Kars, Turkey
Kars, Turkey

Kafkas University is a public higher educational institution established on July 11, 1992, in Kars, Eastern Anatolia in Turkey. It has six faculties, three institutes, three colleges, four vocational colleges and several research and application centers. The university campus is situated 3.5 km southwest of Kars. Kafkas is Turkish for Caucasus. Wikipedia.


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Nano-scale LiCoPO4/C cathode materials were produced by a recently detailed low-level and long-time microwave-hydrothermal method. This effective method offers some clear advantagesit improves crystal qualities and has a positive impact on the quality and properties of the carbon layer. In addition, for comparison purposes, three other routes were usedhydrothermal, sol-gel and simple precipitation techniques. Alginic acid compound was used as a provider of carbon because of its superior properties in terms of its ability to adhere to the surface. It is clearly known that, while capable of producing high voltage olivine, cathodes have two main drawbacks and these have not yet been overcome; these are insufficient cycle stability and low rate performance. At this point, in light of the accessed data, it provides a simple and useful solution to the problems mentioned above. In particular, HR-TEM analysis reveals that this extraordinary microwave technique makes it possible to extremely fine and homogeneous surface carbon layer, which results in a striking impact on its electrochemical properties. Thus, this work provides a unique solution for a high-level energy storage application. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


The molecular structure and conformational analysis of isonicotinic acid (3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-benzylidene)-hydrazide were investigated by Ab initio and density functional theory DFT/B3LYP levels of theory with complete relaxation in the potential energy surface using varied basis set. The four stable conformers of the studied molecule (C1, C2, C3 and C4) were computed. The computational results diagnose the most stable conformer of (3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-benzylidene)-hydrazide as the C1 form. Molecular structure, dipole moment, polarizability and first static hyperpolarizability of the four stable conformers have been calculated by using 6-311++G (d, p) basis set for both models. Besides, EHOMO (the highest occupied molecular orbital energy), ELUMO (the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital energy) and HOMO-LUMO energy gap (ΔEg) are investigated. The dipole moment for C1, C2, C3 and C4 conformers are calculated at 2.44, 7.74, 7.75 and 6.58 with DFT/B3LYP level of the theory 6-311++G (d, p) basis set and at the HF/6-311++ G (d, p) 2.60, 7.42, 7.41 and 6.36 Debye, respectively. The structural parameters of the studied molecule compared with data in the literature. © 2017 Author(s).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-06-2016 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2017

Natural epidemics and outbreaks of emerging viral epidemics are growing problems internationally. The general aim of the CCHFVaccine project is to develop and deliver a vaccine, which can significantly increase our capacity to control the situation of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) disease on a global basis. The proposed work program on CCHF virus aims to build a multidisciplinary research network, able to deliver vaccine candidates, methods and procedures eligible for clinical trials, with a special focus on prevention. Thanks to the background, unique facilities and tools available among the consortium participants, CCHFVaccine will deliver tools for countering the threat of this infection in Europe and endemic areas of the world. This work program will attempt to fill gaps in CCHFV virus research on immunology and vaccinology. To achieve this overall aim, an intensive work plan will be put in place with the following specific objectives: i) to produce vaccine candidates, ii) to bring several unique animal models into front line vaccine research, iii) to validate and bring the most promising vaccine candidates to clinical trials, iv) to ensure that an immune mediated protection is adequately understood, v) to perform clinical trials at Phase I and ensure a strategy for the effective deployment and utilization in resource-poor countries, and vi) to link this project to public health bodies, NGOs and vaccine companies. The proposed CCHFVaccine project will succeed in bringing together selected competitive advantages such as: operating capacity with appropriate facilities (state-of-the-art BSL-4s) and the only animal BSL-4 -with capacity to challenge domestic animals in Europe, highly experienced researchers in the development and evaluation of vaccine candidates, authorities and entities of human and animal health, clinical samples from endemic countries, and an international network proven to be functional by the previous EU-funded CCHFever and EDENext.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.3.3-1 | Award Amount: 16.37M | Year: 2011

