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Monday, February 29, 2016

HOW TO PRODUCE MEAL WORMS AT HOME.

A research from Bard College in New York state, states that beef is among the most environmentally troubling products to farm. This is because it requires 160 times more land per calorie than wheat, rice and potatoes, and creates 11 times more greenhouse gases. Inspired by a study of industrial meat production, Katharina Unger has found an answer: mealworms, which contain a similar amount of protein content to red meat. The Austrian industrial designer has developed a desktop hive, the, LIVIN Farm Hive, that lets you harvest protein grown on your desk. The device, which is 61 cm tall and resembles a chest of drawers, is designed to sit on a kitchen worktop and produce 200g to 500g of mealworms per week. Mealworm pupae are put into the top and develop into beetles in a drawer below. These breed and lay eggs that fall into the next drawer down the stack. Once they hatch, the worms drop down as they mature, ending up the bottom of the hive, ready to be frozen and then prepared. See

FOOD REVOLUTION!!!

This is a meat-free hamburger!! can you tell the difference?.The search is on to find innovative ways to feed the ever growing population and also cater for the taste of different people.A company; Impossible foods is in the forefront of taking animal out of the meat industry by using vegetables,beans,grains and other greens to produce mouthwatering hamburgers. Impossible food is using vegetables,beans and other greens by breaking them down to their components of proteins,fats and vitamins.These are then recombined to achieve comparable flavors and textures to flesh and also they made a convincing plant blood which they derived from the molecule found in haemoglobin and gives the blood its disinctive color. The company selling point is that the foods are healthy as they dont contain cholesterol,antibiotics or hormones but have natural taste and flavors because of the nutrients it has identified.Read more @ wired.co.uk #stay healthy # eat right # join the food revolution.

AUTISTIC MONKEYS CREATED IN CHINESE LAB.

Scientists in China have genetically modified monkeys to give them autism in an experiment they hope will allow them to find better treatment for human sufferers of the condition. The Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences has generated more than twelve macaque monkeys with the genetic error that causes autistic features in humans, it reported, including repetitive speech and restricted interests. Autism in humans, which is normally present from childhood, is characterized by difficulties communicating with other people, as well as struggling with language, speech and abstract concepts. According to the National Autistic Society, around 1 in 100 people have autism in the UK. The macaques, who have extra copies of the MECP2 gene, display many of these characteristics -- pacing, moving in circles and low levels of interaction with other monkeys. They are also more anxious when researchers entered the cage, and showed signs of violence, anxiety and fear when challenged or looked in the eye. This, researchers say, "echoes the problems human children with the gene defect" have. "The monkeys show very similar behaviour to human autism patients," said lead researcher Zilong Qiu. “We think it provides a very unique model."Although no one mutation causes autism, researchers believe that common circuits in the brain are affected. By watching the monkeys' behaviour, and by imaging their brains, the team hope to identify some of these circuits. They'll also be testing different forms of treatment -- deep-brain stimulation, to alleviate symptoms, and CRISPR genome editing in an attempt to reverse the genetic error. Story adapted from Wired. CO.UK

Saturday, February 27, 2016

FOOD SECURITY.

Food security refers to the availability of food in required quantities,quality and the ease of access. The accessibility can be categorized on basis of affordability, availability and ease of purchase. The onus of food security is on producers,their rate of production coupled with the price has a lot of impact on the way food is accessed. The agricultural sector is weighed down by so many factors that makes production unstable and inaccessible.These factors are 1) Inadequate land for growing crops and rearing livestock. 2) Cost of production . 3)Storage /processing 4) Transportation. Land is the basic capital needed for production,hence the value it adds to production cost cannot be overemphasized.The production of food to cater for the growing population can only be achieved if other methods of production are practiced. Food security will entail using innovative measures to produce crops and rear animals.The use of genetics hampers on this production methods by using seed improvement and modified seeds and also new planting techniques such as hydroponics.This will not only ensure a rapid harvest but also reduce the cost of production as many crops can be planted in a column in smaller spaces. The issue of using genetically superior breeds also valuable in livestock,if superior breeds are reared more products will be accessed from them within a shorter time at reduced cost of production. Feeding accounts for about 75% of production cost,thus if cheaper methods of feeding are embraced then more products will be available.The use of fodder system is a good initiative with health benefits not only for the animals but also for man. The inclusion of greens into diet such as water hyacinth,seaweeds and even watermelon has shown increase body weight within a short time .The use of insects,meal worms also have added benefits to growth and development of the animals. Feed fermentation is also another method to reduce cost of feeding as the animal will require about 1/2 of the original ration in fermented form,and also the feed will be a source of probiotics thus maintaining intestinal health and preventing diseases which invariably reduces costs as antibiotic inclusion is not necessary.Substitution of local feed stuff in feed rations also reduce cost.Fermentation in poultry feed results in bigger eggs with thick shells and chicken with bigger carcass weight. Storage and processing methods also play a role in food security; with better processing techniques more food will be stored and less food lost and discarded as waste. Innovations such as extraction/extrusion machines,milling machines,klins for drying e.t.c coupled with proper packaging and storage will extend shelve-life of products. Transportation, this factor can hinder all other factors of production if the products need to travel long distances before they are available for sale.This can be adjusted by strategic locations of production points near markets.The transportation chain must provide easy access from farm to stores or from farm to processing and storage centers. The growing population will require innovations to ensure that more food is produced,its readily available and affordable.

Building living, breathing supercomputers

Building living, breathing supercomputers: The substance that provides energy to all the cells in our bodies, Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), may also be able to power the next generation of supercomputers. The discovery opens doors to the creation of biological supercomputers that are about the size of a book.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

THYME EXTRACT AS A GROWTH PROMOTER IN BROILERS.

Antibiotics have been banned as a growth promoter but, there are alternative feed additives that can improve broiler performance. Thyme oil is an important antibiotic alternative .The use of antibiotics in poultry feed has demonstrated beneficial effects with regard to improved performance and morbidity in broiler chickens. However, the occurrence of antibiotic residues in products and the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has resulted in the ban of its use as growth promoter. Alternative feed additives in animal rations may also improve broiler performance. Essential oils, organic acids, and phytogenic compounds such as thyme oil are important antibiotic alternatives. Essential oils consist of several active compounds, with some of them comprising more than 60 individual components that can inhibit the growth of certain microorganisms, as Salmonella spp and other pathogens.The chemical composition of essential oils is variable. The primary components are the major active ingredients, whereas the secondary components act synergistically to increase the total effectiveness. It has been reported that dietary thyme (major components thymol and carvacrol) had a different effect on weight gain and body mass when used as an herb or oil; there is limited evidence whether its inclusion as a solid herb material would have a growth-promoting effect in live birds. The effects of dietary thyme-oil-extract fortification on immune functions of male broiler chicks were therefore determined. In a 42 day feeding trial the effect of dietary thyme-oil extract supplementation on immune functions of male broiler chicks were assessed by feeding graded levels (50, 100, 200, or 400 ppm). Negative-control diet with no feed-additive supplementation and 2 positive-control groups supplemented with virginiamycin or zinc bacitracin were included. Diet modifications had no significant effect on blood leukocyte sub populations and heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, dietary supplementation with thyme-oil extract, especially at the level of 100 ppm, improved immunological responses of broiler chicks. The inclusion of thyme in diets of broilers will not only increase weight gain but will improve performance. Excerpts from pig progress.

FERMENTED FEEDING IN PIGS FOR INTESTINAL HEALTH.

Liquid feed is a great way to ferment protein-rich, home-grown fodder such as rape seed oil meal, peas and field beans or recycle liquid co-products from the human food industry into pig feed. Liquid feed for pigs comes into two varieties. Non-fermented and fermented. Non-fermented is mainly used and is simply a matter of mixing the cereals or complete feed with water and minerals. It takes around 2-4 minutes of mixing time (sometimes up to an hour). The fermented version takes much longer to prepare, a few hours to 6-12 hours on average. The latter is of particular interest as it is known for its positive effect on intestinal health and Salmonella control. Especially in line with the pressure on using antibiotics to treat digestive disorders in pigs and the tight margins in the pig industry, fermented liquid feed is gaining interest. Denmark has been a large user of fermented feed, mainly to control Salmonella as part of their strict national control plan for Salmonella reduction in the Danish food chain. However, the use of fermented feed is not the way to go for all pig farms, It really depends on the type of farm and whether critical points can be met to make this type of feeding a successful one. Since the announcement of the ban on the use of antibiotics as antimicrobial growth promoters in the feed of pigs in 2006 the investigation towards alternative feed additives has augmented considerably. Although fermented liquid feed is not an additive, but a feeding strategy, the benefits cannot be undermined.

ALGAE; AN ALTERNATIVE TO ANTIBIOTICS.

