Natural & Applied Sciences

Natural & Applied Sciences Research Papers/Topics

In Silico Identification of New Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease (Mpro) Molecules with Pharmacokinetic Properties from Natural Sources Using Molecular Dynamics (MD) Simulations and Hierarchical

Abstract Infectious agents such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 have emerged in recent years causing epidemics with high mortality rates. The quick development of novel therapeutic compounds is required in the fight against such pathogenic agents. Unfortunately, the traditional drug development methods are time-consuming and expensive. In this study, computational algorithms were utilized for virtual screening of a library of natural compounds in the ZINC database for their affinity to...

Distribution, Characterization and the Commercialization of Elite Rhizobia Strains in Africa

Abstract Grain legumes play a significant role in smallholder farming systems in Africa because of their contribution to nutrition and income security and their role in fixing nitrogen. Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF) serves a critical role in improving soil fertility for legumes. Although much research has been conducted on rhizobia in nitrogen fixation and their contribution to soil fertility, much less is known about the distribution and diversity of the bacteria strains in different a...

Synthesis of mesoporous akaganeite functionalized maize cob biochar for adsorptive abatement of carbamazepine: Kinetics, isotherms, and thermodynamics

Abstract In this work, akaganeite (β-FeO(OH)) impregnated maize cob biochar (Fe-MCB) was prepared by direct hydrolysis, and its adsorptive potential was tested against aqueous solutions of carbamazepine (CBZ), an emerging contaminant. The adsorbent was characterized by standard methods, namely XRD, SEM-EDX, FT-IR, BET surface area analysis, and VSM. Fe-MCB exhibited mesoporous textural structure with paramagnetic behavior at room temperature. The equilibrium data were modeled using the Lang...

Prevalence and diversity of Plasmodium species in pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in selected health centers of Kakamega County, Western Kenya

Abstract Malaria remains a major public health concern around the world with tropical and sub-tropical regions bearing the greatest brunt despite up-scaling of control strategies. Despite the provisioning of insecticidal nets to expectant women attending antenatal care facilities, Plasmodium infections was a recurrent problem in Kakamega County. We hypothesized that socioeconomic factors were risk factors for the high prevalence levels of asymptomatic Plasmodium infections (API) among pregna...

Hotel facilities’ management practices and employee performance in Kenya

Abstract This study investigated the efficacy of hotel facilities’ management practices on employee performance. A descriptive research survey was applied, while the study area was Nairobi County. The sampling techniques applied were a census, stratified, purposive and simple random sampling which gave a sample size of 144 employees. Study results show that sufficient lighting to allow ease of working and moving around safely gave the highest mean value among maintenance management factors...

Effect of COVI-soup on cd4 cell count and haemoglobin among patients with diabetes type ii and hypertension in Kakamega County, Kenya: a randomized control trial

Abstract Type II diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension (HTN) diseases are part of the world’s challenges in achieving sustainable development goals. Cases of type II diabetes mellitus and hypertension diseases in low and middle-income countries are becoming a concern. Type II diabetes mellitus is an inflammatory disease. When there is inflammation the immune system is triggered and haemoglobin level is affected. While there have been numerous strategies to address the issue, these effort...

Enhancing students’ achievement in biology using inquiry-based learning in Rwanda

Abstract Students in secondary schools in Rwanda manifest difficulties in learning science subjects including biology. Studies revealed that inadequate teaching methods dominated by teacher-centered traditional or conventional educational strategies are some of the factors that cause difficulties in learning, which in turn leads to poor achievements in biology. This study investigated the effect of inquiry-based learning (IBL) using 5Es instructional model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborat...

Optical modelling of TCO based FTO/TiO2 multilayer thin films and simulation in hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cell

Abstract Hydrogenated Amorphous silicon (a:Si:H) has low amounts of defects making it attractive for photovoltaic applications. To improve power conversion efficiency (PCE) of a:Si:H solar cells, this study investigated the effect of introducing FTO/TiO2 multilayer thin films into its structure to serve as antireflection coating. The multilayer thin films were characterized and optimized by optical simulations using a computer program, GLSIM (glazing simulator). The program was written in FO...