To address the call for proposals Biology and control of vector-borne infections in Europe launched by the European Commission, we want to investigate the biological, ecological and epidemiological components of vector-borne diseases (VBD) introduction, emergence and spread, and to propose innovative tools for controlling them, building on the basis of acquired knowledge. We have selected the main groups of arthropod vectors involved in the transmission of vector-borne diseases in Europe: ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies, and biting midges (Culicoides). We have also selected the main diseases of actual or possible importance in human and veterinary public health. Rodents, insectivores and rodent-borne diseases have also been considered, both for their direct importance in public health, and for the major role of rodents and insectivores as reservoir hosts of many pathogens. We have put a strong focus on vector- and disease-quantitative modelling. The resulting predictive models will be used to assess climate or environmental change scenarios, as well as vector or disease control strategies. Human behaviour and risk perception are an important component of VBD introduction, emergence and spread. The consequences triggered by VBD for human and veterinary public health in Europe are just starting to emerge in public awareness. We will also account for this aspect of human and veterinary public health in our proposal. Finally, the set of innovative research methods, tools and results obtained during the project will be a step forward a generic approach of VBD in terms of disease monitoring and early warning systems, and will reinforce the general framework for an integrated pest and disease management system. For all these aspects, we will benefit from, and amplify the strong scientific results, capacity building, and research networks established by EDEN project on emerging, vector-borne diseases in a changing European environment.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-3-06 | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2008

West Nile Fever (WNF), Rift Valley Fever (RVF) and Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) are arthropod-borne diseases of different domestic and wild animals and can also affect humans, posing a great threat to public health because of their epidemic and zoonotic potential. Their geographical distribution has expanded in recent decades. WNF outbreaks have already occurred in Europe, CCHF is endemic in many countries including Europe. In 2000, RVF, was reported the first time outside of the African continent, cases being confirmed in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. This virgin-soil epidemic raises the threat of expansion into other parts of Asia and Europe. There is a general public concern regarding emerging zoonotic diseases which has gained new relevance in the light of global warming. This is especially true regarding the spread of vector-borne diseases such as CCHF, RVF and WNF. It is imperative to work out integrated control measures which include vector control, vaccination programmes, improved therapy strategies, diagnostic tools and surveillance, public awareness, capacity building and improvement of infrastructure in endemic regions. The anticipated project will address these areas specifically aiming at: 1) creating common knowledge on the diseases, sharing and exchanging data, expertise, experiences and scientific information; 2) maintaining and expanding surveillance systems, monitoring disease occurrence, and vaccine use; 3) introducing, distributing and harmonizing disease detection and control tools; 4) disseminating knowledge and training staff of relevant third countries; 5) interlinking different scientific disciplines which look at the problem from differrent angles. A coordinated research programme including key laboratories in Europe and neighbouring countries can address scientific questions of joint interest enabling the development of effective control measures, aimed at improving the EUs response to outbreaks of diseases.


