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Endogenous Forest Development Paradigm: Challenging Current Forest Conservation Practices in Ghana  [PDF]
Thomas Agana, Millar Katherine Kaunza, David Millar
Open Access Library Journal (OALib Journal) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1104169
Abstract:
The centre of Ghana development is land that plays a vital role. This article focused mainly on the rapid land degradation and deforestation due to bush fires, poorly managed grazing, farming and agricultural conversion, current forest/woodland governance systems and major policy gaps that were identified. A combination of methods used included: Extensive study of secondary literature/reports/programmes/write-ups (from 1999-2004), key informant interview: a one-on-one interview with Government Officials, 7 responsible for forest management, Forestry, Commission and Traditional Institutions (men-10, women-5), elders-6, and functionaries-4 living in the community, phased assertion. The study recommend Forest Management System needs to be evolved that includes the management and development of sacred groves, shrines, sacred bodies and natures, and totems; associated with indigenous agricultural practices and seeds, indigenous agro-ecological management practices, indigenous tree and vegetation management practices, indigenous livelihood developments and human activity systems which are both enhancing and militating against biodiversity conservation and development encourage and systematically develop traditionally protect areas/plants/animals (TPAs). Attention should be paid to conservation of: 1) sacred groves; 2) burial grounds and spiritual lands; 3) sacred water bodies and fauna; 4) totemic animals; 5) traditional cultural practices; 6) farming systems; 7) traditional crop varieties; 8) home gardens; 9) graze-lands and rest lands; 10) wild fruits supply systems.
Indigenous Knowledge and the African Way Forward: Challenges and Opportunities  [PDF]
Beyuo Alfred Naamwintome, David Millar
Open Access Library Journal (OALib Journal) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1101295
Abstract: Indigenous knowledge exists and particularly in Africa and is being challenged as science and this negatively influences the harnessing of it globally. The study focused on the history of knowledge as science and the evolutionary analysis of science as a body of knowledge, within a Grounded Theory approach. The findings revealed that indigenous knowledge is a body of knowledge like the western science and has survived the custodians of this body of knowledge for generations; it dictates the progress and the well-being of the knowledge community. The study also revealed that colonialization and globalization have negatively influenced the recognition of indigenous knowledge and hence its utilization. The study recommends the deschooling and reschooling of African’s scholars who have the potential of ensuring that the development of Africa reflects the African cultural, social and spiritual context.
The Complexities of Women Land Ownership in Northern Ghana  [PDF]
Millar Katherine Kaunza-Nu-Dem, Babatunde Tijani, David Millar, Anafo Humphrey
Open Access Library Journal (OALib Journal) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1102789
Abstract:
Land issues have the potential to, and actually do generate a lot of conflicts and controversies in rural communities. In Northern Ghana, certain dilemmas, animated controversies, and conflicts about land rights, the resolution of which sometimes leads relatively innocuous compromise later manifest in several negative ramifications. For women in particular, the above negativities associated with land are even more pronounce and more protracted. This research adopted a case study approach to conduct this survey. The specific techniques used for data collection and analysis include: stratified group discussions, focus group discussions, key informant interview, phased assertion (confrontational dialogue), and critical arena analysis. The major findings include the fact that both men and women stated that land allocation to women is a regular affair now. It is the aspect of outright long-term ownership and user rights that are still very restricted. Since women do not sacrifice to the land her role in land sacrifices will be problematic. Women would prefer to acquire such formalized rights in their husbands’ homes, with the understanding that they could pass rights so acquired to their sons. Because of the intricate nature of land and the complications therein, and for the avoidance of perpetual conflicts, the women opted for increasing user-rights rather than ownership or controls of land. The concept of ownership, in their local language, was very nebulous to the women. Some were quick to state that they never wanted to own land. The study thus recommended that the socio-cultural values and practices in the area were inimical to any reforms to mainstream women in land issues. An extensive education and re-education of communities, linked with exposing them to best practices elsewhere are recommended. An endogenous development approach is recommended for such an education. There is a need to strengthen dialogue between women and men on issues of land. When men appreciate the benefits of making land available to women it facilitates the ease of giving out land. Economic empowerment of women is also recommended as a way of making land more accessible to women. The women contend that when they have money or wealth in the form of livestock, these assets make it easier for them to either rent land or engage in some form of traditional land tenure arrangement to acquire land for farming purposes.