The fight to reduce antibiotic use in farm animals because of its impact on human health is still raging on and the ban of antibiotics use in some countries have spurred research on alternatives. Additives and certain supplements have been incorporated into production all with various results.The use of prebiotics and probiotics have also been incorporated to achieve a desired healthy status coupled with growth and development. The latest series of research involves use of seaweeds and water hyacinth,the benefits and methods of incorporation have been discussed in earlier posts.There is a new angle to the use of algae(sea weeds) in production and as a biosecurity protocol.A pig farm is limiting its antibiotic use by incorporating seaweed to feed and also a means of biosecurity; Benoît and Olivier Balusson, owners of a farrow-to-finish farm in Britanny, France, have embarked on an exciting mission:how to decrease antibiotics as much as possible? The farm applies a range of strategies, some of which involve algae. Benoît and Olivier Balusson farm 1,900 sows in Britanny, an area of France which has around 80% of the country’s pigs. The farrow-to-finish unit is weaning just short of 30 pigs/sow/year which is commendable for such a large unit. Antibiotics are a big thing for Balusson farm – the farm aims to use as few as possible. Currently only 2 antibiotics can be used on the Balusson farm. Amoxycillin is sometimes injected in piglets before weaning to manage arthritis. Also, trimethoprim/ sulfamethoxazole can be added to the drinking water to control streptococci, if necessary. Ideally, however, antibiotic usage should be reduced further. In order to achieve that, an overarching strategy is being applied. This starts with creating the right conditions for a healthy environment, i.e. having high quality buildings with well-insulated rooms, decent building materials, healthy water as well as the availability of alternative health strategies, like e.g. vaccination. This is where the Balusson farm takes a different approach than most, as seaweed (algae) often form a key element in both their feed additives as well as hygiene products. Algae form the basis for instance for a mycotoxin binder – associating algae with clay and with other adsorbent materials, the company’s MT.x+ was created. For the Balusson farm, mycotoxin contamination is a widespread problem in cereals, so the binder is routinely added to the rations. In addition, algae-derived products also play a central role in piglet feed around weaning. At Balusson farm, this takes place at 21 days of age (on average at 6 kg). To reduce the effects of stress and to boost immunity levels, the farm provides Searup for 3 to 5 days in the weaner feed. The product, combines the action of immunomodulating Marine Sulfated Polysaccharides (MSP), vitamins and amino acids. According to the company’s website, immunomodulating MSP contribute to a better immune response thanks to the activation of specific receptors of the innate immune system. MSPs also have another function as they are observed to stimulate the secretion of protective mucin in the intestine. This forms the basis of the product Ecopiglet, which combines algae with micronised clays, all intended to reduce digestive problems. At the Balusson farm, the product is sprinkled on the heat pads from day 5. Algae also have a role to play in enhancing the farm’s hygiene status. When algae extracts are mixed with selected minerals and oils, as well as with montmorillonite, a powerful and dried and micronised clay, a very hygroscopic powder is created (marketed as Mistral). It is used in various moments on the farm. Newborn piglets get dunked in a tub of the powder at birth, to help them dry off quicker. This way they suckle faster.At weaning, when the piglets are mixed, the strategy has a role to play as the product’s aroma is perceived to be pleasant. Dusting piglets with it masks the piglets’ own smell and so reduces fighting and hence stress. After insemination, the powder is applied around the vulva to ensure optimal hygiene.Hygiene is certainly not compromised by Balusson’s take on castration – the farm doesn’t castrate. This has resulted in better production efficiency. culled from pigprogress.

PIG'S GENETIC CODE ALTERED TO TACKLE AFRICAN SWINE FEVER.

An advance in the fight against a deadly virus that affects pigs has been made by researchers who used advanced genetic techniques to produce pigs that are potentially resilient to African Swine Fever -a highly contagious disease that kills up to two-thirds of infected animals. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute have used gene-editing techniques to produce pigs that are potentially resilient to African Swine Fever. The team have changed five letters of the animals' DNA code to give them a variant of a gene that is usually carried by warthogs. It is the first time researchers have successfully swapped alleles in an animal's genetic code using gene editing. African Swine Fever is spread by ticks. When standard farmed pigs are infected, they quickly become ill and die, but warthogs and bush pigs show no disease symptoms when infected.The team used advanced genetic techniques to produce pigs that are potentially resilient to African Swine Fever -- a highly contagious disease that kills up to two-thirds of infected animals.The new pigs carry a version of a gene that is usually found in warthogs and bush pigs, which researchers believe may stop them from becoming ill from the infection. The research is focused on one of the pig genes associated with African Swine Fever Virus infection called RELA. The gene causes the immune system to overreact with devastating effects.Warthogs and bush pigs carry a different version of the RELA gene from that found in farmed pigs. Scientists believe that this variant -- known as an allele -- may dampen their immune response and explain why they are more resilient to African Swine Fever. This latest study marks the first time researchers have successfully swapped alleles in an animal's genetic code using gene editing. Source; University of Edinburgh.

Study says climate change pushes fish toward poles, threatening food source for poor | NewsDaily

Study says climate change pushes fish toward poles, threatening food source for poor | NewsDaily

Better technology could take agriculture halfway towards climate targets

Better technology could take agriculture halfway towards climate targets: Unless greenhouse gas emissions from food consumption are reduced substantially, EU climate targets will not be met, according to a new study from researchers. Currently accounting for about 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, emissions from food and agriculture need to be cut by about three-quarters by 2050 to meet the targets.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Scientists find how 'superbugs' build their defenses.

Scientists in Britain have found how drug-resistant bacteria build and maintain a defensive wall — a discovery that paves the way for the development of new drugs to break through the barrier and kill the often deadly “superbugs”. In recent decades, bacteria resistant to multiple drugs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Clostridium difficile, have grown into a global health threat, while superbug strains of infections like tuberculosis and gonorrhoea have become untreatable. The World Health Organization has warned that many antibiotics could become redundant this century, leaving patients vulnerable to deadly infections and threatening the future of medicine. Researchers publishing a study in the journal Nature on Monday said knowing the mechanism bacteria use to keep up their defences brings scientists closer to solving the problem of antibiotic resistance, since new treatments can be designed to weaken those defences rather than attack the bacteria directly. This means that in future, bacteria may not develop drug-resistance at all, they said. The team led by Changjiang Dong, a professor at Britain’s University of East Anglia, used a machine called Diamond Light Source — which produces intense light 10 billion times brighter than the sun — to investigate in tiny detail a class of bugs known as Gram-negative bacteria. Gram-negative bacteria are particularly resistant to antibiotics because their cells have an impermeable lipid-based outer membrane which acts as a defensive barrier against attacks from the body’s immune system and from antibiotic drugs. Dong’s team zeroed in on the defensive wall and found that it is built and maintained by what they described as a beta-barrel assembly machinery (BAM) containing five sub-units called BamA, BamB, BamC, BamD and BamE. They then figured out how these sub-units work together to form and maintain the cell membrane, and crucially, how to disrupt that mechanism. “The beta-barrel assembly machinery is responsible for building the ‘gates’ in the cell wall,” Dong explained. “Stopping the beta-barrel assembly machine from building the gates in the cell wall cause the bacteria to die.” The study found that the sub-unit BamA, which is found in the outer membrane and exposed to the outer side of the bacteria, is a key component of the mechanism — making it “a great target” for new drugs, Dong’s team said.

Pigs susceptible to virulent ebolavirus can transmit the virus to other animals.

Canadian investigators have shown that a species of ebolavirus from Zaire that is highly virulent in humans can replicate in pigs, cause disease, and be transmitted to animals previously unexposed to the virus. The findings are published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases A species of ebolavirus from Zaire that is highly virulent in humans can replicate in pigs, cause disease, and be transmitted to animals previously unexposed to the virus. To prevent human outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, it is important to identify animal species that replicate and transmit the virus to other animals and, potentially, people. Zaire ebola virus, one of several species of the virus, has a fatality rate as high as 90 percent in humans. Antibodies to another species not associated with human disease, known as Reston ebolavirus, have been found in pig farmers in the Philippines, suggesting pigs may be able to transmit virulent ebolavirus to humans as well. Following mucosal exposure to Zaire ebolavirus, the pigs replicated the virus in high amounts, mainly in the respiratory tract. Shedding of the virus from nasal mucosa was detected for up to 14 days post-infection, and severe lung disease was observed. The study also showed that the virus was transmitted to all previously unexposed pigs co-habiting with the infected animals. The study authors suggest that domesticated pigs are susceptible to Zaire ebolavirus through mucosal infection and that the pigs' accompanying severe respiratory disease is associated with shedding of high viral loads into the environment, exposing uninfected pigs to the infection. In contrast to the systemic syndrome affecting multiple organs that often leads to shock and death in primates, they noted, the respiratory syndrome that develops in pigs could be mistaken for other porcine respiratory diseases. Source ;sciencedaily.

