Journal of Institute of Science and Technology 2020-01-14T08:01:27+00:00 Prof. Dr. Jagadeesh Bhattarai Open Journal Systems <p><em>Journal of Institute of Science and Technology </em>(JIST) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary science journal published by Institute of Science and Technology (IOST), Tribhuvan University (T.U.), Kathmandu, Nepal.</p> Canopy Research in Nepal Himalayas: Opportunities and Challenges 2020-01-14T08:01:12+00:00 Mohan P. Devkota <p>&nbsp;Despite a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field worldwide, forest canopies of Nepal Himalayas are yet to be explored and the national conservation strategy still has to recognize the importance to identify it as an essential domain of canopy dwelling animals and plants. In the last few decades canopy science has emerged as a new discipline with more interdisciplinary and large-scale research possibilities are coming including canopy-atmosphere interactions, structural and functional aspects of canopy on biodiversity are a few among them. Canopies are important in supporting high terrestrial diversity and providing goods and services. Diverse rural mountain societies not only depend on goods and services provided by canopy but it also provides opportunities to explore sustainable use of resources for local livelihood generation. New frontiers of forest canopy research can also provide inputs to understand the potential impacts of climate change on the changing availability of goods and services affecting rural communities of Nepal. Yet, it still remains one of the unexplored and overlooked areas in the biodiversity sector of Nepal. Here, the opportunities of canopy research in Nepal Himalayas and various challenges associated with this are reviewed.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Isolation and Characterization of Soil Myxobacteria from Nepal 2020-01-14T08:01:13+00:00 Nabin Rana Saraswoti Khadka Bishnu Prasad Marasini Bishnu Joshi Pramod Poudel Pramod Poudel Santosh Khanal Niranjan Parajuli <p>&nbsp;Realizing myxobacteria as a potential source of antimicrobial metabolites, we pursued research to isolate myxobacteria showing antimicrobial properties. We have successfully isolated three strains (NR-1, NR-2, NR-3) using the <em>Escherichia coli </em>baiting technique. These isolates showed typical myxobacterial growth characteristics. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all the strains (NR-1, NR-2, NR-3) belong to the family <em>Archangiaceae</em>, suborder <em>Cystobacterineae, </em>and order <em>Myxococcales</em>. Furthermore, 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity searched through BLAST revealed that strain NR-1 showed the closest similarity (91.8 %) to the type strain <em>Vitiosangium cumulatum </em>(NR-156939)<em>, </em>NR-2 showed (98.8 %) to the type of <em>Cystobacter badius </em>(NR-043940), and NR-3 showed the closest similarity (83.5 %) to the type of strain <em>Cystobacter fuscus </em>(KP-306730). All isolates showed better growth in 0.5-1 % NaCl and pH around 7.0, whereas no growth was observed at pH 9.0 and below 5.0. All strains showed better growth at 32° C and hydrolyzed starch, whereas casein was efficiently hydrolyzed by NR-1 and NR-2. Besides, preliminary antimicrobial tests from crude extracts showed activities against Gram-positive, Gram-negative bacteria, and fungi. Our findings suggest that the arcane soil habitats of Nepal harbor myxobacteria with the capability to produce diverse antimicrobial activities that may be explored to overcome the rapidly rising global concern about antibiotic resistance.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Analysis of Gradient Descent Optimization Techniques with Gated Recurrent Unit for Stock Price Prediction: A Case Study on Banking Sector of Nepal Stock Exchange 2020-01-14T08:01:15+00:00 Arjun Singh Saud Subarna Shakya <p>The stock price is the cost of purchasing a security or stock in a stock exchange. The stock price prediction has been the aim of investors since the beginning of the stock market. It is the act of forecasting the future price of a company's stock. Nowadays, deep learning techniques are widely used for identifying the stock trends from large amounts of past data. This research has experimented two big and robust commercial banks listed in the Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) and compared stock price prediction performance of GRU with three widely used gradient descent optimization techniques: Momentum, RMSProp, and Adam. GRU with Adam is more accurate and consistent approach for predicting stock prices from the present study.