Graves’ Disease and Its Related Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Genes

Graves’ Disease (GD), an autoimmune health condition caused by the over reactiveness of the thyroid, affects about 1 in 200 people worldwide. GD is not caused by one specific single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) or gene mutation, but rather determined by multiple factors, each differing from each other. Malfunction of the genes in Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) family tend to play a major role in autoimmune diseases, but other genes, such as LOC101929163, have functions that still remain ambiguous. Currently, little studies were done to study GD, resulting in inconclusive results. This study serves not only to introduce background knowledge about GD, but also to organize and pinpoint the major SNPs and genes that are potentially related to the occurrence of GD in humans. Collected from multiple sources from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) Central, the potential SNPs related to the causes of GD are included in this study. This study has located the genes that are related to those SNPs and closely examines a selected sample. Using the data from this study, scientists will then be able to focus on the most expressed genes in GD patients and develop a treatment for GD.

Lagrangian Flow Skeletons Captured in the Wake of a Swimming Nematode C. elegans Using an Immersed Boundary Fluid-Structure Interaction Approach

In this paper, Lagrangian coherent structure (LCS) concept is applied to wake flows generated in the up/down-stream of a swimming nematode C. elegans in an intermediate Re number range, i.e., 250-1200. It materializes Lagrangian hidden structures depicting flow transport barriers. To pursue the goals, nematode swimming in a quiescent fluid flow environment is numerically simulated by a two-way fluid-structure interaction (FSI) approach with the aid of immersed boundary method (IBM). In this regard, incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, fully-coupled with Lagrangian deformation equations for the immersed body, are solved using IB2d code. For all simulations, nematode’s body is modeled with a parametrized spring-fiber built-in case available in the computational code. Reverse von-Kármán vortex street formation and vortex shedding characteristics are studied and discussed in details via LCS approach, including grid resolution, integration time and Reynolds number effects. Results unveil presence of different flow regions with distinct fluid particle fates in the swimming animal’s wake and formation of so-called ‘mushroom-shaped’ structures in attracting LCS identities.

Soil Quality Status under Dryland Vegetation of Yabello District, Southern Ethiopia

The current research has investigated the soil quality status under dryland vegetation of Yabello district, Southern Ethiopia in which we should identify the nature and extent of salinity problem of the area for further research bases. About 48 soil samples were taken from 0-30, 31-60, 61-90 and 91-120 cm soil depths by opening 12 representative soil profile pits at 1.5 m depth. Soil color, texture, bulk density, Soil Organic Carbon (SOC), Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), Na, K, Mg, Ca, CaCO3, gypsum (CaSO4), pH, Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR), Exchangeable Sodium Percentage (ESP) were analyzed. The dominant soil texture was silty-clay-loam.  Bulk density varied from 1.1 to 1.31 g/cm3. High SOC content was observed in 0-30 cm. The soil pH ranged from 7.1 to 8.6. The electrical conductivity shows indirect relationship with soil depth while CaCO3 and CaSO4 concentrations were observed in a direct relationship with depth. About 41% are non-saline, 38.31% saline, 15.23% saline-sodic and 5.46% sodic soils. Na concentration in saline soils was greater than Ca and Mg in all the soil depths. Ca and Mg contents were higher above 60 cm soil depth in non-saline soils. The concentrations of SO2-4 and HCO-3 were observed to be higher at the most lower depth than upper. SAR value tends to be higher at lower depths in saline and saline-sodic soils, but decreases at lower depth of the non-saline soils. The distribution of ESP above 60 cm depth was in an increasing order in saline and saline-sodic soils. The result of the research has shown the direction to which extent of salinity we should consider for the Commiphora plant species we want to grow on the area. 

