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The History of the Syrian (Golden) Hamster

The history of the Syrian or golden hamster and its origins is a somewhat vague tail of events which is heavily influenced by the medical research industry and a city in the north west of Syria called Aleppo.

The first accountable work which references the Syrian hamster dates back to 1794 when a Scottish physician named Alexander Russell cited its presence in his book “Natural History of Aleppo”. There is however, a degree of ambiguity in this claim due to the fact that Alexander Russell died in 1768 and it was his half-brother and herpetologist, Patrick who continued his work to release a revised edition in 1794.

… “The hamster is less common than the Field Mouse. I once found upon dissecting one of them, the pouch on each side stuffed with young French beans, arranged lengthways so exactly, and close to each other, that it appeared strange by what mechanism it had been effected; for the membrane which forms the pouch, though muscular, is thin, and the most expert fingers could not have packed the beans in more regular order. When they were laid loosely on the table, they formed a heap three times the bulk of the animals’ body.”

Although this is the earliest account of the Syrian or golden hamster, it was not actually declared as a new species until many years later as it may have been mistaken for the already identified common European hamster.

The Introduction of the Syrian Hamster

The sequence of events takes us back to Aleppo, Syria. The actual location or birthplace, if you like of the Golden hamster cannot be known for sure but it was certainly Aleppo which was credited during its discovery. I know that if I was looking for a golden hamster 150 years ago, knowing what I know now… I would have started looking in Aleppo.

Saul Alder, a parasitologist, had been using Chinese hamsters to conduct medical research in the 1920′s on Leishmaniasis, a disease transmitted by the bite of a sand-fly. No longer content to import his test subjects from abroad, Alder requested a colleague to go out and collect a new basis for his research, it is unknown if Alder was aware of the golden hamster at this point or had another species in mind for his work. The colleague in question was a certain Israel Aharoni, a Hebrew zoologist and it is believed that he was well aware of the Syrian hamster and with the help of local farmers, and eventually came across 1 mother and 11 of her young deep underground in a complete nest. The series of events surrounding this encounter appear to be well documented and can be read below:

… “I saw the hamster harden her heart and sever with ugly cruelty the head of the pup that approached her most closely (each of the young measuring about 2.5 cms) natural mother love led her to kill her dear child. ‘It is better that my infant die than that it be the object of an experiment performed on it by a member of the accursed human race’. When Georgius saw this act of savagery, he quickly removed the mother hamster (for she would surely kill them all) and put her in a bottle of cyanide to kill her”

You have got to feel sorry for the mother in this story, ironic that her death leads to so much life and ultimately, a new beginning for her species.

Aharoni and his wife hand reared the remaining 10 babies before eventually handing them over to be integrated into a lab based breeding programme. The programme was extremely successful and the Syrian hamster appeared in work carried out by Alder shortly thereafter.

You will no doubt by now be thinking that this all seems a bit harsh on the hamsters themselves, we are only talking about 90 years ago and there is not yet a single mention of Syrian hamsters being used for anything other than medical research. Don’t worry, we will shortly get too that but we are going to make a short but significant stop in Britain where the story goes on, and yes you guessed it… we are back in the lab.

The Syrian Hamster arrives in Britain

British zoologist, Leonard Georg Goodwin was once again, using the Syrian hamster as test subjects in his research on Leishmaniasis within troops fighting in Europe. Goodwin is believed to have obtained his subjects from Jerusalem and within a short space of time was able to approve and release a drug amongst troops. Although there does not appear a great deal of evidence to support or deny this claim, Goodwin credits himself with introducing the species to the UK and that the majority of the Syrian hamsters in the petting industry descended from the colony he used in his research.

The Syrian hamster is today one of the most popular “small animals” (I should have put rodents, but I do not like that word) to be kept as pets. While it’s history has been closely linked to the medical research industry it cannot be denied that they bring joy to millions, including myself.

Source by Paul K Hill

Dog Tapeworms – An Overview

Dog tapeworms are classified as cestodes and are different from dog roundworms (nematodes) in a number of ways including their appearance and effect on the health of the dog.

Whereas roundworms are cylindrical and unsegmented, dog tapeworms are flat and segmented and these segments contain the tapeworm eggs. These segments are passed out in the dog's stool and look like grains of rice.

Although a tapeworm infestation is probably the most visible (to the dog's owners) of all worm infestations in that you can often see evidence of the tapeworm in the stool or around the dog's anus, generally the tapeworm does not cause much harm to the host dog .

A dog with a flea or lice problem is at an increased risk of being infected with tapeworm because these parasites play a significant role in the most common dog tapeworm lifecycle and serve as a source of re-infection after the dog has been treated.

Humans are also at risk from dog tapeworms, and some, like Echinococcus granulosa, are a significant public health problem as they can give rise to large cysts, particularly in the brain, liver and lungs of humans. Depending on their size and location in the body, the presence of these cysts can be life threatening.

As with all dogworms, a simple dose of a deworming medication is not guaranteed, (in fact is unlikely) to get rid of a dog tapeworm problem. However, that is not to say that a dog tapeworm problem represents a major obstacle. As with all dogworms, if you can identify the specific worm species causing the problem, and you know something about how it's lifecycle works, then controlling or eliminating the problem becomes much easier.

Source by Le Doc

Do Flies Serve Any Purpose Or Are They Just Useless and Annoying?

There are very few things more annoying than a bunch of flies buzzing around the house, while you ‘re trying to sleep. It almost seems like they ‘re a joke of nature, designed specifically to drive you crazy. They buzz around the room making an incredibly annoying sound, at a grating frequency, and on top of that, they land on your food or body. And if these were not enough, they can transmit various diseases and have disgusting larvae.

We are taught even from an early age that ecosystems are made of many organisms that depend on one another. Automatically, this would mean that every organism has a role, a part to play. So do flies have any purpose or are they just useless and annoying?

Although it may be hard to imagine what use a fly might possibly have, they actually play important roles in nature. A female housefly deposits about 100-150 eggs on something that can provide food for the larvae that will hatch from the eggs. This food typically consists of decaying material, such as garbage, animal droppings or grass clippings. Then, somewhere between 8 hours and 2 days later, the maggots hatch and begin to feed. Eventually they form pupae and change into adult flies, restarting the cycle.

Fly larvae are very efficient disposers of garbage and any other dead matter. Along with bacteria and other composers, they transform the material into other forms. Apart from disposing dead plant and animal materials or animal and human wastes, flies also serve as food for other organisms. Lizards, foraging insects and even small mammals feed on fly eggs, larvae and pupae. Then there ‘s the fish and other aquatic organisms, who feed on flies throughout their entire life cycle, as do birds and other land animals.

Imagine how garbage and other dead matter would accumulate if it were not for flies. Or how many other organisms would lack their main course. Truth is, they are extremely annoying and can drive you crazy in no time, but they do have their part. In fact, flies might actually be missed if they ceased to exist.

Source by Alexandra Cazacu

Things To Know When Buying A Laptop

Laptops are everywhere nowadays. You seem them on your daily commute whether it be by bus, train, or even a taxicab. You see them in the classroom, at sporting events, on the beach, libraries, I've even seen them at church! The main reason: they are convenient and they can do anything that the home or office computer can do.

What should you look for when purchasing a laptop? There are certain important features such as amount of memory, the type of micro processor, battery life, type of display, size, weight, keyboard style, and your input devices.

Let's break down each of these components. When shopping for a laptop make sure to discuss each of these components with the salesperson.

Processor: The processor determines the speed and efficiency of your laptop.

Memory. The best rule of thumb here is the bigger the better. The reason being that to upgrade memory on a laptop is more involved than your home or office computer. I would recommend 1GB of Ram and at least 80 GB on your hard drive, more if possible.

Battery: Choose the Lithium Ion (Li +) battery if you have a choice because they last much longer than a nickel battery before it needs to be recharged.