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Factors Influencing Food Insecurity in Nepal 2020-01-14T08:01:16+00:00 Hem Raj Regmi Kedar Rijal Ganesh Raj Joshi Ramesh P. Sapkota Sridhar Thapa <p>&nbsp;Nepal has been persistently encountering food insecurity and under-nutrition. It is therefore utmost important to determine the factors responsible for influencing food insecurity in Nepal. This study examines the factors determining food insecurity in Nepal applying binary logistic models for food poverty, household with inadequate food consumption and poor dietary diversity using data from Nepal Living Standard Survey 2010/11. Food security was determined to be strongly associated with education level and age of household head, household with higher female education level, larger farm size with higher ratio of irrigated land, better access to markets, roads and cooperatives, better household assets and remittance recipient households. Food insecure is relatively more prevalent in rural areas with higher dependent on rain-fed agriculture, higher dependency ratio and larger family size. Improving both physical and economic access to foods, together with investment in education and agriculture could help to reduce food insecurity and hunger from Nepal.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Groundwater Flow Modeling in Chitwan Dun Valley (Between Narayani River and Lothar Khola), Nepal 2020-01-14T08:01:17+00:00 Rita Bhandari Dinesh Pathak <p>&nbsp;Models are simplification of reality to investigate certain phenomena or to predict future behavior and always tries to generate scenario that is close to the real condition. Groundwater flow models are computer models generated through using established flow equations that simulate and predict aquifer conditions. The result of groundwater modeling is used for groundwater management and remediation. In the present study, hydrostratigraphic units were identified through interpreting the lithological logs of the drilled wells then fence diagram was prepared with three major aquifer horizons, namely unconfined, shallow confined and deep confined aquifers. In addition, hydrogeologic data were integrated to develop a conceptual hydrogeologic model of the aquifer system of the Chitwan Dun valley, which was the basis for the development of the numerical model. The aquifer system was modeled numerically using MODFLOW-2005 numerical modeling, which was further calibrated and an acceptable numerical model was obtained which showed different flow direction in each aquifer layer. The model was validated by comparing the observed and simulated heads. The result shows that in each of the aquifer layers, the general flow direction is towards west and south-west.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Screening of erm Gene of Inducible Clindamycin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus 2020-01-14T08:01:18+00:00 Roshan Timsina Bivek Timalsina Anjana Singh <p>&nbsp;Antibiotic resistance exhibited by <em>Staphylococcus aureus </em>is a growing global concern. This work was undertaken to determine the prevalence rate of inducible clindamycin resistant <em>S. aureus </em>in nasal sample and detect <em>erm</em>B gene in the isolates with inducible clindamycin resistance. Nasal swabs were collected from the school children and cultured on Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA) and Blood Agar (BA) for observation of colony morphology. Gram staining and biochemical test (catalase, oxidase, O-F and coagulase) were performed for further identification of the bacteria. The Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method using a cefoxitin disc (30 μg) was used to detect methicillin resistant <em>S. aureus </em>(MRSA). All, the MRSA isolates were tested for <em>erm</em>B gene by PCR amplification. Among 64 <em>S. aureus </em>isolates, 17 (26 %) were MRSA. The prevalence of Inducible clindamycin resistant <em>S. aureus </em>(iMLSB) isolates was 23.4 % in the <em>S. aureus </em>isolates. All the isolates of MRSA were resistant to penicillin, while 88.2 % were sensitive to gentamicin. The prevalence of <em>ermB </em>gene was 3.1 % in the total <em>S. aureus </em>isolates and 11.7 % MRSA showed the presence of this gene. Routinely performing a D-test in laboratory will guide the clinicians on the rationale use of clindamycin and improving hygienic practices can reduce the spread of inducible clindamycin resistance.