African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12218

Table of Content: 29 December 2008; 7(25)

December 2008

Computational system for activity calculation of radiopharmaceuticals

The preparation of radiopharmaceuticals for distribution to several hospitals is practised widely and the transport is usually by road and plain, this is specially practised in big countries like Brazil where the distance from one state to other is bigger than one country compared to others in continents like Europe. The purpose of this paper is to describe a computational system developed to evaluate the dose of...

Author(s): Ralph Santos-Oliveira and Clayton Augusto Benevides

December 2008

Helicobacter pylori infection in Africa: Pathology and microbiological diagnosis

  Helicobacter pylori is a microaerophilic motile curve rod that inhabits the gastric mucosa of the human stomach. The organism chronically infects billions of people worldwide and is one of the most genetically diverse of bacterial species. Infection with the bacterium which leads to chronic gastritis, peptic ulceration, gastric cancers and gastric MALT lymphoma has been reported to follow a pattern...

Author(s): Tanih N. F., Clarke A. M., Mkwetshana N., Green E., Ndip L. M. and Ndip R. N.

December 2008

Torque and optical traps

  Optical traps are an important tool for research in the field of single molecule biophysics. Recent advances in optical trapping have extended their functionality from simple linear manipulation and measurement of forces, to now the ability to rotate objects and measure torques. This mini review summarizes these recent developments of the optical trap as a tool to apply and measure torque in biophysical...

Author(s): Chieze Ibeneche

December 2008

Energy and protein requirements of pigs and the utilization of fibrous feedstuffs in Nigeria: A review

  A sound nutrition programme, which allows the understanding of the interaction between nutrients and requirements for different levels of production, is essential for raising swine profitably. Nutrient requirement is that amount of each essential nutrient that will result in maximum production with a minimum of feeding. Hence, high quality feeds containing the essential nutrients in the amounts necessary to...

Author(s): Adesehinwa, A. O. K.

December 2008

Transgenic crops: Current challenges and future perspectives

  The history of transgenic crops at present can be divided in two parts. The first era deals with the development of Genetically Modified (GM) crops. As the time went on, various social, political, environmental and technical issues related to transgenic crops took their birth. The development of transgenic crops has raised some issues more especially the problem of food and environmental safety, some...

Author(s): Shaukat Ali, Yusuf Zafar Zhang Xianyin, Ghulam Muhammad Ali and Tu Jumin

December 2008

Bayes’ theorem: A paradigm research tool in biomedical sciences

  One of the most interesting applications of the results of probability theory involves estimating unknown probability and making decisions on the basis of new (sample) information. Biomedical scientists often use the Bayesian decision theory for the purposes of computing diagnostic values such as sensitivity and specificity for a certain diagnostic test and from which positive or negative predictive values...

Author(s): Okeh, U. M. and Ugwu, A. C.

December 2008

A decision support tool for propagating Miombo indigenous fruit trees of southern Africa

  Indigenous fruit trees (IFTs) contribute to the livelihoods of rural households as sources of food, income and medicine. Conservation and domestication of IFTs involve germplasm selection, collection, multiplication and evaluation. In addition, biodiversity and genetic improvements have been realized through propagation. However, there are numerous challenges when propagating indigenous trees and the choice...

Author(s): Simon A. Mng’omba, Festus K. Akinnifesi, Gudeta Sileshi, Oluyede C. Ajayi, Sebastian Chakeredza and Weston F. Mwase

December 2008

Statistical problems in medical research

  Many medical specialties have reviewed the drawbacks of statistical methods in medical diagnosis in specialized areas in their journals. To my knowledge this has not been done in general practice. Given the main role of a general practitioner as a biostatistician, it would be of interest to enumerate statistical problems in assessing methods of medical diagnosis in general terms. In conducting and reporting...

Author(s): UM Okeh

December 2008

Ultraviolet and environmental stresses involved in the induction and regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis: A review

Anthocyanins are the most conspicuous class of flavonoids which present a large class of secondary plant metabolites. Anthocyanins are important to many diverse functions within plants. Anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway is well established. Two classes of genes required for anthocyanin biosynthesis have been extensively characterized; the structural genes encoding the enzymes that directly participate in the...

Author(s):   Jia Guo, Woong Han and Myeong-Hyeon Wang

December 2008

Is protein structure prediction still an enigma?

  Proteins are large molecules indispensable for the existence and proper functioning of biological organisms. They perform a wide array of functions including catalysis, structure formation, transport, body defense, etc. Understanding the functions of proteins is a fundamental problem in the discovery of drugs to treat various diseases. The structure of a protein can be determined by physical methods which are...