Display Screen: Always choose the active matrix option. This is the latest technology and is much faster than the passive matrix.

Keyboard: Best thing to do here is choose a keyboard that you yourself feel comfortable using. Ask the sales person to let you try different styles.

Screen: Once again when it comes to the screen bigger is always better.

Input Devices: Advice here is to use the touchpad to navigate or the other option the traditional mouse

Size: The smaller models 3 or 4 pounds have an external drive. Larger models enable you to use an extra hard drive or an extra battery.

Price: Rule of thumb here shop around and compare prices and deals. Places such as Best Buy and Circuit City are a great place to start.

Warranty & Insurance; 2 very good things to budget for. Laptops are a target for thieves.

Source by David Cormier

7 Diseases Doctors Often Miss That Can Kill You

Doctors make mistakes, too. And often, such mistakes come by way of making a diagnostic miss. These are the top seven diseases that doctors miss, and they can kill you.

1. Cancer. Being diagnosed with cancer can be terrifying, but not being diagnosed if you have it is far worse. A Harvard study found that cancer, primarily the breast and colorectal types, is the most commonly misdiagnosed disease, and experts say this is due to doctors failing to stick to screening guidelines. In fact, singer Kylie Minogue reported that her breast cancer was initially misdiagnosed.

2. Infection. The same Harvard study found that infection was the second most misdiagnosed disease, in part because many infections share symptoms that are similar to those of other conditions. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed forms include ear infection, yeast infection, sinus infection, and pertussis infection (whooping cough).

3. Aortic dissectio n. With this potentially life-threatening condition, there is bleeding into and along the wall of the aorta, the major artery leaving the heart. But the disease frequently gets misdiagnosed as heartburn because of sensations felt in the chest. It is believed that actor John Ritter died of an aortic dissection that had been misdiagnosed.

4. Clogged arteries. When the arteries become clogged with fatty deposits called plaque, it leads to coronary artery disease-the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Despite its prevalence, though, doctors often misdiagnose the condition because they attribute symptoms, such as shortness of breath, to the side effects of being overweight rather than to clogged arteries.

5. Heart attack. How could a heart attack be misdiagnosed? Well, they're not always as obvious as the ones we see on TV; sometimes, the only symptoms are a sense of fullness in the chest and nausea. A study conducted by the New England Medical Center in Boston found that one in every 50 heart attack victims are mistakenly sent home by emergency room doctors, and other studies suggest that misdiagnosis rates may be even higher.

6. Celiac disease. Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by eating the protein gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, cookies, and many other foods containing wheat, barley, or rye. It is most frequently misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, or even chronic fatigue syndrome or depression.

7. Bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis causes a swelling of the lining around the brain and spinal cord, and it can kill its victims in hours. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, severe headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to bright lights, sleepiness, confusion, rash, and seizures. From this list, you can guess how it could be easily mistaken for influenza.

Source: Live Longer Now []

Source by JB Lazarte

Parasite Infection in Children – Treatment 5 Easy Steps

Parasite infections in children are serious problem that is often ignored by health practitioners. If your child has frequent colds, flu, ear infections, allergies, ADD, or is tired all the time, try to get tested for parasites. Sometimes you might need to repeat the test several times. Parasites depend on a host, so they try to hide. There are two types of parasites that can live inside of a human organism: large parasites (worms) and small ones that can be seen only under a microscope. If a stool test doesn’t bring any results, try to get a simple blood test. Usually naturopaths can help you with that.

There are several steps you can take to help your child get rid of parasites:

The first step would be to control child’s diet. Give your child vegetables with every meal. Wash the vegetables with the vegetable wash, which you can get from the health food store. Stop giving your child sweets, white bread, bananas, melons, and dairy products like cheese and yogurts.

Step two is controlling child’s behavior. Children have a tendency to put their fingers in their mouths. It is dangerous habit, especially when they play with the animals. All animals have parasites that can be transferred to the children. It is extremely easy to contract a parasite infection. It can happen while in the Day Care Centers, during diaper changing in the public toilets, through undercooked food, by walking barefoot, or drinking from someone else’s glass. So, be aware and keep your eyes open.

Step three is to start your child on a cleansing program. Look for children formula or use a “sensitive” parasite cleanser. A good formula would include black walnut that cleanses the body from parasites and aids digestion, wormwood to expel worms, as well as pumpkin seeds and cloves, because of their antiseptic and anti-parasitic properties. It also would be beneficial to follow the cleansing program together with your child. It has not only prophylactic reasons, but also because you can get infected with the parasites while caring for your sick child.

Step four is supplementing. During the cleansing program, do not forget to supplement child’s digestive process with a plant-based enzyme formula. A good enzyme formula would include amylases, lipases and proteases.

Step five is to giving your child vitamins and minerals in the form of freshly made vegetable juices. Try a combination of celery, fennel, cucumbers, and either carrot or apple juice. It is easily tolerated by children and your child’s digestive system will receive 100% of vitamins and minerals he or she needs to get healthy.

Source by Mary Waltraut

How to Treat Athlete’s Foot Naturally

I’m not going to go into what athlete’s foot is and how you can ‘catch it’ here because that would just take too long, and if you’ve already got athlete’s foot then I’m pretty sure that you just want to get rid of it as soon as possible!

Out of all the athlete’s foot and fungus creams I’ve come across there has only ever been one natural skin care product I’ve witnessed that really works.

It’s an Aloe Vera product and it’s probably one of the best natural skin care products I’ve seen in a long while. Aloe Vera is one of the most powerful natural skin care products available and has been proven to kill germs, bacteria or fungi of just about every imaginable description. So, when I came across Aloe Liquid Soap, Aloe Propolis Creme and Aloe Vera Gelly, I began to use them and the results were amazing. The athlete’s foot has totally cleared up.

To begin your athlete’s foot treatment, follow these simple steps:

1. Wash or bathe your feet in a product called Aloe Liquid Soap. It comes in a plastic bottle with a pump dispensing top. Add 1 or 2 squirts of the aloe liquid soap to warm water. Make sure that you gently massage your feet whilst they are soaking so that the Aloe Vera can do its job using its natural properties to soothe, clean and heal your feet. Soak your feet for as long as you wish.

2. Next, dry your feet thoroughly, but make sure that you do not leave them to get ‘bone-dry’ because of the following step. Your feet must still feel hydrated.

3. Apply a liberal amount of Aloe Vera Propolis Crème all over your feet. This is where you are going to focus most of your attention now. Make sure that you really massage the crème between your toes. Applying this crème to ‘hydrated’ feet allows the healing properties of the Aloe Propolis to be grately absorbed. Get it into every little crack, especially if you have any weeping cracks in between your toes. Also, make sure that you also apply the propolis crème to your toe nails whether they are all infected or not.

Do this procedure as often as you can and in due course you will be rewarded with healthy feet. Take the time to really apply a good amount of the propolis creme all over your feet. Work it into the direction of the cracks and really try, but gently, to get the creme sort of under the cracks so the aloe can get to work. You’ll be glad you did.

The Aloe Propolis Crème is a natural antifungal product. If you are currently using any sort of antifungal medication, you have the choice of whether or not you wish to continue using it. But after experiencing the healing benefits of the Aloe Propolis Crème, you may not look back.

How To Treat Athlete’s Foot Naturally In Children

If you have ever wondered how to treat athlete’s foot naturally in children, then the above procedure applies to you also.

The Aloe Propolis Crème is a 100% totally natural skin care product and will treat and heal your child’s athlete’s foot naturally. There are absolutely no steroids or any other additives or preservatives here, which is good news because this means that you can use as much of this crème as you need.

Athlete’s Foot: How to Stop the Burning and Itching Cycle?

Another method used to treat athlete’s foot, especially to get rid of the burning and itching cycle, is to use Aloe Vera Gelly.