New virus transmission route discovered in pigs.

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus causes serious inflammation of the brain in people and fertility problems in pigs. Mosquitoes were previously the only known transmission route. However, the virus can also be spread from pig to pig by direct contact, and this could enable it to circulate in pigs during the mosquito-free winter season. The JE virus is the main cause of serious encephalitis in people in Asia. The virus is found in large parts of Southeast Asia and is now also widespread in India. It circulates between birds and mosquitoes and between pigs and mosquitoes, and is passed to humans through mosquito bites. In children in particular, infection can lead to acute encephalitis and permanent impairment or even death. In pigs, the main effect of the virus alongside fever and encephalitis is fertility problems. The virus is closely related to the West Nile, Zika and dengue viruses. All are transmitted by mosquitoes and are flaviviruses, which cause serious illness in humans and animals. Previously, the only known transmission route for JE viruses was mosquitoes. A team of researchers from the Institute of Virology and Immunology and the University Bern at the Vetsuisse Faculty led by Dr. Meret Ricklin and Prof Artur Summerfield have now shown that JE viruses can also be passed directly from pig to pig. The study has just been published in the journal "Nature Communications."

Nosocomial MERS outbreak shows more ‘intense transmission’ of disease.

An investigation of a large outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, coronavirus at a hospital in Saudi Arabia revealed a more “intense transmission” of the infection than previously recorded in other outbreaks. “Since the first diagnosis of [MERS] … in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2012, sporadic cases and clusters have occurred throughout the country,” the researchers said. “This large MERS outbreak in a major tertiary-care hospital in Riyadh was thought to be related to emergency department overcrowding, uncontrolled patient movement and high visitor traffic. The outbreak required institution of multiple measures to interrupt transmission, including almost complete shutdown of the hospital.” A man aged 67 years was admitted to the 1,200-bed hospital in June 2015 with a history of fever and cough. Despite no identified exposure to camels, reverse transcription PCR of a nasopharyngeal swab revealed the presence of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The patient died 31 days after admittance, and had no identified contact with any subsequent cases. Three weeks after the index patient was admitted to care, a second case of MERS was confirmed. After the hospital’s infection control program initiated an outbreak investigation to identify risk factors and exposures, 81 confirmed and 49 probable cases of MERS were identified at the hospital over approximately 2 months. One-third of these cases occurred among health care workers (HCWs), and the majority of all cases were linked to the hospital’s ED. Nearly three-quarters of patients required hospitalization, 16% were asymptomatic and 53% died. During the outbreak, the hospital initiated a pre-existing Infectious Disease Epidemic Plan developed from CDC and WHO guidelines. Despite strict enforcement of infection control practices, including hand hygiene and isolation of cases, more patients and HCWs continued to be infected, leading the hospital to close its ED, postpone elective surgical procedures and suspend all outpatient appointments and visits. These measures were associated with a rapid decline in new cases, and eventually led to the outbreak’s conclusion. culled from healio.com

BAT'S IMMUNITY; A NEW MODEL FOR PREVENTING DISEASES IN MAN.

Bats are a natural host for more than 100 viruses, some of which are lethal to people, including Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Ebola and Hendra virus, however, interestingly bats do not get sick or show signs of disease from these viruses. A new study has revealed the distinct ability in bats,that enables them carry disease-agents and still remain unaffected by such organisms.For the first time researchers have uncovered a unique ability in bats which allows them to carry but remain unaffected by lethal diseases. Unlike humans, bats keep their immune systems switched on 24/7 and scientists believe this could hold the key to protecting people from deadly diseases like Ebola. The research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), this new research examines the genes and immune system of the Australian black flying fox. Whenever our body encounters a foreign organism, like bacteria or a virus, a complicated set of immune responses are set in motion, one of which is the defense mechanism known as innate immunity,leading bat immunologist at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory Dr Michelle Baker said. The team focused on the innate immunity of bats with particular reference to the role of interferons -which are essential for innate immune responses in mammals and to understand what's special about how bats respond to invading viruses. It was discovered that bats only have three interferons which is only a fraction -- about a quarter -- of the number of interferons found in people.This is surprising given bats have this unique ability to control viral infections that are lethal in people and yet they can do this with a lower number of interferons. The team also compared two type 1 interferons -- alpha and beta.The research showed that bats express a heightened innate immune response even when they were not infected with any detectable virus. Man and mice activate their immune systems only in response to infection, the bats interferon-alpha is constantly 'switched on' acting as a 24/7 front line defense against diseases In other mammalian species, having the immune response constantly switched on is dangerous because it's toxic to tissue and cells- whereas the bat immune system operates in harmony. The important role bats play in the eco-system as pollinators and insect controllers is recognized, bats are also increasingly demonstrating their worth in potentially helping to protect people from infectious diseases.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A New Approach to Nutrition Programming in Northern Ghana.

A variety of potato was recently introduced to communities in Northern Ghana through a USAID project to counter Vitamin A deficiency — a condition that compromises the immune system and can lead to blindness. Last year, 439 women in 17 districts learned how to cultivate orange-fleshed sweet potatoes for the first time. Most people living in the northern region of Ghana had never seen an orange-fleshed sweet potato. Now, this brightly colored vegetable may be on its way to becoming the region’s most popular crop.The villagers lovingly call the new crop “Alafie Wuljo,” which means “healthy potato” in the local language of Dagbani. At one community’s first harvest celebration, the head of the project Philippe LeMay recalls how government officials and community leaders came to learn how to use the new crop in the kitchen. There were several cooking demonstrations, but the sweet potato fries were a hit among schoolchildren. “Now everyone wants to grow orange-fleshed sweet potatoes,” said LeMay. Encouraging farmers to plant nutritious crops is just one of several strategies employed by this project to address malnutrition in northern Ghana. Besides agriculture, we are also working on improving livelihoods; governance; nutrition; and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). These sectors are interrelated and help to achieve common goals. The project introduces new and more nutritious crops to farmers and helps them boost yields through improved farming techniques. It also links farmers to markets, helps community members create village savings and loans associations, works to improve water and sanitation infrastructure, and promotes better hygiene. Ghana is one of the first countries to put USAID’s Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy into action. The fresh approach, which will guide our work through 2025, cuts across several development areas, resulting in programs that are more cost-effective and deliver greater impact around the world. story from feed the future/sweet potato/Ghana

FEED THE FUTURE ; HYDROPONICS SYSTEM.

Rose Chelang’at decided to take up hydroponics farming at her dairy farm in Kericho County, Kenya after receiving training by a representative from Hydroponics Kenya, a local company that helps smallholders use innovative technology to grow food. Hydroponics is the process of growing crops, including fodder for livestock, without the use of soil. The technology, which is gaining ground quickly in Kenya, speeds up growth while eliminating soil-borne diseases, such as aflatoxin. Under Feed the Future, USAID is on the forefront of this trend, encouraging hydroponics farming to ensure more nutrition for farmers’ livestock, which will increase milk production and raise incomes. Hydroponic farming is a new concept to Kenyan smallholder farmers, who are taking it up as they come to recognize its affordability and suitability for small-scale farming. Youth are becoming more receptive to the technology as well, as it is a major boost to the dairy sector and has created job opportunities along the value chain for youth who are now creating aluminum trays for sale to local farmers. Technology transfer is an important method under Feed the Future to get affordable, effective technologies into the hands of smallholder farmers around the world. In Kenya, USAID is supporting the dissemination of nine new agricultural technologies and management practices at different phases of development. As an exciting new way to increase animal fodder and dairy production, hydroponic farming is a bright spot in Kenya’s agricultural future. Chelang’at reported after introducing the hydroponically grown fodder into the diet of her herd, “Two of my dairy cows now produce four more liters per day, increasing their daily milk production from 11 to 15 liters. I get an additional 12 liters per day from my third cow. #food security # food safety # innovation story culled from feed the future/Kenya article.

GROWING VEGETABLES FROM SCRAPS.

There are a number of fruits and vegetables that you can replant and grow yourself, ensuring that you always have these items on hand when you need them and helping you to cut down on the money that you spend on produce every week. If you have ever considered growing your own food, this post contains a list of 25 foods that you can grow from the leftover scraps and seeds that you normally throw out. Lettuce, Bok Choy and cabbage are relatively easy to grow from scraps. Instead of throwing out those leftover leaves, simply place them in a bowl with just a bit of water in the bottom. Keep the bowl somewhere that gets good sunlight and mist the leaves with water a couple of times each week. After 3 or 4 days, you will notice roots beginning to appear along with new leaves. When this happens you can transplant your lettuce or cabbage in soil. Read more at http://www.diyncrafts.com/4732/repurpose/25-foods-can-re-grow-kitchen-scraps

URBAN FARMER @ GROWING VEGETABLES IN -HOUSE.

