Friday, 18 August 2017

RIP Elmo Bridgewater DVM ? - 2017

Dr Bridgewater or Dr. Bridge was the person who took Karla, Tisha and I hunting to gather the data in the paper below. The last time I went by myself with Dr. Bridge and I was late because I could not get a taxi or a ride and I had to walk and even then I did not have a mobile phone to let him know. When we got to the location the hunters were taking down the camp and they were also vexed that I was late. I walked around in the forest a bit and somehow picked exactly the correct plants that they had described using and they nodded and said yes when I showed them the plants. They relaxed a bit after that and then we probably had some rum and went home. For the paper below I made up Bridge's email address and I'm not sure if he ever validated it. Medicinal and ethnoveterinary remedies of hunters in Trinidad Cheryl Lans Email author, Tisha Harper, Karla Georges and Elmo Bridgewater BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineThe official journal of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR)20011:10 https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-1-10© Lans et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2001 Received: 23 August 2001Accepted: 30 November 2001Published: 30 November 2001

Toxic masculinity may be quadrupling the suicide rate for Canadian men | CBC Life

http://www.cbc.ca/life/wellness/toxic-masculinity-may-be-quadrupling-the-suicide-rate-for-canadian-men-1.4158731

'Trophy-hunting scripts' among male university students in Zimbabwe.

Afr J AIDS Res. 2012 Dec;11(4):319-26. doi: 10.2989/16085906.2012.754831. Muparamoto N1. Author information 1 a Department of Sociology , University of Zimbabwe , PO Box MP 167 , Mount Pleasant , Harare , Zimbabwe. Abstract Drawing on a multi-method qualitative study, this article examines 'trophy-hunting' scripts among male university students in Zimbabwe. 'Trophy hunting' is a term I have adopted to refer to hegemonic masculinity rituals through which men gain social admiration for dating and having sex with as many women as possible. I argue that this trophy hunting is exacerbated by the 'crisis of masculinity' which has been brought about by the harsh macroeconomic environment in Zimbabwe. The latter has reduced men's access to the material trappings that denote successful masculinity in a competitive and materialistic environment. Sexual scripting that is based on such trophy hunting makes students susceptible to acquiring HIV infection. Research was conducted with 69 male social-science students at a Zimbabwean university, and the findings were analysed within a post-structural conceptual framework. The findings point to the existence of 'toxic masculinities' among male students. In their endeavour to live up to hegemonic masculinity expectations of the university bachelor, they end up being trapped in what can be described as 'toxic masculinity entrapments.' There is a need to challenge these identities if efforts against HIV and AIDS are to be successful. KEYWORDS: attitudes; cultural factors; ethnography; gender issues; masculinity; sexuality; social anthropology; southern Africa PMID: 25860190 DOI: 10.2989/16085906.2012.754831 Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Google+

Protein-species quantitative venomics: looking through a crystal ball

J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2017 Apr 28;23:27. doi: 10.1186/s40409-017-0116-9. eCollection 2017. . Calvete JJ1, Petras D2, Calderón-Celis F3, Lomonte B4, Encinar JR3, Sanz-Medel A3. Author information 1 Structural and Functional Venomics Laboratory, Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia, C.S.I.C, Jaime Roig 11, 46010 Valencia, Spain. 2 Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, CA USA. 3 Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain. 4 Instituto Clodomiro Picado, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica. Abstract In this paper we discuss recent significant developments in the field of venom research, specifically the emergence of top-down proteomic applications that allow achieving compositional resolution at the level of the protein species present in the venom, and the absolute quantification of the venom proteins (the term "protein species" is used here to refer to all the different molecular forms in which a protein can be found. Please consult the special issue of Jornal of Proteomics "Towards deciphering proteomes via the proteoform, protein speciation, moonlighting and protein code concepts" published in 2016, vol. 134, pages 1-202). Challenges remain to be solved in order to achieve a compact and automated platform with which to routinely carry out comprehensive quantitative analysis of all toxins present in a venom. This short essay reflects the authors' view of the immediate future in this direction for the proteomic analysis of venoms, particularly of snakes. KEYWORDS: Absolute quantification; Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry; Protein species-resolved venomics; Snake venomics; Top-down proteomics; Top-down venomics PMID: 28465678 PMCID: PMC5408492 DOI: 10.1186/s40409-017-0116-9 Free PMC Article Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Google+ Images from this publication.See all images (4)Free text Fig. 1Fig. 2Fig. 3Fig. 4 Publication type

Seasonality, richness and prevalence of intestinal parasites of three neotropical primates (Alouatta seniculus, Ateles hybridus and Cebus versicolor) in a fragmented forest in Colombia

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2017 Jul 21;6(3):202-208. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2017.07.006. eCollection 2017 Dec. Rondón S1, Ortiz M1, León C1, Galvis N2, Link A2,3,4, González C1. Author information 1 Centro de Investigaciones en Microbiología y Parasitología Tropical, CIMPAT, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de los Andes, Cra. 1 N° 18-12, Bogotá, Colombia. 2 Laboratorio de Ecología de Bosques Tropicales y Primatología, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de Los Andes, Cra. 1 N° 18-12, Bogotá, Colombia. 3 Facultad de Administración, Universidad de Los Andes, Calle 21 N° 1-20, of. SD-935, Bogotá, Colombia. 4 Fundación Proyecto Primates, Cra. 11a N° 91-55, Apartamento 202, Bogotá, Colombia. Abstract Studies on parasites infecting non-human primates are essential to better understand the potential threat to humans of zoonoses transmission, particularly under the current processes of pervasive land use change and biodiversity loss. The natural ecosystems in the Middle Magdalena river basin in Colombia have suffered a dramatic reduction and transformation into pastures and agroindustrial monocultures, threatening their biodiversity, and probably affecting the dynamics between parasites and their hosts, as well as altering the disease transmission cycles between wild populations and humans. This study evaluated seasonality, prevalence and richness of intestinal parasites in three species of neotropical primates: Cebus versicolor, Ateles hybridus and Alouatta seniculus, in a fragmented forest in the Middle Magdalena river valley, Colombia. One hundred and eighty five faecal samples were collected between 2010 and 2015. Direct faecal smears were performed with saline solution (0.85%) and iodine solution (1%), in order to identify larvae and eggs based on their morphology. A large proportion of the samples examined (72.9%) was positive for intestinal parasites; seven families of nematodes were identified: Trichuridae, Trichostrongylidae, Oxyuridae, Strongyloididae, Ancylostomatidae, Ascarididae and Gnathostomatidae, two of protozoans: Entamoebidae and Balantiididae, as well as some eggs of trematodes, cestodes and acanthocephalans. Additionally, DNA extraction and sequencing were conducted on 30 faecal samples in order to identify Giardia sp. and Blastocystis hominis, two parasite species also present in humans. Molecular testing for Giardia sp. was negative and Blastocystis hominis was identified in a single sample of Alouatta seniculus. No clear patterns were observed for prevalence of intestinal parasites according to the season; nonetheless, parasite species richness was higher during the dry season. This study builds on our current understanding of intestinal parasites infecting wild neotropical primates and provides novel information on the patterns of intestinal parasites in primate communities exposed to anthropogenic disturbance. KEYWORDS: Capuchin monkeys; Faecal smears; Fragmented forest; Howler monkeys; Intestinal parasites; Spider monkeys PMID: 28794984 PMCID: PMC5537371 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2017.07.006 Free PMC Article Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Google+ Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Reclaiming the Food System: Agroecological Pedagogy and the IALA María Cano

