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Environmental Biotechnology

Environmental biotechnology includes any process using biological systems (plants, microorganisms, and enzymes) to clean up and detoxify environmental contamination from hazardous and nonhazardous waste. Bioengineering, bioremediation, and biotechnologi-cal pollution control are similar terms for the same idea using naturally occurring plants, microorganisms, enzymes, and genetically engineered variants to clean up toxic wastes. Environmental biotechnology is becoming increasingly popular in waste treatment and remediation because it has several desirable characteristics. It is a green technology It uses natural systems and naturally occurring organisms to detoxify environmental pollutants. It is not a particularly new, therefore uncertain, technology, so there are few unintended consequences of its use.

Mechanisms for Exploiting Variable Resources

In a classic paper that stimulated much subsequent research on factors affecting herbivory, Hairston et al. (1960) argued that herbivore populations are not limited by food supply because vegetation is normally abundant, and herbivores, when numerous, are able to deplete plant resources. We now know, as described in the preceding text, that plant resources are not equally suitable or acceptable and that herbivore populations often are limited by availability of suitable food. Herbivore populations are regulated by a combination of factors, as discussed in Chapter 6, including dietary toxins. At the same time, insects are capable of feeding on defended hosts. Feeding preferences reflect one mechanism for avoiding defenses. However, insects exhibit a variety of mechanisms for detoxifying, avoiding, or circumventing host defenses. Herbivorous insects produce a variety of catalytic enzymes, in particular those associated with cytochrome P-450, to detoxify plant or prey defenses...

Resource Acceptability

Resource quality, as described in the preceding text, represents the net nutritional value of the resource as determined by the nutrients available to the insect less the energy and resources needed to detoxify or avoid defenses. Just as production of defensive compounds is expensive for the host in terms of energy and resources, production of detoxification enzymes or development of avoidance mechanisms is expensive in terms of energy, resources, time searching, and exposure to predators. Some of the nutrients in the food must be allocated to production of detoxification enzymes or to energy expended in searching for more suitable food. Although diversion of dietary N to production of detoxification enzymes should be reduced if N is limiting, Lindroth et al. (1991) found little change in detoxification enzyme activity in response to nutrient deficiencies in gypsy moth larvae. However, defenses can have beneficial side effects for the consumer. M. Hunter and Schultz (1993) reported...

Foraging Strategies

Foraging theory focuses on optimization of diet, risk, and foraging efficiency (Kamil et al. 1987, Schultz 1983, Stephens and Krebs 1986, Townsend and Hughes 1981). Profitable resources provide a gain to the consumer, but nonnu-tritive or toxic resources represent a cost in terms of time, energy, or nutrient resources expended in detoxification or continued search. Continued search also increases exposure to predators or other mortality agents. Sublethal doses of defensive chemicals reduce nutritional value of the resource, so they should be avoided when resources are abundant but they may be eaten when more profitable resources are unavailable or not apparent (Courtney 1985, 1986). Consumers should maximize foraging efficiency by focusing on patches with high profitability (and ignore low-profitability patches) until their resource value declines below the average for the landscape matrix. Orientation toward cues indicating suitable resources improves the efficiency of food...

Complement and Ocular Diseases

Other risk factors for the development of AMD include family history and smoking. Single nucleotide polymorphism variants of the genes for factors H and B, as well as LOC387715 24 , are associated with a 10.3-fold increased risk for the development of subretinal neovascularization in individuals with a sibling with exudative AMD. A positive family history also carries an important risk factor for non-exudative AMD. For example, the odds of developing RPE atrophy increases 8.2 times with a positive history in a sibling 25 . Smoking may effect the incidence of AMD via a reduction in macular carotenoids 26 , adverse effects on RPE drug detoxification mechanisms, or a decrease in choroidal blood flow and antioxidant levels 27, 28 .

