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India's agrarian history has for the most part been cast within colonial and nationalist frameworks or in analyses of modernity and development in the South Asian historiography on both sides of the independence divide. This leaves plenty of space to discuss both the vast engagement of American actors with Indian elite formations and modifications to the agrarian projects contingent upon those interactions. A focus on the Americanist drive for agrarian modernization in India allows for exploring the distinct cultural location of modernization in a long-term perspective and its engagement with colonial “development.” A study of their mutual interaction gives insights into modernization's somewhat distinct itinerary on the subcontinent and provides specificity to the history of the otherwise spatially wider American intervention in global and inter-Asian contexts.
The grey wolf Canis lupus lupus is Critically Endangered in Nepal, and is a protected species there. Understanding the species’ status and distribution is critical for its conservation in the Nepalese Himalaya. We assessed the distribution of the grey wolf in the Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan regions using data from faecal and camera trap surveys and published data sources. We recorded 40 instances of wolf presence. Using these data we estimated a distribution of 28,553 km2, which includes potential as well as known habitat and comprises 73% of the Nepalese Himalaya. There is evidence of recovery of the grey wolf population in Kanchenjunga Conservation Area in the eastern portion of the species’ range. A livestock insurance scheme has been shown to be a viable option to reduce retaliatory killing of wolves as a result of livestock depredation. The wolf plays an important ecological role in the Himalaya, and its conservation should not be delayed by the ongoing taxonomic debate about its subspecific status.
As the nineteenth century drew to a close, European planters manufacturing indigo on colonial plantations in Bengal faced a major challenge from synthetic indigo. Synthetic indigo was a symbol of the successful integration of chemistry into industrial manufacturing that had occurred in the second half of the century, and it threatened to displace the colonial commodity. It also fundamentally challenged the colonial program of “improvement” that agricultural indigo represented, and the mode of production consisting of stewardship of plants and the extraction of a commodity within the plantation system. The planters pushed back on the synthetic product by emphasizing the merits of agricultural indigo. As part of this resistance, they claimed that the plant-based dye was “natural” and superior because it was produced through agriculture, and they pointed to the grounding of their methods of production in the layout of land and farming. They argued that when setting their product's value the market should give weight to its unique attributes and the extraordinary quality that nature had bred into the dye. This study reads in this response a critique of the growing ties between manufacturing and science and technology. The planters' critique was not a straightforward critique of the vicissitudes of market, but rather a fight to retain a place for the sort of exchanges and value that plant indigo growers were accustomed to dealing in. They viewed plantation manufacturing as wholesome and organic, and defended it in the name of nature.
The immune evasion gene family of malaria parasites encodes variant surface proteins that are expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes and help the parasite in evading the host immune response by means of antigenic variation. The identification of Plasmodium vivax vir orthologous immune evasion gene family from primate malaria parasites would provide new insight into the evolution of virulence and pathogenesis. Three vir subfamilies viz. vir-B, vir-D and vir-G were successfully PCR amplified from primate malaria parasites, cloned and sequenced. DNA sequence analysis confirmed orthologues of vir-D subfamily in Plasmodium cynomolgi, Plasmodium simium, Plasmodium simiovale and Plasmodium fieldi. The identified vir-D orthologues are 1–9 distinct members of the immune evasion gene family which have 68–83% sequence identity with vir-D and 71·2–98·5% sequence identity within the members identified from primate malaria parasites. The absence of other vir subfamilies among primate malaria parasites reflects the limitations in the experimental approach. This study clearly identified the presence of vir-D like sequences in four species of Plasmodium infecting primates that would be useful in understanding the evolution of virulence in malaria parasites.
The knowledge of indigo culture that developed on indigo plantations in colonial Bengal was remarkably cosmopolitan in its borrowings. The protean knowledge that was assembled in the first plantations in the Caribbean in the mid-seventeenth century had roots in various peasant traditions on the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere in the world. French naturalists committed this knowledge to texts, making them legible and portable whilst the needs of European empires ensured the perfection of this knowledge on separate continents even as it picked up heterogeneous forms at numerous sites. The heterogeneity of the knowledge attached to the practice of indigo manufacture was reproduced on the Indian subcontinent when indigo was reinvented as a colonial commodity. European planters generously drew on the texts describing indigo-making that were easily available, as the practice of dye making continued to evolve in the colonial locality. Some surviving peasant traditions of indigo culture on the subcontinent also impinged on the evolving knowledge. Thus multiple logics rather than the single colonial logic lay beneath the development of colonial indigo plantations in Bengal. An understanding of the process requires attention to the global genealogies of this knowledge system.
