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Faith-based teachings on the environment have been identified as a potentially effective form of conservation outreach but one that remains largely untested. Indonesia contains 10% of the world's tropical rainforests and is the most populous Muslim country. A faith-based approach to conservation could therefore yield significant conservation benefits here. Within Islam several key principles in the Qur'an underpin and outline the role of humans in nature conservation. Here, we report on a Darwin Initiative project component that sought to assess the applicability of Islamic teachings to conservation action in West Sumatra. We developed water-conservation-themed sermons that were delivered by project-trained religious leaders in 10 mosques and nine Islamic boarding schools during the holy month of Ramadan. We conducted entry–exit questionnaire surveys to assess levels of concern, awareness and intent to act amongst male (n = 389) and female (n = 479) worshippers. The results revealed that greater attention should be paid to raising awareness of the linkages between Islam and conservation rather than on conservation principles alone, which were already adequately understood. This study provides the first insights into the important role that women could play within a faith-based project. Female respondents demonstrated greater knowledge and understanding of Islamic teachings about the environment and the services provided by watershed forests. They were also more likely to contribute to conservation activities, suggesting that future projects should seek to involve this often marginalized stakeholder group fully, as well as provide practical ways for men and women to transform words into action.
In situ conservation is central to contemporary global biodiversity protection and is the predominant emphasis of international regulation and funding strategies. Ex situ approaches, in contrast, have been relegated to a subsidiary role and their direct contributions to conservation have been limited. We draw on a variety of sources to make the case for an enhanced role for ex situ conservation. We note the advances occurring within institutions specializing in ex situ conservation and stress that, although much remains to be done, many constraints are being addressed. We argue that the evidence of increasing extinction rates, exacerbated by climate change, challenges the wisdom of a heavy dependence on in situ strategies and necessitates increased development of ex situ approaches. A number of different techniques that enable species and their habitats to survive should now be explored. These could build on the experience of management systems that have already demonstrated the effective integration of in situ and ex situ techniques and hybrid approaches. For organizations specializing in ex situ conservation to become more effective, however, they will require tangible support from the institutions of global biodiversity governance. Resistance is anticipated because in situ conservation is entrenched through powerful groups and organizations that exert influence on global conservation policy and facilitate the flow of funding. The chasm that has traditionally divided in situ and ex situ approaches may diminish as approaches are combined. Moreover, the relentless loss of the ‘wild’ may soon render the in situ / ex situ distinction misleading, or even obsolete.
The eastern English Channel, the narrow channel of water separating northern
France and southeast England is an area of intense human use of the array of
resources concentrated into its relative small area. The vulnerability of
living resources and their habitats brought together French and British
maritime experts within a common project (called CHARM): to create an atlas
of marine resource habitats in the eastern English Channel so as to provide
planners and decision-makers with the necessary information to help managing
the use of its living and non-living resources. This multidisciplinary and
richly illustrated atlas provides abundant information on the legal
framework and physical environment; benthic invertebrates, fish and their
habitats; fishing activities; and a first attempt at developing a trophic
network model (using ECOPATH software) and a marine conservation planning
exercise (using MARXAN software, at a spatial resolution of 25 km
Although most of the data used were collected elsewhere, some were collected
especially for the project. Similarly, most of the analyses performed on the
data where entirely original for this geographical area. The CHARM atlas has
significantly improved the knowledge about the eastern Channel while
contributing to the recognition that such holistic or multidisciplinary
approaches to exploited marine systems are necessary to efficiently and
durably manage their resources use.
We have investigated the development of the schistosome egg and its secretions in order to understand how it migrates through gut tissues and also initiates pathology in the liver. We show by electron microscopy that the subshell envelope is absent in the newly deposited egg, but appears very early and differentiates as development progresses. In the mature egg, this nucleated envelope contains extensive endoplasmic reticulum, suggestive of a protein synthetic capacity. Furthermore, Reynolds' layer only appears between the envelope and the egg-shell in the mature egg and may represent its accumulated secretions. We have biosynthetically labelled and collected the secretions (ESP) released by mature but not immature eggs during culture. Their fractionation by SDS–PAGE reveals a simple pattern of 6 bands, differing markedly in composition from soluble egg antigen preparations. Electrophoresis in casein substrate gels demonstrates the presence of 2 distinct proteases in the egg secretions. By immunocytochemistry, ESP localized predominantly to the envelope of the mature egg, suggesting that this layer rather than the miracidium is the source of egg secretions.