Preformed Defenses Involved In Nonhost Resistance

Enzymes That Detoxify Pathogen Toxins The successful pathogenicity of a number of bacterial and fungal pathogens depends, in part, on the killing the plant tissue with toxins. There are at least two known examples in which the nonhost resistance of plants to toxin-producing fungi seems associated with the ability of the plant species to detoxify the toxin enzymati-cally. Cereals other than maize have been suggested to owe part of their resistance to a corn pathogen to the presence of a toxin-detoxifying enzyme (30), and resistance of a white mustard to a pathogen of rapeseed has similarly been associated with the rapid metabolism of the toxin to a less toxic product (31). However, insensitivity to microbial toxins cannot account for all examples of nonhost resistance to toxin-producing pathogens, as there are examples of nonhost species that are sensitive to fungal toxins but are still nonhosts to the pathogens that produces them (32)

Sexually Transmitted Ectoparasitic Infections

There are two major forms of resistance reported against insecticides target-site resistance (insecticide no longer binds to target) and detoxification enzyme-based resistance which occurs when enhanced levels or modified activities of esterases, oxidases, or glutathione-S-transferases prevent the insecticide from reaching its site of action (69). Pyrethroid (permethrin) resistance appears to be emerging in the form of target-site resistance known as a knockdown resistance gene (Mr). The kdr appears to be unaffected regardless of the concentration of permethrin (68). Lindane resistance in scabies has been reported in the United States and lindane resistance is reported as commonplace in Peru (68). If a patient is not cured after a second treatment with a product, then treatment should be changed to a drug with a different active ingredient in case the organism is resistant.

Results and open questions

Sulfide is known to inhibit a variety of enzymes and proteins involved in the aerobic respiration processes (Visman 1991). Adaptation to sulfide has been demonstrated for a variety of vent organisms (Powell et al. 1987). Sulfide binding by haemoglobin is a prerequisite for Riftia pachyptila to transfer large amounts of sulfide to its sulfide-oxidizing symbionts, while preventing its deleterious effects (Childress and Fisher 1992). Sulfide binding properties of haemoglobin have also been suggested as the most important detoxification mechanism in the non-endosymbiotic alvinellid, Paravinella sulfincola (Martineu et al. 1997). Comparatively, these authors did not find any sulfide binding properties for A. pompejana hemoglobin, even though substantial H2S concentration was observed in its blood.

Toxoids Are Manufactured from Bacterial Toxins

Diphtheria and tetanus vaccines, for example, can be made by purifying the bacterial exotoxin and then inactivating the toxin with formaldehyde to form a toxoid. Vaccination with the toxoid induces anti-toxoid antibodies, which are also capable of binding to the toxin and neutralizing its effects. Conditions for the production of toxoid vaccines must be closely controlled to achieve detoxification without excessive modification of the epitope structure. The problem of obtaining sufficient quantities of the purified toxins to prepare the vaccines has been overcome by cloning the exo-toxin genes and then expressing them in easily grown host cells. In this way, large quantities of the exotoxin can be produced, purified, and subsequently inactivated.

And Biochemical Functions

Originally, peroxisomes were thought to play a role in hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) metabolism only. Peroxisomes contain a variety of H2O2 -generating oxidases and catalase, which cleaves H2O2 to H2O and oxygen, thus constituting a simple respiratory pathway. In addition, peroxisomes carry out a series of other metabolic functions, the most important of which are fatty acid b-oxidation, ether phospholipid biosynthesis, fatty acid a-oxidation, glyoxylate detoxification, and L-pipecolic acid oxidation. There is much confusion about the role of peroxisomes in iso-prenoid biosynthesis including cholesterol formation, for which reason we have decided to leave this potential function of peroxisomes out. Detoxification of glyoxylate via the peroxisomal enzyme alanineglyoxylate aminotransferase (AGT) is another major function of peroxisomes. Deficiency of AGT as in hyperoxaluria type 1 leads to the accumulation of glyoxylate, which is subsequently converted into glycolate and oxalate, which...

The mixedfunction oxygenase system

The importance of biotransformation reactions is well recognized in ecological biochemistry (see Harborne 1997). In plants no less than 15-25 of protein-encoding genes may be involved with biotransformation reactions of secondary metabolism. The evolution of novel secondary compounds presents a fascinating illustration of how metabolic diversity may be generated by gene duplication, repeated evolution, and convergence (Pichersky and Gang 2000 Wittstock and Gershenzon 2002). In animals, biotransformation is often deployed to detoxify plant toxins and excrete them in water-soluble form. Some specialist herbivores sequester plant-derived toxins in their bodies to support their own defence against predators others metabolize them to reproductive pheromones (Nishida 2002). It is often assumed that the great diversity of plant secondary compounds to which herbivores are exposed was an important selective force in the evolution of biotransformation mechanisms. In pharmacology and toxicology...

