Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Correspondence: Kalanchoe pinnata aqueous extract safety and potential cardioprotective effects in isoprenaline treated rats

Greater Accra’s new urban extension at Ningo-Prampram: urban promise or urban peril?


New private property investments in Africa’s cities are on the rise, often manifested as comprehensively planned urban extensions. Greater Accra has several competing city projects under development, potentially launching new city-making trajectories and competitive struggles among rival projects. This article assesses the rationale and early evolution of Ghana’s largest, most ambitious project the Ningo-Prampram Urban Extension, aiming to accommodate 1.5 million people. Supported by UN-Habitat, international consultants, government, and local Chiefs, the constellation of actors supports a public-private partnership to engage in urban entrepreneurialism, underpinned by sustainable development features and promising increased global connectivity. However, this project raises socio-spatial contradictions with regard to how affordable housing, an airport city and other developments can augment Accra’s development. Global economy articulation as well as intra-city connectivity is promised but at its peril it amplifies sprawl so that the Accra City Region evolves into a string of beads along the Trans-West African Highway.

Monday, 9 September 2019

The Intersection of Race and Gender in Leadership of Co-operatives: of Whom, by Whom, and for Whom?


This paper describes the intersection of class, gender and race in the leadership of cooperatives in North America. Movement of labour across North American borders changes the membership of cooperatives as well as the leadership and formation of cooperatives. The socio-economic shifts that affect cooperatives are also accompanied by marginalization of particular populations, including Indigenous communities and racial minorities. International cooperative principles remain ideals to aspire to rather than a reality in practice. Although women and racial minorities have made some advances in equity in cooperatives, racialized women in particular are not represented in leadership positions in cooperatives in proportion to membership in the broader population. On an optimistic note, cooperatives continue to be more egalitarian organizations than other types of organizations and therefore have the potential for leading as positive role models, addressing the intersection of gender and race for other organizations to follow. Women leading cooperatives will form different types of cooperatives than men leading cooperatives in the same industry. Additionally women of colour leading cooperatives will form different types of organizations than traditional cooperatives, providing for enriched plurality of organizational forms required for addressing complex socio-economic problems.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Ethnoveterinary knowledge of farmers in bilingual regions of Switzerland – is there potential to extend veterinary options to reduce antimicrobial use?

 2019 Aug 26;246:112184. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.112184. [Epub ahead of print]



In the pre-antibiotic era, a broad spectrum of medicinal plants was used to treat livestock. This knowledge was neglected in European veterinary medicine for decades but kept alive by farmers. Emergence of multidrug resistant bacterial strains requires a severely restricted use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine. We conducted a survey on the ethnoveterinary knowledge of farmers in the bilingual (French and German speaking) Western region of Switzerland, namely the cantons of Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Jura, and in the French speaking part of the canton of Bern.


To find out whether differences exist in plants used by farmers in French speaking and bilingual regions of Switzerland as compared to our earlier studies conducted in Switzerland. Additional focus was on plants that are used in diseases which commonly are treated with antimicrobials, on plants used in skin afflictions, and on plants used in animal species such as horses, for which the range of veterinary medicinal products is limited.


We conducted in 2015 semistructured interviews with 62 dialog partners, mainly cattle keeping farmers but also 18 horse keeping farmers. Of these, 41 were native French (FNS) and 21 native German speakers (GNS). Detailed information about homemade herbal remedies (plant species, plant part, manufacturing process) and the corresponding use reports (target animal species, category of use, route of administration, dosage, source of knowledge, frequency of use, last time of use and farmers satisfaction) were collected.


A total of 345 homemade remedies were reported, of which 240 contained only one plant species (Homemade Single Species Herbal Remedy Reports; HSHR). A total of 289 use reports (UR) were mentioned for the 240 HSHR, and they comprised 77 plant species belonging to 41 botanical families. Of these, 35 plant species were solely reported from FNS, 20 from GNS, and 22 from both. Taking into account earlier ethnoveterinary studies conducted in Switzerland only 10 (FNS) and 6 (GNS) plant species connected with 7% of FNS and GNS UR respectively were "unique" to the respective language group. The majority of the UR (219) was for treatment of cattle, while 38 UR were intended to treat horses. The most UR were for treatment of gastrointestinal and skin diseases. The most frequently mentioned plants were Linum usitatissimum L., Coffea L., Matricaria chamomilla L., Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze, and Quercus robur L. for gastrointestinal diseases, and Calendula officinalis L., Hypericum perforatum L. and Sanicula europaea L. for skin afflictions.


No clear differences were found between the medicinal plants used by French native speakers and German native speakers. Several of the reported plants seem to be justified to widen the spectrum of veterinary therapeutic options in gastrointestinal and dermatological disorders in cattle and horses, and to reduce, at least to a certain degree, the need for antibiotic treatments. Our findings may help to strengthen the role of medicinal plants in veterinary research and practice, and to consider them as a further measure in official strategies for lowering the use of antibiotics.


AntimicrobialEthnoveterinary medicine; French speaking swiss regions (Fribourg; Jura; Jura bernois); Livestock diseases; Medicinal plants; Neuchâtel

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Apium Plants: Beyond Simple Food and Phytopharmacological Applications

Apium plants belong to the Apiaceae family and are included among plants that have been in use in traditional medicine for thousands of years worldwide, including in the Mediterranean, as well as the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa. Some highlighted medical benefits include prevention of coronary and vascular diseases. Their phytochemical constituents consist of bergapten, Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 3547 2 of 39 induction. The present review summarizes data on ecology, botany, cultivation, habitat, medicinal use, phytochemical composition, preclinical and clinical pharmacological efficacy of Apium plants and provides future direction on how to take full advantage of Apium plants for the optimal benefit to mankind.


Once plantas fueron colectadas en el Valle de Zongo para evaluar sus propiedades antioxidantes y fotoprotectoras. En esta publicación presentamos una fuerte correlación entre una alta actividad antioxidantes y una fuerte absorción UV-A y/o UV-B. Las especies más activas, evaluadas a 10µg/ml con el ensayo DPPH, fueron Fuchsia boliviana (hojas), Baccharis pentlandii (flores), Rubus floribundus (frutas), Fuchsia boliviana (flores y frutas) y Brachyotum microdon (flores). Todas las especies mencionadas poseen importantes absorciones UV- B y/o UV- A. Esta técnica DPPH/UV puede ser usada para realizar un cernido preliminar de muestras vegetales y seleccionar aquellas con valores de DPPH superiores a 83% y fuertes absorciones UV-A y/o UV-B. Las muestras seleccionadas, luego pueden ser evaluadas con otro ensayo in vitro más costoso (TEAC, ABTS o FRAP) para finalmente confirmar sus actividades con el ensayo in vivo. A nuestro conocimiento, ésta es la primera vez que las actividades antioxidantes de Distichia muscoides, Souroubea fragilis, Brachyotum microdon, Monnina bridgesii, Baccharis pentlandii, Thibaudia crenulata, Siphocampylus tupaeformis, Cobaea scandens, Fuchsia boliviana y Rubus floribundus son reportadas. Adicionalmente, ésta es la primera vez que se presenta una publicación de Siphocampylus tupaeformis y Thibaudia crenulata, así como el estudio de sus propiedades fotoprotectoras y antioxidantes.

Application of Breadfruit in food products