A schistosome infection is initiated when the parasite penetrates the skin of a susceptible host. Relatively large quantities
of protein are released by transforming cercariae compared to later larval stages. This represents the first parasite material
to which the host's immune system is exposed, yet little is known about the proteins which are released during the first
few hours post-transformation. We have shown that antiserum raised against such molecules was capable of imparting
protection against a schistosome challenge infection upon passive transfer to naïve mice. By screening a cercarial cDNA
library with this serum, 38 positive clones were identified. Sequence analysis showed these to represent 8 different
molecules which included Schistosoma mansoni 21·7 kDa antigen, calcium-binding-protein and the vaccine candidate
glutathione S-transferase (Sm28GST). In addition, 5 clones were isolated, 1 of which had significant homology to many
cytochrome C proteins, another with leukocyte elastase inhibitors and 3 which represented novel molecules. Four clones
were expressed in a prokaryotic high-level expression vector, sera produced against each purified recombinant protein and
used subsequently to probe Western blots and parasite sections. The leukocyte elastase inhibitor homologue and 2
unknowns induced significant proliferation by lymph node cells recovered from mice vaccinated with irradiated cercariae.
More strikingly, the 2 novel proteins stimulated very high levels of interferon γ (IFNγ) secretion both by lymph node cells
and those recovered by broncho-alveolar lavage from the lungs of vaccinated mice. Such results will be discussed in the
context of vaccine development.
Lung-stage schistosomula are the target of protective immunity in mice vaccinated with attenuated cercariae of Schistosoma
mansoni. Therefore, proteins present at this developmental stage, and in particular those which are secreted, are a potential
source of novel vaccine candidates. However, little information is available about such molecules. Here we describe the
cDNA clones identified by screening expression libraries with serum raised against proteins released by lung-stage
schistosomula. In total, 11 different cDNA species were identified, 6 of which have been described previously in S.
mansoni; these included fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase and Sm21.7 which together accounted for two-thirds of all
positive clones. Of the 5 newly described schistosome genes, 1 cDNA had a high degree of homology to the s5a subunit
of 26S proteasomes, most significant being with the human protein. The remaining 4 clones showed no significant
homologies to any genes sequenced previously. Fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase, Sm21.7, the proteasome homologue
and 1 unknown clone (A26) have been expressed in a bacterial expression system and serum produced against each
recombinant protein. Immunolocalization showed fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase, Sm21.7 and the proteasome homologue
to be most abundant in muscle cells whilst clone A26 was distributed throughout many tissues, but was most
abundant in the tegument. Analysis of the cellular immune responses of vaccinated mice showed 3 of the 4 expressed
clones to be highly immunogenic, inducing the secretion of large quantities of the Th1-type cytokine interferon gamma.
Macromolecular X-ray crystallography underpins the vigorous field of structural molecular biology having yielded many protein, nucleic acid and virus structures in fine detail. The understanding of the recognition by these macromolecules, as receptors, of their cognate ligands involves the detailed study of the structural chemistry of their molecular interactions. Also these structural details underpin the rational design of novel inhibitors in modern drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, from such structures the functional details can be inferred, such as the biological chemistry of enzyme reactivity. There is then a vast number and range of types of biological macromolecules that potentially could be studied. The completion of the protein primary sequencing of the yeast genome, and the human genome sequencing project comprising some 105 proteins that is underway, raises expectations for equivalent three dimensional structural databases.
The lung schistosomulum of Schistosoma mansoni is the target of protective immunity in mice singly vaccinated with irradiated cercariae. Since the effector responses are T cell-mediated, their initiation requires the release of antigens from the intact parasite. We have used the technique of biosynthetic labelling with ‘35S’methionine, before and after transformation of the cercariae, to analyse the kinetics of protein synthesis and release by the schistosomulum. In addition, the proteins present in the soluble fraction of the parasite and those released during in vitro culture have been characterized. During a 7-day culture period schistosomula derived from labelled cercariae lost proteins most rapidly within the first 3 h after transformation. Two proteins of molecular weight 61 and 20 kDa were dominant and may correspond to areas of proteolytic activity. Analysis of the rate of protein synthesis of schistosomula labelled after transformation revealed four different phases, which may relate to the developmental processes occurring in vivo. During the first 24 h, synthesis was very low, increasing to a plateau and then rising to a peak at day 8; thereafter the rate declined rapidly. Whilst some stage-specific synthesis of proteins was detected in the soluble fractions of the parasite bodies, the pattern of proteins released by cultured larvae was remarkably uniform. At least 15 proteins were detected by autoradiography with bands at 61, 45 and 20 kDa being particularly prominent. These proteins merit further study as potential mediators of the protective immune response.
