Richards Bay, South Africa

University of Zululand
Richards Bay, South Africa

The University of Zululand is the only comprehensive tertiary educational institution north of the Tugela River in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Its new status is in accordance with South Africa's National Plan for Higher Education aimed at eradicating inequity and costly duplication. As a result, Unizulu offers career-focused programmes as well as a limited number of relevant university degree courses that have been structured with potential employees and employers in mind.The university has extended its existing links with a wide array of tertiary educational institutions in the United States and in Europe by establishing partnerships with the University of Mississippi, Radford University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and Chicago State University. Unizulu pursues an agenda for scholarly investigation in response to social problems, with community service being systematically integrated into the formal curriculum. The University strives to produce graduates with high-level knowledge and skills and who have been educated for citizenship and for active participation in society. In order to do so effectively, it seeks to cultivate relationships with funding agencies at home and abroad. Wikipedia.

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Tilahun S.L.,University of Zululand
Applied Soft Computing Journal | Year: 2017

Prey predator algorithm is a population based metaheuristic algorithm inspired by the interaction between a predator and its prey. In the algorithm, a solution with a better performance is called best prey and focuses totally on exploitation whereas the solution with least performance is called predator and focuses totally on exploration. The remaining solutions are called ordinary prey and either exploit promising regions by following better performing solutions or explore the solution space by randomly running away from the predator. Recently, it has been shown that by increasing the number of best prey or predator, it is possible to adjust the degree of exploitation and exploration. Even though, this tuning has the advantage of easily controlling these search behaviors, it is not an easy task. As any other metaheuristic algorithm, the performance of prey predator algorithm depends on the proper degree of exploration and exploitation of the decision space. In this paper, the concept of hyperheuristic is employed to balance the degree of exploration and exploitation of the algorithm. So that it learns and decides the best search behavior for the problem at hand in iterations. The ratio of the number of the best prey and the predators are used as low level heuristics. From the simulation results the balancing of the degree of exploration and exploitation by using hyperheuristic mechanism indeed improves the performance of the algorithm. Comparison with other algorithms shows the effectiveness of the proposed approach. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Jury M.R.,University of Zululand
International Journal of Climatology | Year: 2017

ABSTRACT: Climatic trends in the southeastern Antilles island chain are analysed via reanalysis datasets in the period 1980-2014. Although a homogeneous marine climate surrounds these small islands embedded in northeast trade winds, the analysis presented here reveals spatial gradients in climatic trends during the satellite era. In the axis of the fresh North Brazil Current, sea surface temperature (SST) trends are steep (+0.04°Cyear-1) and correspond with weaker winds and rising ozone concentrations (+0.15DUyear-1). Subsidence and meridional wind trends are related to an acceleration in the Hadley overturning atmospheric circulation which heats the trade wind inversion. Expanded wind shadows induce warmer SST, greater latent heat flux and deeper convection west of the Antilles islands. While rainfall has decreased in Trinidad and eastern Venezuela, the mountainous islands of Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique have increasing rainfall (+0.02mmday-1year-1) in the satellite era. Weakening ocean currents near Grenada may reflect a diminishing of the global thermohaline meridional overturning circulation. © 2017 Royal Meteorological Society.

York T.,University of Zululand | De Wet H.,University of Zululand | Van Vuuren S.F.,University of Witwatersrand
Journal of Ethnopharmacology | Year: 2011

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Traditional remedies are frequently used in treating various respiratory ailments, and are very important in the primary health care of the people living in rural Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Novel information gathered from surveys like the present study is important in preserving indigenous knowledge. Aim of the study: To explore the knowledge that the lay people of a rural community in northern Maputaland have about medicinal plants used in the vicinity to treat respiratory infections. Materials and methods: Interviews were conducted among 80 homestead inhabitants, using structured questionnaires where convenience sampling was used. The focus was on plants used in treating respiratory infections. Some of the main topics discussed during the interviews were vernacular plant names, plant parts used, harvested amounts, preparation methods, dosage forms and quantities, use of plants in combination as well as the related symptomatic relief associated with respiratory infections. Results: The study documented 30 plant species (18 families) which are used to treat respiratory infections by the rural people in the study area. Decoctions made with these plants are mostly taken orally, combined with the use of steaming. To the best of our knowledge, Acanthospermum glabratum, Aloe marlothii, Krauseola mosambicina, Ozoroa obovata, Parinari capensis and Plectranthus neochilus are recorded for the first time globally as medicinal plants used for treating respiratory infections and related symptoms. The indigenous aromatic shrub, Lippia javanica was by far the most frequently used plant species, followed by Eucalyptus grandis (an exotic), Tetradenia riparia and then Senecio serratulloides. Twenty-four different plant combinations were used where the most frequently used combination encountered was Eucalyptus grandis with Lippia javanica. Conclusion: The large number of different plant species traditionally used against respiratory infections supports previous research on the importance of traditional medicine in the primary health care of this remote area. The finding of new vernacular plant names and plant uses in the current survey shows the importance of the documentation of such ethnobotanical knowledge. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