Author(s): K. Sobha, C. Kanakaraju and K. Siva Krishna Yadav

December 2008

Advance of molecular marker application in the tobacco research

  Tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) is one of the most important commercial crops in the world.During the last two decades, molecular markers have entered the scene of genetic improvement in different fields of agricultural research. The principles and characteristics of several molecular markers such as RFLP, RAPD, AFLP, microsatellites and minisatellites applied in tobacco genetics and breeding were reviewed. The...

Author(s): X. Z. Liu and H. Y. Zhang

December 2008

Encapsulation of micromanipulated mammalian embryos

  Micromanipulation of gametes is one of the reproductive biotechnologies that have an obvious contribution to animal production, human welfare, industry and research. The current reproductive techniques that employ micromanipulation are chimerism, embryo bisection, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), gene injection and nuclear transfer (the so cold cloning). In all these techniques it is necessary to...

Author(s): Adil Salim Elsheikh Elgarrai

December 2008

The cellular receptors for infectious bursal disease virus

  Virus receptors are simplistically defined as cell surface molecules that mediate binding (attachment, adsorption) and/or trigger membrane fusion or entry through other processes. Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) entry into host cells occurs by recognition of specific cellular receptor(s) with viral envelope glycoprotein, whichcomprises the initial and key step of infection. Infection can be...

Author(s): L. Q. Zhu, S. L. Wu, G. P. Zhang and G. Q Zhu  

December 2008

Forest regeneration, dereservation and management in Edo State, Nigeria

In Edo State, Nigeria, forest dereservation is increasing, regeneration is neglected and management is not able to cope with the problem due to inadequate staffing and other logistics. The review therefore concluded that the role of the forests which cut across many areas of human endeavour seem not to be appreciated enough by the populace. Forest regeneration after harvest or deforestation is thus neglected. As a...

Author(s): J. E. Ehiagbonare

December 2008

The biochemical, physiological and therapeutic roles of ascorbic acid

  Ascorbic acid is an important micronutrient necessary for a significant number of metabolic reactions in humans and other primates. It is a strong reducing agent involved in reduction reaction and it is structurally related to glucose. Experimental and epidemiological studies have documented the biochemical, physiological and therapeutic roles of ascorbic acid. It is an essential water-soluble antioxidant...

Author(s): Oluwafemi O. Oguntibeju

December 2008

The major economic field diseases of cowpea in the humid agro-ecologies of South-western Nigeria

  Cowpea, which has now become an important protein source for the teeming populace of Nigerians especially those living in the humid agro-ecological zones of South-western Nigeria, is severely attacked by diseases. The causal agents of these diseases find the environment more conducive for survival and hence induce disease conditions in the host plant causing significant yield reduction. This paper reviews the...

Author(s): A. A. Adegbite and N. A. Amusa

December 2008

The use of antioxidants in vegetable oils – A review

  The shelf life of vegetable oils in food uses and their applicability in industrial situations is greatly dependent on their oxidative stabilities. Methods of improving oxidative stability values currently available include genetic modifications, compositional changes via chemical means, as well as the inhibition of oxidation by means of substances known as antioxidants. This paper reviews the properties of...

Author(s): Emmanuel O. Aluyor and Mudiakeoghene Ori-Jesu

December 2008

Pharmacological and other beneficial effects of anti-nutritional factors in plants - A review

  The health and other benefits of plant’s secondary metabolites, also known as antinutritional factors are reviewed. Examples of these natural compounds of plant origin are saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, oxalates, phytates, trypsin (protease) inhibitors, phytohaemagglutinins (lectins), just to mention a few. Emphasis has always been laid on the toxic and anti-nutrient effects of these...

Author(s): Soetan, K. O.

December 2008

A review of the roles of clinical ultrasound technology in blunt abdominal trauma

Advances in gray scale imaging, contrast- enhanced harmonic imaging and Doppler technologies have improved the effectiveness of ultrasonography in the evaluation of blunt abdominal trauma (BAT). The use of ultrasonography in the evaluation of the abdomen benefits from an understanding of the abdominal anatomy and familiarity with the acoustic signatures of lesions encountered in parenchymal injuries and the echogenicity...

Author(s): Ugwu, A.C. and Erondu O .F.

December 2008

Properties of glucoside 3-dehydrogenase and its potential applications

  Glucoside 3-dehydrogenase, one of the glucose redoxidases, is perhaps known for the vital role it plays in converting a series of sugars to their corresponding 3-ketoglucosides. Glucoside 3-dehydrogenase has attracted considerable attention in recent years due to broad substrate specificity and excellent regioselectivity. Glucoside 3-dehydrogenase is a FAD-enzyme, which is capable of oxidizing glucosides and...

