Health (main)

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From the physical and social well-being of an individual to the functioning of an ecosystem, health has many different meanings and applications. More than just the absence of disease, health implies a state of well-being. Ever since the origin of life, physical, chemical and biological factors have impacted the health or biological status of living things. And in response life has evolved immune systems, detoxification systems and redundancies to stave off infection, disease, and toxicity. As the world becomes more interconnected, and industrialized, diseases never seen in one part of the globe now threaten to devastate human, wildlife and plant populations, while industrial chemicals now contaminate life in the most remote regions. Maintaining health, whether ecosystem, human or microbial arguably presents one of the greatest challenges of the day.

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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Hand, foot, and mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), a disease of cattle, sheep, and swine. The two diseases are... More »

DNA (Health) Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a long chain organic molecule that contains the coding for all metabolic and reproductive processes of all living organisms, save for certain... More »

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DDT (Health) DDT is the abbreviation for the chemical 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis-(p-chlorophenyl) ethane. DDT is used as... More »

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Bed Bug Information While bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, their presence is unwelcome and has presented difficult challenges and distress to many people. Experts suspect the... More »

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Farming and Movement Evaluation Study The Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME) Study examines the relationship between Parkinson's Disease and exposure to pesticides and other neurotoxicants. The study also... More »

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West Nile Virus Since 1999, more than 30,000 people in the United States have been reported as getting sick with West Nile virus. Infected mosquitoes spread West Nile virus (WNV) that can... More »

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Estimation of adult human biomass The energy requirement of species at each trophic level is a function of the number of organisms and their average mass. The study estimates global human biomass, its... More »

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NIEHS Strategic Planning: Progress The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has initiated a Strategic Planning process to set the institute's scientific and governance direction for the next... More »

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Tetrodotoxin (Health) Tetrodotoxin (abbreviated as TTX)is a powerful neurotoxin found in a variety of animals and is responsible for upwards of 50 human fatalities a year. Captain James Cook... More »

The Role of Botanic Gardens in Conservation of Medicinal Plant Species: A Case Study of Entebbe Bontanic Gardens A botanic garden is an institution holding documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education. A botanic garden has been defined as a garden containing scientifically ordered and maintained collections of plants, usually documented and labeled, and open to the public for the purposes of recreation, education and research. Medicinal plant species are those that provide people with medicines to prevent diseases, maintain health or cure ailment. Therefore medicinal plants are important in the well being of people yet most people are not aware about these species or their medicinal value. Examples of these plants include Aloe vera, Hydnocarpus kurzii, Azadirachta indica and many others. Medicinal plant species are of great value to mankind and other animals but not much emphasis is laid on their conservation especially... More »

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Fenugreek (Health) Fenugreek Seedlings (Source: Saikat Basu, own work) Scientific Classification Kingdom: Plantae Phylum: Anthophyta Class: Dicotyledoneae Order: Fabales Family: Fabaceae Genus: Trigonella Species: Trigonella foenum-graecum Binomial name: Trigonella foenum-graecum L. Fenugreek (Trigonella) is the oldest medicinal plant in the world. Most popular species of this genus isTrigonella foenum-graecum, wherethe term “foenum-graecum” means ‘Greek hay’ pointing to its use as a forage crop in the past, fenugreek is grown mainly as a spice crop in the recent times. The plant is believed to be native to the Mediterranean region1-6. There are several controversies regarding the origin of the fenugreek plant for which no proper theory as to the... More »

Influenza Virus (Health) Though the influenza virus has been killing humans for thousands of years, the virus itself was not discovered until the 1930s. Without the knowledge about the origin and transmission of this disease, the 1918 Spanish flu had a terrible impact, infecting about 30%,and killing about 3%, of the world’s population. To develop vaccines and drugs against viruses, researchers target specific viral components involved in viral entry and viral budding. But with their high mutation rates and ability to evolve rapidly, viruses have the upper hand in the co-evolutionary race against humans. If the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak is any indication, the next global pandemic (disease spread over a large region) is on its way, and the worst may be yet to come. The question asked every year then, by experts and the common person alike, is when will it strike and... More »