Alonso-Castro A.J.,Metropolitan Autonomous University
Journal of Ethnopharmacology | Year: 2014
Ethnopharmacological relevance Mexico has great biodiversity of fauna. The use of fauna with medicinal properties is a common practice since pre-Hispanic times. In the last decade, there has been an interest in ethnozoological studies in Mexico. Therefore, more studies are needed in order to gather information regarding the use of fauna with medicinal properties in México. Ethnozoological studies are necessary in order to discover new medications for human health. This review presents current information in terms of ethnozoological, conservation status, trade, toxicological and pharmacological effects of fauna used for medicinal purposes in Mexican traditional medicine (MTM), based on scientific literature. Future prospects for research with medicinal fauna are discussed. Materials and methods Bibliographic investigation was carried out by analyzing recognized books and peer-reviewed papers, consulting worldwide accepted scientific databases from the last five decades. Reports included in this review complied with the three criteria cited as follows: (i) used in Mexican traditional medicine for medicinal and/or magical-religious purposes, (ii) with experimental studies regarding the toxicological or medicinal effects and/or with studies exploring mechanisms of medicinal effects, and (iii) with information obtained from a clear source. Results A total of 163 animal species, belonging to 79 families and 4 taxonomic categories, used for medicinal purposes are reported in this review. Medicinal fauna used in MTM come from birds (48), fishes (3), insects (22), mammals (49) and reptiles (41). The most versatile species which had the greatest number of medicinal properties were Mephitis macroura (21 uses), Crotalus atrox (17 uses), Dasypus novemcinctus (13 uses) and Didelphis virginiana (13 uses). However, 14 of the 161 species listed in this review are classified as endangered. Animal species are mainly used for the treatment of inflammatory, respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases. Furthermore, insects and reptiles are the animal groups with more pharmacological studies. Approximately, 11% and 5% of medicinal fauna have been tested in terms of their pharmacological and toxicological effects, respectively. Conclusion Despite the use of medicinal fauna in MTM, during centuries, there are a very limited number of scientific studies published on this topic. This review highlights the need to perform pharmacological, toxicological and chemical studies with medicinal fauna used in MTM. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: SSH-2010-4.1-2 | Award Amount: 3.42M | Year: 2011
The central objective of this project is to understand how environmental governance is shaped in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and to develop a new analytical framework for environmental governance in the region. The project will focus on both formal and informal practices of management around renewable and non-renewable natural resources, how they are perceived, contested and reshaped in the context of rapid and complex social, political, economic and environmental changes at local, national, and global levels. In order to do so, the concept of environmental governance provides a comprehensive approach linking theory and practice. Latin American and Caribbean countries have come to occupy a key position in the global debate on environmental governance, and the climate crisis has further stressed the international importance of the region. This project will focus on the obstacles and possibilities for sustainable production systems that can generate both economic development and a more equitable distribution of benefits in order to decrease poverty, exclusion, and environmental degradation in LAC. It will depart from the regions experience with environmental governance, analyse recent initiatives, and explore options for institutional innovation and inclusive approaches towards natural resource use and management. The project will build on available knowledges and generate new information which will be widely disseminated among all relevant user groups (social movements, academics, state institutions and private sector) to support them in developing future strategies and activities. The project will use multi-disciplinary and multi-scalar methods, including stakeholders in all the project phases to discuss and compare contexts and outcomes in different LAC regions, and to develop innovative tools for learning processes and communicating its results.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.3.4-01 | Award Amount: 4.03M | Year: 2011
The main aim of TRANSBIO is the implementation of an innovative cascading concept for the valorisation of sub-products from fruit and vegetable processing industry using environmental friendly biotechnological solutions like fermentation and enzyme-conversion strategies to obtain valuable bioproducts like plastics (PHB), nutraceuticals / platform chemical succinic acid and enzymes for detergent applications. TRANSBIO will characterize and select appropriate by-products from fruit and vegetable processing industry, followed by adapted pre-treatment and enzymatic hydrolysis procedures to obtain fermentable sugars for microbial fermentation. In order to obtain a broad application potential for the by-products selected, the project will investigate three different fermentation strategies submerged cultivation (SmF) in liquid media (bacteria, yeasts) and solid state fermentation (SSF) (fungi). Beside optimisation and up-scaling of fermentation Protocols, down-stream processing will be developed keeping in mind economical feasibility, sustainability as well as end-product formation (intracellular, extra cellular). The procedures will be optimised for extra cellular succinic acid production in SmF using novel non-conventional yeast strains and extracelluar enzyme formation in SSF under utilisation of fungi as well as intracellular PHB formation in SmF with bacteria. The obtained PHB will be tested for their packaging application, enzymes will be proved for detergent utilisation and succinic acid will be purified for food application. Beside, original and pre-treated by-products as well as remaining biomass from fermentation strategies will be tested for their potential to be used as feedstock for biogas production via anaerobic digestion.
