Volume 6, Issue No 1-2, Advances in Science and Technology 2019

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Full Articles

Electrochemical Sensor Based on CHIT/GO/MWCNTs/AuNPs/GCE for Determination of Synthetic Colorants in Foods and Beverages
Kobun Rovina; Shafiquzzaman Siddiquee; Sharifudin Md Shaarani. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 54 - 59.
Abstract A novel electrochemical sensor based on modified glassy carbon electrode with chitosan, gold nanoparticles, multi-walled carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide (CHIT/AuNPs/MWCNTs/GO) was developed for sensitive quantification of Tartrazine (TZ) in food products. The morphological characteristics of CHIT/AuNPs/MWCNTs/GO were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electrochemical tests. Under optimal condition, DPV results presented high stability and excellent electrocatalytic activity of CHIT/AuNPs/MWCNTs/GO for the determination of TZ level and wide concentration ranges with linear regression was y=0.054x-0.2511 (r2=0.99037). Also, the developed sensor was successfully applied jelly, candy as well as soft drinks which showed good selectivity with satisfactory results. The developed sensor offers faster detection and low cost which can be an alternative technique in monitoring synthetic food colorants. View article

Preliminary Study on the Tolerance of Selected Fungi Isolated from Soil to Methyl Parathion
Ghim Hock Ong; Loke Jeen Chee; Hooi Rong Chin; Kok Kee Wong; Ling Shing Wong. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 60 - 65.
Abstract Pesticides such as methyl parathion (MP) are widely used to prevent pests from destroying crops and reducing the harvest. However, indiscriminate use of pesticides led to accumulation of pesticides in soil and drinking water, which result in severe impacts on human’s health. Mycoremediation has been suggested as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to remediate pesticides by breaking down the pollutants. Hence, the objective of this research is to find out which fungi species have the potential to tolerate the toxicity of MP at various increasing concentration. Eleven fungi species were screened using 10 ppm of MP on PDB. Out of the 11 species, five were found to grow and were further tested on PDB using increasing concentration of MP (10-40 ppm). Results showed three species namely, Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus niger have the highest mean dry biomass (g) in PDB with 40 ppm of MP, and thus were determined as potential fungi species to tolerate MP. View article

Antibiotic Susceptibility Patterns of Bacterial Strains Isolated From Skin Samples of Healthy Individuals
Smyrna Moti Rawanan Shah; Geetha Subramaniam; Lalita Ambigai Sivasamugham. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 66 - 73.
Abstract The aims of this study were to isolate and identify bacterial strains from facial samples collect from individuals in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, and to determine the antibiotic susceptibility profiles of these bacteria. The samples were incubated in nutrient broth which were further cultured on nutrient agar. Single colonies were picked and were subjected to biochemical tests such as Gram staining, catalase test and, Mannitol Salt Agar, to confirm the identity of the isolates. Disk-diffusion assay using a range of antibiotics including cefoxitin for the detection of MRSA was carried out. There was a higher percentage of Staphylococcus aureus (51%) while Staphylococcus epidermidis (15%), Enterococcus species (12%), Propionibacterium acnes (10%) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (2%) were also isolated. A single S. pneumoniae was identified as PRSP since it was resistant to penicillin. 18% and 6%, of the isolates were MRSA and MRSE respectively. All the MRSA strains were resistant to cefoxitin, ampicillin and penicillin G while all of the MRSE strains were resistant to cefoxitin and ampicillin. There were five different antibiograms for the MRSA isolates and only two antibiograms for MRSE strains. 40% of the P. acnes were resistant to erythromycin. From the study, 5% of the isolates were not sensitive to the antibiotics while 95% were resistant to at least one antibiotic. The results obtained from this study allows the determination if the antibiotic resistant bacteria are increasing in Malaysia and it also enables the determination of which antibiotic can still be used to treat infections caused by the bacteria. View article

