The prevalence of atherosclerotic complications (myocardial infarction, stroke, and sudden death) is increased in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, especially in haemodialysis patients. Increasing evidence suggests that both in general population and in dialysis patients, systemic inflammation plays a dominant role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic complications. In general population, also, evidence shows that moderate to severe periodontitis can contribute to inflammatory burden by increasing serum CRP levels and may increase the prevalence of atherosclerotic events. Moreover, the results of some new interventional studies reveal that effective phase I periodontal therapy may decrease serum CRP levels, the most important acute phase protein, monitored as a systemic marker of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction as well, used as an initial predictor of atherosclerotic events. Considering that moderate to severe periodontal diseases have a higher prevalence in CKD and in dialysis population and that periodontal examination is not part of the standard medical assessment, destructive periodontitis might be an ignored source of systemic inflammation in end-stage renal disease patients and may add to the chronic inflammatory status in CKD.
Diet is an important variable in the course of type 2 diabetes, which has generated interest in dietary options like germinated brown rice (GBR) for effective management of the disease among rice-consuming populations. In vitro data and animal experiments show that GBR has potentials as a functional diet for managing this disease, and short-term clinical studies indicate encouraging results. Mechanisms for antidiabetic effects of GBR due to bioactive compounds like γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), γ-oryzanol, dietary fibre, phenolics, vitamins, acylated steryl β-glucoside, and minerals include antihyperglycemia, low insulin index, antioxidative effect, antithrombosis, antihypertensive effect, hypocholesterolemia, and neuroprotective effects. The evidence so far suggests that there may be enormous benefits for diabetics in rice-consuming populations if white rice is replaced with GBR. However, long-term clinical studies are still needed to verify these findings on antidiabetic effects of GBR. Thus, we present a review on the antidiabetic properties of GBR from relevant preclinical and clinical studies, in order to provide detailed information on this subject for researchers to review the potential of GBR in combating this disease.
The endothelium plays a critical role in the maintenance of cardiovascular health by producing nitric oxide and other vasoactive materials. Aging is associated with a gradual decline in this functional aspect of endothelial regulation of cardiovascular homeostasis. Indeed, age is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and is in part an important factor in the increased exponential mortality rates from vascular disease such as myocardial infarction and stroke that occurs in the ageing population. There are a number of mechanisms suggested to explain age-related endothelial dysfunction. However, recent scientific studies have advanced the notion of oxidative stress and inflammation as the two major risk factors underlying aging and age-related diseases. Regular physical activity, known to have a favorable effect on cardiovascular health, can also improve the function of the ageing endothelium by modulating oxidative stress and inflammatory processes, as we discuss in this paper.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) are common and rare diseases, respectively. They associate myeloid cell recruitment and survival in inflammatory conditions with tissue destruction and bone resorption. Manipulating dendritic cell (DC), and, especially, regulating their half-life and fusion, is a challenge. Indeed, these myeloid cells display pathogenic roles in both diseases and may be an important source of precursors for differentiation of osteoclasts, the bone-resorbing multinucleated giant cells. We have recently documented that the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17A regulates long-term survival of DC by inducing BCL2A1 expression, in addition to the constitutive MCL1 expression. We summarize bibliography of the BCL2 family members and their therapeutic targeting, with a special emphasis on MCL1 and BCL2A1, discussing their potential impact on RA and LCH. Our recent knowledge in the survival pathway, which is activated to perform DC fusion in the presence of IL-17A, suggests that targeting MCL1 and BCL2A1 in infiltrating DC may affect the clinical outcomes in RA and LCH. The development of new therapies, interfering with MCL1 and BCL2A1 expression, to target long-term surviving inflammatory DC should be translated into preclinical studies with the aim to increase the well-being of patients with RA and LCH.
