Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Let us support the Anti-Nuclear Tests Ban

Dr Abe V Rotor

9 August
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 

12 August
International Youth Day 

19 August
World Humanitarian Day 

23 August
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition [UNESCO]

29 August
International Day against Nuclear Tests 

30 August
International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances 

Simplest remedy for diarrhea.

 Dr Abe V Rotor

Diarrhea claims the lives of 3 million people, with nearly 2 million of them children under five years old. 

Yet a simple and inexpensive treatment can prevent many of those deaths. 

Here is a simple formula for oral rehydration: fistful of sugar + a pinch of salt + a jug of water.  

This old home remedy is now recognized by the World Health Organization which claims that it has saved some 40 million lives, and hopes to demote diarrhea as the second leading cause of death among children.
Acknowledgement: Internet photos

. Spider Gladiators

Dr Abe V Rotor  

  Spiders are by nature ferocious and they attack even their own kind. Why, we do not find spiders living in group. It is because they will always try to defend their niche and will resort to kill any intruder. Even in mating the male which is smaller may end up instead as a meal. It is for this trait that this sport takes advantage of. Curious kid as we were, we would conceal our spider gladiator in empty individual match boxes.

 The matchmaker arranges the duel between two similar species of the same size. The contest starts. Actually it is a game of death. Some people even bet to the point of gambling, especially for large spiders like the gagambang hari which measures up to 6 inches from tip of front leg to tip of the hind leg. 

Tarantulas, other than being rare, are docile and would rather try to scare off their enemies before considering any bloody confrontation. 

Our folks used to warn us, “Beware of the black widow spider!” We kids would hesitate to capture any unusual kind of a spider. The skull and crossbones insignia embosomed on the back of the black widow is still fresh in my mind. By the way, whatever kind of spider you find, take precaution; there are cases of allergy from spider bite and from inhaling hair dust specially during molting.

Tubang Bakod (Jatropha curcas) controls pest snail

Dr Abe V Rotor

Scientists Dr Domindo Tapiador of UN-FAO (left) and Dr AV Rotor examine Jatropa tree at the St Paul University Botanical Garden, QC. With them is Mr Dell H Grecia (center), veteran journalist and columnist of Women Journal.

The leaf extract of tubang bakod (Jatropha curcas) found growing wild on wastelands is effective in controlling golden or apple snail, Pomacea caniculata.

Ingestion of the bait prepared with one part of the crude extract with 10 parts rice bran (darak) resulted in sure death of the pest in both its immature and adult stages, thus preventing the pest from further destroying standing rice crop or spreading to nearby fields.

It will be recalled that the golden snail was introduced into the country in the seventies as supplemental food, but later turned maverick, and is now in the rank of pest, which includes stemborers and leafhoppers that attack rice and other crops.

The finding is traced to a thesis defended by Marie Shiela Alberto for a BS Biology degree at then St Paul College QC. Dr Anselmo S Cabigan, a well known biologist, and former director for research of the National Food Authority was the adviser.

Dr Cabigan emphasized the safe nature of botanical pesticides which are readily biodegradable, besides being practical in field application. Today some 2 million hectares of ricefields which harbor this pest stand to benefit from the result of this study.

Schistizomiasis Control

Jatropha curcas
was also found effective in controlling the snail vector (Oncomelana quadrasi) of Schistozomiasis, a dreaded parasite that affects humans in tropical countries, the Philippines among the most affected. I had a chance to work in a project to drain and farm the fringes of the huge Sab-A Basin in Leyte. Various methods of controlling Schistozomiasis was conducted in consultation with the local Schistozomiasis Control Center headed by a certain Dr Blas. The vastness of the swamp needed a more extensive study to eradicate the snail and consequently the disease.

Direct Control Method

Here is a practical method I learned from farmers. Plant Jatropha on the high levees where it can grow into a small tree. Prune periodically the growing rice crop. Chopped and spread on the flooded field. Apply once or twice, on the early and late growing period of the crop. The biomass when decomposed will also serve as organic fertilizer.

NOTE: The plan to produce biofuel from Jatropha opens a potential source of natural pesticide. The active principle, although biodagradable, may be poisonous to other organisms, including fish, amphibians, beneficial insects, and the like. Toxicology studies should emphasize safety to humans and the environment as well.~