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: phys.org

"Identifying areas important to a species is a critical component of conservation," says graduate student and study first author Joshua Horns. "For migratory birds, like the Great Reed Warbler, this information can be difficult to obtain since the birds rely on multiple areas that can be separated by vast distances." The team at the University of Utah, along with Turkish collaborators from Kafkas University, KuzeyDoga Society and the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, set out to follow a population of Great Reed Warblers from their breeding grounds in eastern Turkey, all the way to sub-Saharan Africa where the birds spend the winter. "Great Reed Warblers were a particularly interesting species to study because they rely almost entirely on wetlands for food and habitat," Horns says. Wetland-specialist birds are among the most threatened on earth with over 2/3 of wetland species facing extinction. Therefore studying Great Reed Warblers, which are not considered to be of conservation concern, can identify areas of importance for other wetland birds that may be too rare for similar studies. Great Reed Warblers and other small songbirds, have previously presented a challenge to scientists wishing to track their movement. Standard GPS units that communicate with satellites to pinpoint latitude and longitude coordinates are too large for a bird that weighs no more than an AA battery. However the development of "geolocators" has allowed for the production of extremely light-weight tracking units. Rather than using satellites, geolocators use the amount of sunlight to infer the timing of sunset and sunrise. From this information scientists can use the time the sun rose to deduce the bird's longitude, and the length of the day to deduce latitude. Because these devices do not communicate with satellites, the size of the battery—and hence the weight—can be greatly reduced. In early 2013, the research team attached 30 geolocators to Great Reed Warblers in eastern Turkey, for the first time in the country. Because the devices do not use satellites, all birds with geolocators had to be recaptured in order to access the information. Every spring since 2013, the team has been netting any Great Reed Warbler they could find in hopes of recovering geolocators. Over the past few years, 5 devices have been recovered and the information contained within them has given great insight into how these birds move throughout the year. The study revealed that during the fall, the birds flew roughly 3,600 kilometers from Turkey into South Sudan, crossing the Middle East, Arabia and Sahara deserts. There the birds spent four months in central African wetlands before relocating 2,100 kilometers southeast to the Indian Ocean coast. In April the birds began moving back to Turkey, travelling 5,500 kilometers over the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. These movements resulted in an annual journey of over 11,000 kilometers or roughly the distance from Alaska to Chile (or roughly the distance from Utah to the tip of South America). This is the second-longest recorded migration for Great Reed Warblers ever recorded. All five birds crossed from Africa to the Middle East at the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait, a narrow channel of water connecting the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. Crossing here has the benefit of reducing the amount of time birds must spend over open water where there is no chance to land should something go wrong. However, it also concentrates birds into a "migratory bottleneck". Migratory bottlenecks can be found in many places across the globe; anywhere landscapes encourage birds to use a similar pathway. "These bottlenecks create great potential for population declines if something should happen that makes it difficult for migrants to move through," Horns says. This potential threat was made even clearer when the team looked at how well-protected the Great Reed Warblers were along their migratory route. The researchers looked at which Important Bird Areas (IBA) the birds were using. IBAs are regions that have been identified as critical for bird conservation either because they contain a great number and a great diversity of birds, or because they contain a significant percent of the population of a single species. The Great Reed Warblers tracked in this study encountered 277 IBAs throughout the year, over 40% of which receive no formal protection. Even more alarming, all IBAs encountered at the migratory bottleneck of the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait have no formal protection. "This includes Aras River wetlands where these birds breed," Horns says. Aras wetlands, eastern Turkey's richest wetland for birds with 264 bird species, are threatened with destruction by the planned Tuzluca Dam. "If habitat in this region is allowed to deteriorate, Great Reed Warblers as well as all other birds migrating through the Strait could be in serious danger," he says. More information: "Geolocator tracking of Great Reed-Warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) identifies key regions for migratory wetland specialists in the Middle East and sub-Saharan East Africa" October 26, 2016, americanornithologypubs.org/doi/full/10.1650/CONDOR-16-63.1