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) denotes a wide spectrum of conditions ranging from subtle acetabular dysplasia to irreducible hip dislocations. Clinical diagnostic tests complement ultrasound imaging in allowing diagnosis, classification and monitoring of this condition. Classification systems relate to the alpha and beta angles in addition to the dynamic coverage index (DCI). Screening programmes for DDH show considerable geographic variation; certain risk factors have been identified which necessitate ultrasound assessment of the newborn. The treatment of DDH has undergone significant evolution, but the current gold standard is still the Pavlik harness. Duration of Pavlik harness treatment has been reported to range from 3 to 9.3 mo. The beta angle, DCI and the superior/lateral femoral head displacement can be assessed via ultrasound to estimate the likelihood of success. Success rates of between 7% and 99% have been reported when using the harness to treat DDH. Avascular necrosis remains the most devastating complication of harness usage with a reported rate of between 0% and 28%. Alternative non-surgical treatment methods used for DDH include devices proposed by LeDamany, Frejka, Lorenz and Ortolani. The Rosen splint and Wagner stocking have also been used for DDH treatment. Surgical treatment for DDH comprises open reduction alongside a combination of femoral or pelvic osteotomies. Femoral osteotomies are carried out in cases of excessive anteversion or valgus deformity of the femoral neck. The two principal pelvic osteotomies most commonly performed are the Salter osteotomy and Pemberton acetabuloplasty. Serious surgical complications include epiphyseal damage, sciatic nerve damage and femoral neck fracture.
Developmental dysplasia of the hip; Congenital; Pavlik harness; Ultrasound screening; Pelvic osteotomy
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as glucose intolerance first diagnosed during pregnancy. This condition shares same array of underlying abnormalities as occurs in diabetes outside of pregnancy, for example, genetic and environmental causes. However, the role of a sedentary lifestyle and/or excess energy intake is more prominent in GDM. Physically active women are less likely to develop GDM and other pregnancy-related diseases. Weight gain in pregnancy causes increased release of adipokines from adipose tissue; many adipokines increase oxidative stress and insulin resistance. Increased intramyocellular lipids also increase cellular oxidative stress with subsequent generation of reactive oxygen species. A well-planned program of exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle and, in spite of old myths, is also recommended during pregnancy. This paper briefly reviews the role of adipokines in gestational diabetes and attempts to shed some light on the mechanisms by which exercise can be beneficial as an adjuvant therapy in GDM. In this regard, we discuss the mechanisms by which exercise increases insulin sensitivity, changes adipokine profile levels, and boosts antioxidant mechanisms.
This review aims to provide an insight into human learning processes by examining the role of cognitive and emotional unconscious processing in mentally integrating visual and verbal instructional materials. Reviewed literature shows that conscious mental integration does not happen all the time, nor does it necessarily result in optimal learning. Students of all ages and levels of experience cannot always have conscious awareness, control, and the intention to learn or promptly and continually organize perceptual, cognitive, and emotional processes of learning. This review suggests considering the role of unconscious learning processes to enhance the understanding of how students form or activate mental associations between verbal and pictorial information. The understanding would assist in presenting students with spatially-integrated verbal and pictorial instructional materials as a way of facilitating mental integration and improving teaching and learning performance.
Learning processes; Conscious processes; Unconscious processes; Mental representation; Instructional material; Working memory; Emotion; Motivation
Telepointer is a powerful tool in the telemedicine system that enhances the effectiveness of long-distance communication. Telepointer has been tested in telemedicine, and has potential to a big influence in improving quality of health care, especially in the rural area. A telepointer system works by sending additional information in the form of gesture that can convey more accurate instruction or information. It leads to more effective communication, precise diagnosis, and better decision by means of discussion and consultation between the expert and the junior clinicians. However, there is no review paper yet on the state of the art of the telepointer in telemedicine. This paper is intended to give the readers an overview of recent advancement of telepointer technology as a support tool in telemedicine. There are four most popular modes of telepointer system, namely cursor, hand, laser and sketching pointer. The result shows that telepointer technology has a huge potential for wider acceptance in real life applications, there are needs for more improvement in the real time positioning accuracy. More results from actual test (real patient) need to be reported. We believe that by addressing these two issues, telepointer technology will be embraced widely by researchers and practitioners.
Telepointer; Telemedicine; Cursor pointer; Hand pointer; Laser pointer; Sketching pointer
The fight against diseases spread by mosquitoes and other insects has enormous environmental, economic and social consequences. Chemical insecticides remain the first line of defence but the control of diseases, especially malaria and dengue fever, is being increasingly undermined by insecticide resistance. Mosquitoes have a large repertoire of P450s (over 100 genes). By pinpointing the key enzymes associated with insecticide resistance we can begin to develop new tools to aid the implementation of control interventions and reduce their environmental impact on Earth. Recent technological advances are helping us to build a functional profile of the P450 determinants of insecticide metabolic resistance in mosquitoes. Alongside, the cross-responses of mosquito P450s to insecticides and pollutants are also being investigated. Such research will provide the means to produce diagnostic tools for early detection of P450s linked to resistance. It will also enable the design of new insecticides with optimized efficacy in different environments.
