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Black Soldier Fly
The black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens Linnaeus, is a large Stratiomyidae fly (13-20 mm size) found worldwide, but it is believed to have originated in the Americas. It is frequently found in the tropics and temperate regions throughout the world. Although adapted primarily to these regions, it can tolerate wide extremes of temperature except when ovipositing. They are generally considered a beneficial insect and non-pest. The adult fly does not have mouthparts, stingers, or digestive organs; thus, they do not bite or sting and do not feed during its short lifespan. They feed only as larvae and are, therefore, not associated with disease transmission. BSF larvae (BSFL) are voracious eaters of a wide range of organic wastes, decomposing and returning nutrients to the soil. Additionally, BSFL is an alternative protein source for aquaculture, pet food, livestock feed, and human nutrition.
28 Feb 2021
Liquid–Liquid Phase Separation
Liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) is a thermodynamically-driven, reversible phenomenon consisting in de-mixing into two distinct liquid phases, with different solute concentrations.
29 Aug 2022
Participatory Forest Management
Participatory forest management has been considered as a practical and effective strategy for sustainable forest management, especially in situations where land tenure is not securely settled. For effective restoration projects, local communities, as the cornerstone of participatory management, should be provided with incentives to facilitate their participation and active role. We postulate that participation in mangrove restoration projects can not only provide financial rewards but also yield intangible benefits for communities, i.e., social capital upgraded. Our study with the case of coastal mangrove restoration in the Philippines concluded that local people’s participation is a viable option for natural resource management that can create benefits and favorable conditions to communities.
27 Oct 2020
Ivermectin as Broad-Spectrum Host-Directed Antiviral
The small molecule macrocyclic lactone ivermectin, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for parasitic infections, has received attention in the last eight years due to its exciting potential as an antiviral. It was identified in a high-throughput chemical screen as inhibiting recognition of the nuclear localizing Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1) integrase protein by the host heterodimeric importin (IMP) α/β1 complex, and has since been shown to bind directly to IMPα to induce conformational changes that prevent its normal function in mediating nuclear import of key viral and host proteins. Excitingly, cell culture experiments show robust antiviral action towards HIV-1, dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Chikungunya virus, Pseudorabies virus, adenovirus, and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Phase III human clinical trials have been completed for DENV, with >60 trials currently in progress worldwide for SARS-CoV-2.
30 Sep 2020
The reference to palm wine as a drink with many functionalities has increased over the years. However, few empirical tests have been carried out on humans to substantiate the claims. This perspective looks at the biochemical and microbiological reports on palm wine to highlight the constituents that are associated with functional beverages. Based on the constituents of the drink, it may qualify as a multifunctional beverage because several investigators have demonstrated disease risk reduction, improved nutrition and health outcomes in many studies, albeit in rats rather than humans. The constituents found in functional beverages are present in the drink. However, when assessed under European Union regulations, fermented palm wine (from 3% alcohol) cannot be regarded as a functional beverage because beverages that contain over 1.2% alcohol cannot be approved for any claim on health or nutritional benefit. The fresh sap with much lower alcohol may be suitable after it is refined and subjected to scientific examination to determine quantities of the drink that can confer health benefits on humans.
10 Aug 2021
Fungal Urinary Tract Infection
Fungal urinary tract infections (FUTI) are mainly caused by Candida species. The urine can be an important specimen for the diagnosis of this kind of clinical condition since both the presence of fungi can be identified by urine microscopy and by uroculture and the cells that promotes the immune response against this kind of infectious agent can also be observed. This entry will focus on information related to FUTI and the urinary findings that can be detected during routine urinalysis that can contribute to the identification of this clinical condition.
29 Mar 2021
We present an overview of the current state of knowledge on the SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to an overview of the epidemiological, clinical, and radiological features of SARS-CoV-2, we also summarize possible therapeutic options currently under investigation and the future outlook for the disease. Whereas the trials on SARS-CoV-2 genome-based specific vaccines and therapeutic antibodies are currently being tested, this solution is more long-term, as they require thorough testing of their safety. On the other hand, the repurposing of the existing therapeutic agents previously designed for other virus infections and pathologies happens to be the only practical approach as a rapid response measure to the emergent pandemic. The current pandemic emergency will be a trigger for more systematic drug repurposing design approaches based on big data analysis.
06 Feb 2022
Viroids: Definition and Features
Viroids are plant-restricted parasites that represent a remarkable model system to analyze many aspects of host-pathogen interactions at the genomic level. As the smallest known agents of infectious disease (247-401 nucleotides, nt), they have a highly structured, single-stranded circular naked and non-coding RNA genome. Although the list of known diseases caused by viroids and molecular characterization of the causative agents has expanded since they were discovered, their origin, evolution, and interaction with host genetic machinery to induce symptoms or escape the defensive system remain unclear.
01 Nov 2020
Essential Oil Prevents COVID-19
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV‑2), also known as coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), is a pandemic disease that has been declared as modern history’s gravest health emergency worldwide. Until now, no precise treatment modality has been developed. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, a host cell receptor, has been found to play a crucial role in virus cell entry; therefore, ACE2 blockers can be a potential target for anti-viral intervention. In this study, we evaluated the ACE2 inhibitory effects of 10 essential oils. Among them, geranium and lemon oils displayed significant ACE2 inhibitory effects in epithelial cells. In addition, immunoblotting and qPCR analysis also confirmed that geranium and lemon oils possess potent ACE2 inhibitory effects. Furthermore, the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis displayed 22 compounds in geranium oil and 9 compounds in lemon oil. Citronellol, geraniol, and neryl acetate were the major compounds of geranium oil and limonene that represented major compound of lemon oil. Next, we found that treatment with citronellol and limonene significantly downregulated ACE2 expression in epithelial cells. The results suggest that geranium and lemon essential oils and their derivative compounds are valuable natural anti-viral agents that may contribute to the prevention of the invasion of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 into the human body.
13 Feb 2021
Black ginseng is a processed ginseng which prepared by steaming and drying of white or red ginseng for several times (usually 9). This process resulting in extensive changes in types and amounts of several secondary metabolites. Thus, primary ginsenosides (the main active inredients in ginseng) were transformed into less polar derivatives by steaming. In addition, apparent changes happened to other secondary metabolites such as the increasing of phenolic compounds, reducing sugars and acidic polysaccharides as well as the decrease in concentrations of free amino acids and total polysaccharides. Furthermore, the presence of some Maillard reaction products like maltol was also engaged. These obvious chemical changes were associated with a noticeable superiority for black ginseng over white and red ginseng in most of the comparative biological studies including anticarcinogenic, immunomodulatory, anti-Inflammatory, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antioxidant and tonic effects.
30 Oct 2020
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