to climate change and variability impacts than men (−0.0093). The study recommends that the women's category resilience and adaptive capacity should be empowered in adaptation projects in climate change such as REDD + (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation+) to reduce their vulnerability to impacts of climate change and variability in the context of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacities. This will be instrumental in formulating policies to address the specific needs of gender categories in reducing vulnerability to climate change and variability. This pragmatic approach may be used to monitor gender vulnerability dimension, and livelihood enhancement and evaluate potential climate change adaptation programs. Additionally, the introduction of IPCC-LVI as a baseline instrument will enhance information on gender resilience and adaptive capacity for policy effectiveness in a data-scarce region particularly Africa.
The requirement for easily adoptable technology for fruit preservation in developing countries is paramount. This study investigated the effect of pre-treatment (warm water blanching time—3, 5 and 10 min at 60 °C) and drying temperature (50, 60 and 70 °C) on drying mechanisms of convectively dried Synsepalum dulcificum (miracle berry fruit—MBF) fruit. Refined Adaptive Neuro Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) was utilized to model the effect and establish the sensitivity of drying factors on the moisture ratio variability of MBF. Unblanched MBF had the longest drying time, lowest effective moisture diffusivity (EMD), highest total and specific energy consumption of 530 min, 5.1052 E−09 m²/s, 22.73 kWh and 113.64 kWh/kg, respectively at 50 °C drying time, with lowest activation energy of 28.8589 kJ/mol. The 3 min blanched MBF had the lowest drying time, highest EMD, lowest total and specific energy consumption of 130 min, 2.5607 E−08 m²/s, 7.47 kWh and 37 kWh/kg, respectively at 70 °C drying temperature. The 5 min blanched MBF had the highest activation energy of 37.4808 kJ/mol. Amongst others, 3—gbellmf—38 epoch ANFIS structure had the highest modeling and prediction efficiency (R² = 0.9931). The moisture ratio variability was most sensitive to drying time at individual factor level, and drying time cum pretreatment at interactive factors level. In conclusion, pretreatment significantly reduced the drying time and energy consumption of MBF. Refined ANFIS structure modeled and predicted the drying process efficiently, and drying time contributed most significantly to the moisture ratio variability of MBF.
The study was undertaken to examine the effect of COVID 19 Lockdown among day Old Chick Producers and Marketers in Ibadan South West Local Government Area (Poultry hub) of Oyo State, through the administration of questionnaire and interpersonal interview to retrieve relevant research information. The socioeconomic appraiser of the stakeholders revealed that participants are predominantly male(65%), married(61.0%), most are educated (88.0%) and were Christians (40.0%) and Muslims (60.0%) based on their religious faith. Effect of Lockdown on production (100%), reduction in price, cost of ingredients with consequential reduction in level of employment. The result also reveals that the cost of ingredients, was seriously affected before (80.0%), during (65.0%) and after (98.0%) COVID-19 pandemic respectively. The result shows that the mean of the total variable cost is N28325.98, the mean of the gross margin is also positive (N322307.44), the net income is (N 272380.21) while the mean of the total fixed cost is (N400428.00). This implies that the level of profitability of poultry production in the study area is profitable. Based on the findings, it has been identified that some factors are hindering the development of poultry farms as regards large production, which will cater for the entire population of the people in the study area and the nation entirely. It therefore recommends that government should improve on the loan credit guarantee schemes available for the public and ensure the availability of well-tested, highly productive machines and reduce cost of feed.
This work reported the effects of heat-assisted extraction (HAE) temperature (35 – 55 °C), solid: liquid (1:20 - 1:50 g/mL) and time (100 - 200 min) on the total phenolic content (TPC, GAE/g), bioactive extracts yield (EYs, %) and antioxidant activity (AA, AAE/g) of Senna alata leaves (SALs) using the Box-Behnken experimental design. Multi-objective HAE process optimization was also carried out. The large scale (1000 L extractor capacity) HAE integrated process was thereafter designed using the global optimum data and techno-economically analyzed. Profitability sensitivity and uncertainty analyses were conducted on the large scale integrated process to determine the associated risk. The extraction temperature, solid: liquid and time had significant effects on TPC, EYs and AA. The extraction condition at 54.97 °C, 41.59 g/mL and 100 min gave an optimum TPC, EYs and AA of 84.3897 mg GAE/g, 21.3607% and 6.61696 µM AAE/g respectively. The phenolic profiling showed that SALs extracts were rich in betulinic, gallic, chlorogenic, caffeic and ferulic acids. The large scale integrated plant possessed net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IIR), return on investment (ROI) and payback time (PBT) of 193.511 US$, 7.11%, 13.97%, and 7.16 y respectively. The certainty of obtaining base case NPV and ROI were 55.88% and 60.96%. Out of technical and cost variables selected for sensitivity analysis, extracts recovery contributed the most (26.6% and 27.9% in NPV and ROI respectively) while the extraction temperature and SALs purchase cost did not contribute significantly to the variance in NPV and ROI.