If you followed the procedure above, soaking your feet in warm water with the Aloe Liquid Soap added to it, then after you have dried your feet, you also have the option of using the Aloe Vera Gelly.

The Aloe Vera Gelly is a simple but very effective treatment for all stages of athlete’s foot. When applied, you will notice how cooling and soothing it is. The burning your were experiencing should start to ease off. Once again, massage the gelly all around your feet paying special attention to any cracks you may have. Rub the gelly in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions to make sure that you give your feet the treatment they need.

For maximum effect, you could use both the Aloe Propolis Crème and the Aloe Vera Gelly together, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. There is no right or wrong way to use both of these products. You could use them both together during the day as well, but if you’re going to use this method of treatment, it would be better if you didn’t walk around on your feet for a while. But instead, keep your feet up and just allow the Aloe Vera to do what it does best, which is to clean and heal. It doesn’t matter if you use the propolis before the aloe gelly or after. Just know that you have natural products that really do work.

Source by Jasmine Webley

KENAF – An Alternative Crop For Tropical and Temperate Agriculture

Introduction To The Plant That Can Stop The Cutting Of Old Growth Forests

Hibiscus cannabinus L., kenaf is a warm season annual closely related to cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.).

Kenaf can be used as a domestic supply of cordage fiber in the manufacture of rope, twine, carpet backing and burlap. Research, in the early 1940s, focused on the development of high-yielding anthracnose-resistant varieties, cultural practices and harvesting machinery.

Kenaf Fiber is an ideal PLANT BASED and renewable source of fiber that has many characteristics of both wood fiber and plant fiber. Kenaf has many uses including textile fiber and woodfiber characteristics. The resultant fibers are extremely strong and very durable. Kenaf has many uses including :.

Pulp, paper and cardboard (from wet way process).
Standard newsprint containing between 90% and 100% chemi-thermo-mechanical pulp.
Standard newsprint from mixes of KTMP pulp and de-inked pulp from retted paper.
Newsprint from mixes of kenaf thermo-mechanical pulp (KTMP) and wood pulp from Southern Pine.
Super-calendered writing and printing paper from mixtures containing KTMP pulp.
Various types of writing and printing paper containing KTMP.
Fine coated paper from mixtures containing KTMP.
Various types of tissue paper containing KTMP pulp.
Sulphate pulp (Kraft) from the whole kenaf stem and from separated fibres.
Chemical pulp from the whole kenaf stem or from separated fibres obtained using processes other than Kraft.
Linerboard, corrugated board made from kenaf pulp (from mechanical or chemical processes using both the whole kenaf stem or separated fibres).
Lining for roofs in feltpaper.
Hardboard panels made from whole stems or separated fibres.
Cellulose for chemical uses.
Handmade art paper from whole kenaf stems or just from separated fibres.
Panels (dry processes using moldable fibre mattresses).
Moldable fibre mattresses for industrial uses from Kenaf bast fibre.
Natural molded fibres for interior panels for cars and planes.
Rigid molded products: boxes, trays, drums, pallets etc. for the packing, stowage and shipment of industrial products.
Pressed board and other materials for use in the furniture and construction industries.
Compressed insulating panels.
Decorative wall panels.
Linings in compressed fibre for doors and other decorative applications (architectural).
Traditional cordage uses
Padding material (to substitute jute and kenaf imported from Asia).
String, rope and cord to substitute imported cordage.
Material for mattresses and furniture.
Bast fibre mattresses impregnated with grass seeds and absorbent agents for "instant lawns".
Bast fibre mattresses combined with spray mulching products to control terrain erosion.
Mass uses as absorbent agent.
Animal litter.
Horticulture and flower-growing products.
Cleaning up of liquid leakages from plants in industrial areas.
Cleaning of industrial flooring.
Additive for drilling muds in oil wells.
Filtering products.
Packing materials.
Inert, natural and biodegradable filler, used instead of polystyrene foam.
Wrapping for gifts and handicraft products.
Natural fuels.
Biomass for burning in various forms (powder, core fibre and waste in general).

Right now all over the world about 1,700,000 acres of kenaf are being grown. That is usually grown by a small holder and backyard growers. China has over 250,000 acres but is planning to grow millions of acres of kenaf. For millennia kenaf has been used for rope, food, twine and sackcloth. Kenaf combines environmentalism with the vast need for the most important component of civilized society, paper. At the same time it can help mitigate climate change being driven by deforestation. It's a win-win plant.

Kenaf continues to be used in Africa and Asia as a cordage crop, processed in the same way for over 4000 years. However, in 2008, kenaf has come of age in the developed world because of a juxtaposition of many factors including global warming, extensive planetary deforestation, high energy prices and extreme weather developing throughout our planet. As a result of these factors the need for an environmentally sound alternative to the use of wood based fibers has grown and will continue to accelerate in the indefinite future.

For many years, kenaf was considered just an environmental novelty, mostly used by so called ecofanatics. They purchased kenaf as an ecopaper, because they did not want to buy paper made from chips from Old Growth Forest. Many people did not really believe in the possibility of global warming and the contributing factors of excessive deforestation to drive global climate change. But as the Arctic ice continued to melt, and more and more wild weather continues, oil prices accelerate and the global forest diminishes, kenaf is at the forefront of the coming environmental business and sustainable development sea change.

Kenaf Is The Fiber That Can Change The World! Join The Corporate Leaders Who Are Moving Toward Sustainability

During the 1950s, kenaf was identified as a promising fiber source for paper pulp. Kenaf fibers have been processed into high quality newsprint and bond paper.
Although kenaf is usually considered a fiber crop, research indicates that it has high protein content and, therefore, is a potential livestock feed. Crude protein in kenaf leaves ranged from 21 to 34 percent, stalk crude protein ranged from 10 to 12 percent, and whole-plant crude protein ranged from 16 to 23 percent.

Kenaf can be ensilaged effectively, and it has satisfactory digestibility with a high percentage of digestible protein. Digestibility of dry matter and crude proteins in kenaf feeds ranged from 53 to 58 percent, and 59 to 71 percent, respectively Kenaf meal, used as a supplement in a rice ration for sheep, compared favorably with a ration containing alfalfa meal.

In addition to the use of kenaf for cordage, paper pulp and livestock feed researchers have investigated its use as poultry litter and animal bedding, bulking agent for sewage sludge composting and as a potting soil amendment. Additional products include automobile dashboards, carpet padding, corrugated medium, as a "substitute for fiberglass and other synthetic fibers," building materials (particle boards of various densities, thicknesses, and fire and insect resistances), absorbents, textiles and as fibers in extraction molded plastics.

Photosensitivity and Seed Production

Kenaf varieties can be divided into two major groups based on their photosensitivity – photosensitive and photoinsensitive. Typically, photosensitive varieties are preferred for the production of fiber in the United States. Two of these varieties, Everglades 41 and Everglades 71, were developed by USDA researchers to extend the vegetative growing season before the plants initiate flowering. Photosensitive cultivars initiate flowering when daylengths decrease to approximately 12.5 h; mid September in southern states. In photosensitive varieties, the initiation of flowering causes a reduction in vegetative growth. Because of late floral initiation and inability to produce mature seed prior to a killing frost, seed production in the United States for these varieties is limited to southern Florida, the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and southernmost Arizona and California.

Photoinsensitive (often referred to as day neutral) varieties can initiate flowering and produce mature seed before a killing frost north of latitude 300. Photoinsensitive varieties, such as Guatemala 4, Guatemala 45, Guatemala 48, Guatemala 51 and Cuba 2032, can initiate flowering 100 days after planting (DAP), and before the daylength decreases to 12.5 h. Photoinsensitive varieties can, therefore, be planted during May or early June in central United States and still have ample time to produce mature seed. The earlier production of mature seed for photoinsensitive varieties greatly expands the potential seed production areas.