Grow your vegetables in-house conventionally,or non-conventionally.If space is a constraint,then use plastic bottles,pails,buckets and create beautiful hanging gardens that provides you the veggies you need. Convert waste bottles to wealth generating gardens.!!! #urban farmer #food security # waste to wealth project. pics culled from internet.

POLLUTION AND THE RISK OF STROKE.

A report by the American Heart Association, states that stroke may be associated with climate change and air pollution. In a study conducted in the United States and China, the total number of strokes increased as pollution levels rose. Changes in climate may have contributed to the level of air pollution in a region, which in turn contributed to the total number of strokes. The higher pollution levels were linked to a higher total number of strokes, and researchers said it reaffirmed the growing evidence that climate change and overall air quality contributes to cardiovascular disease, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2016. The study, which used data from the United States and China, is one of the first to investigate the interaction between air quality and the number of stroke cases (prevalence) along with the potential effect of temperatures on the association. Across the two countries, researchers found that the total number of stroke cases rose 1.19 percent for each 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) increase of PM2.5. In addition, Liu said researchers found a significant regional variation in PM2.5 levels that was linked to the number of stroke cases.Researchers also found that temperature had an impact on air quality and risk of stroke. Patients with stroke are in danger of dehydration due to high temperatures in the summer, and are in danger of suffering from pneumonia, influenza and other respiratory diseases in winter. Women and the elderly also appear more vulnerable to stroke risk due to air quality and heat-related diseases. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States killing nearly 129,000 people every year, and is a leading cause of disability. Worldwide, the prevalence of stroke stood at 33 million, with 16.9 million people suffering their first stroke, and is the second-leading cause of global death behind heart disease. Although patients cannot control air quality, Liu said, the findings provide evidence for policy makers and public health leaders to develop better models for monitoring and predicting climate changes so that patients can better protect themselves.

BIOFUEL FROM CORN STALKS AND LEAVES.

A study in the University of Michigan reports that a combination of a fungus and E. coli bacteria have turned tough, waste plant material into isobutanol, a biofuel that matches gasoline's properties better than ethanol. The University of Michigan research team members said the principle also could be used to produce other valuable chemicals such as plastics."We're hoping that biofuels made in such an efficient way can eventually replace current petroleum-based fuels," said Xiaoxia "Nina" Lin, assistant professor of chemical engineering and leader of the research. Gallon for gallon, isobutanol gives off 82 percent of the heat energy gasoline provides when burned, compared to ethanol's 67 percent. Ethanol also has a tendency to absorb water, corroding pipelines and damaging engines, but isobutanol doesn't mix easily with water. While ethanol serves as a mixer in the gasoline infrastructure today, many researchers argue that isobutanol could be a replacement. Equally important, this system makes isobutanol from inedible plant materials, so fuel production won't drive up food costs. Lin's team used corn stalks and leaves, but their ecosystem should also be able to process other agricultural byproducts and forestry waste.

BIOFUEL FROM GUT FUNGI OF ANIMALS.

Researchers report in the journal Science on February 18, 2016 that these anaerobic gut fungi perform as well as the best fungi engineered by industry in their ability to convert plant material into sugars that are easily transformed into fuel and other products. "Nature has engineered these fungi to have what seems to be the world's largest repertoire of enzymes that break down biomass," said Michelle O'Malley, lead author and professor of chemical engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. These enzymes -- tools made of protein -- work together to break down stubborn plant material. The researchers found that the fungi adapt their enzymes to wood, grass, agricultural waste, or whatever scientists feed it. The findings suggest that industry could modify the gut fungi so that they produce improved enzymes that will outperform the best available ones, potentially leading to cheaper biofuels and bio-based products. The gut fungi have more tools to convert biomass to fuel, they could work faster and on a larger variety of plant material. Source; materials from ; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

South Africa confirms first case of Zika virus .

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa confirmed its first case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in a Columbian man, health authorities said. The virus, which is causing international alarm after spreading through much of the Americas, was detected in the man on his visit to Johannesburg, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said. “The businessman presented with fever and a rash approximately four days after arrival in South Africa but is now fully recovered,” he said. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global public health emergency on Feb. 1, noting its association with two neurological disorders – microcephaly in babies and Guillain-Barre syndrome that can cause paralysis. source; http://newsdaily.com/2016/02/south-africa-confirms-first-case-of-zika-virus/

Recycling Seafood: Oil From Fish Waste.

The waste from the fish industry might become a valuable raw material in the future. A German company has developed a system for recycling shrimp shells and other fish waste to create oils for the food production industry. The oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent cardiovascular problems. The aim is to minimize waste from the fish-processing industry. Other potential leftovers are turned into a powder that is high in protein and may have anti-inflammatory properties. culled from NewsLook.com

FIXING MALNUTRITION USING GUT MICROBES.

Malnutrition affects millions of people worldwide and is responsible for one-fifth of deaths in children under the age of five. Children can also experience impaired cognitive development and stunted growth. A new research into malnutrition has been carried out by creating an animal model that replicates the imbalance of gut bacteria associated with the difficult-to-treat disease. The problem arises when people don't have enough food to eat and their diet lacks proper nutrients. The disease also has a lot to do with environmental factors and it has been a challenge to develop treatments to reverse malnutrition. Everyone thought that you simply needed to feed people and they'd be fine, but it didn't work," said Brett Finlay, a professor of microbiology and biochemistry at UBC. "The gut bacteria model allows us to figure out what's going on and to think about ways to fix it. According to Finlay and UBC PhD student Eric Brown, malnutrition can be difficult to treat because it affects the good bacteria that live in the gut. People suffering from malnutrition often show signs of a disease known as environmental enteropathy, which is an inflammatory disorder of the small intestine and is likely caused by ingesting pathogenic fecal bacteria early in life from a contaminated environment. This shifts the balance of the original healthy bacteria in the gut and leads to poor absorption of nutrients. The study was published in Nature Communications, shows how the team developed a mouse model to reproduce the symptoms of environmental enteropathy and malnourishment. The team observed how a malnourished diet has a strong, measurable impact on the microbes in the small intestine. This new model gives the opportunity to examine the impact of malnutrition on gut microbiology and assess the role of infections. Another study reported by American Association for the Advancement of Science explains further:Gut microbial species transferred from healthy children to mice can counter the detrimental effects caused by microbes from undernourished children.The study showing this goes on to identify certain species of microbe that offset malnutrition's negative effects, suggesting the possible role of the microbiota as a therapeutic intervention for malnutrition.They also demonstrated that an immature infant microbiota is correlated with stunted growth, compared to healthy controls. Mice colonized with microbiota from healthy donors gained significantly more weight and lean body mass than mice colonized with microbiota from undernourished donors. Co-housing mice with healthy and undernourished microbiota allowed the healthy microbiota to transfer into the guts of the undernourished mice and restored normal growth. Further investigation identified two species of microbes, Ruminococcus gnavus and Clostridium symbiosum, that alone fixed the impaired growth.

Soilless farming an avenue to food security.

Soil-less farming could help developing countries with little arable land and harsh for agriculture climate, such as Qatar, to become self-sufficient in terms of their produce. Relying on advanced hydroponics and multi-story vertical growing, the proposed system uses nutrient-enriched water to produce approximately a hundred times more yield compared to when the crops are grown on a conventional farmland of the same size. The hybrid setup, devised by Nik-Othman Abdullah, biotechnologist at Malaysia University of Science and Technology, is described in his Methods paper, published in the open-access peer-reviewed journal Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO). The proposed vertical-horizontal regulated soil-less farming is theoretically capable of increasing the domestic produce on such a scale that the country. This type of soil-less farming could provide reliable quantity as well as quality of the crops. Grown indoors, where they would be constantly monitored by personnel with good technical and scientific knowledge, the produce would be less affected by factors such as atmospheric conditions, contamination or pests. The plants would be supplied with the calculated amount of nutrition they need, as well as the exact amount of light and gas exposure. Being grown in a sterile environment and not treated with fertilizers, pesticides, and other harsh chemicals, the crops would not only look visibly identical, but would also be cleaner, fresher, healthier, tastier and richer in nutrient content. They would also grow faster and bigger. Plants would not waste energy in root tissue production because nutrients in pure form will be provided to the plants instead of the plant stressing to search for the nutrients," explains the bio-technologist. "Therefore, plants grow evidently 50% faster and bigger. This type of farming platform can be constructed basically in any location. It can be set up almost anytime and everywhere, in a greenhouse, warehouse, inside a building. This in-house farming is viable in urban areas as well,where more of the available land is for infrastructure.This platform is a model of the hydroponic system described in earlier posts. #food security # hydroponic system # food safety.

SMART SKIN MADE OF PAPER .