mosquito; malaria; dengue; pyrethroids; oxidases; detoxification
Aromatic compounds (biogenic and anthropogenic) are abundant in the biosphere. Some of them are well-known environmental pollutants. Although the aromatic nucleus is relatively recalcitrant, microorganisms have developed various catabolic routes that enable complete biodegradation of aromatic compounds. The adopted degradation pathways depend on the availability of oxygen. Under oxic conditions, microorganisms utilize oxygen as a cosubstrate to activate and cleave the aromatic ring. In contrast, under anoxic conditions, the aromatic compounds are transformed to coenzyme A (CoA) thioesters followed by energy-consuming reduction of the ring. Eventually, the dearomatized ring is opened via a hydrolytic mechanism. Recently, novel catabolic pathways for the aerobic degradation of aromatic compounds were elucidated that differ significantly from the established catabolic routes. The new pathways were investigated in detail for the aerobic bacterial degradation of benzoate and phenylacetate. In both cases, the pathway is initiated by transforming the substrate to a CoA thioester and all the intermediates are bound by CoA. The subsequent reactions involve epoxidation of the aromatic ring followed by hydrolytic ring cleavage. Here we discuss the novel pathways, with a particular focus on their unique features and occurrence as well as ecological significance.
Burn injuries in low and middle income countries still remain a significant health problem, even though numbers of burn injuries in high income countries have decreased showing that such events are not “accidents” but are usually preventable. WHO states that the vast majority (over 95%) of fire-related burns occur in low and middle income countries. Burn injuries are a major cause of prolonged hospital stays, disfigurement, disability, and death in Africa Region. Evidence shows that prevention strategies can work. However prevention strategies need to be tailored to the specific environment taking into account local risk factors and available resources. An examination of the patterns and causes of burns should allow site specific recommendations for interventions. This literature review, specific to the United Republic of Tanzania, was conducted by researching PubMed, SafetyLit, and African Journals on Line data bases for primary sources using key words plus . Two sets of student data collected as part of Bachelor’s degree final dissertations at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences were used. In all, twenty two primary sources were found. Risk factors for burn morbidity in Tanzania are: 1/ a young age, especially years 1-3, 2/ home environment, especially around cooking fires, 3/ epilepsy, during seizures, and 4/ perceived inevitability of the incident. It was expected that ground level cooking fires would be found to be a risk factor, but several studies have shown non-significant results about raised cooking fires, types of fuel used, and cooking appliances. Risk factors for burn mortality are: being male, between 20-30 years of age, and being punished for alleged thieving by community mobs. An important factor in reducing burn morbidity, especially in children, is to educate people that burns are preventable in most cases and that most burns occur in the home around cooking fires. Children need to be kept away from fires. Epileptics should be monitored for medication and kept away from cooking fires as well. Community members need to be encouraged to bring wrong doers to the police.
Burn injury; burn mortality; burn morbidity; Africa; Tanzania
Rice is semi-aquatic, adapted to a wide range of hydrologies, from aerobic soils in uplands to anaerobic and flooded fields in waterlogged lowlands, to even deeply submerged soils in flood-prone areas. Considerable diversity is present in native rice landraces selected by farmers over centuries. Our understanding of the adaptive features of these landraces to native ecosystems has improved considerably over the recent past. In some cases, major genes associated with tolerance have been cloned, such as SUB1A that confers tolerance of complete submergence and SNORKEL genes that control plant elongation to escape deepwater. Modern rice varieties are sensitive to flooding during germination and early growth, a problem commonly encountered in rainfed areas, but few landraces capable of germination under these conditions have recently been identified, enabling research into tolerance mechanisms. Major QTLs were also identified, and are being targeted for molecular breeding and for cloning. Nevertheless, limited progress has been made in identifying regulatory processes for traits that are unique to tolerant genotypes, including faster germination and coleoptile elongation, formation of roots and leaves under hypoxia, ability to catabolize starch into simple sugars for subsequent use in glycolysis and fermentative pathways to generate energy. Here we discuss the state of knowledge on the role of the PDC-ALDH-ACS bypass and the ALDH enzyme as the likely candidates effective in tolerant rice genotypes. Potential involvement of factors such as cytoplasmic pH regulation, phytohormones, reactive oxygen species scavenging and other metabolites is also discussed. Further characterization of contrasting genotypes would help in elucidating the genetic and biochemical regulatory and signaling mechanisms associated with tolerance. This could facilitate breeding rice varieties suitable for direct seeding systems and guide efforts for improving waterlogging tolerance in other crops.
