Sunday, 31 August 2014

Social Behaviour, Cognition and Communication in Domestic Goats with Dr Alan McElligott

Social Behaviour, Cognition and Communication in Domestic Goats with Dr Alan McElligott

  • Supervisor: Dr Alan McElligott
  • Application Deadline: Applications accepted all year round
  • Funding: China Scholarship Council, Science without Borders

Background

My research group is focussed on developing goats as model species for comparative cognition studies. In doing so, we hope to further an appreciation of the need for excellent animal welfare practices in this, and other livestock species.
Traditionally, animal welfare research focussed on identifying and preventing poor welfare. However, preventing poor welfare is not the same as providing animals with opportunities to experience positive welfare. Therefore gaining a better understanding of the cognitive abilities of goats and other livestock is critical for progress.
I have potential comparative cognition and behaviour PhD research projects, using goats as the model species. The topics are open to discussion, but may include: emotions, social networks, long-term memory and recognition, social learning, individual temperament, physical and social cognition, and vocal communication.

Training

The projects will potentially combine behavioural observations, cognition experiments, as well as playback experiments and bioacoustics. All data collection will be carried at an animal sanctuary, using a large number of habituated animals. The successful candidate will need to be able to work independently, as well as working as part of a team. It is extremely important that the successful candidate can maintain our excellent working relationship with the host animal sanctuary.
You will receive appropriate training for your research, e.g. bioacoustics and other technology for studying behaviour and physiological responses (e.g. heart rates). For the vocal communication research, it is very important that you have an interest in, or experience of, bioacoustics technology. Additional training in project management will be provided.

Requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with, or expecting to be awarded, at least an upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in an area relevant to the project (e.g. zoology, psychology). International students are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English language skills. Informal enquiries about the project can be made by email to Dr. Alan McElligott.

Location

Our group is one of several in Biological and Experimental Psychology, of Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. Queen Mary is a Russell Group University, a college of the University of London and located in London’s vibrant East End (10 min bicycle ride to Tower Bridge; 10 min walking to Victoria Park).
  • Supervisor: Dr Alan McElligott
  • Application Deadline: Applications accepted all year round
  • Funding: China Scholarship Council, Science without Borders

Background

My research group is focussed on developing goats as model species for comparative cognition studies. In doing so, we hope to further an appreciation of the need for excellent animal welfare practices in this, and other livestock species.
Traditionally, animal welfare research focussed on identifying and preventing poor welfare. However, preventing poor welfare is not the same as providing animals with opportunities to experience positive welfare. Therefore gaining a better understanding of the cognitive abilities of goats and other livestock is critical for progress.
I have potential comparative cognition and behaviour PhD research projects, using goats as the model species. The topics are open to discussion, but may include: emotions, social networks, long-term memory and recognition, social learning, individual temperament, physical and social cognition, and vocal communication.

Training

The projects will potentially combine behavioural observations, cognition experiments, as well as playback experiments and bioacoustics. All data collection will be carried at an animal sanctuary, using a large number of habituated animals. The successful candidate will need to be able to work independently, as well as working as part of a team. It is extremely important that the successful candidate can maintain our excellent working relationship with the host animal sanctuary.
You will receive appropriate training for your research, e.g. bioacoustics and other technology for studying behaviour and physiological responses (e.g. heart rates). For the vocal communication research, it is very important that you have an interest in, or experience of, bioacoustics technology. Additional training in project management will be provided.

Requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with, or expecting to be awarded, at least an upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in an area relevant to the project (e.g. zoology, psychology). International students are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English language skills. Informal enquiries about the project can be made by email to Dr. Alan McElligott.

Location

Our group is one of several in Biological and Experimental Psychology, of Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. Queen Mary is a Russell Group University, a college of the University of London and located in London’s vibrant East End (10 min bicycle ride to Tower Bridge; 10 min walking to Victoria Park).