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Biologists at the University of Utah recently used light-weight geolocation technology to follow a species of songbird on its 10,000-kilometer migration from the Middle East to sub-Saharan Africa. The study, published October 26 in The Condor: Ornithological Applications identified key regions of importance for the species and highlighted the lack of protection many of these regions receive. "Identifying areas important to a species is a critical component of conservation," says graduate student and study first author Joshua Horns. "For migratory birds, like the Great Reed Warbler, this information can be difficult to obtain since the birds rely on multiple areas that can be separated by vast distances." The team at the University of Utah, along with Turkish collaborators from Kafkas University, KuzeyDoga Society and the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, set out to follow a population of Great Reed Warblers from their breeding grounds in eastern Turkey, all the way to sub-Saharan Africa where the birds spend the winter. "Great Reed Warblers were a particularly interesting species to study because they rely almost entirely on wetlands for food and habitat," Horns says. Wetland-specialist birds are among the most threatened on earth with over 2/3 of wetland species facing extinction. Therefore studying Great Reed Warblers, which are not considered to be of conservation concern, can identify areas of importance for other wetland birds that may be too rare for similar studies. Great Reed Warblers and other small songbirds, have previously presented a challenge to scientists wishing to track their movement. Standard GPS units that communicate with satellites to pinpoint latitude and longitude coordinates are too large for a bird that weighs no more than an AA battery. However the development of "geolocators" has allowed for the production of extremely light-weight tracking units. Rather than using satellites, geolocators use the amount of sunlight to infer the timing of sunset and sunrise. From this information scientists can use the time the sun rose to deduce the bird's longitude, and the length of the day to deduce latitude. Because these devices do not communicate with satellites, the size of the battery -- and hence the weight -- can be greatly reduced. In early 2013, the research team attached 30 geolocators to Great Reed Warblers in eastern Turkey, for the first time in the country. Because the devices do not use satellites, all birds with geolocators had to be recaptured in order to access the information. Every spring since 2013, the team has been netting any Great Reed Warbler they could find in hopes of recovering geolocators. Over the past few years, 5 devices have been recovered and the information contained within them has given great insight into how these birds move throughout the year. The study revealed that during the fall, the birds flew roughly 3,600 kilometers from Turkey into South Sudan, crossing the Middle East, Arabia and Sahara deserts. There the birds spent four months in central African wetlands before relocating 2,100 kilometers southeast to the Indian Ocean coast. In April the birds began moving back to Turkey, travelling 5,500 kilometers over the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. These movements resulted in an annual journey of over 11,000 kilometers or roughly the distance from Alaska to Chile (or roughly the distance from Utah to the tip of South America). This is the second-longest recorded migration for Great Reed Warblers ever recorded. All five birds crossed from Africa to the Middle East at the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait, a narrow channel of water connecting the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. Crossing here has the benefit of reducing the amount of time birds must spend over open water where there is no chance to land should something go wrong. However, it also concentrates birds into a "migratory bottleneck". Migratory bottlenecks can be found in many places across the globe; anywhere landscapes encourage birds to use a similar pathway. "These bottlenecks create great potential for population declines if something should happen that makes it difficult for migrants to move through," Horns says. This potential threat was made even clearer when the team looked at how well-protected the Great Reed Warblers were along their migratory route. The researchers looked at which Important Bird Areas (IBA) the birds were using. IBAs are regions that have been identified as critical for bird conservation either because they contain a great number and a great diversity of birds, or because they contain a significant percent of the population of a single species. The Great Reed Warblers tracked in this study encountered 277 IBAs throughout the year, over 40% of which receive no formal protection. Even more alarming, all IBAs encountered at the migratory bottleneck of the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait have no formal protection. "This includes Aras River wetlands where these birds breed," Horns says. Aras wetlands, eastern Turkey's richest wetland for birds with 264 bird species, are threatened with destruction by the planned Tuzluca Dam. "If habitat in this region is allowed to deteriorate, Great Reed Warblers as well as all other birds migrating through the Strait could be in serious danger," he says. Funding for this study was provided by the Christensen Fund, the National Geographic Society, the Whitley Fund, and the University of Utah. Turkey's Department of Nature Conservation and National Parks and Igdir Directorate of Forestry and Water Affairs granted permits to conduct this study. This release and photos can be found here. The full study can be found here.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 228.00K | Year: 2014