As a livestock feed, kenaf is usually harvested at an earlier growth stage than as a fiber crop; 60 to 90 DAP compared with 120 to 150 DAP. During a shorter growing season, photoinsensitive varieties can produce dry matter yields equivalent to photosensitive varieties, while using seed that can be produced further north and in a larger geographic area.

Harvesting and Pelletizing

The evaluation of field equipment for harvesting kenaf continues to be an important aspect of commercialization. It has been demonstrated that standard forage cutting, chopping and baling equipment can be used for harvesting kenaf as either a forage or fiber crop. Kenaf can be baled into small square or large round bales. Sugar cane harvesters, with and without modification, have also been successfully used to harvest kenaf. In cotton growing regions, cotton modules have been used for field-side storage of chopped kenaf. Kenaf can also be pelleted for use as a fiber or forage crop.
Pelletizing kenaf increased its density by at least 390 percent, therefore, reducing both transportation and storage costs. It may be economically advantageous to use available commercial harvesting and processing equipment rather than investing in the development and production of kenaf specific equipment. Appropriate harvesting and pelletizing equipment is readily available throughout the United States. Mobile in the field harvester / separators are being developed, which will cut and then separate the bast and core fibers in the field.

When harvesting kenaf for fiber use, the moisture content and the equipment availability are important considerations. Kenaf can be harvested for fiber when it is dead, due to a killing frost or herbicides, or when it is still growing. The dry standing kenaf can be cut and then chopped, baled or transported as full length stalks. If the kenaf drying and defoliation process is dependent on a killing frost, the harvesting date will vary on the area of ​​the state where the crop is growing and the time required for the kenaf to dry unless artificial drying is used. Much of the land which could be planted to kenaf does not lend itself to late harvest because of weather conditions and soil type.

Actively growing kenaf can be cut and then allowed to dry in the field. 0nce dried, the kenaf can then be chopped, baled or transported as full length stalks. The availability of in the field harvester / separators will add to the harvesting options.

Kenaf is a crop which is normally harvested in late fall or winter, and only once during the year. This presents some unique situations as far as supply and storage are concerned.


Additional markets for kenaf as a fiber crop and as a finished product need to be developed. The development of kenaf as a fiber crop depends on several conditions. What happens in the forest industry in the wood and pulp product areas will be a major factor in the development of kenaf into a major industry The development of large stable markets for the raw and finished products must occur before farmers and industry will be willing to invest time and capital on a large scale.
The development of any new industry takes time, capital, scientific research, product research and development, and eventually stable markets. In the kenaf industry part of this development has already happened, but much is yet to be done.


The United States acceptance of kenaf as a major commercial crop will be strengthened as additional uses for kenaf are established. The increased production, processing and product development work being conducted within private industry state universities and USDA laboratories is encouraging and suggests a bright future for the establishment of kenaf as a commercial crop. However, for kenaf to become a viable alternative agricultural crop, stable markets must be established which will provide farmers with an economic return equal to or surpassing what they now receive for a given crop.
For kenaf to effectively replace products now on the market, it will have to be of equal or better quality than those to be replaced, be readily available to the industry and end users, be easily harvested and h have potential to be economically produced.

Additional agricultural research for tropical countries should include disease control and variety adaptation, along with the evaluation of harvesting systems and the economics appropriate for their country's production areas and products.

Kenaf is now being used in automobile interiors and other similar products.

Source by Dr.

How to Gain Weight For Women – How to Go From Skinny to Curvy and Put on Weight Fast

To a society that seems obsessed with LOSING weight, it may seem strange when you ask how you can GAIN weight. Ask anyone how to lose weight and they’ll run off a huge list diets, contraptions, clubs and gizmos that everyone seems to have tried, but without much success. However, ask people how skinny girls can put on weight, and you’ll no doubt get a blank expression or worse, a sarcastic and questioning answer like “why do you want to put on weight? I wish I had your ‘problem’!”

Well, to the hardgainer like you and me this IS a real problem, as being skinny affects our confidence, health and self-esteem. But every problem has a solution, and so today I’m gonna give you 5 tips that skinny girls are using to solve the problem of how to gain weight for women.

You ready?… let’s go!

How To Gain Weight For Women Tip 1 – Put On Some Muscle

Packing on a few pounds of muscle is the surest and healthiest way for women to put on weight and accentuate their natural sexy curves. Muscle weighs more than fat so it makes sense to put on muscle weight rather than fat, plus you get to decide where the muscles grow (I say this because people put fat on in different places depending on their body type… trust me, it’ll always end up where you least want it – typically on a woman this is around her butt and waist)

Don’t be afraid of building muscle by weight training – you won’t get huge like Arnie or anything… in fact a woman’s body simply doesn’t produce enough testosterone to get big.

Make a weight training routine part of your workouts at the gym and you’ll put on weight quickly and in the places that you want.

How To Gain Weight For Women Tip 2 – Reduce Your Cardio Exercises

Cardio is a staple part of most womens workouts and is always recommended in most magazines, but if you’re looking for how to gain weight, then cardio will actually be making your life more difficult, as it is simply burning more fat and calories and leaving nothing for your body to store.

If you’re looking to gain weight, sort out a workout routine that focuses more on mass building exercises like weights and less on cardio.

How To Gain Weight For Women Tip 3 – Sleep More

And you thought this weight gain for women thing was all gonna be hard work? This is the easy bit, and the most often overlooked.

When we sleep our bodies produce natural growth hormones which help repair our muscles and enable to gain weight and muscle mass. The highest secretions of these hormones are during deep sleep, and so it is important to get a good night’s rest when thinking about how to gain weight for women. Around 8 hours is ideal. Try to eliminate as much stress from your daily life as possible as this can affect your sleep and cause to lose more weight rather than gain it.

How To Gain Weight For Women Tip 4 – Eat More

In addition to starting a weight training program you should be eating a lot more. Muscle mass and weight are gained by consuming more calories than we burn off, so you should consume an extra 500-1000 calories per day compared to the average woman (avg. is around 2000, so you should try to get about 2,500-3000 per day).

Split this over 6 smaller meals per day and focus on your proteins – which are the building blocks of muscle.

How To Gain Weight For Women Tip 5 – Use Protein Powders And Shakes

To build muscle and gain weight you’ll need to focus on your proteins – around 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight (i.e. if you weigh 150 pounds then you should be consuming around 150 grams of protein per day).

The best way to consume these proteins is in the form of natural foods like lean meats, fish, beans and pulses, eggs and milk. However, this can be difficult in today’s busy lifestyles, so think about incorporating a protein shake into your daily meal plans. One serving of a protein shake can provide you with as much as 50-60 grams of protein in one shot, so it’s extremely convenient.

Source by John Wheeler

Natural Ways of Boosting Your Immune System

According to the scientific definition, "an immune system is a collection of mechanism within an organism or a living thing that defends against infection or disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumor cells." It detects harmful agents and distinguishes them from an organism's normal tissues and cells.

Pathogens are harder to detect. They have adapted well with their hosts because of evolution. They can infect their host successfully.

There are however several ways to neutralize pathogens. Humans have an immune system that can recognize specific pathogens more efficiently. Immunology memory can create a primary response to a known pathogen. This primary response can be enhanced, ready for the next attack of the same pathogen. This acquired immunity is better known as vaccination.

Disorders in the immune system can cause diseases. Immunodeficiency disease is the most common when the immune system malfunctions. This happens when the hyperactive immune system attacks the normal tissues. In more tragic cases, malfunctioning can lead to cancer. And thus it is very important to take care of our immune system. Be healthy always.

Here are some tips to keep a healthy immune system:
Get enough sleep – Getting enough sleep is very important in reinforcing and replenishing your immune system. Lack of sleep lowers body resistance.

Wash your hands regularly – Our hands are exposed to many harmful microorganisms. Make it a habit to wash your hands before touching your face or rubbing your eyes.