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Ethnoveterinary study of medicinal plants in Malakand Valley, District Dir (Lower), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Ethnoveterinary study of medicinal plants in Malakand Valley, District Dir (Lower), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan http://www.irishvetjournal.org/content/67/1/6 #irishveterinaryjournal

Monday, 25 August 2014

Soil Association Conference

Dear Friends,
It’s Conference time
It’s that time of year again; join us for our fantastic two day conference. This year the Soil Association conference is all about bringing together the many people who want to learn more about how we can tackle some of the big issues in our food and farming systems. As well as a thought provoking programme, with plenty of inspiring case studies to illustrate the theory, we have made more time for meeting and talking….and partying, of course! The conference is taking place at STEAM- Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon on the 8th and 9th October. We have kept the ticket price as low as possible in the hope that everyone will feel able to come - and there is a special discount for Soil Association members. So do book soon, as although we want everyone there, there won’t be room! For more information and to book your place click here.
Farming method affects food
Did you hear the news? Organic is different! As our Chief Executive Helen Browning said: "We know that people choose organic food because they believe it is better for them, as well as for wildlife, animal welfare and the environment, and this research backs up what people think about organic food. In other countries there has long been much higher levels of support and acceptance of the benefits of organic food and farming: we hope these findings will bring the UK in line with the rest of Europe, when it comes to both attitudes to organic food and support for organic farming." Find out more here.
Organic wine offer from Good Energy
Switching to a 100% renewable electricity company Good Energy, is a green and simple way to make a big, bright difference and if you switch before 31 October 2014 you'll receive a £25 organic wine voucher plus Good Energy will give £25 to the Soil Association! Switching is simple and takes just 5 minutes see here for full details.
A South West Celebration
Bristol’s first Grape & Grain Festival is a taste celebration. Bodacious beers, fine wines and vibrant fresh foods from regional producers, businesses and restaurants, brought together in Bristol’s vibrant harbour side venue with some of Bristol’s best music. Discover something new, learn from our experts, or simply relax, with delicious food and drink - and meet Pitfield Brewery, Ashridge Cider and London & Scottish at the Soil Association’s organic bar. Plus, there will be special appearances from Great British Bake Off's very own Mary Berry, and brothers Tom and Henry Herbert of Channel 4's The Fabulous Bakers Brothers fame. Taking place from the 12th - 14th September, tickets are available here.
Our favourite blog this month
Find out why our blogger Amy Leech thinks our Government own us a square meal.
Question time...
Well done to last month's winner who correctly answered that findings have shown that organic crops are 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than non-organic crops. To be with a chance of winning this month’s enews competition, answer the following the question:
Our annual conference takes place this October - but when is the deadline for buying your early bird tickets?
a) 7th Sept
b) 8th Sept
c) 9th Sept
Send in your answers to memb@soilassociation.org to be in with the chance of winning this month’s goody bag! Terms and conditions can be found here. Find out more about the conference here.
P.S. We are seeking a lay member for our Agriculture Standards Committee. The post is a unique opportunity to take part in developing our standards, as the committee, one of eight that scrutinises our standards, is at the heart of feeding in practical knowledge to ensure our standards remain relevant, practical and pioneering. If you are interested, please contact Louise Hewetson at lhewetson@soilassociation.org or on 0117 914 2428 for more information on the role. Apply by CV and covering letter by 10 October.


We like to hear from our supporters, if you have something to say please email us at memb@soilassociation.org

South Plaza, Marlborough Street, Bristol, BS1 3NX T: 0117 314 5000 F: 0117 314 5001
Website: www.soilassociation.org
Registered charity no: 206862

Thursday, 21 August 2014

why women are less likely than men to earn tenure

Study raises questions about why women are less likely than men to earn tenure at research universities @insidehighered http://shar.es/1nOI9U via @sharethis

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

why do cats like cardboard

Why do cats like cardboard boxes? A scientist explains

www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/...cats...cardboard.../12698/
Sep 13, 2013 - Put an empty box down, and if there's a cat nearby it will soon be filled. ... of the world's largest kitties can't resist the lure of a cardboard box.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park

Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park - BC Parks

www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/bridalveil_falls/
Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park Located east of Chilliwack, Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park is a scenic day-use area

www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/bridalveil_falls/
Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park Located east of Chilliwack, Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park is a scenic day-use area

Monday, 18 August 2014

Climatic amplification of the numerical response of a predator population to its prey

For a couple of seconds I thought some drunk teenagers were returning home then I thought it might be coyotes. Considering that the farm dogs kept barking for what felt like an hour after I first hear the noise, it was probably coyotes,
 
Ecology. 2014 May;95(5):1153-61.