The Knowledge and Attitude Among the Science and Non-Science Stream Undergraduates on The Use of Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance: A Pilot Study
Looi Chin King; Lalita Ambigai Sivasamugham; Geetha Subramaniam. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 74 - 80.
Abstract Antibiotic resistance is becoming a serious global threat. Studies have shown that the limited understanding of antibiotics and its use are some of the factors that contribute to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria. A group administered cross-sectional survey was conducted among 252 undergraduates comprising 125 science and 127 non-science undergraduates. An arbitrary scoring system was used to determine undergraduates’ knowledge and attitude level towards antibiotic and antibiotic resistance (ABR). Descriptive statistics and Chi-Square test were used to summarize demographic characteristics and to test the influence of undergraduate program on undergraduates’ knowledge and attitude respectively. Spearman correlation analysis was used to determine the relationship between participants’ knowledge and attitude regarding antibiotic use and ABR. The Cronbach’s alpha was used to determine the reliability of the attitude-based questions. It was found that 40.8% of science undergraduates have a good level of knowledge compared to non-science undergraduates (11.8%). More than half from the total undergraduates participants (66.3%) knew that the course of antibiotics must be completed and 75% knew that antibiotics are used to kill bacteria. However, 54.4% of science and 85.0% of non-science undergraduates have indicated that antibiotics can be used to treat viral infections. The alternative hypothesis was accepted through the chi square test, that is, there is a correlation between participants’ knowledge and attitude towards the use of antibiotic as well as to antibiotic resistance. However, this was only a weak correlation (r = 0.368, n = 252, p < 0.001) which means, individuals with a good level of knowledge on antibiotics and its use might not imply positive attitude towards the use of antibiotics. A more dynamic and constant educational interventions are needed to enhance and raise awareness towards antibiotic resistance as well as to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics among the student population. View article

The Effect of Copper Nanoparticle to Astaxanthin Content in Microalgae
Ling Shing Wong; Thinakaren Batumalai; Wan Hee Cheng; Ghim Hock Ong. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 81 - 85.
Abstract Haematococcus pluvialis is kind of microalgae which produces high yield of astaxanthin under stress, such as when exposed to high temperature, pH, salinity, light condition, and nitrogen deficiency. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of Cu nanoparticle to the growth of H. pluvialis and the production of astaxanthin in the mcroalgae. The microalgae were cultured and exposed to 10 mg/L, 100 mg/L, and 200 mg/L of Cu nanoparticle respectively, with growth cycle of 20 days. The astaxanthin were extracted and quantified at 474 nm using a spectrophotometer in every 4 to 5 days. The results showed the presence of Cu nanoparticle diminished the cell growth and reduced the content of astaxanthin in H. pluvialis. Cu nanoparticle is not a good stress agent for astaxanthin production in H. pluvialis. However, the microalgae are proven sensitive to the presence of Cu nanoparticle. The potential of astaxanthin in H. pluvialis as bioindicator of Cu nanoparticle can be further explored. View article

Toxicity of Dichloromethane and Methanol-soluble Extractives From Eusideroxylon zwageri and Potoxylon melagangai Heartwood
Ismail Jusoh; Sim Shiang Ping; Zaini Assim. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 86 - 94.
Abstract Natural durability of Eusideroxylon zwageri and Potoxylon melagangai are known to be very high. One of the reasons for high wood durability is the presence of extractives. The objectives of this study were firstly to determine the amount of dichloromethane (DCM) and methanol (MeOH) crude extracts from E. zwageri and P. melagangai, secondly to assess antifungal activitiesy of DCM and MeOH extracts and thirdly to identify the chemical constituents of DCM and MeOH extracts. Sequential solvent extraction using DCM followed by MeOH were carried out. Toxicity or antifungal activities of extractives soluble in DCM and MeOH were determined using agar dilution method. The selected fungi used were Trametes versicolor, Gloeophyllum trabeum and Chaetomium globosum representing white-rot, brown-rot and soft-rot, respectively. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry techniques were used to identify the chemical constituents and compositions of DCM and MeOH crude extract fractions from E. zwageri and P. melagangai. The total DCM crude extracts obtained from P. melagangai (3.30%) was higher than that of E. zwageri (0.60%). Crude extracts of MeOH extracted from E. zwageri (8.37%) was higher than P. melagangai (4.81%). There were 46 compounds detected in DCM crude extract of E. zwageri and the major compounds were 1,2,3-trimethoxy-5-[(1E)-1-propenyl]benzene (16.8%), cadina-3,9-diene, 4-methoxy-6-(2-propenyl)-1,3-benzodioxole, 4,11,11-trimethyl-8-methylene-bicyclo[7.2.0]undec-4-ene. For P. melagangai DCM crude extract, 29 compounds were identified and the major compounds were cadalene (21.8%), n-dotriacontane and γ-muurolene. There were 76 compounds identified in MeOH extract of E. zwageri and the major ones were 1,3-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1,1,3,3-tetramethyldisiloxane, methyl octacosanoate, tetratetracontane and methyl elaidate. Out of 40 compounds detected in MeOH extract from P. melagangai, 1,3-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1,1,3,3-tetramethyldisiloxane, 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol and diisooctyl phthalate were the major compounds. Compounds that were found in both E. zwageri and P. melagangai include γ-muurolene, heneicosane and tetratetracontane. MeOH and DCM crude extracts from E. zwageri and P. melagangai were toxic to Trametes versicolor, Gloeophyllum trabeum and Chaetomium globosum. Hexanedeconic acids, 2-4-di-ter-butylphenol, methyl hexadecanoate, methyl octadeconate, γ-muurolene, a-cadinol and myristicin might be responsible to the natural durability of E. zwageri and P. melagangai extractives. View article