Chemistry and Biological Activity of Feed Additive for Poultry Farming

Essential oils are one of the most important groups of biologically active substances present in plants. Due to the chemical diversity of components, essential oils and their preparations have a wide spectrum of pharmacological action. They have bactericidal, antiviral, fungicidal, antiprotozoal, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, sedative and other activities. They are expectorant, spasmolytic, sedative, hypotensive, secretion enhancing, antioxidant remedies. Based on preliminary pharmacological studies, we have developed a formulation called “Phytobiotic” containing essential oils, a feed additive for poultry as an alternative to antibiotics. Phytobiotic is a water-soluble powder containing a composition of essential oils of thyme, clary, monarda and auxiliary substances: dry extract of liquorice and inhalation lactose. On this stage of research, the goal was to study the chemical composition of provided phytobiotic, identify the main substances and determine their quantity, investigate the biological activity of phytobiotic through in vitro and in vivo studies. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, 38 components were identified in phytobiotic, representing acyclic-, monocyclic-, bicyclic-, and sesquiterpenes. Together with identification of main active substances, their quantitative content was determined, including acyclic terpene alcohol β-linalool, acyclic terpene ketone linalyl acetate, monocyclic terpenes: D-limonene and γ-terpinene, monocyclic aromatic terpene thymol. Provided phytobiotic has pronounced and at the same time broad spectrum of antibacterial activity. In the cell model, phytobiotic showed weak antioxidant activity, and it was stronger in the ORAC (chemical model) tests. Meanwhile anti-inflammatory activity was also observed. When fowls were supplied feed enriched with phytobiotic, it was observed that gained weight of the chickens in the experimental group exceeded the same data for the control group during the entire period of the experiment. The survival rate of broilers in the experimental group during the growth period was 98% compared to -94% in the control group. As a result of conducted researches probable four different mechanisms which are important for the action of phytobiotics were identified: sensory, metabolic, antioxidant and antibacterial action. General toxic, possible local irritant and allergenic effects of phytobiotic were also investigated. Performed assays proved that formulation is safe.

Modified Genome-Scale Metabolic Model of Escherichia coli by Adding Hyaluronic Acid Biosynthesis-Related Enzymes (GLMU2 and HYAD) from Pasteurella multocida

Hyaluronic acid (HA) consists of linear heteropolysaccharides repeat of D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. HA has various useful properties to maintain skin elasticity and moisture, reduce inflammation, and lubricate the movement of various body parts without causing immunogenic allergy. HA can be found in several animal tissues as well as in the capsule component of some bacteria including Pasteurella multocida. This study aimed to modify a genome-scale metabolic model of Escherichia coli using computational simulation and flux analysis methods to predict HA productivity under different carbon sources and nitrogen supplement by the addition of two enzymes (GLMU2 and HYAD) from P. multocida to improve the HA production under the specified amount of carbon sources and nitrogen supplements. Result revealed that threonine and aspartate supplement raised the HA production by 12.186%. Our analyses proposed the genome-scale metabolic model is useful for improving the HA production and narrows the number of conditions to be tested further.

Robust Design of Electroosmosis Driven Self-Circulating Micromixer for Biological Applications

One of the issues that arises with microscale lab-on-a-chip technology is that the laminar flow within the microchannels limits the mixing of fluids. To combat this, micromixers have been introduced as a means to try and incorporate turbulence into the flow to better aid the mixing process. This study presents an electroosmotic micromixer that balances vortex generation and degeneration with the inlet flow velocity to greatly increase the mixing efficiency. A comprehensive parametric study was performed to evaluate the role of the relevant parameters on the mixing efficiency. It was observed that the suggested micromixer is perfectly suited for biological applications due to its low pressure drop (below 10 Pa) and low shear rate. The proposed micromixer with optimized working parameters is able to attain a mixing efficiency of 95% in a span of 0.5 seconds using a frequency of 10 Hz, a voltage of 0.7 V, and an inlet velocity of 0.366 mm/s.

Low Temperature Biological Treatment of Chemical Oxygen Demand for Agricultural Water Reuse Application Using Robust Biocatalysts

The agriculture industry is especially vulnerable to forecasted water shortages. In the fresh and fresh-cut produce sector, conventional flume-based washing with recirculation exhibits high water demand. This leads to a large water footprint and possible cross-contamination of pathogens. These can be alleviated through advanced water reuse processes, such as membrane technologies including reverse osmosis (RO). Water reuse technologies effectively remove dissolved constituents but can easily foul without pre-treatment. Biological treatment is effective for the removal of organic compounds responsible for fouling, but not at the low temperatures encountered at most produce processing facilities. This study showed that the Microvi MicroNiche Engineering (MNE) technology effectively removes organic compounds (> 80%) at low temperatures (6-8 °C) from wash water. The MNE technology uses synthetic microorganism-material composites with negligible solids production, making it advantageously situated as an effective bio-pretreatment for RO. A preliminary technoeconomic analysis showed 60-80% savings in operation and maintenance costs (OPEX) when using the Microvi MNE technology for organics removal. This study and the accompanying economic analysis indicated that the proposed technology process will substantially reduce the cost barrier for adopting water reuse practices, thereby contributing to increased food safety and furthering sustainable water reuse processes across the agricultural industry.