York T.,University of Zululand | Van Vuuren S.F.,University of Witwatersrand | De Wet H.,University of Zululand
Journal of Ethnopharmacology | Year: 2012

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Abundant availability of medicinal plants in the study area offers low cost health care, but scientific validation is needed in order to lend credibility to the traditional use against respiratory infections. Aim of the study: This study focussed on determining the antimicrobial efficacies of 30 plant species (independently and in various combinations) used for respiratory related infections in rural Maputaland. Materials and methods: In vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assays were undertaken on dichloromethane-methanol (CH2Cl2: MeOH) and aqueous extracts, as well as the hydro-distilled essential oils (for aromatic plants). Selected plant parts were assessed for antimicrobial activity against a range of respiratory pathogens i.e. Cryptococcus neoformans (ATCC 14116), Klebsiella pneumoniae (ATCC 13883), Moraxella catarrhalis (ATCC 23246), Mycobacterium smegmatis (ATCC 14468) and Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 6538). The sum of the fractional inhibitory concentrations (∑FIC) was determined for plants traditionally used in combination. Isobolograms represent MIC values for a selection of interactions where two plants were combined in various ratios. Results: The most antimicrobially active aqueous extracts were that of Ozoroa obovata and Sclerocarya birrea (0.10 mg/ml) while organic extracts from Parinari capensis subsp. incohata and Tetradenia riparia demonstrated the most noteworthy (0.03 mg/ml) activity. Although both Lippia javanica and Eucalyptus grandis were by far the most popular plants traditionally used for respiratory infections, the antimicrobial activity was mostly only moderate. Furthermore, the traditional use in a 1:1 combination did not display strong antimicrobial interactions, but isobolograms demonstrate (against some test organisms) that when combined in various ratios, predominant additive interactions are evident where E. grandis was present in larger proportions. The combination of E. grandis with O. obovata demonstrated synergism against both C. neoformans and K. pneumoniae, with ∑FIC values of 0.34 and 0.28 respectively. Various ratios of these two plants also demonstrated a predominantly synergistic profile. Conclusion: Although this in vitro study supports the traditional use of some plants independently and in combination for the treatment of respiratory ailments in rural Maputaland, results demonstrate that the traditional selection of plants in higher frequency do not necessarily correlate with higher antimicrobial efficacy. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Ramasamy K.,University of Alabama | Malik M.A.,University of Manchester | Revaprasadu N.,University of Zululand | O'Brien P.,University of Manchester
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2013

Recent advances in nanotechnology could facilitate the production of cheaper solar cells. This review describes synthetic routes to various nanostructured materials that are potentially useful in photovoltaic applications. We have focused on materials that are based on earth abundant elements and/or those that are held to have lower toxicity. Methods to synthesize binary chalcogenides with variable stoichiometries such as iron sulfide, copper sulfide, and nickel sulfide are described in detail. Other important photovoltaic materials such as cadmium telluride and lead sulfide are also covered. Methods to prepare emerging materials such as tin sulfide and bismuth sulfide are also discussed. Finally routes to ternary materials, e.g. copper indium sulfide and/or selenide and the quaternary material copper zinc tin sulfide, are discussed. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Rural and semi-rural communities in third world countries harness solar energy mostly by using standalone Photovoltaic (PV) battery charging systems. Basic electronics circuits that do not include direct current to direct current (DC-DC) voltage converters are employed. These provide raw voltage levels from the solar PV modules that sometimes charge batteries insufficiently, leading to shorter battery lives. By modelling the solar PV module using a voltage source circuit representation, the effects of temperature on the PV module voltage could easily be illustrated to these rudimentary trained communities that deal mostly with voltage sources and not current sources. A Voltage Source PV Model (VSPVM) was developed from the well understood PV cell mathematical model. Microsoft Excel (MSE) was used as the data fitting environment and the PSpice environment was used to capture the electronic circuit topology proposed for the VSPVM. Validating the model against experimental data fitted maximum power points within 5% of the experimental data. Observations made on I-V characteristics plotted on the same graph showed interesting patterns of crossing points referred to here as Photovoltaic Temperature Crossing Points (PVTCP). A low temperature cluster and a high temperature cluster which were indicative of thresholds of some sort were observed. For hot climate regions, the power point voltage which exists between the two clusters could be considered as a guide to the possible range within which a PV battery charging system should operation. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Semple S.J.,University of Zululand
Lipids in Health and Disease | Year: 2012