Mallotus oppositifolius (Geiseler) Müll. Arg. (Euphorbiaceae) is an important and multipurpose medicinal herb found in different African countries. Its various parts possess several pharmacological activities. However, to date, there is no literature review collating the traditional uses, phytochemistry and biological activities of M. oppositifolius. Therefore, the present review aims to provide a current, relevant and comprehensive summary of the botany, ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry, and biological activities of M. oppositifolius. To this end, a review of all published literature was conducted using various online scientific databases. Traditionally, M. oppositifolius is used to treat epilepsy, convulsions, haemorrhages, dysentery, stomach pain, waist pain, chest pain, eye infections, anemia, paralysis, ringworms, skin infections, spasms, kidney infection, inflammation, malaria, fever, headaches, "aseram", swelling, and tumours. Phytochemical analysis revealed that M. oppositifolius contains several phytochemical classes consisting of sterols, alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, tannins, and glycosides. The in vivo and in vitro studies conducted on isolated compounds or crude extracts reported several biological activities, viz. antimicrobial, anthelmintic, antidiarrheal, antidiabetic, antioxidant, antiperoxidative, antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, antidepressant, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, cardioprotective and KCNQ1 activities. The leaves of M. oppositifolius are the most commonly used part of the plant and thus the most researched in pharmacological studies. This review reveals that M. oppositifolius has several traditional uses, of which some, such as treatment of epilepsy, convulsion, pain, dysentery, diarrhea, inflammation, malaria and infectious diseases have been tested in pharmacological studies. Its vulnerability to destructive harvesting and overexploitation supports the need to identify the therapeutic applications of the bioactive compounds in clinical trials in order to conserve the plant.
Several sources have been identified as contributing to the concentration of ambient fine particulate matter, which has been associated to a variety of health issues. The chemical characteristics and sources of trace elements in PM2.5, as well as the air quality index, were investigated in this study. Twenty four-hour fine aerosol particles were collected in an urban area in Pretoria, South Africa, from April 2017 to April 2018. Eighteen trace elements were determined using an XEPOS 5 energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometer, while black and organic carbon were estimated using an optical transmissometer from the samples collected. The HYPLIT model (version 4.9) was used to estimate air mass trajectories. Health risk was calculated by comparing it to the World Health Organization's air quality index (AQI). The overall mean PM2.5 concentration of the collected sample equals 21 µg/m³. Majority of PM2.5 exceedances were reported during mid-autumn and winter seasons, as compared to daily WHO guidelines and South African standards. S had the highest concentrations, greater than 1 µg/m³. Ni, Se, Br and Sb showed they were extremely enriched, (EF > 10) and suggestive of anthropogenic or non crustal origin The 24-h PM, soot, BC and OC were significantly different by the geographical origin of air masses (p < 0.05). The AQI showed that 70% of the samples showed levels above the AQI range of good and healthy air. The findings include details on the concentration, composition, and potential sources of fine PM2.5, which is essential for policy formulation and mitigation strategies in South Africa’s fight against air pollution.