Positron emission tomographic (PET) data on local cerebral metabolic rates for glucose (LCMR) are reported for 32 regions of interest (ROI)s in cross-sectional studies on 57 patients with clinically diagnosed Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 20 neurologically normal controls, and in serial studies on 13 of the AD cases, including a familial, young-onset case where the diagnosis has been confirmed at autopsy. Extensive psychological testing was done on all the AD cases. Almost all cortical regions showed a significant decline in LCMR with age in the control subjects. There were the expected cortical metabolic deficits in AD and the serial studies showed a general increase in such deficits over time in 12 of the 13 cases. The regions showing the greatest declines with time in serial studies are the same as those showing the most severe deficiencies in cross-sectional studies. The young-onset case did not show a greater rate of metabolic decline than many of the older cases studied. Results on individual psychological tests tended to correlate with metabolic rates in multiple, rather than single, cortical regions, suggesting intact neuronal networks are required for good performance. The correlations with cortical metabolic activity found were of a sign indicating that the higher the metabolic rates and the better the left:right asymmetry index, the better was the performance.
Large pyramidal neurons of rat and human neocortex stain immunohistochemically for phosphate-activated glutaminase (PAG). In a limited number of postmortem brains, we find large reductions in cortical PAG activity in Alzheimer's disease (AD). This finding is consistent with histological evidence that pyramidal neurons are affected in AD. The reductions are greater than those found in the same samples in choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) but the possible deleterious effects of coma and similar premortem factors on human PAG activity have yet to be assessed. The activity of (β-glucuronidase, a lysosomal enzyme which occurs in reactive astrocytes, is elevated in the same samples. Positron emission tomography (PET) studies, using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), have demonstrated significant deficiencies in glucose metabolism in the cortex in AD, with the parietal, temporal and some frontal areas being particularly affected. We found in serial scans of 13 AD cases, including one relatively young (44-46 year old) familial case, an exacerbation of the defect over time in most cases. We have found a negative correlation between the regional metabolic rates for glucose (LCMR(s)) measured premortem and the (β-glucuronidase activities measured postmortem on a few AD cases that have come to autopsy. The correlations between LCMR(s) and PAG and ChAT activities tend to be positive. The results are consistent with previous suggestions that decreased LCMR(s) in AD reflect local neuronal loss and gliosis.
There are many different flaps available for head and neck reconstruction. The latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap has been widely used in this unit on 80 occasions in the past three years, both as a pedicled and as a free microvascular flap following the excision of head and neck malignancy, the commonest pathology being intraoral squamous cell carcinoma.
There were nine cases of complete or substantial flap loss requiring a further reconstructive procedure. Few of the patients who underwent total glossectomy suffered from overspill or aspiration and the fistula rate was low.
Reference is made to the anatomy and the technique of raising this versatile flap which provides a large volume of tissue and has been particularly useful following total glossesctomy when combined with a hyoid hitch.
The local cerebral metabolic rate for glucose (LCMRgl) was determined by positron emission tomography (PET) using the 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose method in a series of Alzheimer patients and normal controls. The LCMRgl declined in the cerebral cortex with age, but the decrement was significantly greater in the clinically diagnosed Alzheimer's cases. Comparison of PET and psychological data indicated that, as the disease progressed clinically, the reduction in cortical LCMRgl and the number of cortical regions involved also increased. Variable regions of cortex were involved in the early stages but the temporal, parietal and frontal regions were most typically affected. One case coming to autopsy showed that the severity of the LCMRgl decline paralleled loss of neurons in the cortex and their replacement with astroglia.
A case of Pick's disease coming to autopsy had shown a different and highly characteristic pattern of cortical metabolic defect. In this case also a poor metabolic rate was associated with extensive gliosis.
Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) staining of the cerebral cortex in elderly normals and Alzheimer's disease cases with a new, highly sensitive method showed that in Alzheimer's disease there was an extensive loss of AChE-positive fibers with senile plaques frequently incorporating AChE-positive fiber debris. AChE staining of the substantia innominata area, where the cells giving rise to these neocortical fibers are presumably located, also showed evidence of degenerating cells and fibers.
Local cerebral glucose utilization was measured in patients with predominantly unilateral Parkinson’s disease using 18F-2-fluoro-deoxyglucose and positron emission tomography. Preliminary results indicate the presence of asymmetric metabolic rates in the inferior basal ganglia. The structure comprising the largest portion of basal ganglia at this level is globus pallidus. These findings are consistent with metabolic studies on animals with unilateral nigrostriatal lesions in which pallidal hypermetabolism on the lesioned side has been demonstrated. Increased pallidal activity is likely secondary to a loss of inhibitory dopaminergic input to the striatum from substantia nigra.