Organic Agriculture Harmony in Nutrition, Environment and Health: Case Study in Iran

Organic agriculture is a kind of living and dynamic agriculture that was introduced in the early 20th century. The fundamental basis for organic agriculture is in harmony with nature. This version of farming emphasizes removing growth hormones, chemical fertilizers, toxins, radiation, genetic manipulation and instead, integration of modern scientific techniques (such as biologic and microbial control) that leads to the production of healthy food and the preservation of the environment and use of agricultural products such as forage and manure. Supports from governments for the markets producing organic products and taking advantage of the experiences from other successful societies in this field can help progress the positive and effective aspects of this technology, especially in developing countries. This research proves that till 2030, 25% of the global agricultural lands would be covered by organic farming. Consequently Iran, due to its rich genetic resources and various climates, can be a pioneer in promoting organic products. In addition, for sustainable farming, blend of organic and other innovative systems is needed. Important limitations exist to accept these systems, also a diversity of policy instruments will be required to comfort their development and implementation. The paper was conducted to results of compilation of reports, issues, books, articles related to the subject with library studies and research. Likewise we combined experimental and survey to get data.

Formulation and Technology of the Composition of Essential Oils as a Feed Additive in Poultry with Antibacterial Action

This paper focuses on the formulation of phytobiotic designated for further implantation in poultry farming. Composition was meant to be water-soluble powder containing antibacterial essential oils. The development process involved Thyme, Monarda and Clary sage essential oils. The antimicrobial activity of essential oils composite was meant to be tested against gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial strains. The results are processed using the statistical program Sigma STAT. To make essential oils composition water soluble surfactants were added to them. At the first stage of the study, nine options for the optimal composition of essential oils and surfactants were developed. The effect of the amount of surfactants on the essential oils composition solubility in water has been investigated. On the basis of biopharmaceutical studies, the formulation of phytobiotic has been determined: Thyme, monarda and clary sage essential oils 2:1:1 - 100 parts; Licorice extract 5.25 parts and inhalation lactose 300 parts. A technology for the preparation of phytobiotic has been developed and a technological scheme for the preparation of phytobiotic has been made up. The research was performed within the framework of the grant project CARYS-19-363 funded be the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia.

Thresholding Approach for Automatic Detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms from Fluorescence in situ Hybridization Images

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that forms surface-associated microbial communities (biofilms) on artificial implant devices and on human tissue. Biofilm infections are difficult to treat with antibiotics, in part, because the bacteria in biofilms are physiologically heterogeneous. One measure of biological heterogeneity in a population of cells is to quantify the cellular concentrations of ribosomes, which can be probed with fluorescently labeled nucleic acids. The fluorescent signal intensity following fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis correlates to the cellular level of ribosomes. The goals here are to provide computationally and statistically robust approaches to automatically quantify cellular heterogeneity in biofilms from a large library of epifluorescent microscopy FISH images. In this work, the initial steps were developed toward these goals by developing an automated biofilm detection approach for use with FISH images. The approach allows rapid identification of biofilm regions from FISH images that are counterstained with fluorescent dyes. This methodology provides advances over other computational methods, allowing subtraction of spurious signals and non-biological fluorescent substrata. This method will be a robust and user-friendly approach which will enable users to semi-automatically detect biofilm boundaries and extract intensity values from fluorescent images for quantitative analysis of biofilm heterogeneity.

Development of an Intelligent Decision Support System for Smart Viticulture

The Internet of Things (IoT) represents the best option for smart vineyard applications, even if it is necessary to integrate the technologies required for the development. This article is based on the research and the results obtained in the DISAVIT project. For Smart Agriculture, the project aims to provide a trustworthy, intelligent, integrated vineyard management solution that is based on the IoT. To have interoperability through the use of a multiprotocol technology (being the future connected wireless IoT) it is necessary to adopt an agnostic approach, providing a reliable environment to address cyber security, IoT-based threats and traceability through blockchain-based design, but also creating a concept for long-term implementations (modular, scalable). The ones described above represent the main innovative technical aspects of this project. The DISAVIT project studies and promotes the incorporation of better management tools based on objective data-based decisions, which are necessary for agriculture adapted and more resistant to climate change. It also exploits the opportunities generated by the digital services market for smart agriculture management stakeholders. The project's final result aims to improve decision-making, performance, and viticulturally infrastructure and increase real-time data accuracy and interoperability. Innovative aspects such as end-to-end solutions, adaptability, scalability, security and traceability, place our product in a favorable situation over competitors. None of the solutions in the market meet every one of these requirements by a unique product being innovative.