Eat nutritious foods – Eating nutritious food is revitalizes the immune system. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, wholegrain, legumes and natural oils. Natural oils like pressed olive oil, walnut oil, hemp oil, and flax oil and coconut butter, can be expellers of harmful microbes.

A selenium is good for your immune system. It produces an enzyme that forms free radicals and suppresses tumor growth. The Brazil nut is a rich source of selenium.

Take in more Vitamin C -Vitamin C optimizes cell functions of the immune system. Foods that are rich in vitamin C are kiwis, pepper and oranges. Almost all fruits and vegetables are rich in this vitamin.

Take supplemental vitamins – Supplemental vitamins boost the immune system also. Choose vitamins made of natural ingredients.

Remember that supplemental vitamins can not take the place of inadequate food intake. It is still best to eat healthy foods to improve your immune system.

Source by David Urmann

Essential Vitamins & Minerals For Increased Sex Drive

A low sex drive (libido) is something you don’t have to settle to live with as there are vitamins and minerals that can help you reinvigorate your sex life and take your libido to an all new high without resorting to synthetic drugs like Viagra and Cialis.

The reasons for your low libido should first of all be given due consideration because the intake of the vitamins and minerals we will be reviewing will be of no benefit if you have an unhealthy lifestyle. Low libido cannot be treated in isolation as there are many factors that contribute to its increase or decline and putting those factors into focus will be very important if you are to succeed in increasing your libido.

You would essentially have to do away with heavy drinking, smoking and the use of recreational drugs. If your libido problem stems from more psychological problems like stress, mental exhaustion or physical problem likes fatigue and ill-health, then you might likely need some professional help to resolve these and then get back on course to taking your sex drive to a new zenith. Therefore a few changes in your lifestyle can bring about a great change in libido and bring back the joy and excitement of sexual intimacy back into your relationship.

A point of note here is that even men with a healthy lifestyle still suffer from a degree of low libido and often this is due to the fact that most of the food we eat may lack the vital nutrients needed for a high libido and there might also be the problem of the nutrients not being readily absorbed into the blood stream. The use of dietary supplements that contain a good number of the vitamins and minerals reviewed below will provide most of the essential vitamins and minerals for increasing libido and result in an overall healthy reproductive life.

To dramatically bring back your lost libido or improve it, below are the vitamins and minerals we would be reviewing for achieving a higher libido and they are in no particular order.


There are 13 essential vitamins that our bodies need for proper growth, function and maintenance of healthy body tissues. The B-Vitamins and Vitamin C dissolved in water and are easily eliminated from the body. Adverse reactions even with high-dose supplements are rare. However the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, and E) are not readily excreted from the body and have the potential to accumulate in the tissues and could cause adverse effects at high doses.

Vitamin A

Sex hormones regulate our sexual activities and desires, and without them our sex lives would be nonexistent. Vitamin A helps in the regulation of the synthesis of the sex hormone, progesterone. Vitamin A regulates sexual growth and development, and reproduction by turning on genes in response to sex hormone triggers. It also assist in the production of healthy sperm and improve virility.


The B-Vitamins are generally regarded as Vitamin B complex and are important in energy production, metabolism and synthesis of hormones. They also help in decreasing the production of prolactin, a hormone which stimulates testosterone uptake by the prostate and which basically reduces sex drive. They help the nerves function properly and thus crucial for reacting and responding to sexual stimulation and for the flow of blood to the genital.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is required for energy metabolism, enzyme reactions, and for the maintenance of skin and nerve health. It equally enhances sexual flush, and intensifies orgasms by increasing the flow of blood to the genitals.

Vitamin B6

It is necessary for protein and fat metabolism, hormonal function (estrogen and testosterone), and the production of red blood cells, niacin, and neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). Vitamin B6 helps in controlling elevated prolactin and thus functioning as a libido enhancer. Also it has been shown to help men with low sperm counts.

Vitamin B12

It is required for nerve function, synthesis of DNA and RNA, metabolism of energy, enzyme reactions, and production of red blood cells. They also aid in the stimulation of the brain and the nerves thus facilitating sexual arousal. It is an energy booster as it heightens sex drive, enhances penile erection by enlarging blood vessels and also stimulating secretion of histamine needed for orgasm.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It is required for the synthesis of collagen (structured component of blood vessels, tendons and bones) and norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter) and is also known to increase positive response to stress. It participates in the synthesis of the critical hormones that are involved in sex and fertility namely – androgen, estrogen and progesterone. Vitamin C also increases semen volume but a lack of it can cause sperm to clump together. Studies indicate that ascorbic Vitamin C might improve the production of nitric oxide which aids in the increase of blood flow and makes blood vessels stronger resulting in stronger erections.

Vitamin E

It is an antioxidant which is often referred to as the “Sex Vitamin” and is definitely one of the best vitamins to increase your libido. It plays a key role in the production of sex hormones and also protects cell membranes against oxidative damage by free-radical. Vitamin E prevents blood clotting and aids in the dilation of blood vessels thus aiding the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the sex organs. Vitamin E is also an anti-aging antioxidant that promotes vitality and youthfulness by increasing fertility and regulating hormones.


Minerals are elements that originate in the earth. They cannot be made by the human body so they are obtained through diet and/or supplements. Both plants and animal food provide minerals. The plants get the minerals from the soil; the animals from the plants they eat and humans indirectly get the minerals by eating both the plants and animal products.


Required for energy metabolism, muscle and nerve functions, formation of cell membranes, bones and teeth, body temperature regulator and synthesis of DNA and RNA; it also promotes calming and relaxation which generally aids in increasing sex drive. Magnesium is also essential in the production of sex hormones like androgen, estrogen and neurotransmitters (dopamine and norepinephrine) that regulates libido.


This antioxidant interestingly has nearly 50% of its total volume in the male body located in the testes and seminal vesicles; and this is lost mostly in the semen. It is very essential in sperm production and motility. It also plays an important role in the antioxidant activity of Vitamin E; keeping its volume optimal is essential for a man’s virility.


Zinc is needed for raising the healthy production of sperm and testosterone. Healthy testosterone levels = healthy sex drive. The zinc content of the prostate gland and sperm is higher than in any other body part. Also two studies have shown that zinc combined with folate in supplements can help improve sperm count and the percentage of healthy sperm in men with impaired fertility. A high Zinc content can also help reduce the risk of prostate disease due to the fact that prostate tissues are highly dependent on zinc.

However, as already mentioned above, maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be a primary focus in order for the intake of these vitamins and minerals to be effective in increasing your libido. Also it is important that you contact your physician about your decision to take any of these vitamins and minerals to avoid possible side effects with other medication you might already be using.

Source by Raymond Ehoma

Marine Ich – Hyposalinity Treatments

Marine ich has been known to wreak havoc on marine aquarium systems in very short time spans. As marine aquarium hobbyists, we spend a great deal of money on creating the ideal environment for our inhabitants be they fish, corals or crustaceans of some sort. The equipment needed particularly for larger systems can run into the thousands of dollars. Every once in a while, we may unknowingly introduce something into our tanks that can ruin the experience for us. That something may just be a marine parasite known as marine ich.

There is an entire industry that deals specifically with the eradication of marine parasites such as marine ich or marine velvet. The types of medications offered are many. Some are copper based while others are based on a cocktail of ingredients that include malachite green and formaldehyde. Some work, while are barely effective.

There is one sure way to eradicate marine ich that is very inexpensive. Hyposalinity. It is found that marine ich have a very hard time surviving are lower specific gravities. The specific gravity we are aiming for is 1.009. That level is low enough to be deadly for this marine parasite while still being alright for the fish.

It is important to note that hyposalinity works only with marine ich, not marine velvet. Marine velvet can withstand specific gravities even lower than 1.009. A quarantine tank should be set up for the purpose of hyposalinity treatment. The last thing you want to do is lower specific gravity in your main display tank. Your corals and invertebrates will suffer.

