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    Subject index January 2024

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    Religiously associated Manipuri Kombirei (Iris laevigata Fisch.): A new addition to the Indian flora

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    Religiously associated Manipuri Kombirei or Manipuri Iris which is considered endemic to Manipur as per the Flora of Manipur (2000) has long been misidentified (misnomer) as Iris bakeri Wall. (Iridaceae) but after thorough investigation the botanical identity of this plant has been established as Iris laevigata Fisch. In India, I. laevigata Fisch. is the first report from Manipur, hence it is a new addition to the Indian Flora. During 1960’s Kombirei plant was naturally growing in two wetlands of Manipur namely, Lamphelpat and Yaralpat but now it has completely vanished from its natural habitat due to various factors like habitat loss and invasion by weeds but a few hundred plants are maintained in captive farm at the periphery of Lamphelpat by a private cultural society viz., Ipathoukok. Currently, some plants are also recorded in small pockets from two wetlands of Manipur namely, Maibam Phumlou and Ikkop pat which is believed to have been established later by being brought down by the upstream rivers falling into the lakes. Manipuri Iris is religiously offered during the Manipuri New Year viz., Sajibu Cheiraoba as a symbol of eliminating caste system. Due to its habitat sensitivity, conservation of this plant should be prioritized, otherwise loss of this species from Manipur may lead to loss of a species from the Indian flora

    Morpho-biochemical diversity in tree tomato (Solanum betaceum Cav.) genotypes grown under different altitudinal locations of north eastern Himalayas of India

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    Seventeen tree tomato (Solanum betaceum Cav.) genotypes were evaluated for their morpho-biochemical diversity in Randomized Block Design under three replications at Sikkim University, Gangtok in 2017-18. The genotypes were grouped into five clusters and cluster I possessed highest number of genotypes (6). Highest inter-cluster distance (372237) was recorded between clusters II & V. Intra-cluster was maximum in cluster III (28651.72) showing diversity within the cluster. The genotype STT-110 produced maximum value for average fruit weight (81 g) and other fruit yield contributing characters. Whereas, STT-40 produced maximum values for iron (1.86 mg/100 g), copper (0.47 mg/100 g) and manganese (1.38 mg/100 g). Genetic parameters (PCV, GCV) along with heritability and genetic advance were highest for anthocyanin (77.26%, 77.19%, 99% and 158.85%), flavonoid (56.91%, 56.90%, 100% and 117.22%), total phenol (52.76%, 52.72%, 99%, and 108.54%), manganese (50.87%, 49.26%, 93%, and 98.28%) and ascorbic acid (41.73%, 41.71%, 99% and 85.89%). Correlation coefficient analysis showed that polar and equatorial diameter of fruit was significantly correlated with average fruit weight. Genotypic correlation coefficients were higher than phenotypic correlation coefficients, which indicate the inherent association among the characters. This study highlights the potential utilization of STT-110 genotype for further selection in future breeding programme for enhancing yield

    Efficacy of a traditional herbal formula against drug-resistant childhood epilepsy

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    In about one-quarter of childhood epilepsies, there is no complete response to the routine, available antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). In traditional Persian medicine (TPM), Paeonia lactiflora and Anacyclus pyrethrum have been known for their anticonvulsant effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of a combined herbal formula consisting of the dried root of P. lactiflora and A. pyrethrum in childhood drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). This single-arm before/after clinical trial was conducted on 46 children with DRE. The patients were observed for three months before as well as thirteen weeks after the administration of this traditional herbal preparation at a dose of 15 mg/kg/day. The frequency and duration of seizures were evaluated using the Hague seizure severity scale (HASS). There was a statistically significant reduction in both the frequency and duration of seizures after treatment with the herbal preparation (p-values were <0.001 and <0.05, respectively). A statistically significant response to the herbal formula started after eight weeks of treatment. The traditional formula of P. lactiflora and A. pyrethrum could be considered as a complementary medicine for treating childhood DRE. However, further studies are needed to provide more evidence of its benefits and possible harms and also determine the precise mechanisms of action of this formula as a medicinal remedy for epilepsy