anaerobic germination; alcoholic fermentation; ALDH; pyruvate dehydrogenase bypass; hypoxia; direct seeding; flooding; submergence tolerance
Submergence or flood is one of the major harmful abiotic stresses in the low-lying countries and crop losses due to waterlogging are considerably high. Plant breeding techniques, conventional or genetic engineering, might be an effective and economic way of developing crops to grow successfully in waterlogged condition. Marker assisted selection (MAS) is a new and more effective approach which can identify genomic regions of crops under stress, which could not be done previously. The discovery of comprehensive molecular linkage maps enables us to do the pyramiding of desirable traits to improve in submergence tolerance through MAS. However, because of genetic and environmental interaction, too many genes encoding a trait, and using undesirable populations the mapping of QTL was hampered to ensure proper growth and yield under waterlogged conditions Steady advances in the field of genomics and proteomics over the years will be helpful to increase the breeding programs which will help to accomplish a significant progress in the field crop variety development and also improvement in near future. Waterlogging response of soybean and major cereal crops, as rice, wheat, barley, and maize and discovery of QTL related with tolerance of waterlogging, development of resistant variety, and, in addition, future prospects have also been discussed.
The yeasts constitute a large and heterogeneous group of microorganisms that are currently attracting increased attention from scientists and industry. Numerous and diverse biological activities make them promising candidates for a wide range of applications not limited to the food sector. In addition to their major contribution to flavor development in fermented foods, their antagonistic activities toward undesirable bacteria, and fungi are now widely known. These activities are associated with their competitiveness for nutrients, acidification of their growth medium, their tolerance of high concentrations of ethanol, and release of antimicrobial compounds such as antifungal killer toxins or “mycocins” and antibacterial compounds. While the design of foods containing probiotics (microorganisms that confer health benefits) has focused primarily on Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii has long been known effective for treating gastroenteritis. In this review, the antimicrobial activities of yeasts are examined. Mechanisms underlying this antagonistic activity as well as recent applications of these biologically active yeasts in both the medical and veterinary sectors are described.
yeasts; antagonistic activities; probiotic; killer toxin; mycocin; veterinary; medical
Gastric cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths. Despite complete resection of gastric cancer and lymph node dissection, as well as improvements in chemotherapy and radiotherapy, there are still 700 000 gastric cancer-related deaths per year worldwide and more than 80% of patients with advanced gastric cancer die of the disease or recurrent disease within 1 year after diagnosis. None of the treatment modalities we have been applying today can influence the overall survival rates: at present, the overall 5-year relative survival rate for gastric cancer is about 28%. Cellular metaplasia due to chronic inflammation, injury and repair are the most documented processes for neoplasia. It appears that chronic inflammation stimulates tumor development and plays a critical role in initiating, sustaining and advancing tumor growth. It is also evident that not all inflammation is tumorigenic. Additional mutations can be acquired, and this leads to the cancer cell gaining a further growth advantage and acquiring a more malignant phenotype. Intestinalization of gastric units, which is called “intestinal metaplasia”; phenotypic antralization of fundic units, which is called “spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia”; and the development directly from the stem/progenitor cell zone are three pathways that have been described for gastric carcinogenesis. Also, an important factor for the development of gastrointestinal cancers is peritumoral stroma. However, the initiating cellular event in gastric metaplasia is still controversial. Understanding gastric carcinogenesis and its precursor lesions has been under intense investigation, and our paper attempts to highlight recent progress in this field of cancer research.
Gastric Cancer; Cancer Stem Cell; Carcinogenesis; Oncogenesis; Tumorigenesis
The global epidemic of diabetes has not spared the Arabic-speaking countries, which have some of the highest prevalence of type II diabetes. This is particularly true of the Arab Gulf, a conglomerate of high income, oil-producing countries where prevalence rates are the highest. The prevalence rates among adults of the Arabic speaking countries as a whole range between 4%–21%, with the lowest being in Somalia and the highest in Kuwait. As economic growth has accelerated, so has the movement of the populations to urban centers where people are more likely to adopt lifestyles that embrace increased high-calorie food consumption and sedentary lifestyles. These factors likely contribute to the increased prevalence of obesity and diabetes in the Arabic speaking countries.