250 µm particle size of wood and polyethylene (PE) materials were compounded at mixing proportions of 60/40, 70/30, and 80/20 (with an increase in polymer to decrease in wood content) and extruded using a single screw extruder at a temperature range of 110–135 °C. The particles of Gmelina Arborea, Tectona grandis, Cordiamilleni, and Nauclea diderichii with recycled Polyethylene were compounded and compressed at 175 N/mm to produce biopolymer composites. The biopolymer composites were subjected to dimensional stability test at 24 h of the water soak method and the ability to withstand load-bearing capacity was investigated. The outcome of the results shows that extruded-compressive biopolymer composites had values ranging from 0.06–1.43 g/cm³, 0.38–3.41%, and 0.82–6.85% for observed density, water absorption, and thickness swelling at 24 h of a water soak test. The mechanical properties values ranged from 0.28 Nmm⁻²–21.35 Nmm⁻² and 0.44–550.06 Nmm⁻² for flexural modulus and strength; and 191.43 Nmm⁻²–1857.24 Nmm⁻² and 0.35 Nmm⁻²–243.75 Nmm⁻² for tensile modulus and strength respectively. It was observed that moisture uptake and strength displayed by the composites vary accordingly in values obtained for wood species at different mixing proportions. As observed that the more polyethylene content is compounded to wood, the better its dimensional stability, and flexural and tensile properties. The wood particles of Cordiamilleni compounded at a proportion of 60 to 40 (polyethylene/wood) performed best in dimensional stability and load-bearing capacity. This study confirmed the effect of methods on wood species and recycled PE for manufacturing wood polymer-based composite for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Nigerian Anacarddiacea family was investigated in this study on the account of their inherent structures with a view to bringing to the fore those features that could facilitate identification towards proper utilization based on wood quality. Mature wood species of Lannea grandis, Lannea welwitchii, Mangifera indica, Nothospondis staudtia, Pseudospondias microcarpa, Sclerocarya burrea, Sorindeia trimeris, Spondias mangifera, Spondias mombin and Trichoscypha acuminate were got from the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria herbaratum, in Ibadan. Wood samples from the wood species were sectioned into cross sectional, tangential and radial sections of about 20µm thick using a Reichert sliding microtome. Photomicrographs were taken using a digital camera mounted on a Reichert light microscope at 40 ×. The results showed that vessels were large in all the wood species except in Lannea species, Sclerocarya burrea, Nothospondis staudtia and Trichoscypha acuminata. Body ray cells were procumbent with one row of upright and/or square marginal cells in all the wood species, but could be up to four rows in Sorindeia trimeris. Generally, septate fibres, silica,crystals and gum were observed in almost all the wood species, yet, fibre pits in Mangifera indica, Nothospondis staudtia, Pseudospondias microcarpa, Sclerocarya burrea, Spondias mombin, and L. grandis were not as bordered as they were in L. acida, L. welwitchii, Sorindeia trimeris, Spondias mangifera, and Trichoscypha acuminata. S..mombin and S. mangifera can be separated on this account. It also appears that rays were storied only in Sorindeia trimeris and L. grandis. In the aspect of wood utilization, some were expected to possess fine texture, lustrous patterns and also regions of failures as a result of high rays.
This article reviews the important of biodiversity in Nigeria; Nigeria is enriched with large natural resources which include non-agricultural and agricultural resources. Each resource has its own peculiarities. In agricultural resource, its role on economic growth and nation development cannot be overemphasized. Apart from production of food crop, wildlife also plays some important roles in any nation's growth. Man has been known to be depended on plants and animals for food. A good inter-bio-relationship between animals and plants in the same ecosystem yields robust and better diversity. Nigeria has being place of high importance on biodiversity in a variety of ways. Food, raw materials, a wide range of goods and services, genetic information for agroforestry, medicines and health-care assistance, household and commercial items, aesthetics and cultural values all come from the country's biodiversity. It also delivers green ecosystem services that help to improve the environment and educate people about the natural world. Biodiversity values within Nigeria were directly tied to a diverse range of ecosystems which exist in multiple ecological zones. The use of biodiversity and the amount of protection are both influenced by different cultural varieties.
Plant powders of Piper guineense, Aframomum melegueta and Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides were evaluated as protectants of Bambara Groundnut (BG) against Callosobruchus maculatus (F.) infestation and damage under laboratory conditions. Actellic 2% dust (synthethic insecticide) was used as standard check, while untreated seeds served as control. Powders were applied at 2.5 g / 100 g, 5 g / 100 g, and 10 g / 100 g, and Actellic dust at 1.0 g / 100 g, 2.0 g / 100 g and 3.0 g / 100 g of BG seeds. All the plant powders proved potent against C. maculatus at high dosage application. The efficacy of plant powders increased with increase in dosage and exposure period. Piper guineense and Z. zanthoxyloides applied at 10 g / 100 g of BG effectively reduced number of eggs laid (25.33 and 36.56, respectively) compared to other plant powders. The highest adult mortality of 80.67% was recorded from Z. zanthoxyloides treated seeds after 120 h post treatment, followed by 78.33% (P. guineense). All adult beetles on Actellic 2% dust died (100% mortality) after 24 h post treatment. The synthetic substance reduced oviposition, adult emergence and seed damage. Weevil perforation index was < 50 for the seeds treated with P. guineense, Z. zanthoxyloides and Actellic 2% dust. Plant powders of P. guineense and Z. xanthoxyloides at 10 g /100 g seeds were efficacious against C. maculatus, thus they could be successfully incorporated in integrated pest management of storage insect pests.
