ABSTRACTS

CHRONIC DISEASES IN THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY
THE ELEMENTAL CONTENT OF JAMAICAN FOODS
COMPETITION ADVOCACY FOR A KNOWLEDGE-BASED SOCIETY
GARVEY AGAIN? AN OLD THOUGHT MATURES
COLUMBUS COVE 600 YEARS LATER THE IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH, SAFETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF THE JAMAICA LOBSTER FISHERY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - THE KEY TO NATIONAL GROWTH AND ECONOMIC EXPANSION
BIOTECHNOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENT OF TUBER CROPS FOR WEALTH AND WELLNESS AMONGST CARIBBEAN PEOPLE
JAMAICAN GINGER (Zingiber officinale): A SOURCE OF HEALTH, WEALTH AND KNOWLEDGE?
ADOPTING APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
DEVELOPMENT OF TURMERIC INTO A JAMAICAN NUTRACEUTICAL
TOWARDS A NATIONAL SYSTEM OF INNOVATION FOR DEVELOPMENT: THE AGRO-INDUSTRIAL SECTOR
EXPERIENCES OF WASTE MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING CENTRE (WRM&TC) IN PROVIDING COST EFFECTIVE AND SUSTAINABLE WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
CORAL REEFS, ARE THEY REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?
CREATING A KNOWLEDGE-BASED SOCIETY
THE ELDERLY AND COMPUTING: A CASE STUDY
TELEMEDICINE: THE JAMAICAN/CARIBBEAN MODEL; A CREATIVE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION FOR THE EXPORT OF HEALTH SERVICES AND BUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE HEALTH TOURISM INDUSTRY IN JAMAIA AND THE CARIBBEAN
MINING OF JAMAICA’S TRADITIONAL MEDICINAL KNOWLEDGE: A PROSPECTUS
SYNTHESIS OF PYRIDOACRIDINE ANALOGUES- IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE DRUG.
CARIBBEAN SECONDARY EDUCATION CERTIFICATE GENERAL PROFICIENCY PROFILES A MEASURE OF APTITUDE FOR TERTIARY STUDIES?
BANANA PRODUCTION USING TISSUE CULTURE: THE SRC/EU/BECO BANANA
AVIAN IgYs: ISOLATION AND NOVEL INTERACTIONS WITH BACTERIAL ANTIGENS
A SUSTAINABLE JAMAICAN ENVIRONMENT, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY
ANALYSIS OF HEAT TRANSFER THROUGH A CONCRETE SLAB WITH AN EMBEDDED PIPING NETWORK
INFUSION OF TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING FOR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
KEY GENES IN PREGNANCY RELATED DISEASE: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRESS AND HEALTH, WEALTH AND KNOWLEDGE PROMISE
THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE FOOD TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE TOWARDS HEALTH, WEALTH CREATION AND KNOWLEDGE IN THE AGRO-PROCESSING INDUSTRY
THE DEVELOPMENT OF MOLECULAR SENSORS AT UWI FOR PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
QUANTUM ORGANICULTURE: A HYPER-LEAP IN HLISTIC NATURAL ORGANIC GROWING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
DEVELOPING A NEW SYSTEM OF WASTE WATER TREATMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, JAMAICA
GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) AND HEALTH
QUANTIFICATION OF INFECTIOUS WASTE AND SIZING OF INCINERATORS FOR SELECTED MINISTRY OF HEALTH FACILITIES
A HISTORICAL REVIEW OF ANTHRAX IN JAMAICA - CAN WE FORGET ABOUT THIS DISEASE?
CHANGING PUBLIC HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES AND THE EPIDEMIOLOGICAL TRANSITION IN JAMAICA
BLOOD LEAD SCREENING OF CHILDREN USING PORTABLE LEAD ANALYZER
INTEGRATING THE HERBAL PRACTIONER INTO THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
BIO-ELECTRONIC MEDICINE: AIR-TRACS REFLEXING-PATTERNS IN PROFILES
PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON THE EFFECT OF TRANS-CINNAMIC ACID (tCA) On Selected In vitro JAMAICAN MEDICINAL PLANTS

 

 

SCIENTIFIC CHALLENGES TO HEALTH CARE IN THE 21ST CENTURY

OVERVIEW PRESENTATION

THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN DETERMINING THE VIABILITY OF JAMAICA’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF GLOBALIZATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Winston Mendes-Davidson
Health For All Jamaica Limited, Kingston, Jamaica

Over a period of 10,000 years health care has come full circle. From home and community to non-community institutions of care and all indications are that it is returning back to the home. Technological advances, which have shaped the form and content of productive relations, and the ways in which medicine is practiced throughout the world have driven this cycle of care. Advances in information technology have begun to change all aspects of health care, and the management of health information is now emerging as the central role of the Doctor who leads the team of health practitioners. In this connection the historic development of Jamaica’s health service is being used as the point of departure in examining these very complex phenomena.
The fundamental question rests in the ability of the existing health system and services to adapt as seamlessly as possible to emerging national, regional and global challenges. These challenges are reflected in rapid changes in information technology, which not only influence health outcomes but also in many cases determine them. Does Jamaica have the capacity to compete in health service delivery in the global domain? The answer to this question will decide the fate of the existing health policies in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