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Effect of Potassium Nitrate in ZnO Nanoparticle Synthesis to Study the Performance of Dye Sensitized Solar Cell 2020-01-14T08:01:20+00:00 Leela Pradhan Joshi Jeny Bhatta Tika Bahadur Katuwal Bhim Prasad Kafle Deependra Das Mulmi <p>&nbsp;X-ray diffraction, Raman investigations, band gap energy of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) along with current-voltage characteristic curves of an assembled dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) are presented in this article. ZnO NPs were first synthesized with and without potassium nitrate (KNO<sub>3</sub>) salt by precipitation method from precursor solutions of zinc acetate and sodium hydroxide. Then, their thin films were deposited on FTO substrates from the paste made with acetic-acid glacial, and Triton X-100 in ethanol by doctor blade method. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern of ZnO NPs prepared without KNO<sub>3</sub> annealed at 500°C showed a hexagonal wurtzite structure with preferred orientation along (101) planes and crystallite size of 25 nm. Very similar XRD pattern was found for ZnO NPs prepared with KNO<sub>3</sub>. The crystallite size was found decreased to 17 nm for ZnO NPs made with KNO3 salt. Raman spectrum of ZnO NPs showed the presence of E<sub>2</sub> high or E<sub>2</sub> (2) peak at 437 cm<sup>-1</sup>. The optical band gaps of the ZnO thin films prepared from ZnO NPs with and without KNO<sub>3</sub> were measured to be of 3.16 eV and 3.26 eV, respectively. After sensitizing the above-prepared ZnO films by dye extract of <em>Artocarpus lakoocha</em>, the dye-sensitized solar cells were prepared, and their performance was tested by measuring I-V curves under light illumination of the power density of 1000 W/m<sup>2</sup>. The measurement showed highest I<sub>sc</sub> and V<sub>oc</sub> of 44 μA and 326 mV, respectively.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## High Mortality and Altered Diurnal Activity Pattern of Captive Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) in Mrigasthali Enclosure, Pashupatinath Area, Kathmandu 2020-01-14T08:01:21+00:00 Rita KC Laxman Khanal <p>One of the major objectives of keeping the wild animals in captivity is their successful breeding, population growth and future translocation. However, many species have lesser behavioral flexibility and fail to establish a viable population in captive conditions due to poor management, intolerant climatic conditions, competitions with other co-housed species, diseases, etc. Blackbuck (<em>Antilope cervicapra</em>) is a nationally endangered and protected mammalian species of Nepal. Blackbucks have been kept under captivity of Mrigasthali enclosure at Pashupatinath Temple area in Kathmandu since 2004 AD and the population has dwindled sharply in recent years. This study was designed to assess the population trend and diurnal activity pattern of the species in the Mrigasthali enclosure. Population census data for the last fifteen years were analyzed and behavioral samplings were done by ‘Focal animal sampling’ and ‘Scan sampling’ methods from 5th April to 29<sup>th</sup> July 2016. The study revealed a sharp decrease of the population since the outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease in 2014 exposing the remnant population into the risk of extirpation. The surviving individuals have the diurnal activity pattern and the time budgets prominently different than that of the wild populations, especially, they invest lesser time on feeding and more time on resting. Living in open areas despite cooler climate, intense competition for food and space with spotted deer and monkeys, lower behavioral flexibility of the species, anthropogenic disturbances, stochasticity related to the smaller population size, etc. were perceived as the major threats to the Blackbuck in Mrigasthali enclosure.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Distribution and Habitat Status of Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) in Mohana River Segment of Western Nepal 2020-01-14T08:01:23+00:00 Sunil Khatiwada Mukesh K. Chalise Shailendra Sharma <p>&nbsp;An endangered species of Ganges River dolphin (<em>Platanista gangetica</em>) in Mohana River and its population status was reported employing synchronized point count. The physicochemical parameters of water were determined using pseudo-random water sampling along various segments of the river. Mean sighting rate during monsoon, 2018 and pre-monsoon, 2016 were one dolphin per 1.355 km and 1.65 km, respectively, with a clumped distribution. Physico-chemical parameters test showed that Mohana River was slightly alkaline with high turbidity and low vulnerability to an acid deposition with a high amount of total phosphorous, indicating a high eutrophication productivity range for both seasons. Water quality is not significantly different during the study period, and the aquatic parameter showed that agricultural activities along the river may have an influence on water quality.