Put your fish into the quarantine tank for treatment while ensuring the water chemistry is more or less the same as the main aquarium. You can perform a freshwater or formaldehyde dip before putting them in, the choice is yours. Read up on dips before your attempt. Once the fish is in, lower specific gravity to 1.009 in the quarantine tank over the course of a few days slowly.

Source by Indran Manickam

Knowing More About Diarrhea From Food Poisoning

Food poisoning will occur within 2-6 hours after eating contaminated food. Undercooked meats, dairy products, unwashed vegetables and food containing mayonnaise left unrefrigerated are all common vehicles for these infectious agents. Contaminated water supplies are also a main contraction point for food poisoning. “”Traveler’s (or Wilderness) Diarrhea” is a common condition that occur when someone drinks water contaminated with fecal matter. This is common in developing nations or places with an untreated water supply.

Episodes of food poisoning have been known to trigger a lifetime condition of IBS or IBD. In some very rare cases, it can also lead to death. Because of this possibility, it is very important to have a general idea of the dangers and symptoms of food poisoning.

Infectious agent: Virus

Noroviruses, Rotavirus and Hepatitis A are all viral forms of food poisoning that are transmitted through consuming water or vegetables that have been contaminated with feces. In addition, all three types of viruses can be transmitted from person to person. Noroviruses are the most common viral form of food poisoning in adults. It is called the “cruise ship illness” because outbreaks normally occur in very dense population like schools, nursing homes and cruise ships. The rotavirus shares all these characteristics but is mainly prevalent in children. Hepatitis A is only transferred through fecal-oral transmission and in rare cases, blood transfusions. In addition to the nausea, vomiting and diarrhea common in other viral food poisonings, hepatitis A will also cause jaundice, rashes and fatigue.

Infectious agent: Bacteria

Bacterial food poisonings affect the body by producing a toxin that is poisonous to the human digestive system. This usually leads to nausea and vomiting and possible kidney failure and death. The bacteria can also infect the intestines, causing inflammation and prompting diarrhea. All these bacteria cause the normal symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, but they each have some defining characteristics.

  • The Salmonella bacteria will stay in the body and launch a secondary attack in the form of arthritis weeks after the initial infection.
  • Campylobacter is the most commonly identifies food borne bacteria.
  • Staphylococcus aureus is usually contracted pies, mixed salads and dairy products.
  • Bacillus cereus is usually found in starchy foods like rice or pasta.
  • The E coli bacteria will cause watery diarrhea that turns to bloody diarrhea and the worst strain can produce kidney failure.
  • Shigella is also referred to as travelers’ diarrhea. It causes diarrhea containing blood and/or mucus. Normally transmitted through contaminated drinking water.
  • Clostridium botulinum does not cause diarrhea but it attacks the nervous system and can be released into the air. For this reason it is considered and biological weapon.
  • Vibrio cholerae has the typical symptoms but only occurs in warmer seasons.

Infectious agent: Parasite

Parasites are the least common form of food poisoning, but they are contracted in the same ways as bacterial and viral cases. The symptoms tend to be less intense than viral or bacterial food poisoning but last much longer. The Guardia parasite, also known as beaver fever, can cause watery diarrhea for two weeks. Cryptosporidium can make a person mildly ill with watery diarrhea for up to four days.

Source by Adrian Hamblin

Rio Carnival Parades 2009 – Samba Schools, Dates and Locations of Parades

The world famous parades of the Rio are a mix of samba dance, samba drums, songs, costumes, spectacular floats and special effects.There are 72 samba schools in Rio and they all parade during the 4 days of carnival from Saturday 21st to Tuesday 24th feb, 2009. They are all listed below, with the dates they parade and where you can find them. The samba schools are organised into competitive leagues. The samba school parades will take place in 2 locations, the Marquês de Sapucaí (AKA the Avenida, the Sambódromo, the Passarela) in the centre of town, and Estrada Intendente Magalhães in the outer suburbs.

The top group, and the most breathtaking, is Grupo Especial, with the biggest schools, the most amazing costumes, the most expensive tickets, and around 5000 people in each samba school. Grupo A is also in the sambodromo, and has some very elaborate parades, though tickets are cheaper. You can buy tickets for these parades in advance online, or from tourist agencies in Rio up to the day of the parades. Grupo RJ1 (ex Grupo B) is in the sambodromo too, entrance is free, but the schools have much less money to spend on being spectacular.

The rest of the leagues also parade over carnival weekend. Their parades are much smaller, attendance is free, and they take place a long way out of town, at Estrada Intendente Magalhaes. The further down the list, the smaller the schools. Grupo RJ4 has around 800 participants in each samba school.

As well as the formal samba school parades, there are informal and free parades of blocos (street carnival groups) all over town, especially in the Rio Branco and in Copacabana and Ipenima. Some blocos are several times larger than the biggest samba schools and everyone can join in, rather than just watching. The blocos generally have samba drum bands and songs and bloco t-shirts, but the costumes are informal – you'll see people in varying degrees of fancy dress rather than an organised specatacular parade.

GRUPO ESPECIAL – Sun 22nd Feb – PASSARELA DO SAMBA 1 Império Serrano 2 Acadêmicos Do Grande Rio 3 Unidos De Vila Isabel 4 Mocidade Independente De Padre Miguel 5 Beija-Flor De Nilópolis 6 Unidos Da Tijuca

GRUPO ESPECIAL – Monday 23rd Feb – PASSARELA DO SAMBA 1 Unidos Do Porto Da Pedra 2 Acadêmicos Do Salgueiro 3 Imperatriz Leopoldinense 4 Portela 5 Estação Primeira De Mangueira 6 Unidos Do Viradouro

GRUPO A – Saturday 21st Feb – PASSARELA DO SAMBA

1 São Clemente 2 Estácio De Sá 3 Inocentes De Belford Roxo 4 Paraíso Do Tuiuti 5 Império Da Tijuca 6 União Da Ilha Do Governador 7 Acadêmicos Da Rocinha 8 Renascer De Jacarepaguá 9 Acadêmicos De Santa Cruz 10 Caprichosos De Pilares

GRUPO RJ / 1 (was grupo B) – Tuesday 24th Feb – PASSARELA DO SAMBA 1 Alegria Da Zona Sul 2 Independente Da Praça Da Bandeira 3 União De Jacarepaguá 4 União Do Parque Curicica 5 Corações Unidos Do Amarelinho 6 Tradição 7 Sereno De Campo Grande 8 Unidos De Padre Miguel 9 Lins Imperial 10 Unidos Do Jacarezinho 11 Acadêmicos Do Cubango 12 Arrastão De Cascadura 13 Boi Da Ilha Do Governador 14 Arranco

GRUPO RJ / 2 (was grupo C) -Sun 22nd Feb – ESTRADA INTENDENTE MAGALHÃES 1 Unidos De Lucas 2 Acadêmicos Da Abolição 3 Unidos De Cosmos 4 Unidos Do Cabuçu 5 Unidos Da Ponte 6 Unidos Do Cabral 7 Vizinha Faladeira 8 Acadêmicos Do Dendê 9 Flor Da Mina Do Andaraí 10 Difícil É O Nome 11 Unidos De Manguinhos 12 Acadêmicos De Vigário Geral 13 Acadêmicos Do Sossego 14 Mocidade De Vicente De Carvalho

GRUPO RJ / 3 (Was Grupo D) – Monday 23/02 – ESTRADA INTENDENTE MAGALHÃES 1 Mocidade Unida De Jacarepaguá 2 Em Cima Da Hora 3 Leão De Nova Iguaçu 4 Delírio Da Zona Oeste 5 Mocidade Unida Do Santa Marta 6 Acadêmicos Do Engenho Da Rainha 7 Unidos De Vila Kennedy 8 Mocidade Independente De Inhaúma 9 Imperial De Morro Agudo 10 Unidos Do Sacramento 11 Unidos Da Vila Santa Teresa 12 Rosa De Ouro 13 Unidos Do Anil 14 Arame De Ricardo 15 Gato De Bonsucesso

GRUPO RJ / 4 (Was grupo E) – Tuesday 24/02 – ESTRADA INTENDENTE MAGALHÃES 1 Unidos Da Villa Rica 2 Boêmios De Inhaúma 3 Unidos Do Uraiti 4 Infantes Da Piedade 5 União De Guaratiba 6 União De Vaz Lobo 7 Paraíso Da Alvorada 8 Favo De Acari

Source by Giselle Winston

Canine Hepatitis – Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Canine hepatitis is a viral disease affecting a dog’s liver caused by canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1). The virus is spread by body fluids, including nasal discharge and urine. It is transmitted by direct contact with an infected animal or from contaminated objects like food dishes and kennels. Dogs of all ages are susceptible to the disease but the most serious threat is to unvaccinated puppies.