BY JASKIRAN KAUR CHOHAN Industrial agriculture has been one of the key contributors to global warming and consequent climate disasters worldwide. In 2014, 44-57% of global greenhouse gas emissions were produced by industrial food production; principally from deforestation, transportation of products, their processing and refrigeration (GRAIN, 2014). Numerous food system scholars, including Gliessman, have highlighted the multifaceted nature of this problem, which requires nothing short of a systemic overhaul and a conversion towards territorially rooted, agroecological farming. Among many other characteristics, this involves the use of inter-cropping, organic inputs, small-scale farming that looks to boost and support biodiversity and conserve natural resources. This paper will focus on the case of the Instituto Agroecologico Latinoamericano (IALA) María Cano in Colombia, which aims to use knowledge as resistance in an epistemo-political struggle against industrialised agriculture. The IALA model is a Pan-Latin American project, promoted by the transnational peasant organization La Vía Campesina (LVC), to attain Food Sovereignty through agroecology. The aim of the school and others like it is to unite knowledge production, with practice, community engagement and political formation, to preserve subaltern ways of knowing and doing agriculture. The essay will theoretically outline the phenomenon of industrial agriculture, the impact this has on societies and ecologies, as well as the overarching epistemologies that maintain this. It will then move on to review agroecology as a possible corrective to the expansion of this model of production and accumulation, as well as a healer of its consequent knowledge rifts (McMichael & Schneider, 2010)- defined as the removal of context specific knowledge of local ecologies and realities. Given agroecology has strong historical roots in Latin America, it is fitting to analyse the epistemological backlash against industrial agriculture in the continent. Colombia has been chosen because recent peace accords between the government and the continent’s oldest existing guerrilla group- Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia- Ejercito del Pueblo (FARC-EP)- have led to a public reappraisal of the rural world. In this context of opening dialogue across social sectors, agroecological farming methods and systems are being underlined by campesino unions and social groups as a key tool to readdress deep rural inequality, as well as restore social, cultural, economic and ecological justice to long marginalised communities. Epistemological resistance against this agro-industrial dominance is highlighted through the IALA María Cano. In the aims and demography it represents, the IALA is part of wider peace accord implementation efforts and could prove to be a crucial way to reform rural education (FENSUAGRO, 2016). INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE AND THE CORPORATE FOOD REGIME: A NEW GREEN REVOLUTION The food regime approach is one way of understanding the structure of global food relations, pre-industrial and industrial regimes of accumulation within the food system, and the multiple effects these had through time. Food regime theory emerged during the period of ‘declining national regulation and rising globalisation’ (ibid), a global process that continues to grow. McMichael and Friedmann originally established two food regimes that explained the global movement of food: 1870-1914, a period of British dominance; and 1945-1973, US dominance in the post-war period. The first saw food transported from the colonies to feed industrialising European cities; whilst the second saw a reversal, transporting from the Global North to South through food aid programmes. The second regime took place in the context of the Green Revolution. The technological and scientific implications of the Green Revolution include: the intensification of agriculture, primarily through the application of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, crop cultivation through monocrops and aggressive soil tillage. Through these practices global agricultural yields soared but at significant ecological and social costs (Gliessman, 2015). Additionally, many campesinos found themselves pushed off their lands due to soaring expenses, evidencing what Harvey calls accumulation by dispossession (2004; Hall, 2013; Grajales, 2013). Small landholdings became economically nonsensical, as monocropping required extensive landholdings. Finally, after some theoretical discrepancies (Friedmann, 2005; Campbell, 2009; Bernstein, 2015), McMichael established the third food regime- the Corporate Food Regime (CFR), which began in the late 1980s to present day. As Gliessman notes, in the CFR ‘profit making is an imperative, overshadowing everything else, including maintaining the long-term health of the soils, providing wholesome food, and treating farm labourers fairly’ (2015, p.309). It is further defined as an ‘era governed increasingly by financializing and neoliberal advocacy of market rule’ (McMichael, 2013, p.41). Given the broad nature of the food system, which encompasses technology, knowledge production, politics, markets, societies, culture and importantly ecology, the definition of the CFR is equally expansive. In synthesis, the CFR embodies the corporate takeover of all elements and levels of the food chain, from seed to final packaged product. The main effects of this system include: 1) the accelerated dispossession of smallholders by fostering dependence on agricultural inputs, e.g. seeds and chemicals, as well as through the use of other economic and political tools for territorial dispossession 2) a loss of knowledge or ‘knowledge rift’ (McMichael & Schneider, 2010), since people are ‘alienated from the different stages of food production and preparation’ (Timmerman & Felix, 2015, p.525) 3) ecological costs: increased deforestation, depleted soil fertility, reduced biodiversity and higher levels of CO2 emissions 4) nutritionally poorer diets, consisting of emptier calories and 5) increased importing of primary foods, due to greater exporting of natural resources, foods for animal feed or biofuels. As Gliessman posits, the ‘processing, shipping and marketing side of [the] food system means farmers are left with very little money and the need to ‘get big or get out’ (2015, p.318). The CFR or industrial food system is supported by a prevailing set of epistemologies. McMichael notes that this current food regime is composed of elements of the previous regimes (2013), a key aspect of which is the Green Revolution. The modern face of this- the ‘doubly green revolution’ (Conway, 1997) or ‘new green revolution’ (Holt-Gímenez & Altieri, 2012)- in its foundations is the Green Revolution but also encompasses the use of genetically modified (GM) technology. This is the fastest growing technology in the history of agriculture (Gliessman, 2015). Hybrid or GM altered seeds require high chemical inputs, deepening the green revolution and links to agribusinesses, which hold property rights to seeds and in turn produce the chemical inputs needed to make them grow. To add to the long list of ecological costs of this form of agriculture, GM production is leading to a shortening gene pool in both crops and animal protein, reducing biodiversity and hence natural resilience (ibid). AGROECOLOGY & FOOD SOVEREIGNTY: FOOD FROM SOMEWHERE Inherent to each food regime are a series of conflicting interests and movements looking to change the existing regime of accumulation and or overthrow it. Counterpoised to the CFR and industrial agriculture is the equally diverse and global Food Sovereignty (FS) movement. FS is the right of small producers to cultivate socially and culturally appropriate food, using agroecologically sound methods. Agroecology encourages multi-crop farming, the use of endogenous or local farming practices, low input but moreover no chemical input farming, it considers ecosystem processes, working in harmony with this to boost biodiversity and soil fertility (Holt-Giménez & Altieri, 2012; Gliessman, 2015; Rosset et al, 2016; Wittman, 2009; Woodgate, 2015). Agroecological farms are rooted in local realities and territorialities, with campesino agency at the heart of planning and execution. This idea is supported by LVC, hence, has strong roots in the global peasant movement. LVC itself identifies the key conflict within the CFR as that ‘between centralised, corporate-driven, export-oriented, industrial agriculture versus decentralized, peasant- and family farm- based sustainable production, primarily oriented towards domestic markets’ (in McMichael, 2013, p.58). In short, food from nowhere vs. food from somewhere. As mentioned, agroecology provides the toolkit and methodology to realise FS. This is ‘transdisciplinary, participatory, and change-oriented research and action, agroecology links together science, practice, and movements focused on social change’ (Gliessman, 2015). An explicit methodological tool that supports this is LVC’s Dialogo de Saberes, a Freirean exchange of knowledge from campesino to campesino (Martínez-Torres & Rosset, 2014). This ‘is based on a horizontal dialogue between peers who have different knowledges and cosmovisions’ (ibid., p.4). In this sense, the link between agroecology as a science and as a form of political and social mobilisation within the food system is intrinsic. Horizontality is central to the way agroecology is practised, taught and introduced. If the practice is imposed and didactic, instead of endogenous and participative, it contradicts the democratising potential that this social-economic and ecological approach has, instead, converting into another form epistemological imperialism. In fact, there is an increasing tendency towards co-opting agroecology as a term and idea. As Loris points out, the diversity in its aims and definitions have opened it up to being divorced from its ‘transformative’ roots (2017). When the political and social aspects are removed, agroecology is reduced to a science and practice alone, becoming synonymous with organic farming. However, it should be distinguished from this, since agroecology ‘emphasises a whole-system approach with minimal external inputs’ (ibid., p.4). Furthermore, organic farming still necessitates external inputs, such as organic fertilisers, it does not insist on multi-cropping, ‘and may not necessarily prioritise other holistic principles like water conservation or use of renewable energy’ (ibid). As Gliessman asserts, agroecology must ‘challenge the ideological system that protects the corporate food regime and it must take issue with the concentration of power and the unequal distribution of wealth that lie at the heart of the way the food system operates’ (2015, p.310). As a methodology and practice, it cannot do this unless it firmly links the political, social, cultural, economic and ecological. RESISTIVE EPISTEMOLOGIES: THE IALA MARÍA CANO As has been argued, many campesino communities view agroecology as the active recuperation, documentation, exchange, sharing, dissemination, teaching and use of knowledge (LVC, 2015). In this sense, knowledge itself becomes an act of resistance against prevailing epistemological systems. The IALAs across the continent are infused with this approach and notion. These universities represent an attempt to push against co-optation of the agroecological approach, reinforcing its political, economic, cultural and social foundations. The IALA initiative was preceded by more informal education organised by many umbrella organisations within LVC: through workshops, meetings, courses and seminars (ibid). In total, there have been more than 40 agroecology schools set up around the world, from ‘informal farming training centres to more formal universities’ (McCune et al, 2014, p.32). The formal schools that have already been established include: The Latin American School of Agroecology (ELAA) located in Paraná, Brazil; the IALA – Paulo Freire in Barinas, Venezuela; the IALA – Guaraní in Paraguay; the IALA – Amazónico in Pará, Brazil; the IALA-Mesoamerica in Managua, Nicaragua; the IALA- María Cano in Viotá, Colombia; the Universidad Campesina “SURI” (UNICAMP SURI) in Argentina; the National School of Agroecology of Ecuador (ENA); as well as new proposals for an IALA in Haiti. The IALA Mario Cano is the newest of these schools, established on 25th April 2016. It is named after a leading female political figure, who campaigned for the rights of workers in 1920s Colombia. The school was founded by the country’s largest agricultural workers’ trade union- Federación Nacional Sindical Unitaria Agropecuaria (FENSUAGRO), alongside LVC’s Latin American conglomerate- Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC-LVC). It was set up in the context of Colombia’s historic civil war, which has its roots in the campesino struggle for land and rights to produce. The big difference between many of the IALAs around the continent and María Cano is precisely the history of conflict and the diverse national impacts this has had on the nation’s agricultural processes. The IALA is located on the Raul Valbuena farm, which belongs to FENSUAGRO and consists of 16 hectares (ha). The farm houses up to 80 people, has a communal eating area, kitchen, bathrooms, two classrooms and a computer room (ibid., p.2). The productive area consists of 4 ha of coffee plantation, 11 ha of pasture (with 19 cows) and 1 ha for vegetable cultivation (ibid). All costs for teachers, students’ living expenses and matriculation are covered by FENSUAGRO, with the help of international organisations. These organisations include: Solidarity con Latino America, Why Hunger, Agroecology Fund and International Development Exchange (IDEX) from the USA, as well as Isvara from the Basque Country, Spain; further funding is also being sought from the European Union. Additionally, local organisations, from which the students arrive, are expected to cover the costs of journeys to and from the IALA. This has proved problematic, however, as some organisations have been unable to cover these costs. Evidently, the complex financing of the school is only possible through the cooperation and contribution of international and national groups. Students are selected from around the country to reflect the different geographic experiences of the various communities around Colombia: from the Caribbean, the country’s central region, pacific coast and the Amazon. The departments that are represented include: the Guajira, Magdalena, Cordoba, Santander, Boyacá, Tolima, Risaralda, Cundinamarca, Huila, Valle del Cauca, Nariño, Meta, Putumayo and Caquetá. Within these departments pupils are selected from high conflict areas. In fact, due to the country’s civil war and consequent social underdevelopment, many arrive without having finished secondary education, in which case special courses are needed to bring up basic educational levels. This makes the job of educators in this IALA particularly challenging. Although the rural conflict