Common household items have been used by researchers to create smart skin that responds to stimuli. The researchers have created multi-sensor artificial skin that's capable of sensing pressure, temperature, humidity, proximity, pH, and air flow. The flexible, paper-based skin is layered onto a post-it note, with paper, aluminum foil, lint-free wipes, and pencil lines acting as sensing components. Being made of recyclable materials, this paper skin presents a large number of sensory functions in a cheap and environmentally friendly way. "Democratization of electronics will be key in the future for its continued growth. In that regard, a skin-type sensory platform made with recyclable materials only demonstrates the power of human imagination," said Prof. Muhammad Mustafa Hussain, senior author of the Advanced Materials Technologies paper. "This is the first time a singular platform shows multi-sensory functionalities close to that of natural skin. Additionally they are being read or monitored simultaneously like our own skin." Source;Wiley.

THE ROLE OF GENETICS IN AGING AND DISEASES.

Scientists at the University of Georgia have shown that a hormone instrumental in the aging process is under genetic control, introducing a new pathway by which genetics regulates aging and disease. Earlier studies have found that blood levels of growth differentiation factor 11(GDF), decrease over time. Restoration of GDF11 reverses cardiovascular aging in old mice and leads to muscle and brain rejuvenation, a discovery that was listed as one of the top 10 breakthroughs in science in 2014. The discovery that GDF11 levels are under genetic control is of significant interest since it allows detection of genes responsible for GDF11 levels and its changes with age.The study confirmed results from previous experiments showing that GDF11 levels decrease over time and also showed that most of the depletion occurs by middle age. In addition, the study examined the relationship between GDF11 levels and markers of aging such as lifespan in 22 genetically diverse inbred mice strains. Of note, the strains with the highest GDF11 levels tended to live the longest. Gene mapping, was used by the team ,and they identified seven candidate genes that may determine blood GDF11 concentrations at middle age, demonstrating for the first time that GDF11 levels are highly heritable. Excerpts from the study "Circulating Concentrations of Growth Differentiation Factor 11 are heritable and correlate with life span,"

Saturday, February 20, 2016

FRUIT PEELS AS TREATMENT PROTOCOL FOR WOUND REPAIR IN DIABETIC PATIENTS.

Oral dose of Citrus Peel Extracts Promotes Wound Repair in Diabetic Rats.This research was carried out by M. Ahmad, M.N. Ansari, A. Alam and T.H. Khan and reported in science alert. Diabetic patients wound healing is slower than the healthy individuals. Three citrus peel extracts; Lemon (Citrus limon), Grapes fruits (Citrus paradise) and Orange (Citrus sinensis) promote wound healing in experimental animals. This study investigated the effect of oral treatment with citrus peel extracts on wound repair of the skin of diabetic rats. The extracts were estimated for vitamin C and total carotenoid contents prior to animal study. Diabetes mellitus was induced in rats by intraperitoneal injection of a single dose of streptozotocin (STZ, 75 mg kg-1 b.wt.). One week after diabetes induction, full thickness excision wounds were made in hyperglycemic rats and were divided groups, each containing 6 rats. The different test group animals were treated with different citrus peel extract orally at the dose of 400 mg kg-1 body weight daily for 12 days. The blood glucose, body weight and rate of wound closure of each rat were measured every 3rd day during the experimental period. At the end of experiment, granular tissues of wounds were removed and estimated for hydroxylproline and total protein content. The results showed significant reduction in blood glucose and time to wound closure. Tissue growth and collagen synthesis were significantly higher as determined by total protein and hydroxyl proline content. From our experimental data, we propose that oral administration of citrus peel extracts has a therapeutic potential in the treatment of chronic wounds in diabetes.

PANCREATITIS IN DOGS.

Dogs on a diet of fatty foods or that suddenly had access to fatty foods like bacon are prone to inflammation of their pancreas. The pancreas is a smaller organ located next to the stomach and produces important hormones that are responsible for digestion and energy metabolism. Some of the hormones that the pancreas secretes are insulin and digestive enzymes in response to metabolic needs within the body and in response to eating. The digestive enzymes that the pancreas secretes are very destructive to tissue because they are meant to break down food that is being eaten so it can be more easily absorbed in the intestinal tract. Pancreatitis essentially means “inflammation of the pancreas” and refers to inflammation of the actual organ and associated tissues. Pancreatitis in dogs is usually triggered by eating fatty foods such as bacon or other fat containing foods, unlike in cats where the actual trigger for the inflammation in the pancreas is not always easily identified. The consequence of inflammation in the pancreas is that the destructive digestive enzymes are leaked within the tissues of the pancreas itself leading to destruction of the pancreas. This destruction of the pancreas will lead to intestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhea and significant pain. Pancreatitis can be diagnosed with a cPLI blood test in dogs and an inflamed pancreas can typically be seen with an abdominal ultrasound. Pancreatitis is a potentially fatal illness and should be treated aggressively when diagnosed. The treatment for pancreatitis for dogs is a period of fasting to allow the pancreas to heal, fluid therapy to address dehydration, pain medications, and anti-nausea medications to stop the vomiting. Typically, once a dog stops vomiting and can eat they can start taking oral medications and be sent home. After the initial recovery stage, these dogs will be placed on a bland diet for a while to reduce the amount of fat that the pancreas is exposed to while healing. Once a dog has had pancreatitis they are more prone to getting it again, so avoiding fatty foods with these dogs is vital for prevention of recurrence. The consequence of frequent bouts of pancreatitis is the destruction of the cells within the pancreas that secrete insulin leading to insulin insufficiency and diabetes mellitus. Keeping dogs away from fatty foods is highly recommended to reduce the probability of pancreatitis.

San Diego Zoo flamingos recently had annual physicals.

According to San Diego(CBS8) the zoo flamingos received their annual physicals.A group of nearly 100 Caribbean flamingos were corralled into a holding area near the Flamingo Lagoon Wednesday morning. From there, they each underwent a health exam, featuring a west Nile vaccination and physical inspection. The birds have been front and center at the zoo for more than 50 years.

Friday, February 19, 2016

BIOTECH AND MERS VACCINE.

Cows like these could create antibodies that would combat the MERS virus, which currently has no treatment suggests a research in Science Translational Medicine. More than 1,600 people worldwide have been infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome/ MERS, and complications from it have resulted in nearly 600 deaths. In the last three years since scientists identified the disease, they haven’t been able to discover a way to treat or prevent infection. Now a team of international researchers has used genetically modified cows to create antibodies that combat the disease, which could mean that a vaccine might soon be possible. Though infected camels are thought to be the initial source of MERS, most animals, such as cows and mice, aren’t affected by the virus. In earlier studies, scientists have used cows to better understand human immunity, so for this experiment researchers decided to tweak the cows’ genomes slightly so that they carry a human chromosome. That genetic code enabled the cows to create MERS-specific proteins called antibodies that “tag” potentially dangerous cells to be eliminated by the immune system. When the researchers exposed the cows to low doses of the MERS virus, their immune systems created antibodies tailored to the human form of the disease, allowing their bodies to launch a full immune response. The researchers wanted to make sure the antibodies worked, so they conducted this experiment: In a petri dish, the antibodies extracted from the cows’ blood attacked MERS cells. Then, mice that were genetically modified to be affected by MERS were protected from infection as they were given a dose of the antibodies before and after exposure to the virus. Because these antibodies have not yet been tested in humans, the researchers can’t be sure that they will be quite so effective, or that they won’t cause an averse immune reaction in patients. The researchers hope to test them in humans in the near future, but they think the cow antibodies are a promising candidate to vaccinate people at risk against MERS.tibodies tailored to the human form of the disease, allowing their bodies to launch a full immune response. Excerpts from popular science.

CLAY USES IN VETERINARY PRACTICE.