Liver Transplants Treat Congenital Defects and Damage from Viral or Chemical Agents

The liver is a large organ that performs a number of functions related to clearance and detoxification of chemical and biological substances. Liver malfunction can be caused by damage to the organ from viral diseases such as hepatitis or by exposure to harmful chemicals, as in chronic alcoholism. Damage to the liver may correct itself and the damaged tissue can regenerate after the causative injurious agent is cleared. If the liver tissue does not regenerate, damage may be fatal. The majority of liver transplants are used as a therapy for congenital abnormalities of the liver. Because the liver is large and has a complicated circulation, re-implantation of the liver initially posed a technical problem. Techniques have been developed to overcome this major surgical challenge, and the recent one-year survival rate has risen to approximately 65 . In 2000, 4816 livers were transplanted in the United States. Increasingly, a liver from a single donor may be split and given to two recipients...

Application of Immobilized Algae

Air Lift Pump Photobioreactor

Rai and Mallick (38) demonstrated a higher uptake rate for both N and P by immobilized Chlorella and Anabaena than their free-living counterparts. In subsequent studies Mallick and Rai (39,40) also observed that immobilized algae with a cell density of 0.1 g dry wt L was the most efficient for nutrient and metal removal in a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0, and chitosan could be a promising algal support for wastewater detoxification. Vilchez and Vega (41) found that alginate-entrapped C. reinhardtii cells provide a stable and functional system for removing nitrogenous contaminants from wastewater. A group of parameters such as matrix concentration, cell loading, temperature, and pH were also considered in order to determine the best working conditions for the immobilized cells. In case of C. reinhardtii cells an alginate concentration of 3 is adequate for minimizing substrate diffusion problems, thereby allowing the beads to attain a physical consistency. One of the main interests for...

Ann Munier MS RD and Frances Rohr MS RD

The absence or reduced activity of a specific enzyme or cofactor in metabolic disorders results in a buildup of the substrate and deficiency of the product. Treatment is based on the specific metabolic defect and is designed to correct the primary metabolic imbalance by reducing available substrate through dietary restriction, supplementing the product of the blocked pathw ay, supplementing cofaclors in vitamin-responsive defects, and or using medications that facilitate excretion and detoxification of toxic metabolites.

Metallothionein and associated systems


When metallothionein was first described, the function attributed to it was to regulate the cellular concentrations of essential metals. This was assumed to involve donating metals to specific metal-requiring ligands (enzymes, zinc fingers, structural proteins), while preventing aspecific binding to macromolecules by keeping the free concentrations of metals very low. In addition some metallothioneins turned out to be highly inducible by non-essential heavy metals (e.g. Cd) and this suggested a detoxification role. This classical, dual role of metallothionein has come under fire recently. The following issues describe the more complicated situation today.

The body cannot metabolize many synthetic toxins

How does the animal body handle synthetic toxins In many cases, the systems that metabolize natural chemicals can also metabolize synthetic toxins, breaking them apart and eliminating them through the urine. Liver enzymes called cyto-chrome P450s are responsible for much of this detoxification. P450s are less specific in their abilities to bind substrates than are most enzymes thus, each P450 can catalyze reactions with a wide range of compounds, and there are many P450s. Few natural compounds can escape the P450s, even when the body encounters them for the first time.

Inducible Defensive Responses In Plants

Plants are extraordinarily sensitive to their environment and have a large battery of potentially defensive responses that can be triggered by abiotic and biotic stresses. Different stresses may trigger different subsets of these responses, but there can be considerable overlap between responses to stresses (such as drought, wounding, or herbivory damage) and responses to pathogens. Unlike the situation in insects, in which a given class of pathogen results in the preferential elicitation of appropriate antimicrobial peptides (33), there is little evidence to suggest that plants modify their responses to make them more applicable to the invading microorganism. Pathogen components such as peptides, glyco-proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, or oligosaccharides may trigger defensive responses (34), as may plant molecules that are released during the pathogen invasion (35). These nonspecific elicitors are commonly active in a wide range of plant species irrespective of whether the plant is...