What makes a mitochondrion?
Joshua L Heazlewood, A Millar, David A Day, James Whelan
Genome Biology , 2003, DOI: 10.1186/gb-2003-4-6-218
Abstract: With the completion of the genome sequences of yeast, human and Arabidopsis, which contain approximately 6,000, 35,000 and 28,000 genes, respectively [1-3], the world's attention is now shifting to elucidation of gene function, and major proteomic studies are currently under way on a variety of organisms [4-6]. As a step towards assembling a list of the total complement of proteins in any one cell type (its proteome), proteomic studies of subcellular compartments and organelles have become a major focus, because smaller and more manageable subsets of proteins are involved. Given that compartmentation is a hallmark of the eukaryotic cell, and because the functions of organelles are biochemically well defined, such studies have an immediate functional impact, in contrast to the relatively limited insights that can be gained from the complete, unstructured cell proteome.Mitochondria are attractive targets for subcellular proteomics because they play vital roles in energy production, anabolic and catabolic metabolism and in programmed cell death pathways, they can be purified readily from model organisms, and defects in mitochondrial proteins can have dramatic effects on the functions of cells and organs. Defining mitochondrial proteomes in a number of model organisms across the divisions of eukaryotes facilitates cross-species comparisons, thus greatly aiding validation of conclusions from each species and providing insights into both function and evolution [5].The recent identification of 615 proteins from the mitochondrial proteome of the human heart [7] represents the first comprehensive analysis of a mitochondrial proteome and the highest number of proteins identified to date from any subcellular compartment. This is likely to change soon, as concerted efforts towards defining other subcellular proteomes are currently in progress [6,8]. We now have glimpses of the mitochondrial proteomes from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis, as well as humans (Ta
Next generation sequencing and analysis of a conserved transcriptome of New Zealand's kiwi
Sankar Subramanian, Leon Huynen, Craig D Millar, David M Lambert
BMC Evolutionary Biology , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-387
Abstract: Using 1,543 conserved protein coding genes we estimated the neutral evolutionary divergence between the kiwi and chicken to be ~45%, which is approximately equal to the divergence computed for the human-mouse pair using the same set of genes. A large fraction of genes was found to be under high selective constraint, as most of the expressed genes appeared to be involved in developmental gene regulation. Our study suggests a significant relationship between gene expression levels and protein evolution. Using sequences from over 700 nuclear genes we estimated the divergence between the two basal avian groups, Palaeognathae and Neognathae to be 132 million years, which is consistent with previous studies using mitochondrial genes.The results of this investigation revealed patterns of mutation and purifying selection in conserved protein coding regions in birds. Furthermore this study suggests a relatively cost-effective way of obtaining a glimpse into the fundamental molecular evolutionary attributes of a genome, particularly when no closely related genomic sequence is available.DNA sequencing technologies have enabled us to decipher molecular sequences of individual organisms. Conventional DNA sequencing methods relying on fluorescent dideoxy terminators and capillary separation revolutionized sequencing and allowed the first constructions of complete genomes of a number of species from simple prokaryotes to higher vertebrates [1,2]. However the costs involved in eukaryotic genome-sequencing projects using these methods has been very high and thus such projects generally require the collaboration of several well-funded institutes. Furthermore the time required for sequencing and assembling such genomes can span several years. The advent of Next Generation DNA sequencing has reduced the time and expense of complete genome sequencing by orders of magnitude [3,4]. For example using next generation sequencing methods the complete genome of a human individual was completed
Configuring the Mesh Size, Side Taper and Wing Depth of Penaeid Trawls to Reduce Environmental Impacts
Matt K. Broadhurst, David J. Sterling, Russell B. Millar
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099434