Clay has be discovered to have healing properties,and they can easily be incorporated into practice as poultices,balms or oral applications to treat disease conditions. There are a wide variety of clay but not all possess the healing properties.The following types have been documented and their benefits highlighted. Bentonite is a green clay that can vary in the level of mineralization according to where the clay is sourced. Bentonite has a high absorption rate and unique chemical structure. The bentonite is unique because it has surface particles that are both negatively and positively charged. Clay is similar to an ant in that it can carry particles three to four times its size and hold on to them as they travel outside the body,making it very beneficial in fracture repair and bone surgeries. Montmorillonite is popularly known as French green clay. This type of clay is perfect to consume internally because it rapidly detoxifies and disinfects the body. Montmorillonite gets its green color from the algae rich dried up sea beds of the Mediterranean. When hydrated with purified water, Montmorillonite binds to toxins and holds them safe so they can be excreted out of the body, making French green clay invaluable for removing blood toxins, bacteria and heavy metals. Montmorillonite has anti-inflammatory properties, It also has high in silica content this supports the production of fascia and connective tissue to help in arthritic and muscular conditions. Illite is a fine particle, non-expansive green clay known to seek out undesirable microbes and ailing tissues.It is rich in sea minerals, it helps support the body’s own healing mechanisms by having the highest adsorption rate. This gives illite the ability to act as a magnet for toxins. It is by far the best choice for detoxification purposes. Redmond clay is used internally and externally. It has a high sodium and calcium content making it perfect for drawing out infectious agents topically. Redmond clay is used as a poultice , which can be used for joint care, insect bites, stings and any other topical inflammations. USES THE CLAY. 1) Eliminate internal parasites, fluids, gases, toxins and heavy metals.2) Support a strong immune system by balancing pH levels and supporting healthy intestinal flora. 3) Help detoxify the digestive tract. 4)Dry application used as a disinfectant in treating wounds.5)Clay can immediately stop bleeding wounds and prevent scab formation. METHODS OF APPLICATION. 1) Mix clay powder and water together and make a dry paste. Apply to bleeding wounds and wounds that need to heal without scabbing. This prevent abscesses and keeps the healing wound from itch-free. 2) Treatment of internal parasites and detoxification. Do the following; use 1 tbsp bentonite, illite, or montmorillonite clay. Make a mix using 4 oz cool pure water for each tsp of clay 1 oz .Let this slurry-mix stand overnight. Give to your dog orally or in some wet food the next morning on an empty stomach. Ensure to wait for at least 2 1/2hours before you feed the dog. 3) Give plenty of water through course of clay-treatment. 4) Used as a poultice. Use 1 lb pure green clay and add 1⁄2 cup pure water to Unbleached cotton muslin. Mix the clay with enough water to make a thick paste.Spread a layer of paste with a wooden spatula on to the center of the muslin , about one inch deep and approximately two inches bigger than the area to be treated. Apply the poultice clay side down and leave it alone until the clay pulls away from the skin. This indicates that the treatment is finished. Repeat daily until healed,usually in 5-7 days.

FOOD FAIR!!!

Probiotic yeast shows IBS benefits: 63% v 47% (placebo)

Probiotic yeast shows IBS benefits: 63% v 47% (placebo): A proprietary probiotic yeast reduced abdominal discomfort among Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sufferers, a study has found.

Seaweed extract may hold promise for IBD, suggests new study

Seaweed extract may hold promise for IBD, suggests new study: An extract from fucoidans may provide promise for treating a type of inflammatory bowel disease known as ulcerative colitis, a new study published in PLoS One suggests.

Study links Irritable Bowel Syndrome with vitamin D deficiency

Study links Irritable Bowel Syndrome with vitamin D deficiency: The majority of people living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) could well be deficient in vitamin D, severely affecting their quality of life, a study has found.

'Like recovery after a forest fire': IBD therapy could be engineered from wound-healing gut b...

'Like recovery after a forest fire': IBD therapy could be engineered from wound-healing gut b...: Gut bacteria that adapt to their environment could be exploited as a therapeutic for disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, a team of US scientists have predicted.

Gut microbiota sensitive to iron replacement say scientists

Gut microbiota sensitive to iron replacement say scientists: Iron replacement therapy in patients with inflammatory bowel disease alters gut microbiota depending on how it is administered, suggest scientists.

HOW TO STOP BLEEDING IN DOGS FROM OVER-TRIMMED NAILS.

Seasoned trimmer or not, cutting too far when trimming a dog’s nails can happen from time to time to any one of us. If you trim your dog’s nails at home, I’m pretty sure you’ve been in this situation before: either the dog’s nails are dark and it’s hard to see how far you can cut, or the dog moves around. Whatever the reason, you simply end up cutting too far and the nail starts to bleed. Throughout the years I’ve tried and tested many ways to stop the bleeding and disinfect the nail, until I came to the most effective, safe, non-toxic, painless solution.No spraying that freaks the dogs out, no toxic aluminum based wound disinfectants, nor alcohol based solutions that cause pain (burning and stinging). This simple aid is most likely within easy reach. It’s a common weed called GREATER PLANTAIN (Plantago major).Plantain (the entire plant) has some strong healing and other medicinal properties and among them is the plant’s amazing ability to stop bleeding.Greater plantain with its typical wide leaves grows abundantly along roads, trails and paths, often in the company of dandelions. You can find it in most garden lawns and in meadows as well. Plantain’s wide, large leaves are what you need.Once you find your nice fresh, clean plantain leaf, wash it with water and crack it in several places to allow the juice from the leaf to touch the wound. It is the juice that contains the most effective substances to stop the bleeding and aid in healing. Clean the nail with a wet cotton cloth and carefully wrap it in the cracked plantain leaf.Make sure the leaf is really touching the wound, but don’t apply too much pressure with your fingers. Hold it in place for a few minutes or for as long as necessary to stop the bleeding.Another wonderful aspect of using plantain on wounds such as the cut from nail trimming is the plant’s soothing, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial ability, making it perfect for healing. culled from Dogsnaturally.

TURMERIC USES IN DOGS.

Turmeric is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available,says Dr. Randy J. Horwitz, the medical director of the Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Dr. Horwitz also cites a 2006 University of Arizona study that found this potent anti-inflammatory to reduce the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical studies have shown that curcumin in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals which cause the painful inflammation and damage to joints affected by arthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties, combined with the fact that turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, suggests that it’s also useful for disinfecting and treating skin injuries. Research suggests that when using it topically, mix it with honey. This creates a paste that you can easily apply to wounds. Curcumin is believed to stimulate bile production necessary for the digestion of fat in the liver. Active dogs need at least 20% fat in their diet; therefore, bile production is critical for good health. In a study at UCLA, doctors found that curcumin seemed to block the cancer promoting enzyme that stimulates the growth of head and neck cancer. The Department of Small Animal Clinical Scientists has conducted studies that show that curcumin can inhibit tumor growth and may even shrink existing tumors. This has to do with the spice’s amazing ability to shut down blood vessels that feed tumors.Antioxidant properties are also helpful in reducing the negative side effects of chemotherapy. The animal health industry benefits from the turmeric uses in the following ways;1) Aids in the treatment of epilepsy. 2)Helps relieve allergies. 3)Helps in preventing the formation of cataracts. 4) ) Heals stomach ailments, such as digestive disorders, and reduces gas and bloating. 5) Acts as a binding agent and therefore great for treating diarrhea. 6) Aids in fat metabolism and weight management. 7)High in fiber and rich in vitamins and mineral. Feed the the powder, which is readily available, Sprinkle it right on top of your pet’s food and mix or, if you home cook, you can add it to the recipe.

Benefits of turmeric.

Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color. Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. Turmeric was traditionally called "Indian saffron" because of its deep yellow-orange color and has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye. The volatile oil fraction of turmeric has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models. Even more potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which is called curcumin. Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects such as ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity. Curcumin's antioxidant actions enable it to protect the colon cells from free radicals that can damage cellular DNA—a significant benefit particularly in the colon where cell turnover is quite rapid, occuring approximately every three days. Because of their frequent replication, mutations in the DNA of colon cells can result in the formation of cancerous cells much more quickly. Curcumin also helps the body to destroy mutated cancer cells, so they cannot spread through the body and cause more harm. A primary way in which curcumin does so is by enhancing liver function. Additionally, other suggested mechanisms by which it may protect against cancer development include inhibiting the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation and preventing the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth. There are some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s… then this would have obvious benefits for longevity.For this reason, curcumin has become very popular as an anti-aging supplement Turmeric useful in dogs; also as an anti inflammatory and antioxidant. see

TURMERIC AS A NATURAL ALTERNATIVE TO ANTIBIOTICS.

The rising global population comes with an increasing demand for food such as meat as a source of protein. Other than diminishing farm land for agriculture use to produce food, consumer concerns about food quality and safety are key issues. Therefore, the resulting challenge for the international feed and animal husbandry industry is to realize sustainable global livestock production strategies for efficient production and safe food for the consumers. Since 2006 antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) in livestock feeding have been prohibited in the European Union. South Korea is one of the first Asian countries that restricted the use of AGPs in 2011. Contrary to the valid use of antibiotics for prevention and treatment of pathogenic infections to prevent diseases, animals are still administered antibiotic growth promoters in feed. The increasing consumer demand for meat results in more intensive meat production which implies that today more antibiotics are sold for animals than for humans, as is the case in the US. As a consequence, the improper application of antibiotics leads to residues in meat which enter the human organism and cause a higher risk of resistance towards antibiotics. Antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) are being reduced in leading countries all over the world, thus the interest for natural alternatives arose. New strategies come with new principles… How swine can benefit from ‘quorum quenching’ and ‘ar-turmerone’? The essential oil turmeric contains ar-turmerone, a phytogenic compound that can exert antioxidant effects. Phytogenic feed additives are an excellent source in the feed for bio-available antioxidants . Various phytogenic compounds can function both directly (by scavenging free radicals actively) and indirectly (by the excretion of enzymes) antioxidant effects. One of such compound is ar-turmerone, contained in the essential oil of turmeric. Due to having an aromatic function ar-turmerone can scavenge and directly stabilize free radicals very well. On the other hand ar-turmerone has a keto group in its molecular structure which enables it to react with the sensitive sulphhydril group of Keap1 and to up-regulate endogenous antioxidant and phase II enzymes. The various farm trials showed that all phytogenic feed additives increased the total antioxidant capacity, measured using Trolox Equivalent. The antioxidant Capacity, in the jejunum, representing the early small intestine, 2 to 4.5-fold. In addition, also Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant capacity in the liver, as an peripheral organ was strongly improved 2 to 3.5 fold. Phytogenic feed additives distinctly improve the total antioxidant capacity of an organism. The up-regulation of phytogenic additives in the intestine protects the organism against oxidative stress (intestinal barrier function). To find exact solutions to the increasing global population and consumer demand for high quality and safe food while saving the environment might not be as easy when looking for and evaluating alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters. Natural, standardized and proven scientifically and commercially phytogenic products offer vast potential for efficient animal production and safe food for the consumers. Source;pig progress.