in Colombia has mutated over the years, not least due to the intervention of paramilitary groups and the narcotics trade, campesinos continue to face huge dispossession of their land. Colombia is one of the most unequal countries in terms of land ownership, with 1.5% of land owners owning some 52.2% of all land in the country, whilst 78.31% of landowners own but 10.59% (Mejía Alfonso & Castañeda in (Ed.) Jairo Alvarez et al., 2013, p.199). The IALA María Cano has been established at this juncture, responding to a historic need for greater land distribution and justice for campesinos. It is also replying to debates around rural reform in the peace accords- specifically clause 1.3.2.2. on rural education (Peace Accords, 2016). This asserts the need for a rural education system that strengthens and promotes ‘la investigación, la innovación y el desarrollo científico y tecnológico para el sector agropecuario, en áreas como agroecología, biotecnología y suelos’ (ibid., p.27). Additionally, those in charge of the IALA intend for it to strengthen campesino knowledge, agency and political formation with a ‘nueva ética’ (FENSUAGRO, 2016, p.1). The new ethic is a political concept, which seeks to insert horizontal, democratic and politically formative characteristics within the school. This is evident in the staff, who are not only knowledgeable in areas related to agriculture but also politically active members of various organisations. For instance, teachers are from the IALA Paulo Freire in Venezuela, the executive branches of FENSUAGRO and from LVC. The IALA’s staff is also cross-continental, consisting of Colombians, Venezuelans, Mexicans and Chileans, allowing shared Latin American agricultural experiences. This links with the aims and practices of CLOC-LVC. The fluidity between education and political formation is further reinforced through student and teacher interaction. Each week representatives from the student body meet with teachers, presently 4 students and 2 staff, evaluating difficulties faced by students, opinions about teaching styles and staff-student engagement. Hence, organisation amongst students is encouraged, as well as collective bargaining and representation. In this way, pedagogy and political practice are intertwined, underlining the way students should engage with agroecology- not only as a science but also as a tool for socio-political empowerment. This alternative pedagogical approach also informs the intellectual and educational orientation of the school. Students have classes ranging from an introduction to agroecology, mathematics, chemistry, biochemistry, energy and alternative irrigation systems, soil properties, introduction to rural sociology, social-economy, nutrition, research methods; to more politically oriented classes studying campesino organisation, historic rural struggles in Latin America and Colombia, as well as classes on campesino and youth identity (FENSUAGRO, 2017). This curriculum evidences a more socially, economically and politically oriented understanding of agroecology. In this sense, it is clear to see how a solely scientific approach to agriculture is being epistemologically resisted in the IALA. There has also been an effort to professionalise the agroecology programme taught at the IALA, as well as linking this with other institutions practising this approach. Currently, the course is linked to an undergraduate degree in Agroecological Engineering, conducted at the Universidad de la Amazonia, which also provides some academic resources. In fact, upon finishing the two-and-a-half-year programme at the IALA, students can convert their certificate as an Agroecological Technician to an Agroecological Engineer by studying a further two-and-a-half-years at the Universidad de la Amazonia, thus, completing the undergraduate programme. Links with the few other Colombian universities that also have agroecology programmes are limited for various reasons, including, philosophical and academic differences e.g. University of Antioquia is more research oriented. Interaction with other social movements involved in different aspects of agroecology are also beginning. For instance, the Red de Semillas visited the IALA in April 2017 and conducted a workshop with students about the importance of native seeds. Other groups that have also collaborated are Sociedad Científica Latinoamericana de Agroecología (SOCLA) and Movimiento Agroecológico de América Latina y el Caribe (MAELA). In this sense, the IALA María Cano links diverse responses to agroecology, education and socio-political resistance movements, aiming to use a different pedagogical style to create structural changes in the Colombian food system. Another key pedagogical objective of the IALA is to mix agroecological theory and practice (ibid). Students are schooled in the classroom for 3 months, which entails practical work on the IALA’s farm and weekly visits to neighbouring farms. In so doing, they learn from the experiences of other IALA’s on the continent, which did not engage actively enough with farms and communities in their immediate locale (McCune et al., 2014). Differently, the students of the IALA María Cano interact more directly with their neighbours in Viotá to foment agroecological practices in the immediate area too. These weekly visits are structured by the farm owners. Participants are usually linked to FENSUAGRO, it’s sister organisations but also others who have no political affiliation, yet are interested in the programme. There are loose criteria for those who participate. The farm should be successfully producing or have effectively combined conventional and agroecological productive methods. Thus, students learn productive techniques from campesinos, as well as share new knowledge of how to transition towards a more agroecologically friendly farming system. This visit has multiple functions. Firstly, it demystifies FENSUAGRO’s work, as well as engendering campesino to campesino dialogue in the community. Although teachers and students do not come from the community itself, a new form of imperialism is avoided through dialogue and interaction with locals. Key organisers of the school confirm that the community is receptive to their work and to agroecology itself, with many opting to reduce their chemical input use. For the following 3 months, students are then sent back to their communities to implement and adapt what they have learnt. In this way, links between the students and their communities of origin are not broken and the knowledge gained is spread through campesino a campesino pedagogy around the country. The school has confronted several obstacles though. The original objective of the school was to enrol 60 students (FENSUAGRO, 2016, p.1), however, this has been revised. The first intake remained at 25: eight women and 17 men; and the second another 24 students: 14 men and ten women- all between the ages of 18-30. This is due to funding shortages, since resources do not permit the school to accept all students at one single point. The school exists within a global and national context that has financially fed agroindustrial farming. The result of this has been the underfunding of alternative epistemological approaches, such as agroecology. Even though the peace accords clearly state a need to promote this scientific and technological approach, the IALA has so far been excluded from the money designated for post-conflict projects, as this money is largely destined for demobilisation and reintegration projects for ex-guerrilla fighters. It remains to be seen whether it will benefit from more financial support in time. However, doubts remain, since the IALA endorses a very politicised notion of agroecology and campesino led social organising, which does not chime with the understanding of agroecology displayed in the peace accords themselves. Other key challenges that have been identified are gender (Park et al., 2015) and ethnic divides that deeply effect the rural context. Although gender parity improved in the second intake of students, the majority are nevertheless men. This is despite efforts on behalf of FENSUAGRO to push for gender parity among the student body. For the first intake particularly, regional campesino organisations stated cultural reasons and reluctance from families in allowing their daughters to be educated or sent far from home. It is unclear how far local organisations themselves are affected by these cultural gender divides and whether they could also do more to promote shifts in attitudes and gender politics. Additionally, of the current student body there are 3 students of Afro-Colombian descent and 5 are campesinos of indigenous origin. This mirrors the problematic ethnic divides that weaken possible unity among rural communities in Colombia. In this sense, the IALA could contribute to bridging understanding between these diverse cosmovisions. FENSUAGRO as the main interlocutor with rural organisations and areas must urgently find new and more creative ways to intertwine gender discourse and a multi-ethnic world views with education. Overturning these divides in the rural world is a key aspect of epistemological resistance to the CFR, since gender and ethnic relations shape access to land, productive and reproductive roles (ibid., p.589). CONCLUSION The CFR and the New Green Revolution have a strong global influence: in the spread of agricultural methods, the wealth that agribusinesses have accumulated, the epistemological dominance that has been garnered through investment in research and development programmes and links with key governmental agencies. In fact, despite the socio-economic and ecological effects that the CFR has upon communities, many small-scale farmers continue to practise industrialised agricultural methods, using agrochemicals, monocrop cultivation or sowing export crops, since fundamentally this allows them to feed their families. As well as epistemological dominance, market forces, the lack of support for agroecological alternatives and poor technical support are but some reasons that explain the limited manoeuvrability that many small-scale farmers fear and face. It is in this context that agroecology, a territorially developed and political other must struggle. The odds are difficult but ecological conditions in the world make an agricultural shift imperative and pressing. Initiatives such as the IALAs in Latin America, provide key methodological and strategic guidance in how the knowledge rifts generated by the CFR can be healed and how effective pedagogy of campesino youth can lead to stronger social organisations, which are better equipped to reclaim the food system, and consequently their political, social, cultural, economic and ecological rights. Jaskiran Kaur Chohan is a PhD candidate at the Institute of the Americas, UCL. REFERENCES Alto Comisionado por la Paz. (2016). Acuerdo Final Para la Terminación del Conflicto y la Construcción de una Paz Estale y Duradera. Alto Comisionado por la Paz. Retrieved from: http://www.altocomisionadoparalapaz.gov.co/procesos-y-conversaciones/Documentos%20compartidos/24-11-2016NuevoAcuerdoFinal.pdf Barragán, J.S. (2017). Inauguran la Universidad Campesina María Cano. Agencia Prensa Rural. Retrieved from: http://sociales.uexternado.edu.co/antropologia/inauguran-la-universidad-campesina-maria-cano/ Bernstein, H. (2015). Food Regimes and Food Regime Analysis: A Selective Survey. Land Grabbing, Conflict and Agrarian‐environmental Transformations: Perspectives from East and Southeast Asia, (1), 1–38. Campbell, H. (2009). Breaking new ground in food regime theory: Corporate environmentalism, ecological feedbacks and the “food from somewhere” regime? Agriculture and Human Values, 26, 309–319. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-009-9215-8 FENSUAGRO. (2016). IALA María Cano. FENSUAGRO. Bogota: Colombia. Friedmann, H., (2005). From Colonialism to Green Capitalism: Social Movements and Emergence of Food Regimes. In New Directions in the Sociology of Global Development, F.H. Buttel and McMichael Gliessman, S. (2015). Agroecology: The Ecology of Sustainable Food Systems. CRC Press/ Taylor & Francis Group. Boca Raton: London: New York. GRAIN (2014, December 6). Food Sovereignty: 5 Steps to Cooling the Planet and to Feed its People. GRAIN. Retrieved from: https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5102-food-sovereignty-5-steps-to-cool-the-planet-and-feed-its-people Grajales, J. (2015). Land grabbing, legal contention and institutional change in Colombia. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 42(3–4), 541–560. http://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2014.992883 Hall, D. (2013) Primitive Accumulation, Accumulation by Dispossession and the Global Land Grab, Third World Quarterly, 34:9, 1582-1604, DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2013.843854 Holt-Giménez, E., & Altieri, M. a. (2012). Agroecology, Food Sovereignty and the New Green Revolution. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 3565(November), 120904081412003. http://doi.org/10.1080/10440046.2012.71638 (Ed.) Alvarez, J. (2013). Territorios Campesinos: La Experiencia de las Zonas de Reserva Campesina. INCODER/ Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Bogota: Colombia. La Via Campesina. (2015). Peasant Agroecology for Food Sovereignty and Mother Earth: Experiences of La Via Campesina. La Via Campesina. Harare: Zimbabwe. Martínez-Torres, M. E., & Rosset, P. M. (2014). Diálogo de saberes in La Vía Campesina: food sovereignty and agroecology. Journal of Peasant Studies, 0(0), 1–19. http://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2013.872632 Schneider, M., & McMichael, P. (2010). Deepening, and repairing, the metabolic rift. Journal of Peasant Studies, 37(3), 461–484. http://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2010.494371 Mcmichael, P. (2013). Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions. Fenwood Publishing. Halifax, NS: Fernwood. McCune, B. N., Reardon, J., & Rosset, P. (2014). Agroecological Formación in Rural Social Movements, 98(98). http://doi.org/10.5195/rt.2014.71 Park, C. M. Y., & White, B. (2015). We are not all the same: taking gender seriously in food sovereignty discourse. Third World Quarterly, 36(3), 584–599. http://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2015.1002988 Rosset, P. M., Elena, M., & Torres, M. (2016). Agroecolgia, territorio, recampesinizacion y movimientos sociales. Revista de Investigacion Cientifica, 25(47), 275–299. Timmermann, C., & Fe, G. F. (2015). Agroecology as a vehicle for contributive justice, 523–538. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-014-9581-8 Wittman, H. (2009). Reworking the metabolic rift: La Vía Campesina, agrarian citizenship, and food sovereignty. Journal of Peasant Studies, 36(4), 805–826. http://doi.org/10.1080/03066150903353991 Woodgate, G. (2015). Agroecology as Post-Development Disourse and Practice. In D. Redclift, M.; Springett (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Sustainble Development (pp. 367–378).