    Assessment of in-vivo safety and antibacterial activity of phages against methicillin resistant S. aureus in mouse model

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    Traditionally Ganges water that contains bacteriophages, are used in Hindu rituals in India. Bacteriophages are bacterial-specific viruses and present abundantly on Earth. They are present most widely in the biosphere, soil and the intestine of animals. Specificity of infection makes them a powerful alternative for the control of bacterial infection which is normally showing resistant to antibiotics. In present study, isolation of bacteriophage was carried out from sewage of piggery and dairy farms to find out antimicrobial property. Isolated bacteriophages were showing an icosahedral symmetry with long tail of 109 nm and head of 52.20 nm in diameter under electron microscopic observation. These phages were considered as member of Myoviridae family. Presently, antimicrobial resistance is an acute problem across the globe, and therefore alternate for antimicrobials should be searched on priority. Primary aim of this study was to isolate and evaluate the efficacy of a bacteriophage against Multi drug resistance pathogen like Methicillin resistance Staphylococcus aureus. A total 150 sewage samples were processed for bacteriophage isolation out of them 27 were found to be positive for bacteriophages. Four isolates of bacteriophage lysate ØVS1, ØVS5, ØVS9 and ØVS 27 were used as a cocktail in trail. Therapeutic and safety profile of the purified phage lysate cocktail were performed in well-defined mouse model at laboratory animal house of College of Veterinary Science & A.H., Jabalpur (M.P.). Results showed 100% in mice G-III (challenged with MRSA) was treated with phage Cocktail with in ten days whereas G-IV was showing approx. 40% in abscess (challenged with MRSA). Our findings reported that the bacteriophage therapy is safe and better than traditional antibiotics therapy especially in multidrug resistance cases

    An empirical approach of modeling and assessment for the safe use of commercial electric detonators in radio frequency radiation hazards 

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    In the modern era of communication technologies using amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM) the transmitting antenna of radio, television, radar, cellular phones, wireless data acquisition systems and global positioning systems (GPS) are the main sources of radio frequency radiation hazards. The transmitting antennas of these communication devices generate electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Electric detonator wires, under certain circumstances work as receiving antenna and pickup enough electrical energy from such fields to initiate unexpected explosion. There have been many cases of detonators being fired accidentally by radio frequency pick up. In this work an attempt has been made to minimize such explosions and to provide a basis for assessing and modeling the parameters of radio frequency radiation hazards associated with commercial electric detonators. This research examines the radiated powers of various frequency bands to determine the safe distance from transmitting antenna. Based on mathematical simulation, two empirical relations have been proposed for the calculation of minimum safe distance (MSD). Using these relations desired MSDs have been calculated for the relevant frequency bands. The obtained values have been compared with the available experimental values showing good agreement between them. The average percentage deviations of calculated MSDs from proposed relations are found between 0.096% and 10.718%, with regression coefficient 0.970 ≤ R ≤ 1. This reflects the soundness of the proposed empirical relations. The blasting engineers, detonator designers and researchers may use these relations as a handy tool to prevent undesired explosions by maintaining minimum safe distance in radio frequency prone hazardous areas

    Three Dimensional Trade marks in the European Union

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    The registration of three dimensional trade marks for shapes is not uncommon in Europe.  However, most such marks are for specially shaped packaging such as perfume bottles.  Although such marks are not without their own difficulties shape marks in respect of the article itself or parts of it present much more difficulty, both in terms of registration and in resisting challenges to their validity.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is the difficulty in practice of showing that such marks are sufficiently distinctive, and the second is a set of provisions in EU trademark law that are specific to shape marks. Shape marks have always been a fertile source of case law but there has been even more activity than usual in 2014, with the Court of Justice considering for the first time certain aspects of those provisions that are specific to shape marks and with the General Court showing that despite the considerable hurdles that such marks can face they can sometimes proceed to grant and withstand third party challenge.