Background Malaria has been identified as a significant public health burden, exhibiting a high risk of death and morbidity. In sub-Saharan Africa, most young children attending primary healthcare facilities are commonly diagnosed with malaria. Thus, introduction of malaria rapid diagnostic test (mRDT) kits and effective antimalarials has substantially improved the management of malaria cases. However, healthcare worker confidence and adherence to procedures dependent on malaria test results remain variable in high-burden settings due to lacking alternative point-of-care tests to diagnose other causes of fever. In this study, we compared the results of malaria screenings using mRDT and microscopy in febrile children presenting at a primary health facility. Methods This study was conducted at a primary health center in Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria. Children with fever were assessed for malaria by health staff and, where indicated, screened using Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein-2 mRDT kits. Blood samples were collected on slides for microscopy and in hematocrit tubes for hematocrit determination simultaneously, whereas the mRDT test was done by routine health staff. Children found positive for malaria via mRDT were diagnosed as uncomplicated malaria cases and treated as outpatients using artemether-lumefantrine. Blood slides were read independently by two trained microscopists blinded to the mRDT results. The parasite densities were defined as average counts by both microscopists. We then assessed the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of mRDT for the diagnosis of malaria. Results We compared the test results of 250 febrile children who are under 15 years old. The test positivity rates were 93.6% (234/250) and 97.2% (243/250) using microscopy and rapid RDTs, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of mRDT compared to microscopy were 100.0% and 43.8%, respectively, with a positive predictive value of 96.3% (95% CI 93.1–98.3). The hematocrit value was <30% in 64% of the children. Conclusion As per our findings, mRDTs have correctly detected infections in febrile children. Healthcare workers and caregivers should be encouraged to act in accordance with the test results by means of regular feedback on the quality of mRDTs in use in malaria case management.
The study attempted to examine the question whether rural farmers save their income. Rural farmers in Toro Local Government of Bauchi State, Nigeria were used as a case study. The factors that influence saving and investment were also determined. Out of the three districts in the LGA, two villages were purposively selected from each district and twenty farmers were randomly selected to bring the number of villages to six and total number of farmers to one hundred and twenty. This constituted the sample size; they were administered the questionnaires from where data for the study was generated. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis. The result indicated that contrary to traditional theory of saving where the poor are deemed incapable of saving, the rural farmers do indeed save from their little income. They need to be encouraged in this regard. The regression result showed that age, educational level, farm income, membership of cooperative societies, farming experience and access to credit were significant factors that influence saving. The result also revealed that inadequate income and too many children to carter for were major constraints to saving. To promote saving culture in the area, the capacity of the farmers to save should be enhanced by enabling them adopt birth control, providing them opportunities to work all year round and provision of simple preservation technologies.
This study reviews the current biosecurity and biosafety policies and institutional landscapes in West Africa. Given the increase in biosecurity threats, especially increase in frequency and intensity of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in West Africa, it is important to analyse the current policies and institutional landscape and their ability to ensure a biosecured region. Advances in science, technology, and biotechnology, which has improved global practices, bettered our understanding of daily activities, exposed the world to a vast body of knowledge, has at the same time enhanced the frequency of outbreak of biological threats. The capacity of various nations to prevent, detect and respond to emerging infectious diseases has been undermined due to numerous challenges unique to each country, hence the need to study the existence and the extent of biosecurity and biosafety policies, framework, and institutions in ECOWAS states/countries. Data were collected using semi-structured questionnaire, key informant interview and desk study. This study revealed that several legislative instruments and policy responses had been enacted to address biosecurity and biosafety challenges in West African countries; however, the translation of these policies and legislative instruments in documents to practices remains a hurdle owing to multiple challenges including the lack of human capacity to implement policies and lack of specialized institutions that will implement the policies which would not be able to control mishandling and misuse of infectious agents and toxins, disregard for government policy due to absence of oversight of life sciences research of concern, insider and outsider threats at laboratories dealing with biological agents, and poor physical security and materials accountability including transfer and transport of infectious agents and toxins. Conclusively, to promote a safe and secure environment, emphasis must be placed on developing a curriculum for biosafety and biosecurity education that focuses on developing skills to maintain responsible health security practices and human resource incentives to drive a culture of safe and secure science. There is also the need for a clear synchronized framework that governs laboratory and biobanking activities in the West African region.