Improving the Utilization of Telfairia occidentalis Leaf Meal with Cellulase-Glucanase-Xylanase Combination and Selected Probiotic in Broiler Diets

Telfairia occidentalis is a leafy vegetable commonly grown in the tropics for nutritional benefits. The use of enzymes and probiotics is becoming prominent due to the ban on antibiotics as growth promoters in many parts of the world. It is conceived that with enzymes and probiotics additives, fibrous leafy vegetables can be incorporated into poultry feeds as protein source. However, certain antinutrients were also found in the leaves of Telfairia occidentalis. Four broiler starter and finisher diets were formulated for the two phases of the broiler experiments. A mixture of fiber degrading enzymes, Roxazyme G2 (combination of cellulase, glucanase and xylanase) and probiotics (Turbotox), a growth promoter, were used in broiler diets at 1:1. The Roxazyme G2/Turbotox mixtures were used in diets containing four varying levels of Telfairia occidentalis leaf meal (TOLM) at 0, 10, 20 and 30%. Diets 1 were standard broiler diets without TOLM and Roxazyme G2 and Turbotox additives. Diets 2, 3 and 4 had enzymes and probiotics additives. Certain mineral elements such as Ca, P, K, Na, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn were found in notable quantities viz. 2.6 g/100 g, 1.2 g/100 g, 6.2 g/100 g, 5.1 g/100 g, 4.7 g/100 g, 5875 ppm, 182 ppm, 136 ppm and 1036 ppm, respectively. Phytin, phytin-P, oxalate, tannin and HCN were also found in ample quantities viz. 189.2 mg/100 g, 120.1 mg/100 g, 80.7 mg/100 g, 43.1 mg/100 g and 61.2 mg/100 g, respectively. The average weight gain was highest at 46.3 g/bird/day for birds on 10% TOLM diet but similar (P > 0.05) to 46.2 g/bird/day for birds on 20% TOLM. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 2.27 was the lowest and optimum for birds on 10% TOLM although similar (P > 0.05) to 2.29 obtained for birds on 20% TOLM. FCR of 2.61 was the highest at 2.61 for birds on 30% TOLM diet. The lowest FCR of 2.27 was obtained for birds on 10% TOLM diet although similar (P > 0.05) to 2.29 for birds on 20% TOLM diet. Most carcass characteristics and organ weights were similar (P > 0.05) for the experimental birds on the different diets except for kidney, gizzard and intestinal length. The values for kidney, gizzard and intestinal length were significantly higher (P < 0.05) for birds on the TOLM diets. The nitrogen retention had the highest value of 72.37 ± 0.10% for birds on 10% TOLM diet although similar (P > 0.05) to 71.54 ± 1.89 obtained for birds on the control diet without TOLM and enzymes/probiotics mixture. There was evidence of a better utilization of TOLM as a plant protein source. The carcass characteristics and organ weights all showed evidence of uniform tissue buildup and muscles development particularly in diets containing 10% of TOLM level. There was also better nitrogen utilization in birds on the 10% TOLM diet. Considering the cheap cost of TOLM, it is envisaged that its introduction into poultry feeds as a plant protein source will ultimately reduce the cost of poultry feeds.

Nutrition Bio-Shield Superfood: Healthy and Live Herbal Supplement for Immune System Enhancement

Healthy and viable herbal supplement were prepared from wheat by a green route. This organic biomaterial was named Nutrition Bio-shield Superfood (NBS). The NBS supplement had various vitamins, macro and micro molecules, and ingredients. In this study, 20 small Balb/C labile specimens were used in a weighing 30 ± 5 range. The samples were randomly divided into different groups, then the groups were divided into 5 groups. According to the results of this study, the mean number of white blood cells and neutrophil percentage in the experimental group receiving healthy and live dietary supplement showed a significant increase at the 5% probability level in all three groups received 50, 100 and 150 mg/ kg body weight of the mouse compared to the control group. In general, the dietary supplement increases the level of immunity.

Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in the Contaminated and Uncontaminated Soils

Application of health risk assessment methods is important in order to comprehend the risk of human exposure to heavy metals and other dangerous pollutants. Four soil samples were collected at distances of 10, 20, 30 m and the control 100 m away from the dump site at depths of 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 m. The collected soil samples were examined for Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd and Ni using standard methods. The health risks via the main pathways of human exposure to heavy metal were detected using relevant standard equations. Hazard quotient was calculated to determine non-carcinogenic health risk for each individual heavy metal. Life time cancer risk was calculated to determine the cumulative life cancer rating for each exposure pathway. The estimated health risk values for adults and children were generally lower than the reference dose. The calculated hazard quotient for the ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact pathways were less than unity. This means that there is no detrimental concern to the health on human exposure to heavy metals in contaminated soil. The life time cancer risk 5.4 × 10-2 was higher than the acceptable threshold value of 1 × 10-4 which is reflected to have significant health effects on human exposure to heavy metals in contaminated soil. Good hygienic practices are recommended to ease the potential risk to children and adult who are exposed to contaminated soils. Also, the local authorities should be made aware of such health risks for the purpose of planning the management strategy accordingly.

Economic Efficiency of Cassava Production in Nimba County, Liberia: An Output-Oriented Approach

In Liberia, many of the agricultural households cultivate cassava for either sustenance purposes, or to generate farm income. Many of the concentrated cassava farmers reside in Nimba, a north-eastern County that borders two other economies: the Republics of Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea. With a high demand for cassava output and products in emerging Asian markets coupled with an objective of the Liberia agriculture policies to increase the competitiveness of valued agriculture crops; there is a need to examine the level of resource-use efficiency for many agriculture crops. However, there is a scarcity of information on the efficiency of many agriculture crops, including cassava. Hence the study applying an output-oriented method seeks to assess the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba County, Liberia. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to generate a sample for the study. From 216 cassava farmers, data related to on-farm attributes, socio-economic and institutional factors were collected. The stochastic frontier models, using the Translog functional forms, of production and revenue, were used to determine the level of revenue efficiency and its determinants. The result showed that most of the cassava farmers are male (60%). Many of the farmers are either married, engaged or living together with a spouse (83%), with a mean household size of nine persons. Farmland is prevalently obtained by inheritance (95%), average farm size is 1.34 hectares, and most cassava farmers did not access agriculture credits (76%) and extension services (91%). The mean cassava output per hectare is 1,506.02 kg, which estimates average revenue of L$23,551.16 (Liberian dollars). Empirical results showed that the revenue efficiency of cassava farmers varies from 0.1% to 73.5%; with the mean revenue efficiency of 12.9%. This indicates that on average, there is a vast potential of 87.1% to increase the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba by improving technical and allocative efficiencies. For the significant determinants of revenue efficiency, age and group membership had negative effects on revenue efficiency of cassava production; while farming experience, access to extension, formal education, and average wage rate have positive effects. The study recommends the setting-up and incentivizing of farmer field schools for cassava farmers to primarily share their farming experiences with others and to learn robust cultivation techniques of sustainable agriculture. Also, farm managers and farmers should consider a fix wage rate in labor contracts for all stages of cassava farming.

Heavy Metal Contents in Vegetable Oils of Kazakhstan Origin and Life Risk Assessment

The accumulation of heavy metals in food is a constant problem in many parts of the world. Vegetable oils are widely used, both for cooking and for processing in the food industry, meeting the main dietary requirements. One of the main chemical pollutants, heavy metals, is usually found in vegetable oils. These chemical pollutants are carcinogenic, teratogenic and immunotoxic, harmful to consumption and have a negative effect on human health even in trace amounts. Residues of these substances can easily accumulate in vegetable oil during cultivation, processing and storage. In this article, the content of the concentration of heavy metal ions in vegetable oils of Kazakhstan production is studied: sunflower, rapeseed, safflower and linseed oil. Heavy metals: arsenic, cadmium, lead and nickel, were determined in three repetitions by the method of flame atomic absorption. Analysis of vegetable oil samples revealed that the largest lead contamination (Pb) was determined to be 0.065 mg/kg in linseed oil. The content of cadmium (Cd) in the largest amount of 0.009 mg/kg was found in safflower oil. Arsenic (As) content was determined in rapeseed and safflower oils at 0.003 mg/kg, and arsenic (As) was not detected in linseed and sunflower oil. The nickel (Ni) content in the largest amount of 0.433 mg/kg was in linseed oil. The heavy metal contents in the test samples complied with the requirements of regulatory documents for vegetable oils. An assessment of the health risk of vegetable oils with a daily consumption of 36 g per day shows that all samples of vegetable oils produced in Kazakhstan are safe for consumption. But further monitoring is needed, since all these metals are toxic and their harmful effects become apparent only after several years of exposure.