Hernandez-Guerrero M.,Metropolitan Autonomous University |
Stenzel M.H.,University of New South Wales
Polymer Chemistry | Year: 2012
Among various structuring techniques, a water-driven 'templating' method for the fabrication of highly ordered porous membranes has been widely exploited for the past 17 years due to its versatility and robustness. This simple method relies on the formation of "breath figures" and the assembly of a polymer around them, resulting in the production of membranes with hexagonally arranged pores known as honeycomb structured porous polymer films/membranes. Herein, we present a review of relevant literature to stress on the advantages of this simple templating method compared with the wide range of conventional templating and lithographic techniques that have been previously used in the field. Furthermore, we present a comprehensive review on the progress in the field including the study of relevant variables, the materials that have been used, the combination of the method with other techniques, some current and potential applications for the membranes as well as characterization techniques. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Moreno-Macias H.,Metropolitan Autonomous University |
Romieu I.,International Agency for Research on Cancer
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2014
Asthma and allergic diseases have become a worldwide public health concern because of their increased prevalence. Despite decades of research on risk factors, the causes of these disorders are poorly understood. They are thought to develop through complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Because pulmonary and systemic oxidative stress increase inflammatory responses relevant to asthma and allergy, dietary or vitamin supplementation with antioxidants (a broad and varied category) has been proposed as an approach to reducing asthma incidence or morbidity. Meta-analyses of observational epidemiologic studies of variable methodological quality suggest associations of relatively low dietary intake of antioxidants and higher asthma and allergy prevalence. However, there have been few longitudinal studies of maternal or child dietary or vitamin/supplement antioxidant intake and asthma/allergy development. Moreover, there are no clinical trial data to support the use of dietary antioxidants or supplements to prevent asthma or allergy. A few small clinical trials suggest that specific antioxidants from diet or vitamin supplements might improve asthma control or lung function in asthmatic children or adults. Studies suggest that responses to antioxidants might be modified by life stage, genetic susceptibility, and environmental sources of oxidative stress. Large trials of antioxidant vitamin supplementation to prevent cancer suggest an increase in overall mortality with antioxidant vitamin supplementation, at least in populations with sufficient dietary antioxidant intake. This cautionary experience suggests that future trials to assess whether antioxidants reduce asthma incidence or improve asthma control should focus on supplementation of dietary sources of antioxidants. The potential benefits and risks of trials of vitamin supplements might be considered in special situations in which vulnerable populations have marked deficiency in dietary antioxidants, poor access to dietary antioxidants, and high exposure to environmental sources of oxidants.