Acoustical properties of compressed earth blocks: Effect of compaction pressure, water hyacinth ash and lime

Abstract This study assessed the potential use of a mixture of lime and water hyacinth ash (WHA) as binders in fabrication of cylindrical compressed earth blocks (CEBs) with good acoustic absorption properties for building and construction. Different concentrations of the binders and compaction pressures were employed so as to vary the acoustical properties of the fabricated blocks. The geometric and transport parameters of their porous microstructure were recovered through probing using aco...

Hemoglobinopathies, merozoite surface protein-2 gene polymorphisms, and acquisition of Epstein Barr virus among infants in Western Kenya

Abstract Background Epstein Barr virus (EBV)-associated endemic Burkitt’s Lymphoma pediatric cancer is associated with morbidity and mortality among children resident in holoendemic Plasmodium falciparum regions in western Kenya. P. falciparum exerts strong selection pressure on sickle cell trait (SCT), alpha thalassemia (-α3.7/αα), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), and merozoite surface protein 2 (MSP-2) variants (FC27, 3D7) that confer reduced malarial disease severity. The cu...

Effects of 15th January 2010 Annular Solar Eclipse on Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances and Equatorial Plasma Bubbles over Low Latitude Regions of East Africa

Abstract The influence of the 15th January 2010 annular solar eclipse on traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) and equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs) is studied using data from six global navigation and satellite system (GNSS) receivers spread across the path of annularity over the low latitude region of East Africa. The GNSS receivers are stationed at Nairobi (RCMN), Malindi (MAL2), and Eldoret (MOIU) in Kenya; Mbarara (MBAR) in Uganda; Kigali (NURK) in Rwanda; and Mtwara (MTWA) in Tanzan...

Soil Sterilization Eliminates Beneficial Microbes That Provide Natural Pest Suppression Ecosystem Services Against Radopholus similis and Fusarium Oxysporum V5w2 in the Endosphere and Rhizosp

Abstract Endosphere and rhizosphere microbes offer plant growth promotion and pest suppression ecosystem services in banana-based agroecosystems. Interest has been growing towards the use of such beneficial microbes in protecting vulnerable tissue culture banana plants against pathogens such as Radopholus similis and Fusarium oxysporum. A screenhouse experiment with potted tissue culture banana plants was conducted using sterile and non-sterile soil to investigate the effect of soil biota on...

Shotgun Metagenomic Analyses of Microbial Assemblages in the Aquatic Ecosystem of Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria, Kenya Reveals Multiclass Pollution

Abstract Lake Victoria, the second-largest freshwater lake in the world, provides an important source of food and income, particularly fish for both domestic consumption and for export market. In recent years, Lake Victoria has suffered massive pollution from both industrial and wastewater discharge. Microplastic biomes, pharmaceutical residues, drugs of abuse, heavy metals, agrochemicals, and personal care products are ubiquitous in the aquatic ecosystem of Winam Gulf. These pollutants are ...

Local Fractional Strong Metric Dimension of Certain Complex Networks

Abstract Fractional variants of distance-based parameters have application in the fields of sensor networking, robot navigation, and integer programming problems. Complex networks are exceptional networks which exhibit significant topological features and have become quintessential research area in the field of computer science, biology, and mathematics. Owing to the possibility that many real-world systems can be intelligently modeled and represented as complex networks to examine, administ...

Numerical Study of Copper Antimony Sulphide (CuSbS2) Solar Cell by SCAPS-1D

Abstract Copper antimony sulphide has ability in applications on photovoltaics since it is a promising, less toxic, earth abundant absorber material. In this study, the photovoltaic characteristics of copper antimony sulphide (CuSbS2) photovoltaic cell were simulated and studied by one dimensional solar cell capacitance simulator (SCAPS-1D) to improve their operations. This study investigated the impact of modifying the thicknesses of fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO), cadmium sulphide (CdS), c...


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