Climatic amplification of the numerical response of a predator population to its prey.

Abstract

We evaluated evidence of an effect of climate on the numerical response of a coyote (Canis latrans) population to their keystone prey, snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), in a Canadian boreal forest. Six a priori hypotheses of the coyote numerical response were developed that postulated linear, nonlinear, additive, and interactive effects of prey and climate. Model selection procedures showed the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) had the strongest effect on the coyote numerical response via its interaction with snowshoe hare density, while other large-scale climate indices had very weak effects. For a given snowshoe hare density, a negative value of the NAO amplified the abundance of coyote and a positive NAO decreased coyote abundance. We hypothesize that the coyote numerical response is ultimately determined by the coyote functional response influenced by winter conditions determined by the NAO.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Plant ethnoveterinary practices in two pyrenean territories of catalonia (iberian peninsula) and in two areas of the balearic islands and comparison with ethnobotanical uses in human medicine

 2012;2012:896295. doi: 10.1155/2012/896295. Epub 2012 Jul 8.

Plant ethnoveterinary practices in two pyrenean territories of catalonia (iberian peninsula) and in two areas of the balearic islands and comparison with ethnobotanical uses in human medicine.

Abstract

This paper presents the results of an ethnobotanical study centred in veterinarian uses in two Catalan Pyrenean regions (Alt Empordà -AE- and High River Ter Valley -AT-, Iberian peninsula) and two Balearic Islands areas (Formentera -FO- and northeastern Mallorca -MA-). In the areas studied, 97 plant species have been claimed to be useful for veterinary purposes. A total of 306 veterinary use reports have been gathered and analysed. The ten most reported plants are Tanacetum parthenium (24 use reports), Parietaria officinalis (15), Ranunculus parnassifolius (14), Meum athamanticum (13), Olea europaea (13), Quercus ilex (12), Ruta chalepensis (12), Sambucus nigra (10) and Thymus vulgaris (10). According to comprehensive reviews, a high number of novelties for plant ethnoveterinary are contributed: 34 species and one subspecies, 11 genera, and three families have not been reported in previous works in this field, and 21 species had only been mentioned once. Several ethnoveterinary uses are coincidental with those in human medicine. Althoughethnoveterinary practices are less relevant than in the past in the territories considered, as in all industrialised countries, the knowledge on plant properties and applications is still rich and constitutes a large pool of evidence for phytotherapy, both in domestic animals and humans.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Lancet - Wellcome Trust selects sustainable health projects

The Lancet, Volume 384, Issue 9942, Page 484, 9 August 2014
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61324-6Cite or Link Using DOI