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Pollinator Insects and their Impact on Crop Yield of Mustard in Kusma, Parbat, Nepal 2020-01-14T08:01:24+00:00 Narayan Subedi Indra Prasad Subedi <p>The diversity of insect pollinators and their impact on crop yield of mustard were studied in Kusma, Parbat, Nepal from December 2018 to April 2019 in four blocks with each having 12 m<sup>2</sup> areas. Two plots; treatment and control, were established in each block. Insect diversity was observed from 8 to 16 hrs, with the interval of an hour for three consecutive months (Jan-Feb). Eighty mustard plants were randomly selected, 40 from each plot just before flowering to find the impact of insect pollination on crop yield and these selected plants were examined for various qualitative and quantitative parameters. Altogether 16 species of pollinator insects belonging to five orders and nine families were recorded. Hymenoptera (36 %) was the most abundant order visiting mustard flowers followed by Diptera (34 %), Coleoptera (17 %), Lepidoptera (12 %) and Heteroptera (1 %). The most abundant family was Apidae (35.64 %), followed by Syrphidae (31.84 %). <em>Apis cerana </em>and <em>Eristalis </em>sp. were the most important pollinator insects of mustard. Seven species were found foraging both on pollen and nectar, four species foraging only on nectar and remaining five as casual visitors. The peak foraging activities of majority of the insects were observed between 12 hr to 14 hr. A significant difference was observed in the number of pods (59.80 ± 1.967 and 70.47 ± 2.431), fruit set (70.55 ± 1.362 and 80.94 ± 0.638), number of seeds per pods (16.70 ± 0.248 and 19.30 ± 0.330), diameter of seed (0.133 ± 0.2547 and 0.275 ± 0.0051) and weight of 100 dry seeds (0.33 ± 0.058 and 0.48 ± 0.023) in control and treatment plots whereas, the difference was non-significant in case of pod length between control and treatment plots (P=0.163).</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Study of Two Far Infrared Cavities Nearby Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars Under Infrared Astronomical Satellite Maps 2020-01-14T08:01:25+00:00 A. K. Gautam B. Aryal <p>&nbsp;Dust colour temperature, dust mass, visual extinction and Planck function with their distributions in the core region of two far infrared cavities (named FIC04+61 and FIC11-54) found within 3° of AGB stars namely AGB0409+6105 and AGB1105-5451 were studied. Dust colour temperature of the core region of the cavities was found to be (19.4 ± 0.93) K to (20.6 ± 0.65) K and (21.4 ± 0.51) K to (22.6 ± 0.23) K, respectively. The product of dust colour temperature and visual extinction was consistent in the order of 10<sup>-4</sup>. The contour maps showed that the low-temperature region has greater mass density and suggests that the distribution of dust mass is homogeneous and isotropic. The distribution of Planck function along with the extension (major diameter) and compression (minor diameter) found to be non-uniform distribution means dust particles were oscillating to get dynamical equilibrium. It further suggests that the dust particles in the cavities might not be in the thermal equilibrium possibly due to pressure-driven events of nearby AGB stars. A negative slope in the transition from 25 μm to 60 μm was our finding regarding far infrared spectral distribution in the cavities. It suggests that the number density of dust particles was less than expected in 60 μm regions.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Technique for Measuring Magnitudes and Phases of Voltage and Current in the Band-Selective Parallel LCR Circuit 2020-01-14T08:01:26+00:00 Hari Prasad Lamichhane <p>&nbsp;The current in the parallel LCR (inductor, capacitor and resistor) circuit depends not only on the magnitude of the applied electromotive force (emf) but also on its frequency. The circuit current in the parallel LCR circuit becomes very small in the resonating region, but at the same time, the potential difference across the LC tank becomes very large. These results are justified if there is a large induced current in the LC tank in such a way that the inductive and capacitive branch currents are nearly out of phase so that the vector sum of the currents be minimal. This theory can be verified by inserting a small series resistor in each branch. Finally, calculated magnitudes and phases of the potential differences across the newly connected resistors which are directly related to the magnitudes and phases of corresponding branch currents verify the theory.</p> 2019-12-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##