Cases of canine hepatitis can be mild to severe. Dogs with mild cases may lose their appetite, act lethargic, run a fever, and develop a cough. Dogs with an acute form of canine hepatitis (which can turn fatal) will develop more severe symptoms including high fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, cloudy or bluish eyes, and may require hospitalization. Because the virus affects the liver, a vital organ responsible for performing many bodily functions, the disease is serious and should be treated for immediately.

    note: Dogs recovering from the disease can still be carriers and can pass on the virus for up to nine months in the urine. Since it is such a highly contagious disease dogs, the responsible thing is to keep a recovering dog from exposing others, by not allowing him around unvaccinated dogs and puppies.

Treatment for canine hepatitis usually consists of the administration of intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and vitamins. However, permanent prevention through a vaccination against the CAV-1 is recommended with boosters every one to three years. There’s no reason your dog should have to become infected. Have your dog vaccinated.

Always seek medical attention and advice from your Veterinarian

Source by Athena Andris

Arizona Ash Trees

Arizona ash trees (Fraxinus velutina) are quite common to Arizona, and are well adapted to the sunny climate here. In fact, many other types of ash trees grow in Arizona as well. There are over 65 species of ash trees. Wikipedia lists many ash trees according to regions where they are found. Be aware that there are other woody plants that have “ash” in their name (such as mountain ash and prickly ash), but are not of the genus Fraxinus, and so are not ash varieties at all. Below is a list of some of the Arizona ash tree varieties, which is by no means comprehensive:

  • Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) – also called ‘swamp ash’ or ‘water ash’
  • Raywood ash (Fraxinus oxycarpa)
  • Shamel ash, (Fraxinus uhdei) – also called ‘tropical ash’
  • Fantex ash, (Fraxinus velutina) – also called the ‘Rio Grande ash’
  • Littleleaf ash (Fraxinus greggii)
  • Arizona ash (Fraxinus velutina) – known commonly as ‘velvet ash’ or ‘modesto ash’
  • Singleleaf ash (Fraxinus anomala)
  • Goodding ash (Fraxinus gooddingii)
  • Fragrant ash (Fraxinus cuspidata)
  • Chihuahua ash (Fraxinus papillosa)

The Arizona ash tree has many positive features, but along with those come some drawbacks. Horticulturist Calvin R. Finch, Ph.D., has labeled the Arizona ash a ‘trash tree’ because of its life span of only about 25-30 years, among other reasons.

Ash trees are deciduous, which means they shed their leaves at the end of the growing season. Many types of trees are considered messy, and the ash tree is no exception. Most ash trees, fortunately, limit their leaf drop to a two-week period. Most ash trees also produce seedlings, either all year round or only once per year but in great numbers depending on their gender and species. With an ash tree, you must learn to enjoy raking at least once in a while if you prefer a tidy yard.

The majority of ash species are fast growing trees. While rapid growth makes for quick shade, it also presents drawbacks. Fast growing trees tend to develop surface roots. Although the roots of ash trees often grow close to the surface, they are usually tolerant of a both alkaline and rocky soils However, as described by Watson and Gilman in their Fact Sheet about the green ash tree, these surface roots can “become a nuisance as they lift curbs, sidewalks and make mowing difficult.” Finch is quick to point out another downside to the rapid growth typical of most ash trees: “unless you prune it on a regular basis it can become a tangled mess with frequent branch dieback.” Plan to trim ash trees at least every few years to promote a healthy branch structure and keep its canopy from becoming too dense. Otherwise, there can be weak growth that is prone to breaking. It is not a good idea to allow multiple trunks, as this will eventually lead to structural failure. It is best to establish one central trunk while the tree is still young. Before planting a new ash tree, be sure your yard is big enough. Ash are large trees. While most mature ash trees reach about 40 to 50 feet in height, some can be over 80 feet tall, and all tend to have a full, round canopy.

Arizona ash trees, like many other plants, are susceptible to various pests and diseases. These include cankering, mildews and various fungal infections, leaf scorch, rust diseases, and pests such as mites, webworms, carpenter worms, and borers. Ash trees are particularly vulnerable to Verticillium wilt, which is a soil-borne fungus. In some parts of the country (primarily the midwest), the emerald ash borer has killed many tens of thousands of ash trees. Luckily, Arizona ash tree varieties have not yet been affected by the destructive emerald ash borer (read more about this pest at Trees that endure poor environmental conditions are more vulnerable to these problems, so it is important to keep the tree’s defenses up by watering and fertilizing adequately.

In your effort to maintain your Arizona ash tree, I encourage researching according to its species, because there is a surprising array of unique qualities attributed to each. There is a series of several hundred tree fact sheets for species of trees and shrubs, written by Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson, both professors at the University of Florida. These are a good source of basic information about the specific trees you may wish to learn more about. They are provided in part by the Forest Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

If they are maintained well, ash trees are very lush and beautiful. On the other hand, ash trees that are uncared for easily become an eyesore and much more likely to be host to various pests and tree diseases. While certain varieties of ash are fairly drought resistant, most require plenty of water. Flood irrigation will provide the best setting for an ash tree. If your yard is not irrigated, it is best to mimic flood irrigation with the garden hose by deep-watering once or twice per month. If you live in Arizona and have an ash tree in your yard that you hope to keep healthy and looking nice, be prepared to cringe when you look at the monthly water bill. You may also want to fertilize your ash trees regularly. Putting mulch down around the tree is also beneficial for two reasons: it will not only enrich the soil as the organic matter breaks down, but the mulch will also retain moisture from the watering to keep the soil wet longer.

Though they are not especially easy to take care of, it is worth the effort to keep each ash tree in your yard healthy. In return for your service, they will provide plenty of lovely shade. A healthy Arizona ash tree will most certainly enhance the beauty of your yard.

Source by Claire Charlton

Why Risk Your Life With A Second Rate Water Filter?

Thinking of traveling to a country where the water supply is not safe to drink. You have two options, buy bottled water, or get your own water treatment / filtering equipment. There are various different ways to provide yourself with constant clean water. So there is no excuse for not being prepared.

Water is essential to our survival and health, and not having a clean water supply could prove fatal in the worst cases. As humans we need a clean source of water at all times. Without this simple requirement our bodies cannot function correctly. The problems associated with clean water are not new. It is estimated that over 2 million children die a year from lack of safe drinking water. So lack of clean water in many countries is not a small problem. Why take the chance, if you are planning on going somewhere with unsafe drinking water. Sure, you can buy bottled water, but everyone has heard the stories of bottled water being filled up with local contaminated water, why take the chance? Amoebic dysentery is an infection of the intestine caused by an amoeba called Entamoeba Histolytica, which among other things, can cause severe diarrhoea and even be fatal in the worst cases. Ameobic dysentery is a parasite that is found in contaminated food and drink, especially water. With a good water filter you would be protected from dysentery in the water you drink. Even if you buy bottled water it is always a good idea to filter it if you don’t trust where you purchased it from.