Plant extracts in pig diets to combat PRRS and E. coli.

The University of Illinois explored the potential benefits of selected plant extracts to fight important pig diseases.The researchers conducted two experiments to test the beneficial effects of garlic botanical extracted from garlic, turmeric oleoresin extracted from ginger, and capsicum oleoresin from pepper on PRRS and E. coli in pigs. The pigs in the study challenged with E. coli that had been fed any of the three plant extracts had a lower frequency of diarrhoea (20%) than the pigs fed the control diet (40%). The pigs fed plant extracts were more efficient (40%) in feed use than the pigs fed the control diet in the E. coli-challenged group, and challenged pigs fed plant extracts had sounder gut morphology compared with the challenged pigs fed the control diet. After feeding the pigs challenged with the PRRS virus the three plant extracts, the researchers observed that the pigs were more efficient in week 1 (55%) and week 2 (40%) than the pigs fed the control diet. The pigs that were challenged with the PRRES virus and fed plant extracts also had a lower blood viral load (13%) and lower concentrations of inflammatory mediators than pigs fed the control diet. These observations also suggest that feeding plant extracts could suppress ongoing inflammation and prevent secondary infections. The researchers believe the benefits resulted from the effects on the pigs' immune systems because feeding plant extracts reduced the inflammation caused by E. coli and the PRRS virus. Source;NaturalBlaze.com

Enzyme for wine could be antibiotic alternative for pigs.

Studies by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have found that a naturally occurring antimicrobial enzyme currently being used in food and beverage applications may also prove useful as an antibiotic alternative for improved feed efficiency and growth in pigs. In a recently published trial they compared the growth rates and weight gains of two groups of 600 piglets placed on one of 3 diet regimens:1)corn/soybean meal and specialty protein. 2)corn/soybean meal and specialty protein with lysozyme added, 3)same diet but containing the antibiotics chlortetracycline and tiamulin hydrogen fumarate rather than the lysozyme. The various pig groups were also kept in weaning pens that had either been disinfected or left uncleaned since the last group of animals had occupied them. The latter was done to stimulate chronic, or long-term, immune activity, including the production of cytokines, which divert nutrients away from growth in swine and result in slower weight gain. The results showed that piglets on lysozyme- or antibiotics-treated feeds grew approximately 12% faster than untreated pigs—even in uncleaned pens, suggesting that the treatments successfully ameliorated the effects of indirect immune challenge in the animals. source;Agricultural research service.

AN ALTERNATIVE TO ANTIBIOTICS IN PIG PRODUCTION.

A new study has shown that piectasin,could be an effective alternative to use of antibiotics in pig industry. Piectasin is an antimicrobial peptide: which can be isolated from a wide range of animals, plants, and bacterial species.They are small cationic molecules and Compared to conventional antibiotics, the antimicrobial peptides has a broader spectrum. The antimicrobial peptides have a more rapid killing action and highly selective toxicity. The researchers explained that growth performance effects have often been observed, and most importantly ,Bacteria have difficulty in developing resistance against these peptides due to their ability to disrupt bacterial membranes via non-specific electrostatic interactions with the membrane lipid components. This fact makes the antimicrobial peptides an alternative to antibiotics for use in livestock industry. The aim of the study was to determine the effects of the recombinant piectasin on growth performance and intestinal health in weaned pigs.The scientists wrote: "In total, 24 four weaned pigs were randomly assigned to one of four treatments, including a corn-soybean basal diet, the basal diet supplemented with antibiotics (60 mg/kg colistin sulfate), probiotics (Bacillus subtilis ≥109 CFU/g) and recombinant piectasin (60 mg/kg)." The results of the 21-day study showed that dietary supplementation with antibiotics and piectasin had positive effects on the average daily feed intake (ADFI) and body-weight gain (ADG). The scientists stated: "Compared with the corn-soybean basal diet, the ratio of feed to gain (feed conversion ratio, FCR) and diarrhoea rate in both groups were significantly reduced. Pigs fed the diets containing antibiotics and piectasin had a higher villus height and a higher disaccharidase activity in the small intestinal mucosa." The "Piectasin supplementation also significantly increased the abundance of Bifidobacterium in the ileum. Interestingly, piectasin elevated the absorption of xylose and the expression levels of tight junction protein CLDN1 and ZO-1 in the small intestinal mucosa. The results suggest piectasin may be an effective alternative to antibiotics for the pig industry." source; pig progress.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

GROWING VEGETABLES WITHOUT CHEMICALS.

Traditional farmer’s greatest problem in vegetable production is the high cost of inputs like fungicides, pesticides, herbicide, and many others. They cannot avoid these things because of different insect pests and diseases that attacked leaves and fruits of vegetables. Now, in the new generation of Philippine Atovi Technology, insect pests, fungus, virus, bacteria and weeds, are things of the past. Very costly fertilizer will not be a problem anymore. With the technology, vegetable seeds, hybrid or not, germinate much earlier, more retained flowers, more fruits, firm and heavier produce, crispier, better tasting and much safer to eat vegetables. With the experience of users, seed germination can only take 3 days at the most. This means fast growth and much shorter period to harvest. How to use the technology on Leafy Vegetables: Seeds must be soaked first in water with the technology for two and a half hours (2 ½ hrs.) before sowing it. Dilution: 1 tbsp Atovi : 1 liter of water. The dilution can be used many times for soaking. If there’s excess mixture (water & atovi), it can be used to condition the soil where it will be planted. Just water the planting hole with the said mixture. For two (2) weeks, spray Atovi every afternoon (preferably 5pm). Dilution: 2 tbsp. Atovi : 1 Gallon of Water (4 liters). Transplant after 2 weeks, and maintain the application of Atovi every late afternoon weekly and stop one (1) week before harvest time, using the same dilution stated in No.2 . For plots, be sure to cultivate the soil one (1) week before transplanting for good soil aeration. Much better results can be achieved if manure (fecal waste) from animals taking Atovi will be used as organic fertilizer during land preparation. If not, one can use ordinary animal manure to incorporate in the soil, but transplant only after 2 weeks. In any case, don’t forget to spray Atovi on the plot, to energize the beneficial bacteria in the soil, exterminate harmful microorganisms and insect pests, eradicate weed seeds, and achieve the 3-week organic soil state. In spraying, as much as possible make sure to wet the underside of leaves, and or, water the plant base/root zone. How to use the technology on Fruiting Vegetables : Seeds must be soaked first in water with the technology for two and a half hours (2 ½ hrs.) before sowing it. Dilution: 1 tbsp Atovi : 1cup of water. The dilution can be used many times for soaking. If there’s excess mixture (water & atovi), it can be used to condition the soil where it will be planted. Just water the planting hole with the said mixture. For two (2) weeks, spray Atovi every afternoon (preferably 5pm). Dilution: 2 tbsp. Atovi : 1 Gallon of Water (4 liters). Transplant after 2 weeks, and maintain the application of Atovi every late afternoon weekly and stop one (1) week before harvest time, using the same dilution stated in No.2 . For plots, be sure to cultivate the soil one (1) week before transplanting for good soil aeration. Much better results can be achieved if manure (fecal waste) from animals taking Atovi will be used as organic fertilizer during land preparation. If not, one can use ordinary animal manure to incorporate in the soil, but transplant only after 2 weeks. In any case, don’t forget to spray Atovi on the plot, to energize the beneficial bacteria in the soil, exterminate harmful microorganisms and insect pests, eradicate weed seeds, and achieve the 3-week organic soil state. In spraying, wet the underside of leaves, plant base/root zone and the fruits. How to use the technology on Root crops: For land preparation: cultivate well the soil one (1) week before transplanting for good soil aeration. Much better results can be achieved if manure (fecal waste) from animals already taking Atovi will be used as organic fertilizer during land preparation. DO NOT use fresh manure from animals not taking Atovi, for it would result on harmful bacteria and fungus development in the soil. Spray Atovi on the planting hole to energize the beneficial bacteria in the soil, exterminate harmful microorganisms and insects. story culled from materials of Atovi network.