Ethno Veterinary Approaches for Treatment of Bovine Mastitis

Chapter · January 2014 In book: Mastitis in Dairy Animals: An Update, Edition: First, Chapter: Ethno Veterinary Approaches for Treatment of Bovine Mastitis, Publisher: Satish Serial Publishing House, Editors: A. K. Srivastava, A. Kumaresan, A. Manimaran and Shiv Prasad, pp.249 Morkonda Rajaram Srinivasan 1st Morkonda Rajaram Srinivasan 8.38 · Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Ramesh S 2nd Ramesh S Abstract Contents: Preface. 1. Mastitis in dairy animal: current concepts and future concerns. 2. Etiology and epidemiology of bovine mastitis. 3. Functional anatomy of bovine udder. 4. Defense mechanism in bovine mammary gland. 5. Genetic determinants of mastitis in cattle. 6. Machine milking and mastitis risk. 7. Mastitis and its public health significance. 8. Economic implication of bovine mastitis a conceptual framework. 9. Impact of mastitis on reproduction efficiency. 10. Mastitis detection: traditional and advanced diagnostic techniques. 11. Pharmacological concerns for treatment of mastitis. 12. Judicious use of antibiotics in mastitis therapy. 13. Advances in treatment and control of bovine mastitis. 14. Ethno veterinary approaches for treatment of bovine mastitis. 15. Current clinical practice and strategies in bovine mastitis management. 16. Transition cow management for boosting udder immunity. 17. Dry cow therapy for mastitis control. 18. Risk management approach for udder health in dairy herds. 19. Evaluation of udder and teat conditions for udder health management. 20. Epilogue. Mastitis although not a new problem is associated with huge economic loss to the farmers and the country. In India on one hand while milk productivity is increasing the incidence of mastitis is also increasing on the other hand. The factors like herd size, agro-climatic conditions, variations in socio-cultural practices, milk marketing literacy level of animal owner, system of feeding and management were implicated in the incidence of subclinical mastitis. Despite several attempts, safe and effective mastitis vaccines that would protect against many mastitis causing organisms are not available. Till date, mastitis control has been based mainly on widespread and unsustainable antibiotic usage to treat the clinically affected animals. The continuous pressure to reduce the antibiotic usage and changing etiology and epidemiology of mastitis in different production systems poses new challenges to develop effective mastitis control programs. In the given situation, it is evident that a critical understanding of the facts and figures of bovine mastitis is essential to evolve research, development and farm level strategies to control mastitis in dairy animals. Recent developments in scientific tools and methods have advanced our understanding of host-pathogen interactions involved in bovine mastitis, mechanistic insight into disease progression, the effect of therapeutic molecules and how the animal responds to different management strategies. This book provides deep insight into different aspects of bovine mastitis (etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, host-animal-environment interaction, public health issues, therapy and management) with the aim to update the facts and figures on this disease so that proper strategies can be evolved to reduce the severity of mastitis, to increase production and profitability, and to supply of safe and nutritious milk and milk products to the consumers.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The efficacy of herbal medicines against Toxoplasma gondii during the last three decades: a systematic review

Article in Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 94(12) · July 2016 DOI: 10.1139/cjpp-2016-0039 1st Mahdi Sharif 11.12 · University of Salford 2nd Shahabeddin Sarvi 24.09 · Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences + 5 3rd Abdol satar Pagheh 13.98 · Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences Last Ahmad Daryani 30.64 · Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences Show more authors Abstract The objective of the current study was to systematically review papers discussing the efficacy of medicinal herbs against Toxoplasma gondii. Data were systematically collected from published papers about the efficacy of herbs used against T. gondii globally from 1988 to 2015, from PubMed, Google Scholar, ISI Web of Science, EBSCO, Science Direct, and Scopus. Forty-nine papers were included in the current systematic review reporting the evaluation of medicinal plants against T. gondii globally, both in vitro and in vivo. Sixty-one plants were evaluated. Most of the studies were carried out on Artemisia annua. The second highest number of studies were carried out on Glycyrrhiza glabra extracts. RH and ME49 were the predominant parasite strains used. Additionally, Swiss-Webster and BALB/c mice were the major animal models used. Alcoholic and aqueous extracts were used more than other types of extracts. Natural compounds mentioned here may be developed as novel and more effective therapeutic agents that improve the treatment of toxoplasmosis due to their lower side effects, higher availability, and better cultural acceptance compared with those of the chemical drugs that are currently being used. The efficacy of herbal medicines against Toxoplasma gondii during the last three decades: a systematic review. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304813777_The_efficacy_of_herbal_medicines_against_Toxoplasma_gondii_during_the_last_three_decades_a_systematic_review [accessed Aug 17, 2017].

Traditional Herbal Knowledge in the 21st Century: research, challenges and future prospects John Hanbury Lecture Theatre UCL Pharmacy, 29-39 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AX

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/event-ticketing/booking/?ev=17023&spektrix_bounce=true

Why the ‘gold standard’ of medical research is no longer enough

By TOM FRIEDEN AUGUST 2, 2017 https://www.statnews.com/2017/08/02/randomized-controlled-trials-medical-research/ The effectiveness of the nasal spray flu vaccine illustrates of the limitations of randomized controlled trials. JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES R andomized controlled trials have long been held up as the “gold standard” of clinical research. There’s no doubt that well-designed trials are effective tools for testing a new drug, device, or other intervention. Yet much of modern medical care — perhaps most of it — is not based on randomized controlled trials and likely never will be. In this “dark matter” of clinical medicine, past practices and anecdotes all too often rule. We need to look beyond trials to improve medical care in these areas. In a randomized controlled trial (RCT), participants are randomly assigned to receive either the treatment under investigation or, as a control, a placebo or the current standard treatment. The randomization process helps ensure that the various groups in the study are virtually identical in age, gender, socioeconomic status, and other variables. This minimizes the potential for bias and the influence of confounding factors. Despite their strengths, RCTs have substantial limitations. They can be very expensive to run. They can take many years to complete, and even then may not last long enough to assess the long-term effect of an intervention such as vaccine immunity, or to detect rare or long-term adverse effects. Findings from RCTs may not be valid beyond the study population — a trial that included a high-risk population in order to maximize the possibility of detecting an effect, for example, may not be relevant to a low-risk population. RCTs may not be practical for population-wide interventions and often aren’t relevant for urgent health issues such as infectious disease outbreaks, for which public health decisions must be made quickly. As I write this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, several other study types can generate data that are at least as effective as RCTs, or may be even more effective, at generating evidence for action, especially related to population-wide interventions. Gastrointestinal READ MORE Is colonoscopy the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening? The effectiveness of the nasal spray flu vaccine (also called the live attenuated vaccine) is a dramatic illustration of the limitations of RCTs. Trials suggested that the nasal spray vaccine was superior to flu shots, at least for some populations. In subsequent years, however, observational studies, including case-control studies, documented that, for reasons which are still unclear, the nasal spray wasn’t effective against the flu. That led the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to recommend, and the CDC to accept the recommendation, that the nasal spray flu vaccine not be used in the 2016-2017 flu season. For some public health issues, it isn’t ethical to conduct an RCT. Take sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Early case-control studies suggested, but didn’t prove, that babies who sleep on their stomachs are more likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their backs. It wouldn’t have been ethical to randomize some babies to stomach sleeping. A public program to implement putting children to sleep on their backs proved that this measure reduced the incidence of SIDS. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to do an RCT of community-wide tobacco control measures. But analyses of the results of implementing tobacco control policies, such as taxes, smoke-free laws, and advertising bans, have generated robust evidence of effectiveness that could not have been accomplished through an RCT-style study. For the several thousand rare diseases, RCTs are unlikely to be conducted due to the small number of people who have them and other logistical constraints. Detailed case studies, registries that collect information about specific conditions and diseases, and other study types can enhance understanding of a particular disease and its treatment to improve the health of affected patients. NEWSLETTERS Sign up for The Readout: A guide to what's new in biotech Enter your email SIGN UP The emerging use of “big data,” including information from electronic health records and expanded patient registries, presents new opportunities to conduct large-scale studies with many of the benefits of RCTs but without the expense. One such study used data from the Veterans Health Administration and Medicare to examine outcomes of treatment for type 2 diabetes. This study was many times larger, with much longer follow-up and lower cost, than previous RCTs comparing the effectiveness of different diabetes drugs. It clearly showed that one class of drug, the thiazolidinediones, was much more effective than another class, the sulfonylureas, in reducing hospitalization and death. Clinical and public health decisions are almost always made with imperfect data. There is no single, best approach to obtain better information about health interventions. Evidence grading systems, policy makers, and researchers must embrace other study types in addition to RCTs. Essential steps in interpreting findings and identifying data for action include promoting transparency in study methods, ensuring standardized data collection for key outcomes, and using new approaches to improve data synthesis. Despite the global evidence base, around the world there are often claims that “there is no evidence tobacco harms health here” or that “soda isn’t proven to drive obesity in this country.” In part, such claims can be made because some formal systems of analyzing evidence give undue weight to RCTs and inappropriately discount other types of rigorously developed evidence. A valid ideal is “evidence-based practice,” which means implementing in clinical care and public policy interventions that are proven to work. But it’s also important, and perhaps more so, to develop “practice-based evidence,” — that is, to implement programs and rigorously document whether or not they work. That would both save lives and expand the evidence base of effective interventions. Donald Trump READ MORE Trump’s FDA may be lowering the standards for drug approvals. What’s the fallout? There will always be an argument for more research and for better data. But waiting for more data is often an implicit decision not to act, or to act on the basis of past practice rather than on the best available evidence. Glorifying RCTs above other approaches, even when these other approaches may be either superior or the only practical way to get an answer, relegates patients to receiving treatments that aren’t based on the best available evidence. An approach that uses all appropriate evidence types and builds on the existing evidence base using proven best practices is the one most likely to result in clinical and public health action that will save lives. Tom Frieden, M.D., served as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2009 to 2017. About the Author

University of Warwick Centre for the Study of Women and Gender August 2 at 4:05am · Call for Abstracts

The Centre for the Study of Women and Gender at the University of Warwick will host an interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar Series in the academic year 2017/2018. We would like to invite papers from postgraduate students working on gender in any discipline. We welcome submissions, both conventional and innovative, from any disciplines on gender related topics. Seminars will take place on three or four afternoons across the Autumn and Spring terms (dates and timings TBC). Attendance is open to everyone. Abstracts should be: • Maximum 200 words • Submitted along with a brief biography of the author (max 100 words); including their institution, department, and research interests. If undertaking empirical research please also provide a brief summary of methodology. • Submitted by Friday 1st September 2017 Please email abstracts to cswgseminarseries@gmail.com. Abstracts will be peer reviewed. If successful, you will hear from us in the week commencing Monday 18th September 2017 and will be allocated a seminar between October 2017 and March 2018. Funds may also be available to help contribute to travel expenses.