Biomarker of cancer susceptibility

To exert their carcinogenic effect, aromatic amines, like most chemical carcinogens, require metabolic activation to reactive species that bind to DNA. The activation of aromatic amines is performed by some enzymes, whose polymorphic distribution in the population may give rise to a genetically determined different individual susceptibility. In particular, N-acetyltransferase (NAT) is an enzyme whose activity may result in detoxification of aromatic amines. In humans it is coded by two genes, NAT1 and NAT2.80 The NAT2 enzyme is polymorphic, and in about 50 of Caucasians, the so-called 'slow acetylators', the activity of this enzyme is reduced. In a case-control study of bladder cancer, a large proportion of slow acetylators was observed among cases of bladder cancer occupationally exposed to aromatic amines, but not in smoking-related bladder cancer patients.81 Other studies reported an excess of slow acetylators in bladder cancer patients with a history of smoking or occupational...

Derris and Lonchocarpus

Rotenone and other rotenoids interfere with oxidative phosphorylation, blocking transfer of electrons to ubiquinone (see page 159) by complexing with NADH ubiquinone oxidoreductase of the respiratory electron transport chain. However, they are relatively innocuous to mammals unless they enter the blood stream, being metabolized rapidly upon ingestion. Insects and also fish seem to lack this rapid detoxification. The fish poison effect has been exploited for centuries in a number of tropical countries, allowing lazy fishing by the scattering of powdered plant material on the water. The dead fish were collected, and when subsequently eaten produced no ill effects on the consumers. More recently, rotenoids have been used in fish management programmes to eradicate undesirable fish species prior to restocking with other species. As insecticides, the rotenoids still find modest use, and are valuable for their selectivity and rapid biodegradability. However, they are perhaps inactivated too...

Target cell sensitivity

That has been shown to exert direct toxic effects against neoplastic but not normal cells and to cause either lysis or growth inhibition of both autologous and heterologous tumour cells. The mechanism of TNFa cytotoxicity is at least partially mediated through generation of ROS. The susceptibility of a cell to killing by TNFa may be influenced by its content of antioxidant enzymes that specifically detoxify ROS to prevent cellular damage, such as catalase, superoxide dismutases (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase. SOD (CuZnSOD and MnSOD) are metalloproteins that participate in the inactivation of free oxygen radicals reducing superoxide to H202 and protecting cells from oxidative damage, whereas catalase and glutathione peroxidase scavenge H202. Several studies have shown that exposure to TNFa induces cells to synthesize MnSOD, which is essential for cellular resistance to TNFa toxicity. However, a wide spectrum of human and murine tumour cells fail to make the enzyme in response to...


In liver disease, for example, the ability to metabolize or detoxify a specific type of drug may be impaired. If the average or normal dose of the drug is given, the liver may be unable to metabolize the drug at a normal rate. Consequently, the drug may be excreted from the body at a much slower rate than normal. The primary health care provider may then decide to prescribe a lower dose and lengthen the time between doses because liver function is abnormal.


Defensive chemistry of plants and insects affects their quality as food and is a basis for host choice by herbivorous and entomophagous insects, respectively. Nutritional value of resources varies among host species, among tissues of a single organism, and even within tissues of a particular type. Production of defensive chemicals is expensive in terms of energy and nutrient resources and may be sacrificed during unfavorable periods (such as during water or nutrient shortages or following disturbances) to meet more immediate metabolic needs. Such hosts become more vulnerable to predation. Insect adaptations to detoxify or otherwise circumvent host defenses determine host choice and range of host species exploited. Generalists exploit a relatively broad range of host species but exploit each host species rather inefficiently, whereas specialists are more efficient in exploiting a single or a few related hosts that produce similar chemical defenses.