Author(s): Li-Qun Jin and Yu-Guo Zheng

December 2008

A review of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) of parasitic origin: The case of giardiasis

Giardiasis is an acute form of gastroenteritis caused by the parasite Giardia lamblia. An increase in the incidence and frequency of the disease in the last few years in the developed world has brought to the fore a now recognized mode of transmission – sexual contact. This in turn has led to giardiasis being classified as a sexually transmitted disease by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)...

Author(s): Okwute Loretta Ojonoma

December 2008

Biotechnology and species development in aquaculture

  The use of biotechnology in various aspects of human endeavour have obviously created a great impact but not without some risks. Not withstanding, there is still the need for its adoption as more of the already adopted biotechnologies are being improved upon with lesser demerits. Aquaculture is not also left out in the application of biotechnological approaches. The aquaculture industry is currently faced...

Author(s): S. O. Ayoola and A. A. Idowu

December 2008

Computational system for activity calculation of radiopharmaceuticals

The preparation of radiopharmaceuticals for distribution to several hospitals is practised widely and the transport is usually by road and plain, this is specially practised in big countries like Brazil where the distance from one state to other is bigger than one country compared to others in continents like Europe. The purpose of this paper is to describe a computational system developed to evaluate the dose of...

Author(s): Ralph Santos-Oliveira and Clayton Augusto Benevides

December 2008

Sucrose assimilation and the role of sucrose transporters in plant wound response

  Plant cells are commonly exposed to a variety of injuries such as mechanical and herbivore wounding. Wounding is a continual threat to the survival of all organisms and an open wound caused by mechanical or herbivore wounding is a potential infection site for pathogens, thus expression of defense genes at the wound site is a barrier against opportunistic pathogens. Wounding in multicellular eukaryote cells...

Author(s): Omodele Ibraheem, Runyararo M. Hove and Graeme Bradley

December 2008

Molecular genetic identification of skeletal remains of apartheid activists in South Africa

  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission made significant progress in examining abuses committed during the apartheid era in South Africa. Despite information revealed by the commission, a large number of individuals remained missing when the commission closed its proceedings. This provided the impetus for the establishment of a Missing Persons Task Team within the South African National Prosecuting Authority....

Author(s): Sean Davison, Mongi Benjeddou and María Eugenia D’Amato

December 2008

Antimicrobial activity of lysozyme with special relevance to milk

  Lysozyme is a hydrolytic enzyme which has been purified from cells, secretions and tissues of virtually all living organisms and viruses. While this protein has been recognized to possess many physiological and functional properties, its high microbicidal activity remains, by far, the main virtue that explains the high attention of scientists and industrial stakeholders for its practical applications in...

Author(s): Noreddine Benkerroum

December 2008

A review of neem biopesticide utilization and challenges in Central Northern Nigeria

  The status of neem biopesticide research, utilization and challenges in the central part of northern Nigeria was reviewed. In the sampled areas such as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and Niger State, the highest category of neem users (17.19%) were the rural farmers. Majority of the neem users obtained their materials from semi-wild trees on communal land. Our investigations showed that neem leaf...

Author(s): Ezekiel Adebayo Salako, Samuel Toba Anjorin, Charity Dooshema Garba and Ezekiel Bamidele Omolohunnu

December 2008

Sialyltransferase activity probably counteracts that of sialidase as one of the possible mechanisms of natural recovery or stabilization of erythrocyte mass in trypanosome-infected animals - A perspective

Attempts to unravel the mechanisms of development of anaemia in trypanosome-infected animals yielded varying reports with those that implicate trypanosomal sialidase (SD) being among those that enjoy prominence. Significant cleavage of sialic acid (SA) on erythrocyte membranes and terminal positions of erythropoietin (Epo) by SD, which is released during trypanosome infection of animals, results in their rapid clearance...

Author(s): Sani Adamu, Najume D.G. Ibrahim, Andrew J. Nok and King A.N. Esievo

December 2008

Integrated production and protection practices of cashew (Anacardium occidentale) in Nigeria

  The history of cashew in Nigeria dates back to 15th century. Then, it was mainly used in afforestation schemes for the control of erosion in the former Eastern Nigeria. However, commercial cashew plantations started in Nigeria in the early 1950s with the establishment of first commercial plantations at Oghe, Oji and Mbala by the defunct Eastern Nigeria Development Corporation (ENDC) and Iwo, Eruwa and...