Botanical ethnoveterinary therapies used by agro-pastoralists of Fafan zone, Eastern Ethiopia

BMC Vet Res. 2017 Aug 9;13(1):232. doi: 10.1186/s12917-017-1149-6. Feyera T1, Mekonnen E2, Wakayo BU1, Assefa S3. Author information 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, College of Veterinary Medicine, Jigjiga University, Jigjiga, Ethiopia. 2 Department of Basic Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Jigjiga University, Jigjiga, Ethiopia. 3 Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Solomon.assefa@aau.edu.et. Abstract BACKGROUND: In Ethiopia, plant based remedies are still the most important and sometimes the only source of therapeutics in the management of livestock diseases. However, documentation of this indigenous knowledge of therapeutic system still remains at a minimum level. The aim of this study was, thus, to document the traditional knowledge of botanical ethnoveterinary therapies in the agro-pastoral communities of Fafan Zone, Eastern Ethiopia. METHODS: The study employed a cross-sectional participatory survey. Purposive sampling technique was applied to select key respondents with desired knowledge in traditional animal health care system. Data were gathered from a total of 24 (22 males and 2 females) ethnoveterinary practitioners and herbalists using an in-depth-interview complemented with group discussion and field observation. RESULTS: The current ethnobotanical survey indicated that botanical ethnoveterinary therapies are the mainstay of livestock health care system in the studied communities. A total of 49 medicinal plants belonging to 21 families, which are used by traditional healers and livestock raisers for the treatment of 29 types of livestock ailments/health problems, were identified in the study area. The major plant parts used were leaves (43%) followed by roots (35%). In most cases, traditional plant remedies were prepared by pounding the remedial plant part and mixing it with water at room temperature. CONCLUSION: The various types of identified medicinal plants and their application in ethnoveternary practice of Fafan zone agro pastoralists indicate the depth of indigenous knowledge in ethnobotanical therapy. The identified medicinal plants could be potentially useful for future phytochemical and pharmacological studies. KEYWORDS: Agro-pastoralist; Ethnoveterinary; Fafan zone; Livestock diseases; Medicinal plants PMID: 28793900 PMCID: PMC5550981 DOI: 10.1186/s12917-017-1149-6 Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Google+ Images from this publication.See all images (4)Free text Fig. 1Fig. 2Fig. 3Fig. 4 LinkOut - more resources

Therapeutic arthropods and other, largely terrestrial, folk-medicinally important invertebrates: a comparative survey and review

J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2017 Feb 7;13(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s13002-017-0136-0. Meyer-Rochow VB1,2. Author information 1 Department of Genetics and Physiology, Oulu University, Oulu, SF-90140, Finland. meyrow@gmail.com. 2 Research Institute of Luminous Organisms, Hachijo, Nakanogo, Hachijojima, Tokyo, 100-1623, Japan. meyrow@gmail.com. Abstract Traditional healing methods involving hundreds of insect and other invertebrate species are reviewed. Some of the uses are based on the tenet of "similia similibus" (let likes be cured by likes), but not all non-conventional health promoting practices should be dismissed as superstition or wishful thinking, for they have stood the test of time. Two questions are addressed: how can totally different organ systems in a human possibly benefit from extracts, potions, powders, secretions, ashes, etc. of a single species and how can different target organs, e.g. bronchi, lungs, the urinary bladder, kidneys, etc. apparently respond to a range of taxonomically not even closely related species? Even though therapeutically used invertebrates are generally small, they nevertheless possess organs for specific functions, e.g. digestion, gas exchange, reproduction. They have a nervous system, endocrine glands, a heart and muscle tissue and they contain a multitude of different molecules like metabolites, enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, secretions, etc. that have come under increased scientific scrutiny for pharmacological properties. Bearing that in mind it seems likely that a single species prepared and used in different ways could have a multitude of uses. But how, for example, can there be remedies for breathing and other problems, involving earthworms, molluscs, termites, beetles, cockroaches, bugs, and dragonflies? Since invertebrates themselves can suffer from infections and cancers, common defence reactions are likely to have evolved in all invertebrates, which is why it would be far more surprising to find that each species had evolved its own unique disease fighting system. To obtain a more comprehensive picture, however, we still need information on folk medicinal uses of insects and other invertebrates from a wider range of regions and ethnic groups, but this task is hampered by western-based medicines becoming increasingly dominant and traditional healers being unable and sometimes even unwilling to transmit their knowledge to the younger generation. However, collecting and uncontrolled uses of therapeutic invertebrates can put undue pressure on certain highly sought after species and this is something that has to be borne in mind as well. KEYWORDS: Alternative therapies; Entomo-pharmacology; Folk medicine; Health; Traditional healing PMID: 28173820 PMCID: PMC5296966 DOI: 10.1186/s13002-017-0136-0 Free PMC Article

Herbal Medicine Shows Potential to Treat Cancer

http://www.sciencenewsline.com/news/2017080718330023.html

For Cosmetics, Let the Buyer Beware

https://nyti.ms/2vbZi9z

Capsaicinoids Enhance Metabolic Rate in Normal Healthy Individuals using a Novel Metabolic Tracker Breezing Device-An Open Label Placebo Controlled Acute Study

Yue Deng1 Fang Chen1 Erica Forzani1 Vijaya Juturu2* 1Center of Bioelectronics and Biosensors, Bio-design Institute, Arizona State University, Arizona, USA 2OmniActive Health Technologies Inc, Morristown, New Jersey, USA *Corresponding author: Vijaya Juturu, OmniActive Health Technologies, Inc. Morristown, New Jersey 07960, USA, E-mail: v.juturu@omniactives.com Article Information Abstract Article References PDF Article Information Article Type: Research Article Citation: Deng Y, Chen F, Forzani E, Juturu V (2017) Capsaicinoids Enhance Metabolic Rate in Normal Healthy Individuals using a Novel Metabolic Tracker Breezing Device-An Open Label Placebo Controlled Acute Study. Obes Open Access 3(2): doi http://dx.doi.org/10.16966/2380-5528.129 Copyright: © 2017 Deng Y, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Publication history: Received date: 13 Apr 2017 Accepted date: 05 Jun 2017 Published date: 12 Jun 2017

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Call for Papers: IASPM Journal 8/1 (2018) –– Gender Politics in the Music Industry

Special Issue Editors: Catherine Strong and Sarah Raine Gender in music has been considered in terms of performance, genre, and audience cultures, yet gender politics within the music industry itself remains under-researched. Offering an opportunity to engage at the intersection between musical production, the creative industries and gender politics, this call for papers aims to bring together research that considers the gender politics of the music industry itself: of work relationships; the spaces of production; the processes of decision making; the creation of musical experiences in festivals and tours. Moving on from the already substantial body of literature on gender on the musical stage, IASPM Journal, the journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, wishes to encourage further research and debate in this area with a special issue that foregrounds the people, practices and places of the music industry, to be published in 2018. We are looking for a range of international perspectives from the different localities and cultures that IASPM represents. For this special issue, we are particularly interested in new approaches at the crossroads of topics that can include but are not limited to: ➢ Music industry strategies to increase gender diversity ➢ The gendered division of labour in music industries ➢ Navigating the music industries beyond the gender binary ➢ The gendered dimensions of precarious musical labour ➢ The disruption or maintenance of a perceived industry “boys’ club” ➢ Music career development and gender roles ➢ The interaction between social media and industry on gender issues ➢ Safety and inclusion in venues Authors are encouraged to submit, by 28 August 2017, a 300-word abstract including an indicative title and references, showing engagement with relevant literature and other outputs, to Catherine Strong and Sarah Raine at iaspmgenderissue@gmail.com Full papers will be invited by the 29 of September. The deadline for full submission is 15 January 2018 Please register and submit online, and ensure you are a current member of IASPM. A downloadable PDF version of this CFP, with further instructions and information, can be found here; http://www.iaspmjournal.net/index.php/IASPM_Journal/article/view/854/922 Sarah Sarah Raine Review Editor, IASPM Journal Network Coordinator, Jazz and Everyday Aesthetics - http://jazzaesthetics.org Co-Managing Editor, Riffs - http://riffsjournal.org Project Coordinator, Birmingham School of Media, BCU PhD Candidate Media and Cultural Studies School of Media Birmingham City University Sarah.raine2@mail.bcu.ac.uk https://bcu.academia.edu/SarahRaine http://www.iaspmjournal.net/

'I’m black so I look mean?' Serena Williams discusses race and pregnancy

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/15/serena-williams-pregnancy-tennis-return-australian-open?CMP=share_btn_tw

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Mentha x piperita FAMILY NAME: Lamiaceae COMMON NAME: peppermint

http://cms.herbalgram.org/heg/volume12/09September/FaMPricklyPear.html

Food as Medicine: Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica, Cactaceae)