    Preclinical pharmacokinetics and herb-drug interaction studies of atorvastatin co-administered with the herbal slimming products

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    Herbal slimming products (HSPs) contain multiple herbs used in weight loss. Phytoconstituents of several plant extracts show the inhibitory effects on the drug-metabolizing enzymes causing interaction when taken with other drugs. Atorvastatin (ATS) is used in the treatment of hyperlipidemia. This study aimed to investigate the effect of HSPs on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of ATS. ATS (10 mg/Kg) was administered alone or in combination with HSP1 (200 mg/Kg)/ HSP2 (165 mg/Kg) orally in the SD rats for pharmacokinetics study. Hyperlipidemia was induced in Golden Syrian Hamster by feeding HFD (60% kcal). Furthermore, biochemical levels in serum, ROS, gene expression and lipid accumulation levels were examined in hamster liver tissue. HSPs have significantly enhanced the permeability and inhibited the metabolism of ATS by inhibiting the CYP3A4 isoenzyme confirmed by in vitro assay. Co-administration of HSPs with ATS enhanced the relative bioavailability of ATS.Concomitant administration of HSPs with ATS has significantly reduced the fat content, inflammatory cytokines, TG, VLDL, LDL levels, tissue MDA level, HMGCR and SREBP1c mRNA expression levels, lipid accumulation as well as collagen content and has increased the serum HDL level as well as tissue SOD, CAT, GHS and mRNA expression levels of LXRα and CYP7A1. The aforementioned outcomes indicated that co-administration of HSPs with ATS may lead to herb-drug interaction. Therefore, precaution should be taken and dose adjustment is required when administered simultaneously.

    Composition-Dependent Dielectric and Piezoelectric Properties of Na1-zKzNbO3 Ceramics

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    Sodium potassium niobate, Na1-zKzNbO3, is a ceramic material that exhibits dielectric and piezoelectric properties, which can be tuned by changing the composition of the material. The dielectric properties of Na1-zKzNbO3 ceramics are characterized by a high dielectric constant and low loss, which makes them useful for applications in capacitors, filters, and resonators. Pellets of Na1-zKzNbO3 (0.120 ≤ z ≤ 0.210) were prepared by the solid-state reaction technique. The structural and morphological study was carried out on the prepared compositions at room temperature (RT). A Piezoelectric indirect constant (d33*) was obtained for the prepared compositions. Additionally, dielectric measurements were performed at frequencies 10-1000 kHz, from ambient temperature to 500 °C. For the prepared compositions with z = 0.175, a break in the XRD peak shifting patterns was observed, and the average grain size was calculated at 2.044 ± 0.3 µm. Also, the maximum indirect piezoelectric constant (d33*) was observed for z = 0.175 among the prepared compositions. For the prepared compositions, compositions with z = 0.140 showed the highest dielectric constant (peak value 1486, 385 °C). Among the prepared samples, dielectric constant (ε), loss tangent (tan δ) and electric conductivity (σ) were found to be minimum for the composition with z = 0.175 at all the measured frequencies. Anomalous dielectric, piezoelectric and structural properties are evident for the samples with z = 0.175 among the prepared samples. Overall, the composition-dependent dielectric and piezoelectric properties of Na1-zKzNbO3 ceramics make them promising materials for use in various electronic and sensing applications where high-performance dielectric and piezoelectric materials are required

    Design and development of light weight porous matrix using industrial waste

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    The aim of the current study is to optimise the composite mixture of fly ash, rubber waste and Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)for the design and development of a light weight porous matrix. The composite matrices have been evaluated based on the engineering properties consisting of compressive strength, density, open porosity (VR%) and water-material ratio (WM%). The Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is used for the observation of the microstructure of cement, tyre rubber granules, fly ash and the optimized composite matrix. The compressive strength and density decrease with the increasing quantity of waste tyre rubber granules in the matrix, whereas the porosity of the matrix enhances. Since, the rubber granules act like voids in the composite matrix, results into the development of light weight porous matrix, which is also confirmed by SEM analysis. The study confirms the usability of the composite matrix aslow-cost partition walls or low load bearing structures. The utilization of the waste material reduces the land requirement for huge disposal site as well as reduces the carbon footprint due to the reduced utilization of cement. The composite matrix can be further utilized through proper design mix with additional construction materials such as fine and coarse aggregate to broaden the applications horizon in civil and environmental engineering

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