Resource Budget

Foraging activity is necessary for resource acquisition. Movement in search of food requires energy expenditure. Energy requirements vary among foraging strategies, depending on distances covered and the efficiency of orientation toward resource cues. Hunters expend more energy to find resources than do ambushers. The defensive capabilities of the food resource also require different levels of energy and nutrient investment. As described in Chapter 3, defended prey require production of detoxification enzymes or expenditure of energy during capture. Alternatively, energy must be expended for continued search if the resource cannot be acquired successfully. Insects produce a variety of biochemicals to exploit food resources. Trail pheromones provide an odor trail that guides other members of a colony to food resources and back to the colony (see Fig. 3.14). Insects that feed on chemically defended food resources often produce more or less specific enzymes to detoxify these defenses...

Food Quality

Food quality affects the amount of food required to obtain sufficient nutrition for growth and reproduction, and the energy and nutrients required for detoxification and digestion (see Chapter 3). Insects feeding on hosts with lower levels of defensive compounds invest fewer energy and nutrient resources in detoxification enzymes or continued searching behavior than do insects feeding on better defended hosts. Herbivores process much indigestible plant material, especially cellulose, whereas predators process animal material that generally is more similar to their own tissues. Accordingly, we might expect higher assimilation efficiencies for predators than for herbivores (G.Turner 1970).Although indigestible and toxic compounds in plant tissues reduce assimilation efficiency for herbi Insects may ingest relatively more food to obtain sufficient nutrients or energy to offset the costs of detoxification or avoidance of plant defensive chemicals. Among herbivores, species that feed on...

Breast Cancer

More prevalent, low penetrance genes contribute to BC susceptibility in a larger population of women and are therefore responsible for a greater proportion of the disease burden.121-123 Recent modelling of breast cancer inheritance in a population where BRCA1 and 2 gene carriers had been excluded from the cohort revealed a model of inheritance that is polygenic and provides an estimate that nearly 90 of all breast cancer cases will occur in an identifiable subset of perhaps half the general population.124 As yet, little is known about low penetrance susceptibility genes which contribute to BC susceptibility and only a few have been identified, including genes involved in carcinogen detoxification and oestrogen metabolism.125-127

Genetic Aspects

Genetic variation may influence the carcinogenic potential of aflatoxin B1. This mycotoxin is harmless before its metabolic activation in the phase I detoxification pathway in hepatocytes to aflatoxin 8,9-epoxide. The reactive epoxide is then rendered innocuous by phase II detoxification, in which glutathione-S-transferase Mi conjugates it to glutathione and epoxide hydrolase converts it into 1,2-dihydrodiol. If not detoxified, the epoxide can bind to DNA at the N7 guanine residue. Mutant alleles of epoxide hydrolase have been shown to be overrepresented in Chinese and Ghanaian patients with HCC (90). Furthermore, HBV carriers with high-risk genotypes are at an even greater risk of HCC than those with wild-type genotypes (90).

Cancer Cells

Interestingly, the activity of some cytoprotective enzymes, particularly catalase and glutathione peroxidase, is low in animal and human cancers, suggesting that most cancer cell types cannot detoxify hydrogen peroxide, this reactive oxygen intermediate being an important secondary messenger for the stimulation of various pathways. Whether this reflects utilization or poor upregulation is unknown. Furthermore it is reported that all cancer cells have some imbalance in antioxidant enzyme levels by comparison with their cells of origin (Oberley and Oberley, 1997).


Adjuvants are agents that are mixed with tumor cells or tumor cell extracts to ensure adequate presentation of the antigens to the immune system and enhance an immune response after immunization (Durrant and Spendlove 2003). Adjuvants are capable of stimulating antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and natural killer (NK) cells into producing cytokines and promoting the survival of antigen-specific T cells. Examples include BCG, Corynebacterium parvum (Halpern et al. 1966), DETOX, and alum (aluminum-based salts). Cytokines such as interleukin-2 (IL-2) and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) have also been used as adjuvants (Salgaller and Lodge 1998).

Modified Tumor Cells

An alternative to the use of whole tumor cells in vaccines has been the use of relevant and immune-activating portions of tumor cells and removal of portions proven to be irrelevant and immune suppressing. In experimental murine models, partially purified fractions of allogeneic tumor cell lines that shed tumor antigen have been shown to yield preparations capable of stimulating immune responses (Johnston et al. 1994). This method of preparing a tumor vaccine has been used in clinical trials (Bystryn 1993 Bystryn et al. 1992a,b), in combination with adjuvants such as alum or DETOX (Schultz et al. 1995).