The metabolic syndrome is a clustering of obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension that is occurring in increasing frequency across the global population. Although there is some controversy about its diagnostic criteria, oxidative stress, which is defined as imbalance between the production and inactivation of reactive oxygen species, has a major pathophysiological role in all the components of this disease. Oxidative stress and consequent inflammation induce insulin resistance, which likely links the various components of this disease. We briefly review the role of oxidative stress as a major component of the metabolic syndrome and then discuss the impact of exercise on these pathophysiological pathways. Included in this paper is the effect of exercise in reducing fat-induced inflammation, blood pressure, and improving muscular metabolism.
Cancer is a multifaceted molecular disorder that is modulated by a combination of genetic, metabolic and signal transduction aberrations, which severely impair the normal homeostasis of cell growth and death. Accumulating findings highlight the fact that different genetic alterations, such as mutations in tumor suppressor genes, might be related to distinct and differential sensitivity to targeted therapies. It is becoming increasingly apparent that a multipronged approach that addresses genetic milieu (alterations in upstream and/or parallel pathways) eventually determines the response of individual tumors to therapy. Cancerous cells often acquire the ability to evade death by attenuating cell death pathways that normally function to eliminate damaged and harmful cells. Therefore impaired cell death nanomachinery and withdrawal of death receptors from cell surface are some of major determinants for the development of chemotherapeutic resistance encountered during treatment. It is therefore essential to emphasize underlying factors which predispose cells to refractoriness against TRAIL mediated cell death pathway and the relevant regulatory components involved. We bring to limelight the strategies to re-sensitize TRAIL resistant cells via vitamins to induce apoptosis.
There are alarming increases in the incidence of obesity, insulin resistance, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The risk of these diseases is significantly reduced by appropriate lifestyle modifications such as increased physical activity. However, the exact mechanisms by which exercise influences the development and progression of cardiovascular disease are unclear. In this paper we review some important exercise-induced changes in cardiac, vascular, and blood tissues and discuss recent clinical trials related to the benefits of exercise. We also discuss the roles of boosting antioxidant levels, consequences of epicardial fat reduction, increases in expression of heat shock proteins and endoplasmic reticulum stress proteins, mitochondrial adaptation, and the role of sarcolemmal and mitochondrial potassium channels in the contributing to the cardioprotection offered by exercise. In terms of vascular benefits, the main effects discussed are changes in exercise-induced vascular remodeling and endothelial function. Exercise-induced fibrinolytic and rheological changes also underlie the hematological benefits of exercise.
Obesity and obesity-related complications are on the increase both in the developed and developing world. Since existing pharmaceuticals fail to come up with long-term solutions to address this issue, there is an ever-pressing need to find and develop new drugs and alternatives. Natural products, particularly medicinal plants, are believed to harbor potential antiobesity agents that can act through various mechanisms either by preventing weight gain or promoting weight loss amongst others. The inhibition of key lipid and carbohydrate hydrolyzing and metabolizing enzymes, disruption of adipogenesis, and modulation of its factors or appetite suppression are some of the plethora of targeted approaches to probe the antiobesity potential of medicinal plants. A new technology such as metabolomics, which deals with the study of the whole metabolome, has been identified to be a promising technique to probe the progression of diseases, elucidate their pathologies, and assess the effects of natural health products on certain pathological conditions. This has been applied to drug research, bone health, and to a limited extent to obesity research. This paper thus endeavors to give an overview of those plants, which have been reported to have antiobesity effects and highlight the potential and relevance of metabolomics in obesity research.
Oxalate is a common component of many foods of plant origin, including nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, and is typically present as a salt of oxalic acid. Because virtually all absorbed oxalic acid is excreted in the urine and hyperoxaluria is known to be a considerable risk factor for urolithiasis, it is important to understand the factors that have the potential to alter the efficiency of oxalate absorption. Oxalate bioavailability, a term that has been used to refer to that portion of food-derived oxalate that is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), is estimated to range from 2 to 15% for different foods. Oxalate bioavailability appears to be decreased by concomitant food ingestion due to interactions between oxalate and coingested food components that likely result in less oxalic acid remaining in a soluble form. There is a lack of consensus in the literature as to whether efficiency of oxalate absorption is dependent on the proportion of total dietary oxalate that is in a soluble form. However, studies that directly compared foods of varying soluble oxalate contents have generally supported the proposition that the amount of soluble oxalate in food is an important determinant of oxalate bioavailability. Oxalate degradation by oxalate-degrading bacteria within the GIT is another key factor that could affect oxalate absorption and degree of oxaluria. Studies that have assessed the efficacy of oral ingestion of probiotics that provide bacteria with oxalate-degrading capacity have led to promising but generally mixed results, and this remains a fertile area for future studies.