HerbalEGram: Volume 12, Issue 9, September 2015 Editor’s Note: Each month, HerbalEGram highlights a conventional food and briefly explores its history, traditional uses, nutritional profile, and modern medicinal research. We also feature a nutritious recipe for an easy-to-prepare dish with each article to encourage readers to experience the extensive benefits of these whole foods. With this series, we hope our readers will gain a new appreciation for the foods they see at the supermarket and frequently include in their diets. The basic materials for this series were compiled by dietetic interns from Texas State University in San Marcos and the University of Texas at Austin through the American Botanical Council’s (ABC’s) Dietetic Internship Program, led by ABC Education Coordinator Jenny Perez. We would like to acknowledge Perez, ABC Special Projects Director Gayle Engels, and ABC Chief Science Officer Stefan Gafner, PhD, for their contributions to this project. By Hannah Baumana and Ashley Schmidtb a HerbalGram Assistant Editor b ABC Dietetics Intern (TSU, 2014) History and Traditional Use Range and Habitat The cactus genus Opuntia encompasses a large group of species characterized by flat, jointed or segmented pads known in botany as cladodes and in Spanish as nopales (singular: nopal).1 The cladodes are cylindrical or conical in shape, covered with clusters of spines, and are uniquely adapted to a dry desert climate due to thick, waxy stems that store water and minimize water evaporation in much the same way that leaves do.2 Yellow, orange, pink, and red flowers grow on the plant. Pear-shaped fruits, called tunas, mature on the cactus pads in early fall. Two types of spines grow on the pads: large, fixed spines, and small, barbed spines that detach from the plant easily.3 The fruit often has clusters of smaller, inconspicuous spines and vary in color from green, yellow, red, orange, and purple. The fruit contains hard seeds surrounded by a fleshy portion. These succulent shrubs are drought-tolerant and grow in arid and semiarid climates. The prickly pear is native to Mexico but now grows across the United States, Australia, and South Africa.4 Prickly pear can be cultivated and propagated easily because the pads can be removed from the plant and replanted, forming a new growth. Phytochemicals and Constituents Opuntia species contain a variety of nutrients and bioactive compounds that are beneficial for human health. The pad and fruit compositions differ, but both provide various levels of macronutrient distribution, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The fruits of the Opuntia species are rich in antioxidant pigments called betacyanins.5 Betacyanins from cactus pear fruit have been found to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels after consumption and protect against oxidation.6 Numerous flavonol glycosides, plant-derived secondary metabolites with important antioxidant properties, have been isolated from O. ficus-indica fruit concentrates.7 Pads of the Opuntia species contain manganese, which is essential for glucose metabolism8; magnesium, which helps the body regulate protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose, and blood pressure9; and vitamin C. Historical and Commercial Uses The prickly pear has been used traditionally in a variety of ways, including the treatment of digestive problems, edema, and topically for burn and wound care.10 The bitter plant also has been used as a diuretic, a fever reducer, for vitiligo (localized loss of pigmentation in the skin), urinary problems, tumors, abdominal fluid build-up, inflammation, liver problems, anemia, ulcers, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, bladder stones, inflammation of the eyes, lower back pain, spleen enlargement, and management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).3,11 Mashed pads historically were used to relieve heat and inflammation. They were also applied to boils for quick removal of pus. The flowers were used for lung problems, including bronchitis and asthma. The fruit of the plant was used to cool the body, treat gonorrhea and whooping cough, expel phlegm from the lungs, control excessive coughing, and increase bile secretion. Indigenous tribes in Mexico and the Pima tribe in central and southern Arizona use the cactus as a treatment for diabetes. Additional historical uses of the species include treatment of hangovers, prostate enlargement, and rabies.12 Opuntia cacti played an important role in the daily life and economy of the Aztec and Maya, since they served not only as sources of food for humans and livestock, but also as host plants for the cochineal insect (Dactylopius coccus).13 Cochineals are used to make carmine dye, a highly prized red dye for textiles. Carmine-dyed wool and cotton remain important mediums in Mexican folk art. Currently, Opuntia is cultivated in arid and semiarid climates across the world including Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Tunisia, Italy, Israel, China, Spain, and California.3,14 Uses of different components of the prickly pear encompass traditional uses as well as use for food and beverages, for livestock fodder, dye, soap, drinking water purification, thickening agent, and as a protective hedge for fencing.10 Mexico, Spain, Italy, northern Africa, and the United States commonly use the plant for food, consuming both the pad and the fruit.3 Modern Research Treatment of diabetes has been cited as a traditional use for Opuntia, prompting research on its effects on various health parameters associated with diabetes. Rats with induced diabetes fed nopal flour from medium-sized pads followed by glucose were found to have a reduced post-meal glucose peak.15 A 40% reduction in fasting blood sugar was also seen in rats that consumed nopal flour, and a 30% decrease from treatment with nopal flour made with smaller pads. The results suggest that the maturity (as indicated by the size) of the pad modifies the blood sugar-lowering effects of Opuntia. The fiber found in the pad could be the primary component responsible for its blood sugar-lowering effects, delaying the absorption of carbohydrates from foods. Additional benefits have been found in animal studies: concentrated juice from the fruit of O. ficus-indica has been found to protect against ulcer formation in rats.7 Studies in humans have also explored the antidiabetic properties of prickly pear. A recent small study of type 2 diabetics found that consumption of steamed nopales significantly reduced spikes in blood glucose levels and serum insulin levels up to one hour after consumption of a high-carbohydrate breakfast.16 The study also found a significant decrease in glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (a hormone released from the small intestine that stimulates insulin production17) after consumption of nopales and a high-carbohydrate breakfast. In pre-diabetics, a product formulated with both cladode and fruit skin extract of O. ficus-indica, named OpunDia™ (Martin Bauer Group, Vestenbergsgreuth, Germany), has been found to reduce blood glucose spikes 60, 90, and 120 minutes after ingestion followed by 75 g of a glucose solution.18 Studies have found additional uses for the fruit and cladodes of the prickly pear. The cladodes of the prickly pear cactus contain high levels of calcium and have been studied for their effects on bone mineral density. Urine calcium/creatinine levels decreased (increased urinary excretion of calcium can be a symptom of bone-destroying diseases, among other physiological abnormalities), and bone mineral density in the total hip region was increased in women 35 to 55 years old after daily consumption of 55 g of dehydrated nopal.19 Premenopausal women consuming 15 g of dehydrated nopal also had increased bone mineral density of the lumbar spine region. The 15 g of dehydrated nopal contained 500 mg of calcium and used nopales harvested at a high maturity stage. Furthermore, consumption of tortillas filled with cactus fruit jam increased blood antioxidant levels, blood vitamin C levels, and protected lipids from oxidation in human participants.20 The jam-filled tortillas also significantly reduced blood glucose, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Some evidence of antiviral properties, immunomodulation, improvement of platelet function, and neuroprotection have also been noted.3 Interestingly, some research suggests that prickly pear may be a useful and practical tool for water filtration. A study from 2010 found that prickly pear gel filtered out 98% of bacteria in a contaminated water sample. The researchers noted that the cactus could “become a sustainable and affordable water purification method in the rural communities of developing countries.”21 Nutrient Profile22 Macronutrient Profile: (Per 100 g [approx. 1 1/4 cup sliced] raw nopal) 16 calories 1.3 g protein 3.33 g carbohydrate 0.1 g fat Secondary Metabolites: (Per 100 g [approx. 1 1/4 cup sliced] raw nopal) Very good source of: Calcium: 164 mg (16.4% DV) Vitamin C: 9.3 mg (15.5% DV) Magnesium: 52 mg (13% DV) Good source of: Vitamin A: 457 IU (9.1% DV) Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g (8.8% DV) Potassium: 257 mg (7.34% DV) Vitamin K: 5.3 mcg (6.63% DV) Also provides: Vitamin B6: 0.07 mg (3.5% DV) Iron: 0.6 mg (3.33% DV) Riboflavin: 0.04 mg (2.35% DV) Niacin: 0.41 mg (2.05% DV) Zinc: 0.25 mg (1.67% DV) Phosphorus: 16 mg (1.6% DV) DV = Daily Value as established by the US Food and Drug Administration, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Recipe: Cactus Casserole with Rice, Ancho Chili, and Cheese Ingredients: 2 dried ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed 3/4 pound cactus pads (or 1 15-ounce jar/can of nopales, drained and rinsed) 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced 3 cloves of garlic, minced 2 cups sour cream 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 3 cups of cooked rice (white or brown) 8 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded Salt and pepper to taste Directions: In a dry skillet over high heat, toast the chilies for about 10 seconds on each side, or until they begin to puff. Remove the chilies and soak in hot water until soft, about 20 minutes. Once hydrated, discard the soaking water and place the chilies in a blender or food processor with 1/4 cup of fresh water and blend until a paste forms. Set aside. Heat the oven to 350° F. If using fresh cactus paddles: remove the thorns by trimming the thick base and edges of the paddle, then scrape the thorns with a paring knife without taking off too much of the green skin. Take care with this step; gloves are recommended. Thinly slice. Place the fresh cactus slices in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat the canola oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute, then remove the skillet from the heat. Set aside. In a bowl, mix together sour cream, prepared ancho chili paste, cumin, oregano, allspice, cayenne, and half of the shredded cheese. Add cooked rice, cactus, and onion-garlic mixture and stir to combine, tasting and adjusting seasoning as necessary. Pour the casserole into a greased baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until brown and bubbling. References Loflin B, Loflin S. Texas Cacti: A Field Guide. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press; 2009. Nobel, PS. Ecophysiology of Opuntia ficus-indica. In: Mondragón-Jacobo C and Pérez-González S, eds. Cactus (Opuntia spp.) as Forage. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 2001:13-20. Chauhan SP, Sheth NR, Jivani NP, Rathod IS, Shah PI. Biological actions of Opuntia species. System Rev Pharm. 2010;1(2):146-151. Van Wyck BE. Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide. Portland, OR: Timber Press; 2006. Castellar R, Obón J, Alacid M, Fernández-López JA. Color properties and stability of betacyanins from Opuntia fruits. J Agric Food Chem. 2003;51(9):2772-2776. Tesoriere L, Allegra M, Butera D, Livrea MA. Absorption, excretion, and distribution of dietary antioxidant betalains in LDLs: potential health effects of betalains in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(4):941-945. Galati EM, Mondello MR, Giuffrida D, et al. Chemical characterization and biological effects of Sicilian Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. fruit juice: antioxidant and antiulcerogenic activity. J Agric Food Chem. 2003;51(17):4903-4908. Emsley J. Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements, 2nd ed. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 2011. Magnesium: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements website. November 4, 2013. Available here. Accessed August 17, 2015. Shetty AA, Rana MK, Preetham SP. Cactus: a medicinal food. J Food Sci Technol. 2012;49(5):530-536. Kaur M, Kaur A, Sharma R. Pharmalogical actions of Opuntia ficus-indica: A review. J App Pharm Sci. 2012;2(7):15-18. Dvorkin-Camiel L, Whelan JS. Tropical American plants in the treatment of infectious disease. J Diet Suppl. 2008;5(4):349-372. Gibson AC. Red Scales in the Sunset. UCLA College of Life Sciences – Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden website. Available here. Accessed August 17, 2015. Stintzing F, Carle R. Cactus stems (Opuntia spp.): A review on their chemistry, technology, and uses. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005;49(2):175-194. Nuñez-López MA, Paredes-López O, Reynoso-Camacho R. Functional and hypoglycemic properties of nopal cladodes (O. ficus-indica) at different maturity stages using in vitro and in vivo tests. J Agr Food Chem. 2013;61(46):10981-10986. López-Romero P, Pichardo-Ontiveros E, Avila-Nava A, et al. The effect of nopal (Opuntia ficus indica) on postprandial blood glucose, incretins, and antioxidant activity in Mexican patients with type 2 diabetes after consumption of two different composition breakfasts. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014;114(11):1811-1818. Glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide. The Free Dictionary website. Available here. Accessed September 10, 2015. Godard MP, Ewing BA, Pischel I, Ziegler A, Benedek B, Feistel B. Acute blood glucose lowering effects and long-term safety of OpunDia™ supplementation in pre-diabetic males and females. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010;130(3):631-634. Aguilera-Barreiro M, Rivera-Márquez JA, Trujillo-Arriaga HM, Tamayo y Orozco JA, Barreira-Mercado E, Rodríguez-García ME. Intake of dehydrated nopal (Opuntia ficus indica) improves bone mineral density and calciuria in adult Mexican women. Food Nutr Res. 2013;57:19106-19115. Guevara-Arauza J, Paz J, Mendoza S, Guerra R, Maldonado L, González D. Biofunctional activity of tortillas and bars enhanced with nopal. Preliminary assessment of functional effect after intake on the oxidative status in healthy volunteers. Chem Cent J. 2011;5:10-20. Cactus purifies water on the cheap, finds study. SciDevNet website. Available here. Accessed September 10, 2015. Basic Report: 11963, Nopales, raw. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture website. Available here. Accessed August 17, 2015.