Anthrax, caused by the spore forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a disease of animals which can infect humans either directly through contact with infected animals or indirectly as a consequence of bioterrorism. In regions of the world such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia the pathogen still constitutes a significant threat to human and animal health. A lack of effective veterinary facilities, access to vaccines and the burial of untreated infected animals has resulted in the contamination of large areas due to the ability of the spores to survive in soil for many years. Given that the bacteria is non-contagious its elimination from contaminated soil and surfaces would have a major impact on disease incidence. We are seeking to to develop an approach which is specific for B.anthracis and will have minimal impact on the environment. Following preliminary field trails on animal burial sites in Turkey we have developed a technique whch triggers the conversion (germination) of B.anthracis spores into bacteriophage (phage) susceptible vegetative bacteria. Phages are natural preditors of bacteria, are species specific and found in close proximity to their prey. We hypothesize that a combination of germinants and B.anthracis specific phages will be an effective and ecologically friends means of reducing spore numbers. Indeed in laboratory studies we have demonstrated the feasibility of this approach. Additional phages have been isolated from burial sites in Georgia and Turkey and will be evaluated as part of this study. While there are a number of funded phage based anthrax decon projects in the region their is as yet no dedicated scientific network to facilitate the sharing of best practices and to link researchers in neighbouring countries facing similar problems. It is our intention to link these projects together in a manner which maximises the current investment and will deliver an environmentally friendly decontamination system.


Cakmur H.,Kafkas University
Medical Science Monitor | Year: 2015

Background: The elderly population is growing in Turkey, as it is worldwide. The average age of residents in rural areas of Turkey is relatively high and is gradually increasing. The purpose of this study is to summarize the fitness and frailty of elderly adults living in a rural area of Turkey characterized by a relatively low level of socioeconomic development. Material/Methods: This study was designed as a prospective, cross-sectional study, and was conducted in a rural area of Kars Province. A total of 168 elderly adults (≥65 years old) from 12 central villages were included in the study. The Fried Frailty Criteria was used to assess the frailty of the participants. In addition to frailty, the physical, social, and mental status of elderly adults was examined. Results: The prevalence of frailty in this rural area of Turkey was 7.1%.The study group ranged in age from 65 to 96 years (mean 72.70±7.73 years), and 53.6% were female. Among the elderly adult group, 84.3% had not completed elementary school, and 43.29% had a monthly income of ≤500 Turkish liras ($200). No significant relationship was identified between gender and frailty. There was a statistically significant relationship between frailty and older age, lower education level, lower economic level, co-morbidities, polypharmacy, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gastric disease, arthritis, generalized pain, benign prostatic hyperplasia, urinary incontinence, auditory impairment, impaired oral care, caregiver burden, impaired cognitive function, depression, or a lack of social support (social isolation). Conclusions: It is believed that this study will contribute considerably to understanding the health status and needs of elderly adults in Turkey and the health problems of this population as well as to planning the development of public health and geriatric services based on regional needs. © Med Sci Monit.


Purpose. The aim of this study was to discuss the burden of care-giving and the accompanied psychosocial experiences of caregivers. Method.We studied 49 caregivers of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) recruited from a Turkish MS organisation, measuring their needs using the Psychological and Social Needs Scale. To assess the level of their burdens, we used the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview (ZCBI). Results.Most of the caregivers (63.3%) were females with a mean age of 42.12 (13.8) years, and 55.1% of the caregivers were spouses. The majority of caregivers were involved in bathing (59.2%) and dressing (55.1%) activities. A significant correlation exists between the ZCBI and dimensions of the Psychological and the Social Needs Scale (hopelessness, conflict in decision making, leisure activity deficit and social isolation). The following variables increased the ZCBI scores for caregivers: insufficient income; unemployment; presence of chronic disease; financial problems; difficulties in maintaining responsibilities; caregiver responsibilities involving dressing and positioning of the patient. Conclusion.Major predictors of feelings of being burdened were hopelessness, conflict in decision making, leisure activity deficits and social isolation of the person with MS. Psychological, social and financial support should be considered to reduce the burden of caregivers in Turkey. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.

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