Funding: Wellcome Trust selects sustainable health projects

Tony Kirby
The Wellcome Trust has recently announced the first round of grants under its Sustaining Health Initiative, funding five new projects. Each aims to answer different questions about how the planet can sustain the healthy lives of its growing population, estimated to reach 9 billion people by 2050.
The first will investigate potential alternatives to palm oil, a food ingredient that has brought economic benefit to Asia but has also been linked to negative cardiovascular health outcomes, deforestation, and greenhouse-gas emissions. This project, led by Bhavani Shankar, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK, and Richard Smith, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), UK, will investigate the health and economic aspects of palm oil and model different scenarios to adjust for the impact of possible policy changes. “Potential health and environmental benefits flowing from careful policy development to alter edible oil consumption profiles in the region are substantial, but need to be balanced against economic impacts”, says Shankar.
A second project will examine the impact of urban living on health, since half of the world's population lives in urban environments and this is set to grow further, especially in cities that currently have a population of less than 1 million. “The environments and governance of those urban environments will play an important role in influencing the exposures and health-related behaviours of their populations. Cities also have a demand for resources beyond current limits of sustainability”, says project leader Paul Wilkinson, LSHTM. Named the Sustainable Healthy Urban Environments project, the work aims to build up a detailed database of a globally distributed selected sample of cities and their populations with the aim of identifying the inter-relationship between city characteristics, their use of energy and other resources, and health-related behaviours and exposures. The resulting database will be an open access resource for the research community and can be expanded over time.
The third project addresses spatial, social, and environmental determinants of malnutrition in Africa, and will begin with a pilot in Kenya, says Jay Berkley, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and University of Oxford, UK. The group will apply well-established methods developed for infectious diseases such as malaria to understanding and visualising the burden, spatial distribution, and determinants of both over-nutrition and under-nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. “The project will produce maps that clearly characterise the current burden and distribution of malnutrition, predict future trends, and provide tools to directly guide strategies to improve health, and for advocacy”, adds Berkley.
In the fourth project, Alan Dangour, LSHTM, will investigate the health and environmental implications of low-carbon, climate-change resilient diets in India. Part of this work will focus largely on staple crops (cereals, tubers) and will model the effect of substituting current staple crops in the diets with staple crops cereals that are likely to be more resilient to climate change in India. This will use work from Tim Wheeler, University of Reading, UK, and others that estimate how different crops will adapt to climate change (in terms of yield and nutritional content) in different parts of the world. “We don't have any specific examples of these diets for India yet, but they might include aspects such as reducing the amount of wheat in particular diets and replacing it with rice—which appears at least in Asia to be less affected by rising temperatures. We will also investigate the social and cultural implications of these potential changes.”
Environmental and nutritional interventions for improving cardiovascular health in rural China is the subject of the fifth project, led by Majid Ezzati, Imperial College London, UK. Cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the leading causes of death in China's ageing population. Elevated blood pressure and its nutritional determinants are important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in China, as is household air pollution from biomass and coal burning and tobacco smoke, which are risk factors for elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and COPD. Exposure to these risks varies geographically within China. “There is a real need for data on risk factor exposures and their health effects, and for developing interventions that reduce exposures, at the regional level”, says Ezzati. The pilot study will measure the geographical and seasonal differences in blood pressure and other markers of cardiovascular function and health, and their environmental and nutritional risk factors. It also aims to identify novel biological markers for exposure to household air pollution and nutritional risks and for the mechanisms and pathways of their hazardous effects on cardiovascular diseases. Plans for a subsequent intervention study include developing region-specific effective interventions that reduce household air pollution and improve nutrition.

Evaluation of antiemetic effect of aqueous rhizome extract of Cynodon dactylon against all emetogenic stimuli

Evaluation of antiemetic effect of aqueous rhizome extract of Cynodon dactylon against all emetogenic stimuli


[more]
Scientific research and essays (Impact Factor: 0.32). 07/2014; 9(14):628-633. DOI: 10.5897/SRE2014.6046

ABSTRACT This study was an extension of our previous antiemetic work. Many researchers quoted Cynodone dactylon as anti emetic agent but none of them have provided strong pharmacological evidence for it, which drove us for its therapeutic evaluation. Crude aqueous rhizome extract of C. dactylon was evaluated for anti-emetic activity. Emesis was induced by the oral administration of copper sulphate, fresh aqueous extract of Brasica compestris while intravenous Cisplatin was used to induce emesis in fifteen days age chicks of either sex. The anti-emetic activity was determined by calculating the mean decrease in number of emesis in comparison to those of control and standards. C. dactylon (50 and 100 mg/kg body weight orally) showed remarkable emesis suppressant activity when compared with standard drugs chlorpromazine, domperidone and metoclopramide. Both the doses showed remarkable antiemetic activity.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

An ethnopharmacological assessment of the use of plants against parasitic diseases in humans and animals

J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Jul 27. pii: S0378-8741(14)00555-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.07.036. [Epub ahead of print]

An ethnopharmacological assessment of the use of plants against parasitic diseases in humans and animals.

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:

Ethnobotanical surveys are detecting an increasing frequency of exotic plant species in pharmacopeias, which has led researchers to investigate the role of such species in traditional medical systems. According to the diversification hypothesis, exotic species are included to complete pharmacopeias, i.e., to treat diseases for which no native species are known, thus broadening the scope of the plant repertoire.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The present study was conducted at two rural communities in northeastern Brazil aiming at a survey of the plants known or used by the population to treat endo- and ectoparasitic diseases in humans and animals. In addition, plant extracts exhibiting acaricide activity were assessed using the engorged female immersion and larval packet tests (LPT).

RESULTS:

The results of the present study showed a tendency for native species to be used against ectoparasites and exhibit a broader scope of use compared to exotic species. In turn, exotic species were predominantly indicated to treat diseases caused by endoparasites, although there was an overlap of native and exotic species relative to some therapeutic purpose, e.g., ticks. Only two of the plant species tested exhibited acaricide activity (Nicotiana glauca Graham and Croton blanchetianus Baill.), and in both cases, the activity was weak.