Remineralization refers to all processes that transform organic N back into its inorganic constituents. Biochemically this usually involves the heterotrophic removal of the amino group from amino acids with subsequent production of ammonia (NH3) which at seawater pH is found as ammonium (NH4+). While some metazoans subsequently detoxify ammonia by conversion to urea, etc., ammonia is the dominant release product of remineralization in marine systems. The biogeochemical significance of this process is two-fold First, it is an obligatory step in nitrogen cycling resupplying pools of DIN. Second, it is the other side of the coin for organic nitrogen diagenesis organic nitrogen preservation equates with incomplete remineralization. Conditions that enhance remineralization also enhance diagenesis and reduce preservation.


Prognostic markers of the aggressive phenotype of HER-2 neu-positive breast cancer were also studied by MS. It is known that the tyrosine kinase receptor ErbB2 (HER-2 neu) is overexpressed in up to 30 of breast cancers and is associated with poor prognosis and an increased likelihood of metastasis, especially in node-positive tumors. Differentially expressed proteins in two subsets of tumor cells from HER-2 neu-positive and HER-2 neu-negative tumors were identified by 2D electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF TOF MS MS. Differential expression of several key cell cycle modulators was found, which were linked with increased proliferation of the HER-2 neu-overexpressing cells. The findings suggest that HER-2 neu signaling may result in enhanced activation of various metabolic, stress-responsive, antioxidative, and detoxification processes within the breast tumor microenvironment. Thus, it was hypothesized that these identified changes in the cellular proteome are likely to drive cell...


H2O2 and tunicamycin, and assessed gene expression using the Affymetrix Drosophila Genome Array. No fewer than 1111 genes (12 of the probes) were found to be up- or down-regulated in flies exposed to the highest dose, illustrating the genome-wide nature of oxidative-stress defence. The genes included many representatives of the general stress response, such as cytochrome P450s, glutathione S-transferases, peptidases, and triacylglycol lipases. These expressions are all indicative of increased effort towards detoxification, removal of damaged proteins, and repair of membrane lipids. A notable aspect was that iron-binding proteins were specifically induced by paraquat. As noted above, effects on iron metabolism are observed in many different contexts (drought stress in Arabidopsis, hypoxia in fish, and microbial infection in Drosophila), suggesting that changes in iron metabolism are a part of the general stress response.

Threshold Effects

Because most toxicology studies use colony derived rats or inbred rats, animal studies only define the individual threshold. The population threshold is the dose that will not affect a single individual in a mixed population with differing sensitivities. Sensitivities, in turn, depend on differences in the absorption rate, metabolic activation, rates of detoxification, age, diet, and functional reserve of the immune system.

Monozygotic Twins

Main functions of the placenta are (a) exchange of gases (b) exchange of nutrients and electrolytes (c) transmission of maternal antibodies, providing the fetus with passive immunity (d) production of hormones, such as progesterone, estradiol, and estrogen (in addition, it produces hCG and somatomam-motropin) and (e) detoxification of some drugs.


The trichothecenes are a group of sesquiterpene toxins produced by several fungi of the genera Fusarium, Myrothecium, Trichothecium, and Trichoderma, which are parasitic on cereals such as maize, wheat, rye, barley, and rice. About 150 different structures have been identified, with some of these being isolated from plants of the genus Baccharis (Compositae Asteraceae), where a symbiotic plant-fungus relationship may account for their production. Examples of trichothecene structures commonly encountered as food contaminants include deoxynivalenol (DON) (Figure 5.39), and diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS), T-2 toxin, and verrucarin A (Figure 5.40). The double bond and the epoxide group in the basic tri-chothecene skeleton are essential for toxicity, and the number of oxygen substituents and ester functions also contribute. Macrocyclic ester functions as seen in verrucarin A tend to produce the most toxic examples. Although these compounds are more toxic when injected, oral toxicity is...