ATOVI AND FOOD SECURITY.

Corn ranks next to rice as the staple crop in the Philippines,and the high cost of farm inputs like seeds and fertilizer is one of the burdens of many farmers. Now, the cost of pesticides hurting farmers, and the very low quality of corn produced because of more than 20 harmful insects damaging the whole life cycle of these pests. Tracing back the reason why these insects enjoy damaging the corn plant, the answer pin-points to the problem of absorption and utilization of nutrients. This is how Atovi works on the plants: 1) increase the population of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.2) drives away insects, promote fast and healthy growth of plants .3 )makes the whole cellular structure of the plant firm and thick.4) more rows of good kernels .5) strong tolerance against diseases.6 )increase harvest. How to use the technology in Corn production: Corn kernels (seeds) must be soaked first in water with the technology for two and a half hours (2 ½ hrs.) before sowing it. Dilution: 1 tbsp Atovi : 1 liter of water. The dilution can be used many times for soaking. If there’s excess mixture (water & atovi), it can be use to condition the soil where it will be planted. Water the planting hole with the said mixture to prevent corn maggots from eating the seeds. For two (2) weeks, spray Atovi in the afternoon (preferably 5pm) every other day. Dilution: 2 tbsp. Atovi : 1 Gallon of Water (4 liters) or 1 kg. Atovi : 1 Drum of Water. After transplanting, maintain the application of Atovi every late afternoon weekly and stop two (2) weeks before harvest time, using the same dilution stated in No.2. This will procedure will make the whole cellular structure of plant including the corn kernels (fruit) very firm to prevent insects from damaging them. For plots, be sure to cultivate the soil one (1) week before transplanting for good soil aeration. Much better results can be achieved if manure (fecal waste) from animals already taking Atovi will be used as organic fertilizer during land preparation. If not, one can use ordinary animal manure from animals not taking Atovi but before incorporating them into the soil, spray them with Atovi every other day for one (1) week to hasten the manure decomposition and makes them organic fertilizer. In any case, don’t forget to spray Atovi on the plot to energize the beneficial bacteria in the soil, exterminate harmful microorganisms and insect pests, eradicate weed seeds, and achieve the 3-week organic soil state. In spraying Atovi, make sure to wet the underside of leaves, and or, water the plant base/root zone for fast effect. Simple tips: Always maintain clean corn field. Remove rubles, or any trash where insects thrives. The use of atovi in planting crops not only guarantees a bumper harvest,but the harvest time is shorter making entry into the market earlier than usual. Story; ATOVI TECHNOLOGY.

HOW TO HANDLE HEAT STRESS IN PIGS.

Heat stress affects the pig industry in tropical climates as well as temperate regions. Losses due to heat stress include nonproductive days for sows and economic losses in growing-finishing pigs. Even in mild climate conditions such as the Netherlands pigs have problems in the summer with performance losses due heat stress .This problem can be dealt with by improved nutrition. Pigs are much more sensitive to hot weather than other livestock animals – largely due to the fact that pigs hardly sweat and their lungs are relatively small compared to their body size. When pigs are exposed to heat stress, their respiration rate increases, pulse rate falls, they start panting heavily and they stop eating because this contributes to further heat production. The fact that bigger pigs are more sensitive to heat stress can be clearly seen in growth performance. Investigation of different weight classes (75, 80 and 28 kg body weight) showed a direct negative correlation on average daily gain (ADG) with increasing room temperature. While 75 kg pigs start to decrease their ADG at around 23°C, pigs weighing 25 kg can compensate up to 27°C (Langridge, Western Australia, 2014). A commonly accepted temperature range for sows in the farrowing house typically spans between 21°C and 25°C - though this is too big of a range. Nursery sows begin to show signs of heat stress starting at 22°C . The feed intake drops almost 0.5 kg/day as temperature increases to 25°C. Technical solutions to reduce heat stress are often time 
consuming and can be highly expensive, e.g. building cooled stables. A nutritional approach can prove more adaptable and quicker to implement. Based on current knowledge there are some measures we can take to improve the swine productivity during periods of heat stress. The nutritional intervention include; 1) Smaller, more frequent meals per day and/or night feeding. 2)A sufficient supply of fresh, clean water. 3)Wet the feed with water. 4)Use pelleted feed instead of mash. 5)Lower crude protein. 6) Replace starch with fat as an energy source. 7) Use less fiber. Story from materials from pig progress.

BIOTECH AND PRRSV RESISTANT PIGS.

A research involving scientists have bred Pigs resistant to a PRRSV, Using CRISPR ;(CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing method—to breed pigs resistant to infection). Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) emerged in the 1980s, and the syndrome now afflicts these hoofed animals worldwide, causing illness, death and miscarriage. It has been designated the most economically significant disease for swine, costing livestock producers in North America $600 million annually from deaths and medical treatments. Vaccinations have mostly failed to prevent the syndrome's spread, but a new approach by biologists at the University of Missouri may mark a turning point. They are one of the first teams to develop a commercial agricultural application for the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing method—to breed pigs resistant to infection. CRISPR/Cas9 is a gene-manipulation tool that allows scientists to make changes to DNA with razor-sharp accuracy. The tool has generated excitement in the research community because it allows rapid modification of gene function, replacing older and less efficient methods. For porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, Missouri's Randall Prather, Kristen Whitworth and Kevin Wells turned to the technique to breed three piglets that lacked a protein on cells that acts as a doorway for the virus. The edited piglets were grouped together in a pen with seven normal piglets, and then they all were inoculated with PRRSV. About five days later the normal pigs grew feverish and ill, but the genetically edited pigs did not. Despite sharing close quarters with their sick pen mates, they remained in top health throughout the 35-day study period. Blood testing also revealed that the edited animals did not produce antibodies against the virus—further evidence that they evaded infection entirely. “I expected the pigs would get the virus but not get as sick,” Prather says. “But it is just night and day. The pigs are running around with the other pigs coughing on them, but they are just fine.” This work and other recent experiments demonstrate the promise of CRISPR/Cas9 for the care of domestic animals. Late last year geneticists at the University of California, Davis, employed the new technique to breed dairy cows that do not grow horns. The study is published in the Nature Biotechnology.

SEED IMPROVEMENT , FOOD TECHNOLOGY AND FOOD SECURITY.

Corn ranks next to rice as the staple crop in the Philippines,and the high cost of farm inputs like seeds and fertilizer is one of the burdens of many farmers. Now, the cost of pesticides hurting farmers, and the very low quality of corn produced because of more than 20 harmful insects damaging the whole life cycle of these pests. Tracing back the reason why these insects enjoy damaging the corn plant, the answer pin-points to the problem of absorption and utilization of nutrients. This is how Atovi works on the plants: 1) increase the population of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.2) drives away insects, promote fast and healthy growth of plants .3 )makes the whole cellular structure of the plant firm and thick.4) more rows of good kernels .5) strong tolerance against diseases.6 )increase harvest. How to use the technology in Corn production: Corn kernels (seeds) must be soaked first in water with the technology for two and a half hours (2 ½ hrs.) before sowing it. Dilution: 1 tbsp Atovi : 1 liter of water. The dilution can be used many times for soaking. If there’s excess mixture (water & atovi), it can be use to condition the soil where it will be planted. Water the planting hole with the said mixture to prevent corn maggots from eating the seeds. For two (2) weeks, spray Atovi in the afternoon (preferably 5pm) every other day. Dilution: 2 tbsp. Atovi : 1 Gallon of Water (4 liters) or 1 kg. Atovi : 1 Drum of Water. After transplanting, maintain the application of Atovi every late afternoon weekly and stop two (2) weeks before harvest time, using the same dilution stated in No.2. This will procedure will make the whole cellular structure of plant including the corn kernels (fruit) very firm to prevent insects from damaging them. For plots, be sure to cultivate the soil one (1) week before transplanting for good soil aeration. Much better results can be achieved if manure (fecal waste) from animals already taking Atovi will be used as organic fertilizer during land preparation. If not, one can use ordinary animal manure from animals not taking Atovi but before incorporating them into the soil, spray them with Atovi every other day for one (1) week to hasten the manure decomposition and makes them organic fertilizer. In any case, don’t forget to spray Atovi on the plot to energize the beneficial bacteria in the soil, exterminate harmful microorganisms and insect pests, eradicate weed seeds, and achieve the 3-week organic soil state. In spraying Atovi, make sure to wet the underside of leaves, and or, water the plant base/root zone for fast effect. Simple tips: Always maintain clean corn field. Remove rubbles, or any trash where insects thrives. Story; ATOVI TECHNOLOGY.

THE GGR BREEDING MODEL BY SIAMPIGS.