Fundamental Theory of the Evolution Force: Gene Engineering utilizing Synthetic Evolution Artificial Intelligence

The effects of the evolution force are observable in nature at all structural levels ranging from small molecular systems to conversely enormous biospheric systems. However, the evolution force and work associated with formation of biological structures has yet to be described mathematically or theoretically. In addressing the conundrum, we consider evolution from a unique perspective and in doing so we introduce the “Fundamental Theory of the Evolution Force: FTEF”. We utilized synthetic evolution artificial intelligence (SYN-AI) to identify genomic building blocks and to engineer 14-3-3 ζ docking proteins by transforming gene sequences into time-based DNA codes derived from protein hierarchical structural levels. The aforementioned served as templates for random DNA hybridizations and genetic assembly. The application of hierarchical DNA codes allowed us to fast forward evolution, while dampening the effect of point mutations. Natural selection was performed at each hierarchical structural level and mutations screened using Blosum 80 mutation frequency-based algorithms. Notably, SYN-AI engineered a set of three architecturally conserved docking proteins that retained motion and vibrational dynamics of native Bos taurus 14-3-3 ζ.

Maximizing Nitrate Absorption of Agricultural Waste Water in a Tubular Microalgae Reactor by Adapting the Illumination Spectrum

Microalgae-based photobioreactors (PBR) for Life Support Systems (LSS) are currently being investigated for future space missions such as a crewed base on planets or moons. Biological components may help reducing resupply masses by closing material mass flows with the help of regenerative components. Via photosynthesis, the microalgae use CO2, water, light and nutrients to provide oxygen and biomass for the astronauts. These capabilities could have synergies with Earth applications that tackle current problems and the developed technologies can be transferred. For example, a current worldwide discussed issue is the increased nitrate and phosphate pollution of ground water from agricultural waste waters. To investigate the potential use of a biological system based on the ability of the microalgae to extract and use nitrate and phosphate for the treatment of polluted ground water from agricultural applications, a scalable test stand is being developed. This test stand investigates the maximization of intake rates of nitrate and quantifies the produced biomass and oxygen. To minimize the required energy, for the uptake of nitrate from artificial waste water (AWW) the Flashing Light Effect (FLE) and the adaption of the illumination spectrum were realized. This paper describes the composition of the AWW, the development of the illumination unit and the possibility of non-invasive process optimization and control via the adaption of the illumination spectrum and illumination cycles. The findings were a doubling of the energy related growth rate by adapting the illumination setting.

Multivariate Analysis of Spectroscopic Data for Agriculture Applications

In this study, a multivariate analysis of potato spectroscopic data was presented to detect the presence of brown rot disease or not. Near-Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy (1,350-2,500 nm) combined with multivariate analysis was used as a rapid, non-destructive technique for the detection of brown rot disease in potatoes. Spectral measurements were performed in 565 samples, which were chosen randomly at the infection place in the potato slice. In this study, 254 infected and 311 uninfected (brown rot-free) samples were analyzed using different advanced statistical analysis techniques. The discrimination performance of different multivariate analysis techniques, including classification, pre-processing, and dimension reduction, were compared. Applying a random forest algorithm classifier with different pre-processing techniques to raw spectra had the best performance as the total classification accuracy of 98.7% was achieved in discriminating infected potatoes from control.

Influence of Environmental Temperature on Dairy Herd Performance and Behaviour

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of environmental stressors on the performance of lactating dairy cows and discuss some future trends. There exists a relationship between the meteorological data and milk yield prediction accuracy in pasture-based dairy systems. New precision technologies are available and are being developed to improve the sustainability of the dairy industry. Some of these technologies focus on welfare of individual animals on dairy farms. These technologies allow the automatic identification of animal behaviour and health events, greatly increasing overall herd health and yield while reducing animal health inspection demands and long-term animal healthcare costs. The data set consisted of records from 489 dairy cows at two dairy farms and temperature measured from the nearest meteorological weather station in 2018. The effects of temperature on milk production and behaviour of animals were analyzed. The statistical results indicate different effects of temperature on milk yield and behaviour. The “comfort zone” for animals is in the range 10 °C to 20 °C. Dairy cows out of this zone had to decrease or increase their metabolic heat production, and it affected their milk production and behaviour.