Groundwater contamination by leachate from dumpsites is a major health issue of public concern in developing nations of the world. The present study assessed the health risk of the scavengers and residents exposed to different heavy metals (HMs) in drinking water contaminated through leaching from improperly managed dumpsite waste in Kurata, Ijoko, Sango area of Ogun State, Nigeria. The data of groundwater parameters and biological (nails and urine) samples of scavengers and the residents around the dumpsite were evaluated for descriptive and inferential statistics. The HMs observed in samples varied significantly (p < 0.05) across the sampling sites. However, 74 and 63% of the nail samples had Pb and Co levels below the detection limit (BDL) of the analytical instrument, respectively, The HM concentrations (mg/L) in groundwater followed the decreasing order of Fe (16.66 ± 13.98) > Zn (2.46 ± 1.80) > Pb (0.55 ± 0.59) > Cu (0.03 ± 0.01) > Cd (0.01 ± 0.01). Positive correlations were observed for Cu and Pb, and Cu and Cd at p < 0.05 in groundwater. The distribution patterns of HMs followed the decreasing trends of Zn > Ni > Mn > Cu > Pb > Co for nails; and Ni > Zn > Mn > Co > Cr > Pb > Cd for urine. The hazard quotient values estimated for HMs (except Zn and Pb) in groundwater consumed by adults were greater than the permissible limit of 1.0, indicating adverse health effects. The cancer risk (CR) data for Cd and Pb were generally higher than the acceptable limit of 1.0 × 10⁻⁴; suggesting the possible development of cancer on exposure to groundwater through ingestion. The ∑CRs of HMs in groundwater samples were 114, 76, and 14 times higher than the acceptable limit of 1.0 × 10⁻⁴ for infants, children, and adults, respectively. Cd (94%) was the major contributor to the total cancer burden of HMs in the groundwater. The HMs were observed at higher concentrations in biological samples than in groundwater. This study, therefore, established the deleterious health effects of the dumpsite on the vicinity groundwater and the scavengers.
The Arabidopsis thaliana L. photoreceptor genes homologues in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) genome were analysed using bioinformatic tools. The expression pattern of these genes under cold stress was also evaluated. Transcriptome analysis of the tomato sequence revealed that the photoreceptor gene family is involved in abiotic stress tolerance. They participate in various pathways and controlling multiple metabolic processes. They are structurally related to PAS, LIGHT-OXYGEN-VOLTAGE-SENSING (LOV), DNA photolyase, 5,10-methenyl tetrahydrofolate (MTHF), flavin-binding kelch F-box, GAF, PHY, Seven-bladed β-propeller and C27 domains. They also interact with flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), (5S)-5-methyl-2-(methylsulfanyl)-5-phenyl-3-(phenylamino)-3,5-dihydro-4H-imidazol-4-one (FNM) and Phytochromobilin (PϕB) ligands. These interactions help to create a cascade of protein phosphorylation involving in cell defence transcription or stress-regulated genes. They localisation of these gene families on tomato chromosomes appeared to be uneven. Phylogenetic tree of tomato and Arabidopsis photoreceptor gene family were classified into eight subgroups, indicating gene expression diversity. Morphological and physiological assessment revealed no dead plant after 4h of cold treatment. All the plants were found to be alive, but there were some variations in the data across different parameters. Cold stress significantly reduced the rate of photosynthesis from 10.06 to 3.16μmolm-2 s-1, transpiration from 4.6 to 1.3mmolm-2 s-1, and stomatal conductance from 94.6 to 25.6mmolm-2 s-1. The cold stressed plants also had reduced height, root/shoot length, and fresh/dry biomass weight than the control plants. Relative expression analysis under cold stress revealed that after 4h, light stimulates the transcript level of Cry2 from 1.9 to 5.7 and PhyB from 0.98 to 6.9 compared to other photoreceptor genes.
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