Azorin J.,Metropolitan Autonomous University
Applied Radiation and Isotopes | Year: 2014
Many different natural minerals and synthetic inorganic compounds present the phenomenon of thermoluminescence (TL); however, only a part of them satisfy the requirements to be used as TL dosimeters. The mechanism of excitation energy transformation into the output of light is one of the most important points in the TL materials designing. Both the threshold detection dose and accuracy of measurements depend on the efficiency of energy transformation.The role of diverse mechanisms of energy transfer and energy losses is very different depending on the nature of the TL material and its composition including intrinsic defects and those induced by impurities. The structure of these defects can be controlled to a high extent by the preparation method. That is why the most important fact is to find the interrelations among the preparation methods, the structural defects and the TL properties of the material.The aim of this paper is to give a selected review on the preparation methods of the most popular and commercially available phosphors as well as those less used or "homemade" for special studies. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Ireta J.,Metropolitan Autonomous University
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation | Year: 2011
Under certain circumstances β-sheets prefer to be twisted instead of flat. To get insight into the reasons of such preference, bare and microsolvated parallel and antiparallel two-strand polyalanine β-sheets are investigated using density functional theory. Full geometry optimizations show that microsolvation increases interstrand twisting and promotes a flat to twist transition. It is found that the latter behavior is connected to compressive strain resulting from microsolvation. Residues in flat β-sheets adjust the sense of its local intrastrand twist, which leads to the appearance of interstrand twist, to release strain and to favor water-water hydrogen bonding. The predicted microsolvation effect is corroborated analyzing the geometry of residues forming β-sheet motifs in protein crystals. © 2011 American Chemical Society.
Barrios-Gonzalez J.,Metropolitan Autonomous University
Process Biochemistry | Year: 2012
Solid-state fermentation is an alternative culture method that has gained researchers attention over the past 20 years. There are several advantages in employing many SSF processes over the conventional submerged fermentation (SmF) ones, like higher yields of secondary metabolites or enzymes. Moreover, certain enzymes and secondary metabolites can only be produced in SSF. Many of these advantages are related to the special physiology shown by fungi in SSF. This review refers to this physiology (i.e. a behavior that deviates from the one displayed by the fungus in liquid medium), sometimes referred to as "physiology of solid medium", and its molecular basis. The reason for this different physiology in SSF is not fully understood, but recent advances are beginning to draw an interesting and wide panorama. Higher secondary metabolites production has been related to higher transcription of the biosynthetic genes; while studies on enzymes production in SSF have identified SSF-specific genes and provided deeper insight into their genetic expression and regulation. Moreover, some solid culture environmental stimuli (signals) have been identified. Many of these basic findings are also starting to be applied to new genetic improvement methods, novel culture systems, and other technological advances. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Galano A.,Metropolitan Autonomous University
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2011
The reactions of melatonin (MLT) with hydroxyl and several peroxyl radicals have been studied using the Density Functional Theory, specifically the M05-2X functional. Five mechanisms of reaction have been considered: radical adduct formation (RAF), Hydrogen atom transfer (HAT), single electron transfer (SET), sequential electron proton transfer (SEPT) and proton coupled electron transfer (PCET). It has been found that MLT reacts with OH radicals in a diffusion-limited way, regardless of the polarity of the environment, which indicates that MLT is an excellent OH radical scavenger. The calculated values of the overall rate coefficient of MLT + OH reaction in benzene and water solutions are 2.23 × 1010 and 1.85 × 1010 M-1 s-1, respectively. MLT is also predicted to be a very good OOCCl3 scavenger but rather ineffective for scavenging less reactive peroxyl radicals, such as alkenyl peroxyl radicals and OOH. Therefore it is concluded that the protective effect of MLT against lipid peroxidation does not take place by directly trapping peroxyl radicals, but rather by scavenging more reactive species, such as OH, which can initiate the degradation process. Branching ratios for the different channels of reaction are reported for the first time. In aqueous solutions SEPT was found to be the main mechanism for the MLT + OH reaction, accounting for about 44.1% of the overall reactivity of MLT towards this radical. The good agreement between the calculated and the available experimental data, on the studied processes, supports the reliability of the results presented in this work. © the Owner Societies 2011.
Galano A.,Metropolitan Autonomous University
Nanoscale | Year: 2010
The potential role of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as free-radical scavengers is still an emerging area of research. So far some promising results have been reported strongly suggesting that CNTs can be very efficient for that task. The implications of such a valuable property for applications aimed at biomedical and environmental uses are encouraging. There are still abundant open questions related to the possible use of CNTs for scavenging free radicals. Thus much more work needs to be devoted to this fascinating topic. In this mini review the progress made so far is reviewed and some future perspectives are provided. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.