CONCLUSION:

The ethnobotanical data do not fully support the suggested hypothesis. Overall, the wide versatility of exotic species was not exclusively used to treat parasitic diseases in humans and animals. In addition, the selection of acaricide plants based on the ethnopharmacological study generated uninteresting results.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Brazil; Ethnoveterinary; Insecticidal activity; Tick; Traditional botanical knowledge

Friday, 8 August 2014

World Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine Conference October 31 - November 2, 2014

World Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine Conference

October 31 - November 2, 2014

Royal Sonesta Hotel, Houston, Texas

Abstract Deadline now extended to Aug. 25!


Register Now!

Featuring Andrew Weil, Zhang Boli, Kiiko Matsumoto, Andy Ellis, Marilyn Allen, Jake Fratkin and more!

The American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the City of Houston invite you to the WFAS World Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine Conference to be held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston Texas, October 31 - November 2, 2014. Visit the event website wfas2014.acaom.edu for detail.

Texas Night Gala Banquet:
Don't miss out this festive social event, combining marvelous cuisine, quality entertainment, a lively dance floor, exciting live auction, and door prizes. Proceeds go to funding of scholarships, community services, and research in Oriental and integrative medicine.

Special Hotel Rates:

A special discount is reserved for the conference at the Royal Sonesta Hotel through October 15, 2014.

About:

This unique intellectual symposium is sponsored by the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies (WFAS) and China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. WFAS is the Non-Government Organization in official relations with the World Health Organization in relation to acupuncture. WFAS is made up of national acupuncture bodies with member representatives from over 50 countries. Approximately 1000 distinguish guests will partake the exchange of intellectual information and updates on medicines. Please send any questions to
wfas2014@acaom.edu.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

new computer shopping

Well after the washing machine won again, and finished washing my clothes before I got get into my email, my host and I tried to buy the lowest cost Dell desktop for a good price from their online store. I had searched for days for the best deal because the computer was slow, so it took awhile. We had almost finished the process when they said it would take 3 weeks for delivery. We had asked that question originally but apparently they told us 3 - 7 business days from their warehouse, and that warehouse cannot be in North America, I think.
So we cancelled that and went to Future Shop again, to buy a computer instead of Win 7 which they did not have the first time we went there. We bought the smaller of the lowest cost desktops, an Acer.  I was already underwhelmed that besides the innovation of a small desktop it was not that much different from the desktop everyone told us not to upgrade, except that it detected wireless right away. It has 4 GB RAM versus 447 MB and 1 TB harddrive versus 74 GB. The 74.5 GB was the reason I thought the slow computer could be upgraded.
When I started to move the old programs onto the new computer, the computer shopping experience got even worse. It did not occur to me to check what programs were installed until I had to reset Firefox twice. Then I downloaded Antimalware Bytes and Avast, one of which reset Internet Exlorer to get rid of V9 malware and woke up the installed McAfee which had prevented none of these attacks. If the old computer had to deal with a constant barrage of malware, no wonder it was slow. It took another hour to get rid of Wild Tangent Games, Blasteroids and Easy Deals. By that time I remembered reading that some new computers were coming with malware installed, and |I wondered if we had bought one of them.  If the malware came from the Internet then the provider is not even doing the minimum to protect what they provide.

Friday, 1 August 2014

slow computer

My load of laundry completed before I was able to start this computer and read my email. No kidding. There are some background programs that it takes a while to close. Then the screensaver thinks the computer isn't doing anything. I wonder why. Then the antivirus claims it has updated and there are new versions of software; maybe I should figure out how to program that operation for later in the day. Then 15 or so minutes more of unresponsive script notices.
Dropbox slowed the computer even more so I was glad when it ran out of space and I was able to shift everything to Google Drive and remove it. Google Drive works much better on this computer. This computer is so slow that my post about hoof trimming on the last farm did not publish. Apparently visitors complained to an authority ( I am not sure which one) about the goats kneeling to move around and that got the results that us workers could not get. I am very glad for the goats. Thanks visitors and don't think that no one else noticed and tried to get the problem fixed.