Physical and Mechanical Properties of Dendrocalamus asper and Bambusa vulgaris
Nurfitrah Binti Adam; Ismail Jusoh. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 95 - 101.
Abstract Physical and mechanical properties of bamboo are important that determine its potential for high quality end products. There is insufficient information on physical and mechanical properties of Dendrocalamus asper and Bambusa vulgaris from Sarawak. The objectives of this study were to determine, compare and evaluate the physical and mechanical properties of D. asper and B. vulgaris from the southern part of Sarawak with respect to height levels. Harvested bamboo culms of D. asper and B. vulgaris were sampled at 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th internodes. Moisture content and basic density of the designated were determined according to ASTM D4442-13 and ASTM D2395-13, respectively. Determination of Modulus of rupture (MOR) and Modulus of elasticity (MOE) was based on three-point bending test following ASTM D1037-12 standard. Compression parallel to the grain was determined in accordance with ASTM D143-09 standard. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to determine the differences of physical and mechanical properties between internodes level of each bamboo species. Pearson Correlation coefficients were calculated to determine the correlation among the physical and mechanical properties. Bamboo culms of D. asper and B. vulgaris were studied and sampled according to internodes. Results showed that the basic density of both species at the top portion were significantly higher than the bottom portion. Moisture content at the bottom portion was significantly higher than the top portion. Modulus of rupture (MOR), Modulus of elasticity (MOE) and compression strength at the top portion were significantly higher than the bottom portion. Basic density, MOR, MOE and compression strength increased with height. It can be concluded that the middle to the top portion of the culm can be used for strength purposes while the middle down to bottom portion can be utilized for general utility. View article

Tree Diversity, Forest Structure and Species Composition in a Logged-Over Mixed Dipterocarp Forest, Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Malcom Demies; Hiromitsu Samejima; Alexander K. Sayok; Gabriel T. Noweg. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 102 - 110.
Abstract The Anap Muput Forest Management Unit (AMFMU) located in Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia is a production forest. It have undergone at least one or two cycle of selective logging where valuable timber species are depleting. Therefore the structure, composition and productivity of the re growth forests are quite different from the virgin stands. Measuring the diversity is one of the ways to access the soundness of ecological ecosystems. This study aim to collect information on tree diversity, forest structure and species composition. A total of 61 circular plots of 25-m radius were established covering a total area of 7.67 hectares. Trees with diameter at breast height (DBH) of 10 cm and above were recorded. Species composition, diversity, relative density (RD), relative basal area (RBA) and relative frequency (RF) and important value index (IVI) were calculated. A total of 5,871 trees comprised of 66 families, 208 genera and 827 species were recorded. Dipterocarpaceae was the most dominant family with 31.8% of trees. Shorea was the dominant genus, while Macaranga hosei of Euphorbiaceae with 193 trees is the most dominant species here. Shorea collaris was the highest record for Dipterocarpaceae with 176 stands. The highest IVI of trees in lowland dipterocarp forest was Shorea macroptera ssp. baillonii with the value of 84.73 though it only represented 1.8% of the total IVI of the area. At Shannon-Weiner diversity index (H’) of 3.44, the diversity of logged-over lowland dipterocarp forest in the study area is considered highly diverse. The results of this study strengthen the importance to manage the forest sustainably as timber industry is important for the state’s economy. View article