Re: Aloe Vera Sterol Supplement Improves Skin Elasticity in Men with Sunlight-exposed Skin

Aloe Vera (Aloe vera, Xanthorrhoeaceae) Skin Elasticity Sunlight-exposed Skin Date: 07-31-2017 HC# 011711-573 Tanaka M, Yamamoto Y, Misawa E, et al. Aloe sterol supplementation improves skin elasticity in Japanese men with sunlight-exposed skin: a 12-week double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016;9:435-442. Skin aging is a result of exposure to extrinsic factors, such as chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and internal physiological factors that occur over time. Studies have suggested that supplementation with aloe vera (Aloe vera, Xanthorrhoeaceae) sterols may improve skin moisture, skin elasticity, and collagen scores. The aim of this 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to assess the effect of aloe vera sterol intake on the sunlight-exposed skin of Japanese men during the summer. This study took place in Japan from July 2015 to October 2015. A total of 48 healthy, adult Japanese men (age, 30-59 years), who spent 2-5 hours outside during the day, were randomly assigned to the placebo (n = 24) or aloe vera sterol (n = 24) group. Subjects were excluded if they regularly used cosmetics or cream on their arms (other than sunscreen), used cosmetics or consumed foods that adversely affected their skin, had skin disorders, or had a health problem that would interfere with the study. Each subject consumed either 5 tablets per day of powdered aloe vera gel, consisting of 40 µg of aloe sterols, or a placebo consisting of dextrin. Both the placebo and aloe tablets also contained equal amounts of citric acid, maltose, sour milk, cellulose, calcium phosphate, flavor, glycerin fatty acid, sugar ester, and food color. The article does not say if the researchers prepared the tablets or if they were prepared by a manufacturer. All subjects were instructed to expose the inner side of 1 forearm to sunlight outdoors every day for 2 to 5 hours. The inner side of the forearm from each subject was then examined at weeks 0, 4, 8, and 12 of the treatment period. The skin parameters assessed included skin color, hydration, and elasticity. All 48 subjects recruited for the study participated, although 1 was later excluded from the study analysis because of a compliance violation (1 in the aloe sterol group had "20% of intake rate" in the first 4 weeks, though what, exactly, was taken in was never specified). There were comparable baseline characteristics and no significant differences between the 2 groups. Furthermore, there were no significant adverse events reported from blood lipid or biochemical parameters assessed in the study (data were not shown). Compared to baseline values, there was a significant increase in melanin index values at 4, 8, and 12 weeks in the placebo group, and at 4 and 12 weeks in the aloe vera sterol group (P < 0.005). Similar results were found for b value (skin color balance between yellow and blue). There was a significant increase in b for all time points and groups relative to baseline values (P < 0.05). Also compared to baseline, a decrease in the L values (lightness, ranging from total black [L = 0] to total white [L = 100]) was observed in both groups, some significantly. Skin color values, lightness, and the melanin index were not significantly different between groups, nor were a values (skin color balance between red and green). A decrease in hydration was found for both groups at 8 and 12 weeks (data were not shown). Compared to baseline, skin elasticity values (R2, gross elasticity; R5, net elasticity; and R7, biological elasticity) were significantly higher at 12 weeks for both groups (P < 0.05). Overall, there was no significant difference between the 2 groups for the elasticity values. When separated into different age groups, however, it was found that those aged < 46 years in the aloe vera sterol group (n = 12) had a significantly higher change from baseline in their R5 and R7 values (0.057% ± 0.016% and 0.023% ± 0.010%, respectively) compared to the placebo group in the same age range (n = 11; 0.005% ± 0.017% and −0.011% ± 0.012%, respectively) at 8 weeks (R5, P = 0.0412 and R7, P = 0.0410). In this same age group, it was found that at 12 weeks, the change in R2 in the aloe vera sterol group (0.024% ± 0.009%) was significantly higher compared to baseline (P < 0.05), whereas the placebo group did not have a significant change in R2 (0.009% ± 0.008%) relative to baseline. The authors found that aloe vera supplementation significantly increased elasticity (R5 and R7) in UV-exposed men < 46 years of age. Similarly, a previous study by these authors revealed that a dietary supplement with the same aloe vera sterol dose increased collagen and skin hydration, as well as all 3 skin elasticity parameters, in women protected from sunlight by clothing.1 The authors suggest that the effects of aloe vera sterols may depend on age and gender. The authors go on to mention that one of the limitations of this study was the broad range in UV exposure time. Future trials should assess the effects of aloe vera sterols in men and women of different ages with consistent UV exposure. More information should also be provided about subjects' sunscreen use, and the mechanistic effects of aloe vera sterols. Six of the authors are employees in the Functional Food Ingredients Department of the Food Ingredients & Technology Institute at Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. (Zama, Kanagawa, Japan), a company that develops and produces functional food ingredients and products. —Laura M. Bystrom, PhD

Re: Cinnamon Improves Measures of Metabolic Syndrome in Asian Indians

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp., Lauraceae) Metabolic Syndrome Metabolic Profile Date: 07-31-2017 HC# 071751-573 Gupta Jain S, Puri S, Misra A, Gulati S, Mani K. Effect of oral cinnamon intervention on metabolic profile and body composition of Asian Indians with metabolic syndrome: a randomized double-blind control trial. Lipids Health Dis. 2017;16:113. doi: 10.1186/s12944-017-0504-8. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is characterized by the presence of at least 3 of the following: abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and hypertension. It is important to treat MetS to prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). First-line treatments include diet and exercise. Clinical studies indicate that cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp., Lauraceae) bark and its components may improve insulin sensitivity and serum levels of fasting blood glucose (FBG), postprandial blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and blood antioxidants, as well as systolic blood pressure (SBP) and percent body fat. According to the authors, Asian Indians are at high risk for MetS, type 2 diabetes, and CVD. The purpose of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to evaluate the effects of cinnamon supplementation in Asian Indians with MetS. Patients (n = 116; mean age, 44.8 years) with newly diagnosed MetS who were treatment naïve were recruited from a private hospital and a clinic in South Delhi, India, from October 2011 to September 2012. MetS was defined as the presence of at least 3 of the following: abdominal obesity with waist circumference (WC) > 90 cm for men and > 80 cm for women; serum triglycerides ≥ 150 mg/dL; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) < 40 mg/dL for men and < 50 mg/dL for women; dysglycemia (FBG ≥ 100 mg/dL); and hypertension (≥ 130/≥ 85 mmHg). Patients on stable medication (defined as no change in the past 3 months) to treat high blood pressure were included. Excluded patients had uncontrolled hypertension (SBP ≥ 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure [DBP] ≥ 90 mmHg); severe hypertriglyceridemia (serum triglycerides > 400 mg/dL); hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism; CVD; diabetes; renal disease; myocardial infarction; endocrine disorders; any debilitating disease such as tuberculosis or HIV; or were taking lipid-lowering or hypoglycemic drugs. Patients were randomly assigned using block randomization with a 1:1 allocation ratio to receive 3 g/day cinnamon or 2.5 g/day placebo for 16 weeks. Raw cinnamon was purchased from K.V. Spices Private Limited (Delhi, India), powdered, and encapsulated. The Cinnamomum species used and the chemical profile of the cinnamon were not reported. The placebo capsules contained roasted wheat (Triticum spp., Poaceae) flour and "a very small quantity" of cinnamon essence. During the 4-week run-in, patients were instructed to follow the diet guidelines of the Dietary Guidelines for Asian Indians, taught about the importance of physical activity, and instructed to initiate physical activity according to Guidelines for Asian Indians. Patients were instructed to continue with the diet and exercise regimen throughout the entire study. The following parameters were assessed at baseline and after 16 weeks: body weight, body mass index (BMI), WC, waist-hip ratio, percentage body fat, FBG, HbA1c, lipid profile, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), SBP, and DBP. At baseline, both groups were similar, except the cinnamon group had significantly greater mean weight (P = 0.009) and BMI (P = 0.010) compared with the placebo group. Analysis of covariance was used to adjust the measured values for the differences in body weight and BMI. Six patients in the cinnamon group and 5 patients in the placebo group were excluded from the analysis due to lack of compliance. An additional 2 patients in the placebo group withdrew from the study for personal reasons. After 16 weeks, the cinnamon group compared with the placebo group had a significant decrease of 3.0 kg in weight (P = 0.001), 1.3 kg/m2 decrease in BMI (P = 0.001), 4.8 cm decrease in WC (P = 0.002), 0.03 decrease in waist-hip ratio (P = 0.028), 3% decrease in body fat (P = 0.011), 8.3 mmHg decrease in SBP (P = 0.001), 6.9 mmHg decrease in DBP (P = 0.001), 0.5 mmol/L decrease in FBG (P = 0.001), 2.6 mmol/mol decrease in HbA1c (P = 0.023), 0.6 mmol/L decrease in postprandial blood sugar (P = 0.030), 0.42 mmol/L decrease in total cholesterol (P = 0.006), 0.20 mmol/L decrease in triglycerides (P = 0.010), 0.37 mmol/L decrease in LDL (P = 0.003), and 0.72 decrease in the ratio of LDL to HDL (P = 0.001). The cinnamon group had a significant increase of 0.05 mmol/L in HDL compared with the placebo group (P = 0.035). There was no significant change in hs-CRP in either group. The prevalence of MetS was significantly reduced by 34.5% in the cinnamon group compared to 5.2% in the placebo group. No adverse effects were reported. The authors conclude that there is a beneficial effect of 3 g/day cinnamon for 16 weeks in Asian Indians with MetS. Namely, there was a significant decrease in hyperglycemia, body weight, total adiposity, abdominal adiposity, and serum lipid levels compared to placebo. Future studies should (1) evaluate additional doses of cinnamon to see if the benefits would be greater or more rapid, (2) evaluate a longer duration of treatment to see if the benefits increase over time, and (3) evaluate the effects when cinnamon is stopped (i.e., are the benefits maintained or do they revert to baseline levels or worsen compared to baseline). The authors note that the study population was obese, so the findings cannot be generalized to a leaner population. Additional limitations are the sample size, failure to report the Cinnamomum species used and its chemical composition, and that diet and exercise were not monitored so it is unknown whether those factors may have contributed to the between-group differences. —Heather S. Oliff, PhD