There are quite a few different brands of water filter available and they come in all shapes and sizes. The question always arises, what is the best filter both in design and value for money? This question is probably best answered depending on what your usage for the water filter will be. Are you planning to go out into the wilderness for extended periods of time? How much will you need to use your water filter, every day, once a week? These are all things you need to think about when buying a water filter. The main factors that will help you decide on what filter is best for you are factors like, weight, durability, lifespan, reputation and reliability. There are a whole range of products on the market which range from the cheaper water bottle style with an inbuilt filter to the industrial never-die portable units with replaceable ceramic filters.

If you are planning to go into areas where clean water is not going to be available, it is essential to buy a top of the range filter, in which case you are probably looking at spending around US$250. There are several differences between high and mid to low end water filters. The most noticeable difference is usually the build and material qualities that have been used to make the filters. The other main difference is the size of the gaps or holes in the actual filter. The lower end water filters tend to have plastic mechanisms and levers. Filters made out of plastic are ok, if you are not going to be in life threatening situations if it brakes. For complete peace of mind it is really hard to go past a well built metal water filter that you know is not going to break the first time you accidentally step on it, or the hundredth time for that matter.

Source by John Roland

An Examination of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

Cancer is a life-threatening disease that is prevalent in our time. One of which is known as non-Hodgkins lymphoma or NHL. It is a cancer that affects the lymphatic system and develops in the lymphoid tissue, which contain lymphocytes that are found all over the body. The lymphatic system is part of our immune system, and contains two basic types of lymphocytes. B lymphocytes manufacture antibodies that protect your body against bacteria and viruses by attracting white blood cells that devour them.

Tlymphocytes on the other hand destroy cancer cells as well as viruses, fungi, and bacteria. They produce a chemical called cytokinesis which attracts white blood cells to help destroy harmful microorganisms. Research posted at by the Cancer Society claims that non-Hodgkins lymphoma develop from B lymphocytes 85% of the time, and the remaining 15% from T lymphocytes.

Since lymphoid tissue is found in all the areas of the body, non-Hodgkins lymphoma can originate almost anywhere in the body. It commonly develops on the lymph nodes, spleen, digestive tract, and tonsils. Diagnosis can be difficult because there are at least thirty different types of lymphoma. It is a fast growing type of cancer that can spread quickly if not diagnosed immediately. Treatment depends on which type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma is present, the rate that it is growing, or if it has infected surrounding tissues.

Since every case of non-Hodgkins lymphoma is unique, treatment is often difficult and complicated. Treatment used on one case may not necessarily work on another. It is safer to obtain a second opinion before any treatment should begin. This is important especially if there are questions or doubts about the recommendations being made.

Before undergoing any major treatment or surgery consider getting a second opinion as it may spell the difference between death and a full recovery. Visit the American Cancer Society at, the National Caner Institute at, and [], for more information on non-Hodgkins lymphoma. These websites offer critical information on signs and symptoms, early diagnosis, and various treatments and interventions.

Source by Morgan Hamilton

Studies Don’t Implicate GM Crops In Honeybees Disappearance

Around April this year, a rumor mill somewhere churned out a charge that genetically modified (GM) crops were responsible for mass disappearances of honeybees. Code-named colony collapse disorder, the puzzle-story fast gained traction in the blogsphere and mainly web sites of anti-biotech groups such as the Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Organic Consumer Association (OCA).

OCA, perhaps, exuded the most exuberance at the news. It amplified a blog entry on the Celsias Blog, which argued that honeybees were bound to disappear because of their contact with “…substances they shouldn’t have to deal with – pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and pollen from genetically modified crops.”

OCA further ran another article, originally published on the web site of Malaysia-based Pesticide Action Network Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), which quoted one Dr Ricarda Steinbrecher, a UK-based genetic scientist, saying:

Nobody knows why the bees are dying. There is evidence though that GE crops contribute to this, in particular insect resistant crops producing the Bt-toxin. Though healthy bees do not seem to be affected by Bt pollen, a scientist called Hans-Hinrich Kaatz in Germany has found that bees infested with parasites and fed with Bt pollen were affected and died at a high rate. Beekeepers have for years reported that honeybees suffer from high rates of parasites and diseases. As reported last week in a German journal [Der Spiegel], this resembles new evidence that Bt pollen is a contributing factor in the death of the bees. The areas where the bees have disappeared have a lot of Bt crops being grown there. We don’t think this is a coincidence. No one would ever have thought that this could have been an outcome of Bt and yet here we are. Not only do we not know exactly how this interaction happened, we don’t know how to deal with it or stop it or even if we can.

To not be left out of the debate, I highlighted an article in the journal Science, which discounted fears that GM crops were responsible for honeybees disappearance. GMO Pundit Blog did the same. Two days ago, the New York Times published study findings by a group of entomologists that implicate a bee disease called Israeli acute paralysis virus in the acute colony disorder. The study is available in Science Express, the online edition of journal Science.

These scientific findings are significant in that they disambiguate the cause(s) of honeybees disappearance. Those linking GM crops to the acute colony disorder, it’s hoped, have learned a lesson. The studies also uphold the role of science in the debate about GM crops.

Source by James Wachai

Blood Types – The Basics

Red blood cells have proteins called antigens on their surfaces. A person with A antigens is said to have Type A blood. Someone with the B antigen has type B blood. If you have both the A and the B antigens on the surface of your red blood cells, then your blood type is AB. Someone who does not have either of those antigens is said to be type O.

If type A persons receive blood from a type B or AB person, they will develop antibodies to the B antigen which would be seen as a foreign body. Those antibodies would attack the red cells of the donor’s cells in the recipient’s system and cause a major transfusion reaction.

If type B patients receive blood from a type AB or A donor, they would develop antibodies against the A antigen, which would be seen as a foreign body. Those antibodies would attack the red cells of the donor circulating in the recipient’s system and cause a major transfusion reaction.

If type O individuals receive blood from a type A, B, or AB donor, they would develop antibodies against the A and B antigen, which are both seen as foreign bodies. Those antibodies would attack the red cells of the donor’s blood circulating in the recipient’s system. A type O individual can only receive blood from another type O person.

Since type O persons do not possess either the A or the B antigen, it is safe to transfuse type O blood into an A,B, or AB recipient. There are no foreign bodies on the O red cell which would stimulate antibody production in the recipient. This is why type O people are called the Universal Donors.

What determines your blood type? The antigens from your parents are determined by alleles, a form of genetic information. You get one from each of your parents. For example, if you inherit an A allele from your mother and a B allele from your father, your blood type would be AB.

If you inherit an A allele from your mother and an A allele from your father, your alleles’ genotype would be AA, which would be called type A blood.

If you inherit an A allele from one parent, and the other parent is type O (no A or B antigen at all), then your alleles’ genotype would be AO, which would be called type A blood.

If you inherit a B allele from one parent and the other parent is O, your alleles’ genotype would be BO, resulting in what is called type B blood. You would have to get an O antigen from each of your parents to have OO as your alleles’ genotype, to have type O blood.

The A and B antigens are the major antigens of concern. But there are other important antigens on some red cells also. One of these is called the Rh factor. About 85% of Caucasians and about 95% of African-Americans possess the Rh antigen on their red cells. These people are called Rh Positive. For example, if a type A person has the Rh antigen, he/she is said to be A Positive.

If an AB individual does not have the Rh antigen, he/she is said to be AB negative. An Rh negative person cannot receive blood from an Rh Positive donor, because that person would form antibodies to the Rh factor which would be seen as a foreign body circulating in the recipient’s system. Those antibodies would destroy the red blood cells from the donor, causing a major transfusion reaction in the recipient.

O Negative individuals are the true Universal Donors. They don’t have the A, B, or Rh antigens on their cells, therefore O Negative blood can be given to anyone without antibodies to those factors being formed. But they can only receive O Negative blood.

Source by Elizabeth Blake

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