Humoral memory is maintained by two types of persistent cells, memory B cells and plasma cells, which have different phenotypes and functions. Long-lived plasma cells can survive for a lifespan within a complex niche in the bone marrow and provide continuous protective serum antibody levels. Memory B cells reside in secondary lymphoid organs, where they can be rapidly mobilized upon a new antigenic encounter. Surface IgG has long been taken as a surrogate marker for memory in the mouse. Recently, however, we have brought evidence for a long-lived IgM memory B cell population in the mouse, while we have also argued that, in humans, these same cells are not classical memory B cells but marginal zone (MZ) B cells which, as opposed to their mouse MZ counterpart, recirculate and carry a mutated B cell receptor. In this review, we will discuss these apparently paradoxical results.
B cell memory; Somatic hypermutation; AICDA; Marginal zone B cells
The genomes of multicellular organisms are under constant assault from a host of environmental agents. The efficient elimination of cells harboring damage is essential to avoid the accumulation of deleterious changes that may promote tumorigenesis. Consequently, a complex and elaborate series of damage responses have evolved to either ensure that correct repair of the DNA has been carried out, or alternatively, to initiate programmes that result in the ablation of the damaged cell. Apoptosis is recognized as both a fast an efficient way of disposing of damaged or unwanted cells before they accumulate changes that may result in the acquisition of neoplastic autonomy. The mitochondrial apoptotic pathway relies upon two effector proteins of the Bcl2 family, Bax and Bak, that when activated form pores in the outer mitochondrial membrane that release cytochrome c and other apoptogenic factors. We have recently shown that the initiation of Bak activation is controlled by dephosphorylation. In particular, we found that a specific tyrosine dephosphorylation was required for Bak activation to proceed and that tyrosine phosphatases may serve to integrate apoptotic signals that culminate in Bak dephosphorylation. Here, we discuss these findings and present additional data underlining the importance of dephosphorylation in the Bak activation process and how the modulation of Bak phosphorylation status may be modified to enhance cell killing.
apoptosis; mitochondria; phosphatase; BH3; p53; Bak; signaling; phosphorylation
Direct seeding is replacing transplanting in rice. Early flooding suppresses weeds but selective action is compromised by the sharing of flood-tolerance traits. Understanding adaptive traits in both species is therefore a prerequisite for developing direct seeding systems that control weeds while leaving rice seedlings relatively unharmed.
Background and aims
Direct seeding of rice is being adopted in rainfed and irrigated lowland ecosystems because it reduces labour costs in addition to other benefits. However, early flooding due to uneven fields or rainfall slows down seed germination and hinders crop establishment. Conversely, early flooding helps suppress weeds and reduces the costs of manual weeding and/or dependence on herbicides; however, numerous weed species are adapted to lowlands and present challenges for the use of flooding to control weeds. Advancing knowledge on the mechanisms of tolerance of flooding during germination and early growth in rice and weeds could facilitate the development of improved rice varieties and effective weed management practices for direct-seeded rice.
Rice genotypes with a greater ability to germinate and establish in flooded soils were identified, providing opportunities to develop varieties suitable for direct seeding in flooded soils. Tolerance of flooding in these genotypes was mostly attributed to traits associated with better ability to mobilize stored carbohydrates and anaerobic metabolism. Limited studies were undertaken in weeds associated with lowland rice systems. Remaining studies compared rice and weeds and related weed species such as Echinochloa crus-galli and E. colona or compared ecotypes of the same species of Cyperus rotundus adapted to either aerobic or flooded soils.
Tolerant weeds and rice genotypes mostly developed similar adaptive traits that allow them to establish in flooded fields, including the ability to germinate and elongate faster under hypoxia, mobilize stored starch reserves and generate energy through fermentation pathways. Remarkably, some weeds developed additional traits such as larger storage tubers that enlarge further in deeper flooded soils (C. rotundus). Unravelling the mechanisms involved in adaptation to flooding will help design management options that will allow tolerant rice genotypes to adequately establish in flooded soils while simultaneously suppressing weeds.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions throughout the globe, and this has also impacted people of the Arabic-speaking countries, especially those in higher-income, oil-producing countries. The prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents ranges from 5% to 14% in males and from 3% to 18% in females. There is a significant increase in the incidence of obesity with a prevalence of 2%–55% in adult females and 1%–30% in adult males. Changes in food consumption, socioeconomic and demographic factors, physical activity, and multiple pregnancies may be important factors that contribute to the increased prevalence of obesity engulfing the Arabic-speaking countries.