Author(s): Asogwa, E. U., Hammed, L. A. and Ndubuaku, T. C. N.

December 2008

Biological control of Microcystis dominated harmful algal blooms

  Freshwater resources are now threatened by the presence and increase of harmful algal blooms (HAB) all over the world. The HABs are sometimes a direct result of anthropogenic pollution entering water bodies, such as partially treated nutrient-rich effluents and the leaching of fertilisers and animal wastes. The impact of HABs on aquatic ecosystems and water resources, as well as their human health...

Author(s): R. Jabulani Gumbo, , Gina Ross and E. Thomas Cloete

December 2008

Effects of prolonged UV-B exposure in plants

  Over the past few decades, there has been a depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer due to emissions of halogen-containing compounds of anthropogenic origin. This has resulted in a concomitant increase in solar ultraviolet-B radiation.  High levels of UV-B radiation are responsible for multiple biologically harmful effects in both plants and animals.  In plants, these effects include DNA damage,...

Author(s): S. W. Mpoloka

December 2008

Tools for genotyping human immunodeficiency virus, and implications of genetic diversity on diagnostics, treatment and prevention

  Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) presents an unprecedented genetic variability within infected individuals and across geographical locales. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for almost 70% of all HIV infections worldwide and represents the region with the highest diversity of genetic variants of the virus. This review looks at the current approaches and techniques for the determination of HIV genetic diversity....

Author(s): Pascal Obong Bessong, Benson Chuks Iweriebor, Lufuno Grace Mavhandu, Tracy Masebe and Julius Nwobegahay

December 2008

Building a golden triangle for the production and use of artemisinin derivatives against falciparum malaria in Africa

  Use of the conventional quinoline- and sulphanamide-based drugs for the symptomatic treatment of malaria is gradually being replaced by artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) due to increasing resistance by the Plasmodium parasite. This development has drastically increased artemisinin demand world-wide, and Artemisia annua L. is currently the only commercial source for the...

Author(s): Ebiamadon Andi Brisibe, Edak A. Uyoh, Fraideh Brisibe, Pedro M. Magalhäes and Jorge F. S. Ferreira

December 2008

RNAi: An emerging field of molecular research

  RNA silencing, named as co-suppression or post transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) was found in transgenic plants which was the result of cellular mRNA degradation and silencing of gene expression. RNA interference (RNAi) is a specific technique using onlya few double stranded RNA (dsRNA) molecules to stop the expression which has made it one of...

Author(s): Mohammad Humayun Kabir, Syed Abdul Qadir, Sedky Hassan Aly Hassan,Juhee Ahn and Myeong-Hyeon Wang

December 2008

Significance and transmission of maize streak virus disease in Africa and options for management: A review

  The distribution of leafhopper vector populations and the viral diseases they vector are inherently influenced by agro-ecological factors. This review discusses the distribution and classification of MSV strains, their vectors and how agro-ecological factors mediate the prevalence of MSV disease. Important strains of MSV have been characterised on the African continent using molecular techniques, however,...

Author(s): O. E. V. Magenya, J. Mueke  and C. Omwega

December 2008

Improvement in the nutritive quality of cassava and its by-products through microbial fermentation

  A review of the extent of fermentation of cassava and its by-products was made in order to highlight the role played by fermentation on the bio-conversion of cassava and cassava by-products for improved nutrient quality. The reasons for cassava products fermentation mentioned were synonymous with the reasons canvassed generally for embarking on fermentation which include among others: biological enrichment of...

Author(s): S. O. Aro

December 2008

Recruitment of bloom-forming cyanobacteria and its driving factors

  Based on most of the literature, this paper reviewed the progress made in following aspects: cognition to cyanobacteria recruitment, various traps for studying cyanobacteria recruitment in lakes, recruitment patterns of some species of cyanobacteria, and the driving factors for recruitment. Additionally, perspective studies of cyanobacteria recruitment in lakes were pointed out. In light of the existing...

Author(s): Xiao Tan, , Fan-xiang Kong, Huan-sheng Cao, Yang Yu and Min Zhang

December 2008

Parasitosonography: Appearances of Ascaris lumbricoides, Colon taeniasis, Cysticercus cellulosae Schistosoma haematobuim, Drancunculus medinesis and Echinococcus granulosus infestations

  This paper is intended to improve the knowledge of sonographers and clinicians on the potentials of ultrasound in the assessment of appearances and immunopathological reactions that are caused by parasitic infestations. Sonograpic appearances in and ofSchistosoma haematobium, Ascaris lumbricoides, Colon taeniasis, Cysticercus cellulosae, Dracunculus medinesis and Echinococcus...