Essential oil components from turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) are documented for neuroprotective, anti-cancer, anti-thrombotic and antioxidant effects. The present study aimed to investigate the disease-modifying potential of curcuma oil (C. oil), a lipophilic component from C. longa L., in hyperlipidaemic hamsters. Male golden Syrian hamsters were fed a chow or high-cholesterol (HC) and fat-rich diet with or without C. oil (30, 100 and 300 mg/kg) for 28 d. In HC diet-fed hamsters, C. oil significantly reduced plasma total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and TAG, and increased HDL-cholesterol when compared with the HC group. Similar group comparisons showed that C. oil treatment reduced hepatic cholesterol and oxidative stress, and improved liver function. Hyperlipidaemia-induced platelet activation, vascular dysfunction and repressed eNOS mRNA expression were restored by the C. oil treatment. Furthermore, aortic cholesterol accumulation and CD68 expression were also reduced in the C. oil-treated group. The effect of C. oil at 300 mg/kg was comparable with the standard drug ezetimibe. Delving into the probable anti-hyperlipidaemic mechanism at the transcript level, the C. oil-treated groups fed the chow and HC diets were compared with the chow diet-fed group. The C. oil treatment significantly increased the hepatic expression of PPARα, LXRα, CYP7A1, ABCA1, ABCG5, ABCG8 and LPL accompanied by reduced SREBP-2 and HMGCR expression. C. oil also enhanced ABCA1, ABCG5 and ABCG8 expression and suppressed NPC1L1 expression in the jejunum. In the present study, C. oil demonstrated an anti-hyperlipidaemic effect and reduced lipid-induced oxidative stress, platelet activation and vascular dysfunction. The anti-hyperlipidaemic effect exhibited by C. oil seems to be mediated by the modulation of PPARα, LXRα and associated genes involved in lipid metabolism and transport.
Drawing upon data from the third round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) conducted in India during 2005–06, this study compares the utilization of selected maternal and child health care services between the urban poor and non-poor in India and across selected Indian states. A wealth index was created, separately for urban areas, using Principal Component Analysis to identify the urban poor. The findings suggest that the indicators of maternal and child health care are worse among the urban poor than in their non-poor counterparts. For instance, the levels of antenatal care, safe delivery and childhood vaccinations are much lower among the urban poor than non-poor, especially in socioeconomically disadvantageous states. Among all the maternal and child health care indicators, the non-poor/poor difference is most pronounced for delivery care in the country and across the states. Other than poverty status, utilization of antenatal services by mothers increases the chances of safe delivery and child immunization at both national and sub-national levels. The poverty status of the household emerged as a significant barrier to utilization of health care services in urban India.
Four porcellanid species, Petrolisthes coccineus (Owen, 1839), P. lamarckii (Leach, 1820), P. moluccensis (De Man, 1888) and P. tomentosus (Dana, 1852), are reported on the basis of specimens collected from an intertidal area of Agatti Island, Lakshadweep Archipelago in south-western India. All the four species are recorded from the archipelago for the first time, and P. moluccensis is new to the Indian fauna. Morphological diagnoses, notes on the habitats and distributions are provided for the four species.
Prakash Kumar documents the history of agricultural indigo, exploring the effects of nineteenth-century globalisation on this colonial industry. Charting the indigo culture from the early modern period to the twentieth century, Kumar discusses how knowledge of indigo culture thrived among peasant traditions on the Indian subcontinent in the early modern period and was then developed by Caribbean planters and French naturalists who codified this knowledge into widely disseminated texts. European planters who settled in Bengal with the establishment of British rule in the late eighteenth century drew on this information. From the nineteenth century, indigo culture became more modern, science-based and expert driven, and with the advent of a cheaper, purer synthetic indigo in 1897, indigo science crossed paths with the colonial state's effort to develop a science for agricultural development. Only at the end of the First World War, when the industrial use of synthetic indigo for textile dyeing and printing became almost universal, did the indigo industry's optimism fade away.