In a bid to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with coronary artery disease, statin therapy has become a cornerstone treatment for patients with dyslipideamia. Statins, or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, are effective in blocking hepatic synthesis of cholesterol and are generally regarded as safe. Although rare, severe adverse side effects such as rhabdomyolysis have been reported, however, the more common complaint from patients is that related to myopathy. There is also mounting evidence that exercise may exacerbate these side effects, however the mechanisms are yet to be fully defined and there is controversy regarding the role that inflammation may play in the myopathy. This paper reports a patients experience during 6 months of simvastatin therapy and provides some insight into the white cell count (inflammation) following two bouts of moderate intensity exercise before and during statin therapy. It also highlights the need for rehabilitation practitioners to be aware of the adverse effects of statins in exercising patients. © 2012 Semple; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

The prevalence of obesity and associated cardiometabolic disease (CMD) is increasing among Black African women and requires urgent attention in the form of preventive strategies. To date, there is limited scientific evidence highlighting the efficacy of Tae-bo as an intervention for reducing weight and CMD risk factors. Prospective experimental. South Africa, University of Zululand. Sixty previously sedentary participants (25 +/- 5 y) who were overweight (BMI>25-29.9 kg/m2) or obese (BMI> or =30-39.9 kg/m2). Participants performed a 10-week aerobic (Tae-bo) program 60 min/day for three days a week at moderate intensity for the first five weeks and high intensity for the last five weeks. Anthropometric parameters (height, weight, waist and hip circumference and sum of skinfolds), blood pressure, fasting glucose, and lipoproteins were measured at baseline, after six weeks and 24 hours after completion of the 10-week program. Data was analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA and a Tukey Post hoc test. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 26.7% pre-intervention and decreased to 16.3% post intervention. There was a statistically significant (P< or =.05) improvement in weight, BMI, waist and hip circumference, glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, resting heart rate and resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures following the intervention. A 10-week 30-session Tae-bo exercise program was effective in reducing traditional risk factors associated with cardio-metabolic disease in overweight/obese university students.

Shonhai A.,University of Zululand
FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology | Year: 2010

Heat shock proteins act as molecular chaperones, facilitating protein folding in cells of living organisms. Their role is particularly important in parasites because environmental changes associated with their life cycles place a strain on protein homoeostasis. Not surprisingly, some heat shock proteins are essential for the survival of the most virulent malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. This justifies the need for a greater understanding of the specific roles and regulation of malarial heat shock proteins. Furthermore, heat shock proteins play a major role during invasion of the host by the parasite and mediate in malaria pathogenesis. The identification and development of inhibitor compounds of heat shock proteins has recently attracted attention. This is important, given the fact that traditional antimalarial drugs are increasingly failing, as a consequence of parasite increasing drug resistance. Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), Hsp70/Hsp40 partnerships and small heat shock proteins are major malaria drug targets. This review examines the structural and functional features of these proteins that render them ideal drug targets and the challenges of targeting these proteins towards malaria drug design. The major antimalarial compounds that have been used to inhibit heat shock proteins include the antibiotic, geldanamycin, deoxyspergualin and pyrimidinones. The proposed mechanisms of action of these molecules and the pathways they inhibit are discussed. © 2009 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

University of Zululand | Date: 2014-08-06

A solution-based route to biocompatible, cysteine-capped gold-zinc telluride (AuZnTe) core/shell nanoparticles with potential in biomedical applications is described. The optical properties of the core/shell nanoparticles show no features of the individual parent components. The tunable emission properties of the semiconductor shell render the system useful for imaging and biological labelling applications.

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