Abstract: The effects of reducing mesh size while concomitantly varying the side taper and wing depth of a generic penaeid-trawl body were investigated to improve engineering performance and minimize bycatch. Five trawl bodies (with the same codends) were tested across various environmental (e.g. depth and current) and biological (e.g. species and sizes) conditions. The first trawl body comprised 41-mm mesh and represented conventional designs (termed the ‘41 long deep-wing'), while the remaining trawl bodies were made from 32-mm mesh and differed only in their side tapers, and therefore length (i.e. 1N3B or ‘long’ and ~28o to the tow direction vs 1N5B or ‘short’ and ~35o) and wing depths (‘deep’–97 T vs ‘shallow’–60 T). There were incremental drag reductions (and therefore fuel savings – by up to 18 and 12% per h and ha trawled) associated with reducing twine area via either modification, and subsequently minimizing otter-board area in attempts to standardize spread. Side taper and wing depth had interactive and varied effects on species selectivity, but compared to the conventional 41 long deep-wing trawl, the 32 short shallow-wing trawl (i.e. the least twine area) reduced the total bycatch by 57% (attributed to more fish swimming forward and escaping). In most cases, all small-meshed trawls also caught more smaller school prawns Metapenaeus macleayi but to decrease this effect it should be possible to increase mesh size slightly, while still maintaining the above engineering benefits and species selectivity. The results support precisely optimizing mesh size as a precursor to any other anterior penaeid-trawl modifications designed to improve environmental performance.
Characterisation of a functional intronic polymorphism in the human growth hormone (GHI) gene
David S Millar, Martin Horan, Nadia A Chuzhanova, David N Cooper
Human Genomics , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1479-7364-4-5-289
Abstract: Human growth hormone (GH) plays an important role in immune function and bone turnover, in addition to its well-documented influences on stature, muscle mass, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and postnatal growth [1]. The specificity of GH action lies in promoting the homodimerisation of its cell surface receptor (GHR), resulting in the induction of post-receptor signalling pathways [2]. Human GH synthesis is directed by the pituitary-expressed GH1 gene, which is located on chromosome 17q23 within a gene cluster that includes three paralogous placentally expressed genes (CSH1, CSH2 and GH2). The control of GH1 gene expression is regulated by the pituitary-expressed transcription factor, PIT1, which drives GH expression by binding not only to the GH1 proximal promoter, but also to a locus control region (LCR) located between 14.5 kilobases (kb) and 32 kb upstream of the GH1 gene [3].The proximal region of the GH1 gene promoter exhibits a high level of sequence variation, with 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) occurring within a 450 base pair (bp) stretch of DNA [4,5]. This high level of sequence diversity is explicable in terms of a combination of gene conversion, recurrent mutations and selection [4,6,7] In the European population, these polymorphic variants manifest in at least 40 different haplotypes that display a 12-fold range of expression level in a reporter gene assay [6]. At least in this population, there is a tendency for those haplotypes associated with a markedly reduced level of reporter gene expression to be more prevalent than those haplotypes associated with an increased level, possibly as a consequence of selection [6].In addition to the promoter polymorphisms, an A/T SNP has been reported at nucleotide +90 within intron 4 of the GH1 gene (rs2665802; chromosome 17 coordinate, 59348761 -- termed 1663 by Hasegawa et al [8]. and here, termed +1169). The +1169A allele of this SNP has been associated with reduced levels of circulating GH and ins
Ozone and its use in periodontal treatment  [PDF]
Dimitrios Iliadis, Brian J. Millar
Open Journal of Stomatology (OJST) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ojst.2013.32034
Abstract:

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of ozone in periodontal treatment in dental practice. Methods: An evaluation of the current state of knowledge regarding the application of ozone in periodontal treatment revealed limited available literature. Therefore an audit was conducted in dental practice in order to evaluate the effects of ozone in periodontal treatment. Twenty-five patients were treated with gaseous ozone after having had failed conventional periodontal treatment. BPE scores and the six deepest pockets were measured in each patient before and after the use of ozone. Results: From the initial number of twenty-nine patients selected, twenty-five patients attended both follow up appointments. Based on BPE scores, twenty of the patients have overall improvement while five of the patients continued to have deterioration. Eight patients had an improvement in depths of periodontal pockets by three millimetres, sixteen patients had improvement by one to two millimetres and one patient did not improve. The depth of pockets after the use of ozone decreased significantly (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The audit revealed that gaseous ozone significantly (P < 0.001) reduced the depth of pockets in patients with periodontal disease. The positive results encourage further investigation in the subject.