A guide to Begonias at Kawag Forest, Ulu Segama Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia
Fung Yun Chong; Rimi Repin. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 111 - 118.
Abstract A study to determine Begonia diversity in the lowland mixed dipterocarp forest was conducted during the Kawag Forest Scientific Expedition in 2016. Five specimens of Begonia were collected from Kawag Forest and one species was found adjacent to the Kawag Danum Rainforest Lodge (KDRL). The collection of fertile specimens of Begonias was deposited at SAN (Sandakan Herbarium) and SNP (Sabah Park Herbarium). Among the species collected, five species are new records for Kawag Forest Reserve and one species is new addition to the Begonia flora of Borneo. View article

Mycoheterotrophic plants of Tama Abu Protected Forest, Ulu Baram, Sarawak
Chea-Yiiing Ling; Hirokazu Tsukaya; Andi Maryani A. Mustapeng. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 119 - 126.
Abstract A 10-day botanical survey was conducted during the Sarawak Heart of Borneo (HoB) Scientific Expedition in Tama Abu Protected Forest, Ulu Baram, Sarawak, from 15th to 25th August 2017. The scientific expedition was organized by Sarawak Forestry Department, which aim to document the variety of rich flora and fauna in Tama Abu Protected Forest. From the survey, four (4) families of mycoheterotrophic plants of angiosperms group were discovered, they are Burmanniaceae, Orchidaceae, Polygalaceae and Triuridaceae. These comprise of seven (7) genera and 12 species reported for this protected forest. Among the species, Epirixanthes confusa and Gymnosiphon aphyllus are recorded for the first time in Sarawak. Two species endemics to Bornean region, Cystorchis saprophytica and Epirixanthes confusa. Orchidaceae and Polygalaceae families are the most diverse families, with four recorded species for each. Most of the species recorded from pristine mixed dipterocarp forest with high humidity, except Gymnosiphon aphyllus and Sciaphila winkleri. These findings could be underrepresented the richness of mycoheterotrophic plants in Tama Abu, as this group of plant is easily over-looked due to their tiny size and dull colour that blend into the background colour of forest floor. The diversity of mycoheterotrophic plants in Borneo is expected to be high as the environment in Borneo is suitable for them to grow. However, most of the mycoheterotrophic plants are under-studied as they were rarely collected. View article

A Checklist of Lycophytes and Ferns from Tenompok Forest Reserve, Sabah, with Four Additions to Borneo
Andi Maryani A Mustapeng; John B Sugau. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(1-2), 127 - 134.
Abstract A three days botanical survey for lycophytes and ferns study was carried out between 6th to 8th September 2016 in Tenompok Forest Reserve, Ranau, Sabah. Tenompok Forest Reserve is a Class I Protection Forest Reserve under the jurisdiction of Ranau District Forestry Office of Sabah Forestry Department. This forest reserve is located in the western part of Sabah with an area of 1,984 ha. During the survey, matured specimens were collected along the existing trails, along a drainage, as well as off the trails within the forest reserve. A total of 53 specimens were collected, some common species were also sighted and recorded, but not collected. This checklist also incorporated with previous surveys within the reserve obtained from BRAHMS database system. As a result, 19 families were identified, comprising of 41 genera with 68 species and infraspecific taxa. Among the findings, four species are new records for Borneo, namely Asplenium steerei (Aspleniaceae), Hymenophyllum caudiculatum var. productum (Hymenophyllaceae), Lindsaea malayensis (Lindsaeaceae), and Polystichum prolificans (Dryopteridaceae). Six species of Bornean endemics were also collected in this survey, including three hyper-endemics to Mt. Kinabalu and surrounding areas, and seven species of ferns are rare and restricted to two or three locality regions. Despite thelow number of taxa as compared to Mt. Kinabalu (Kinabalu Park), Tenompok Forest Reserve is an important habitat for rare and endemic lycophytes and ferns of Borneo. Further study should be conducted within this reserve to explore more areas, and to find possibly new records of lycophytes and ferns. View article

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