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Call for Papers Special Issue on Food Organizing Matters: Paradoxes, Problems and Potentialities

ORGANIZATION STUDIES Deadline for Submissions: October 31st 2017 Guest Editors Grégoire Croidieu (GEM, France) Frank den Hond (Hanken, Finland & VU, Netherlands) Christine Moser (VU, Netherlands) Juliane Reinecke (WBS, UK) Silviya Svejenova (CBS, Denmark & BI, Norway) Introduction While food is one of the oldest and most critical human endeavours, the many paradoxes, problems and potentialities associated with the organizing of food deserve much greater scholarly attention. On the one hand, food security and safety are among the 'grand challenges' that face humanity, alongside issues of environmental sustainability, poverty, health, and exploitation of labour. The expansion of agribusiness has fed the staggering rise in world population over the 20th century. It has allowed an accumulation of wealth unprecedented in the history of humankind. Despite this progress, some 800 million people still suffer from malnutrition or lack daily access to food (https://www.wfp.org/content/hunger-map-2014). Simultaneously, a high percentage of food goes to waste and the number of obese people worldwide has now surpassed those underweight (Lancet, 387(10026): 1377-1396). In other words, the potentialities unlocked by the industrialized production of food have also created significant challenges yet to overcome. One may hope that more just, inclusive and sustainable forms of food organizing will help to address them. On the other hand, food organizing is also a ‘grand passion’ full of potentialities. The variety of food cultures, culinary movements, and food-related innovations testify of the level of passion and entrepreneurial spirit that inspires food organizing. Food can be an unparalleled source of inspiration and motivation for organizing; it sparks off diversity, excellence, and creativity in material, cultural, political, metaphorical, and other senses. It is the basis of communality and sociality, but also of identity politics and exclusions. Either way, food provides opportunities for the collective renewal of traditions, the celebration of human relationships and the valorisation of local savoir-faire. Such paradoxes, problems and potentialities remind us that food organizing may remain partial or even accidental, despite the tremendous resources, calculations, energy, creativity and goodwill that are involved in the various processes related to food. Conversely, they also suggest that food raises issues that organizational studies have not yet fully attended to and that beg to be unravelled and explored. With this special issue, we want to draw attention to food as an important setting for organizing, as well as to the roles, conditions and consequences of food organizing in diverse societies. Zooming in on food and its particularities is a way to access, reveal, and enhance the understanding of issues that usually remain 'hidden' for students of organizations from various intellectual backgrounds. This condition invites a cross-disciplinary conversation to build bridges between students of organizational studies and other disciplines, thus reflecting pleas for deeper engagement across disciplines and perspectives (Organization Studies 34(11): 1587-1600). In addition to using food as a context for research, we seek to conceptualize food organizing and organizations as a fruitful object of inquiry in and out of itself, one that has the potential to yield important and relevant insights for both scholarship and societies. In sum, it is time to take seriously the paradoxes, problems and potentialities of food organizing in ways that speak to contemporary contexts. We invite contributions that delve into organizational aspects relating to food. This introduction points some themes and topics as ‘entrees’ to a ‘menu’ that is yet to be created and compiled. The special issue is open to a range of topics and themes, including, but not restricted to, the following: • Food production: How is the production of food organized and what changes do we see in the way it is organized? How do organized relationships in the land, factories, laboratories or kitchens shape and are shaped by us and the food we eat? • Food governance & regulation: How are food supply and demand governed? How do standards, certifications, classifications and category systems have an imprint on the organization of food production and consumption? • Food sustainability: What challenges do current ways of food organizing produce? What opportunities do they open? How can we organize and sustain more inclusive, sustainable and biodiverse food systems? What changes are necessary in the organization of food, such that we can distribute food more equitably and reduce food waste? • Food innovation: How do organizations, collectives and communities innovate in and around the provision, creation, preparation and consumption of food? How can food organizing bridge sensory and aesthetic tastes? What are possible futures of food? Submissions Please submit your manuscript through the journal’s online submission system (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/orgstudies). You will need to create a user account if you do not already have one, and you must select the appropriate Special Issue at the “Manuscript Type” option. The Guest Editors handle all manuscripts in accordance with the journal’s policies and procedures; they expect authors to follow the journal’s submission guidelines (http://journals.sagepub.com/home/oss). You can submit your manuscript for this Special Issue between 15 and 31 October 2017. For administrative support and general queries, you may contact Sophia Tzagaraki, Managing Editor of Organization Studies, at osofficer@gmail.com.  

AGEMI is an EU-funded project which aims to advance gender equality in the media

Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:48:41 +0000 From: Karen Ross Dear colleague - we are pleased to introduce you to a new and exciting project whose success will rely, to a considerable extent, on your active support and contribution. AGEMI is an EU-funded project which aims to advance gender equality in the media by sharing good practices, developing meaningful training activities and fostering relationships between media and journalism students and media practitioners, thus bridging the transition from education to employment. The project team are currently designing a web platform that we hope will become the 'go-to' resource for individuals and organizations interested in promoting gender equality and will include a Resources Bank of Good Practices and other useful materials. We hope you agree that sharing positive and practical examples of actions among and between educators and media professionals, which have responded to the challenge of gender in/equality is crucial for transforming the media landscape and enables us to benefit from the ideas and actions of others. By using this collaborative approach, we believe that the project and every organization and individual who participates in it, contributes to a globally meaningful movement for change. We are therefore reaching out to invite you to collaborate with us and make this project jump. How you can get involved? Can you suggest a good practice which we can include in the Resources Bank? If you are aware of any action or activity which has been developed or is ongoing, which you consider is a good practice example and worth sharing, we want to hear from you. Good practices may take different forms (for example, training, advocacy, website, monitoring), involve different stakeholders, be implemented across different media and take place (or have taken place) in different geo-cultural contexts. If you know of such a good practice (or more than one!) and want to tell us about it, please use the online AGEMI Google Form. Details of the activity/action you contribute will be reviewed by the AGEMI team and included in the project's Resources Bank and the name of the person and/or organization delivering the good practice will be included in the list of contributions which will appear on the AGEMI website. The project also provides one-week internship for students, so if you know of a media-focused organisation which you believe would be willing to provide an internship, please let us know. Lastly, if you know any media practitioners, media justice advocates, women's organizations or researchers who would be interested in talking about initiatives for advancing gender equality in the media, please let us know. Their stories are important to hear and will make the project lively and dynamic. We look forward to hearing from you and receiving your completed form. For further information or if you have any questions about the project or completing the google form, please contact us at: agemi.eu@gmail.com Best wishes The AGEMI Project Team Elena Chiaberge Maria Edström Pamela Morinière Claudia Padovani Karen Ross --------------------------------------------------------- Karen Ross Professor of Gender and Media Media|Culture|Heritage Director of Research School of Arts and Cultures Newcastle University Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK m: +44 (0) 7798 884110 @krossings http://krossings.me http://www.ncl.ac.uk/sacs/staff/profile/karen.ross Latest books: Karen Ross (2017) Gender, Politics, News: A Game of Three Sides. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-118561645; Karen Ross and Claudia Padovani, eds. (2016) Gender Equality and the Media: A Challenge for Europe. Routledge. ISBN 978-1138892682

Pharmacokinetic interactions of curcuminoids with conventional drugs: A review

Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 209, 14 September 2017, Pages 1-12 Journal of Ethnopharmacology Review . Author links open the author workspace.RoodabehBahramsoltania. Numbers and letters correspond to the affiliation list. Click to expose these in author workspaceb. Numbers and letters correspond to the affiliation list. Click to expose these in author workspaceOpens the author workspace. Author links open the author workspace.RojaRahimia. Numbers and letters correspond to the affiliation list. Click to expose these in author workspaceb. Numbers and letters correspond to the affiliation list. Click to expose these in author workspaceOpens the author workspace. Author links open the author workspace.Mohammad HoseinFarzaeic. Numbers and letters correspond to the affiliation list. Click to expose these in author workspaced. Numbers and letters correspond to the affiliation list. Click to expose these in author workspaceOpens the author workspaceOpens the author workspace a Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1417614411, Iran b PhytoPharmacology Interest Group (PPIG), Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN), Tehran, Iran c Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah 6734667149, Iran d Medical Biology Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah 6734667149, Iran Received 27 December 2016, Revised 14 July 2017, Accepted 15 July 2017, Available online 19 July 2017. crossmark-logo Show less https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2017.07.022Get rights and content Abstract Ethnopharmacological relevance Herb–drug interactions are of great concern in health practices. Curcumin is a natural polyphenol extracted from turmeric, a spice widely used all over the world. Curcumin is clinically used due to its acceptable safety profile and therapeutic efficacy. Aim of the study Current paper aims to highlight the effect of curcumin on concomitantly used drugs. Methods Electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus and Science Direct were searched with the keywords "curcumin" in the title/abstract and "drug interaction," "drug metabolism," "cytochrome," "P-glycoprotein" and "P450" in the whole text. Results Curcumin can induce pharmacokinetic alterations such as changes in Cmax and AUC when concomitantly used with pharmacological agents like cardiovascular drugs, antidepressants, anticoagulants, antibiotics, chemotherapeutic agents, and antihistamines. The underlying mechanisms of these interactions include inhibition of cytochrome (CYP) isoenzymes and P-glycoprotein. There is only one clinical trial which proved a significant alteration of conventional drugs in concomitant use with curcumin indicating the need for further human studies. Conclusions Although in vitro and in vivo studies do not provide enough evidence to judge the clinical drug interactions of curcumin, physicians must remain cautious and avoid drug combinations which may lead to curcumin-drug interactions. Graphical abstract CYP: cytochrome P450, CL: clearance, OATP: organic anion-transporting polypeptide, AUC: area under the plasma concentration-time curve, Cmax: maximum plasma concentration, GST: glutathione-S-transferase, P-gp: P-glycoprotein, UDPG: Uridine dinucleotide phosphate glucuronosyltransferases. fx1 Download high-res image (203KB)Download full-size image Abbreviations OTCover the counterAUCarea under the plasma concentration-time curveAUMCarea under first moment of plasma drug concentration-time curveMRTmean residence timeVdareaapparent volume of distributionCLclearanceCYPcytochromeP-gpP-glycoproteinCmaxmaximum plasma concentrationkaabsorption rate constantOATPorganic anion transporting polypeptide Keywords CurcuminCurcuminoidsDrug interactionCytochromeP-glycoprotein