Glomalin and Soil Aggregation under Six Management Systems in the Northern Great Plains, USA  [PDF]
Kristine A. Nichols, James Millar
Open Journal of Soil Science (OJSS) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ojss.2013.38043
Abstract:

The soil environment is linked to aboveground management including plant species composition, grazing intensity, levels of soil disturbance, residue management, and the length of time of a living plant is growing. Soil samples were collected under rangeland [native grass, rotational grazing (NGRG); tame grass, heavy grazing (TGRG); and tame grass, rotational grazing (TGHG)] and cropland [conventional till (CT); CT plus manure (CTM); and long term no till (NT)] systems. The rangeland systems were hypothesized to have higher glomalin content [measured as Bradford-reactive soil protein (BRSP)] and water stable aggregation (WSA) than the cropland systems. In addition, within both rangeland and cropland systems, BRSP and WSA were expected to decline with increased disturbance due to grazing or tillage and going from native to introduced plant species. Differences were detected for BRSP with NGRG and CTM having the highest values in range and cropland systems, respectively. However, the CTM system had higher BRSP values than one or both of the tame grass systems while the CT and NT systems had similar values. Correlation analysis showed strong relationships between all of the BRSP values and WSA.

An in Vitro Study of Microleakage Comparing Total-Etch with Bonding Resin and Self-Etch Adhesive Luting Cements for All-Ceramic Crowns  [PDF]
Brian J. Millar, Sanjukta Deb
Open Journal of Stomatology (OJST) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ojst.2014.43020
Abstract: Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the dye leakage present following cementation of all-ceramic crowns with 7 currently used cements to compare total-etch (TE) with dentine bonding agent (DBA) and self-etch (SE) systems. Methods: Forty-two Authentic? crowns were fabricated and cemented onto extracted human teeth using 7 currently available cements (2 two-stage adhesives (TE + DBA): Panavia 21 Kuraray; Paracore, Coltene Whaledent and 5 all-in-one adhesives (SE): MaxCem Kerr; Panavia F2.0 Kuraray; RelyX Unicem 3MEspe; seT SDI). Following storage in water and thermal cycling, the teeth were exposed to dye, sectioned and examined under confocal microscopy. Leakage was determined by two blinded examiners and scoring was carried out on a scale of 0 - 8 per tooth (0 = no leakage, 8 complete leakage across the section). One overall reading was obtained per tooth with 6 teeth per material. Results: The results showed a wide range of scores between the different cements. Only a few specimens which used TE + DBA showed slight marginal leakage: Paracore (mean score 0 ± 0) and Panavia 21 (0.3 ± 0.5). The majority of specimens using SE showed leakage: RelyX Unicem (0.8 ± 0.8), SmartCem (1.7 ± 2.1), MaxCem (3.2 ± 1.7), Panavia F2.0 (4.5 ± 2.4) then seT (5.2 ± 2.5). Statistical analysis was carried out showing that Paracore and Panavia 21 were significantly less prone to leakage than MaxCem, (P = 0.002) and seT (P < 0.001). Conclusion: In conclusion, the choice of luting cement is important in reducing dye leakage. This study strongly favours the use of a TE with separate adhesive system placed prior to the composite luting resin.
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