Type Survivorship

Organisms are vulnerable to a variety of mortality agents, including unsuitable habitat conditions (e.g., extreme temperature or water conditions), toxic or unavailable food resources, competition, predation (including cannibalism), parasitism, and disease (see Chapters 2-4). These factors are a focus of studies to enhance pest management efforts. Death can result from insufficient energy or nutrient acquisition to permit detoxification of, or continued search for, suitable resources. Life stages are affected differentially by these various mortality agents (e.g., Fox 1975b, Varley et al. 1973). For example, immature insects are particularly vulnerable to desiccation during molts, whereas flying insects are more vulnerable to predation by birds or bats. Many predators and parasites selectively attack certain life stages. Among parasitic Hymenoptera, species attacking the same host have different preferences for host egg, larval, or pupal stages. Predation also can be greater on hosts...

Acupuncture needles

Ancient Japan And Medicine

Menstrual pain, or to treat chronic medical conditions, such as arthritis or asthma. It is now recommended or prescribed by some MDs or DOs for their patients who have, for instance, nausea from chemotherapy or chronic pain. Auricular acupuncture is also used in conjunction with conventional practices in detoxification programs and in addiction treatment. Table 21.2 shows approved or cleared medical devices that are used in acupuncture, based on searching the public 510(k) database 8 . The acupuncture needle is now defined in regulations as a hospital and general personal use device


Atp Synthesis

Some organisms are confined to totally anaerobic environments and use only fermentation. Usually, there are two metabolic reasons for this. First, these organisms lack the molecular machinery for oxidative phosphorylation, and second, they lack enzymes to detoxify the toxic by-products of O2, such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). An example of such an obligate anaerobe is Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that thrives in sealed containers of foods and releases the potentially deadly botulinum toxin. Other bacteria, such as My-cobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis, cannot carry out fermentation and must grow in aerobic environments. Still others, such as Escherichia coli, which grows in the human large intestine, can perform either respiration or fermentation, but prefer the former in an aerobic environment. And several bacteria carry on cellular respiration not fer-mentation without using oxygen gas as an electron acceptor. Instead, to oxidize their cytochromes, these...

Copper Chaperones

In response to copper, the expression of the high affinity Cu(I) uptake genes CTR1, CTR3 and FRE1 are all regulated by the nutritional copper sensor Mac1p, while the transcriptional activation of the detoxification genes CUP1 and CRS5 (the metallothioneins) and SOD1 (the cytosolic Cu Zn superoxide dismutase) are regulated by the toxic copper sensor Ace1p (Pena etal., 1998). To date however, the prediction that other redox-active metal ions such as iron and cobalt will also be transported by corresponding chaperone proteins to their sites of utilization (Harrison et al., 1999) remains to be established.

Silybum marianum

Silybum marianum (Compositae Asteraceae) is a biennial thistle-like plant (milk thistle) common in the Mediterranean area of Europe. The seeds yield 1.5-3 of flavonolignans collectively termed silymarin. This mixture contains mainly silybin (Figure 4.44), together with silychristin (Figure 4.45), silydianin (Figure 4.46), and small amounts of isosilybin (Figure 4.45). Both silybin and isosilybin are equimolar mixtures of two trans diastereoisomers. Silybum marianum is widely used in traditional European medicine, the fruits being used to treat a variety of hepatic and other disorders. Silymarin has been shown to protect animal livers against the damaging effects of carbon tetrachloride, thioacetamide, drugs such as paracetamol, and the toxins a-amanitin and phalloin found in the death cap fungus (Amanita phalloides) (see page 433). Silymarin may be used in many cases of liver disease and injury, though it still remains peripheral to mainstream medicine. It can offer particular benefit...


The prospects of an effective vaccine against cholera has been suggested, but progress in this area has been very slow. In the past, several types of cholera vaccine (whole cell, antitoxin, adjuvant) have been developed and tested. Some of these provided short-term, partial protection against cholera but did not otherwise affect the transmission of the disease. In general, the indications are that in terms of epidemic control, the currently available parenteral vaccines are probably not useful. However, a vaccine with greater protective effect and safety could become an important tool in reducing the incidence of the disease. During natural V. cholerae infection, immunity against both the organism and its toxin develops, which synergistically protects the host from subsequent infections. Cholera vaccine field trials carried out in Bangladesh, the Philippines, and India using parenterally administered suspensions of killed whole cells of different serotypes of V. cholerae showed that...

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