Author(s): A. C. Ugwu, C. C. Ohagwu, A. C. Anakwue and O. F. Erondu

December 2008

Ecotoxicology of arsenic in the hydrosphere: Implications for public health

  Arsenic is a naturally occurring metalloid element that is found in soil, air and water. Environmental arsenic exists in both organic and inorganic states. Organic arsenicals are generally considered non toxic, whereas inorganic forms are toxic. The mostacutely toxic form is arsine gas. Inorganic arsenic exists predominantly in trivalent (As3+) and pentavalent (As5+) forms, where trivalent...

Author(s): Gbaruko, B.C., Ana, G.R.E.E. and Nwachukwu, J.K.

December 2008

Structure and replication of hepatitis delta virus

  Hepatitis delta virus is the causative agent of one of the most severe forms of human virus hepatitis. It  is a small and simple pathogen whose genome consists of a single RNA molecule of 1.7 Kb that  encodes for only one antigen. The virus almost completely relies on the host cell machinery for  replication and propagation of infection. Despite its simplicity, several aspects of...

Author(s): Celso Cunha 

December 2008

Key mediators modulating TAG synthesis and accumulation in woody oil plants

  Woody oil plant is gaining increasing interest as substitute for petroleum-derived materials, and its enriched hydroxy and conjugated fatty acids for industrial applications. In pursuit of high-value and level oils, a better understanding of mechanisms regarding triacylglycerol (TAG) synthesis and accumulation is required. Here we first summarized the germplasm resources of woody oil plants, and the key...

Author(s): Yicun Chen, Yangdong Wang, Guan Zhou, Peng Li , and Shanshan Zhang,

December 2008

Pharmaceutical proteins produced in plant bioreactor in recent years

  Plant bioreactor, also called molecular farming, has enormous potential to produce recombinant proteins infinitely. Products expressed in plants have natural physico-chemical properties and bioactivities. Plant bioreactor could be a safe, economic and convenient production system, and can been widely applied in industries and agricultures, especially in the life science and pharmaceutical industry. The...

Author(s): Zhengquan He, Xiaochun Du, Wei Yao and Jianwu Dai,

December 2008

Protein nanoparticle: A unique system as drug delivery vehicles

  Over the past three decades, there has been a considerable research interest in the area of developing drug delivery using nanoparticles (NPs) as carriers for small and large molecules. Targeting delivery of drugs to the diseased lesions is one of the most important aspects of drug delivery system. They have been used in vivo to protect the drug entity in the systemic circulation, restrict...

Author(s): Mohsen Jahanshahi and Zahra Babaei

December 2008

Insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs): Important amino acid residues contributing to neonicotinoid insecticides selectivity and resistance

  Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels which mediate fast cholinergic synaptic transmission in insect and vertebrate nervous systems. The great abundance of nAChRs within the insect central nervous system has led to the development of insecticides targeting these receptors, such as neonicotinoid insecticides. Neonicotinoid insecticides act selectively on insect nAChRs,...

Author(s): Zewen Liu, Xiangmei Yao and Yixi Zhang

December 2008

Bioapplication and activity of fullerenol C60(OH)24

  Here we summarize current investigations about a relatively new group of compounds mainly composed of carbon atoms - fullerenes and their derivatives. One of the fundamental characteristics of fullerene is its ability to quench various free radicals, behaving as a ‘‘free radical sponge’’. Moreover, the dual nature of fullerenes to act as either quenchers or generators of cell -...

Author(s): Injac Rade, Radic Natasa, Govedarica Biljana, Djordjevic Aleksandar and Strukelj Borut

December 2008

Biodegradation of phenol

  The use of microbial catalysts in the biodegradation of organic compounds has advanced significantly during the past three decades. It has been found that large numbers of microbes co-exist in almost all natural environments, particularly in soils. Many natural and synthetic organic chemicals are readily biodegradable in natural environment. Biodegradation of materials involve initial proximity, allowing...

Author(s): C. Indu Nair, K. Jayachandran and Shankar Shashidhar

December 2008

Biotechnological applications for rosmarinic acid production in plant

  Rosmarinic acid, an important phenolic compound, is commonly found in species of the Boraginaceae and the subfamily Nepetoideae of the Lamiaceae. However, it is also found in species of other higher plant families and in some fern and hornwort species. Rosmarinic acid has a number of interesting biological activities, e.g. antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. The presence of...

Author(s): Sang Un Park, Md Romij Uddin, Hui Xu, Yong Kyoung Kim and Sook YoungLee