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CHRONIC DISEASES IN THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY

Knox E. Hagley
Medical Associates Hospital, Kingston, Jamaica

The latter one-half of the twentieth century witnessed in Caribbean Countries an epidemiological transition in the pattern of diseases which resulted in the replacement of infectious diseases by Chronic non-communicable diseases as leading causes of death and chronic illness. The latter diseases are also the major contributors to chronic adult disability.
Control of the infectious diseases and the steady decline in fertility rates resulted in a fairly rapid ageing of Caribbean populations - a process which was enhanced by large scale emigration of young persons in the 6th and 7th decades of the Century. The ageing population provided a target for the non-communicable disease but the evidence is that styles of living in relation to dietary habits, physical activity practices, use and abuse of substances and other behavioural practices determined to a very large extent the pathogenesis and development of the leading diseases.
Prevalence rates of hypertension are high, those of diabetes mellitus high and rising and cancers also rising but with significant changes in the pattern of the malignancies. There also have been noticeable changes in the pathogenesis of heart disease - the number one cause of death in the Community. An adden concern is that obesity, a risk factor for many of these diseases, has been increasing throughout the Caribbean region.
Chronic infectious diseases, nevertheless, are continuing to extract their toll on the lives of Caribbean peoples. The response of Caribbean Countries to the challenges have been varied and have taken place at both national and regional levels.

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THE ELEMENTAL CONTENT OF JAMAICAN FOODS

Gerald Lalor, Mitko Vutchkov, Leslie Hoo Fung and Robin Rattray
International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences (ICENS), UWI

Prompted by the discovery of unusually high levels of certain elements in Jamaican soils, ICENS has embarked on a program of measurement of the elemental content of local agricultural crops.
359 samples of locally grown food have been collected and are being analysed for a suite of essential and potentially harmful elements by a variety of analytical techniques including neutron activation analysis and atomic absorption spectrometry.
Some of these elements, such as cadmium, have implications for human and animal health. In the new era of globalization, these elements are also the subject of regulations being applied to international trade.
The levels and distribution of elements including cadmium, lead, zinc, copper, potassium, manganese and phosphorous in food and soils will be presented and some of the potential interdisciplinary implications will be discussed.

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SEARCH FOR NEW NITRIC OXIDE RELEASING DRUGS WHICH ARE USEFUL IN THE TREATMENT OF HYPERTENSION AND THEIR POSSIBLE INVOLVEMENT IN THE AETIOLOGY OF NON-INSULIN-DEPENDENT DIABETES MELLITUS

Donovan McGrowder, Dalip Ragoobirsingh and Tara Dasgupta
Department of Basic Medical Sciences (Biochemistry Section) and Department of Chemistry, UWI, Kingston Jamaica

Diabetes and hypertension increase the risk of premature mortality and contribute to several causes of death leading to heart disease and stroke in the Jamaican population. There is a recent reported 17.9% prevalence of diabetes in Jamaica. Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder specific to pregnancy. The incidence in Jamaica is 4.1%. S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), a nitric oxide (NO) donor has been used to prevent platelet activation in patients with preeclampsia and those undergoing percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. The study investigated the pharmacological effect of GSNO on glucose metabolism in an animal model. The results indicate that GSNO decreased mean artrial blood pressure and increased postprandial blood glucose levels due to impaired insulin release. The decreased binding of insulin to its receptor on the cell membranes of erythrocytes and mononuclear leucocytes was attributed to decreased insulin receptor sites and receptor affinity. The clinical relevance of the study is that GSNO treatment although beneficial, can cause hyperglycaemia which may be a side effect in patients with the above mentioned hypertensive disorders. These findings suggest the first evidence of the involvement of NO in the aetiology of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and illustrate the putative primary molecular defect observed in the “pre-diabetic”state.

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE LEAD CONTENT OF PAINTS USED ON THE BUILDINGS AT UTECH

R. Johnson
Faculty of Health and Applied Science, University of Technology, Kingston, Jamaica

The long term effects of lead in human can be severe and is associated with hypertension, decreased hearing, anemia and brain-related conditions. Lead exposure in even more severe in pregnant mothers as it can pass through the body and harm the baby. The legal definition of lead in paints is 0.5% by weight so any building found to contain greater than this value is considered leaded. In this paper, we conducted an investigation into lead exposure in 18 randomly selected building at the University of Technology, Jamaica.
Lead levels as high as 2069% were found. This is 5 times greater than the legal limit. The highest levels of lead were found in the following buildings, Caribbean School of Architecture (1.45%), Calvin McKain Library (0.47%), ACRM. Block (0.80%) and Track House (2.69%). The health implications of these findings will be discussed.

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SCIENTIFIC CHALLENGES TO HEALTH CARE IN THE 21ST CENTURY-ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

Sonia Lambie-Davidson
The Complementary Medicine Committee of The Ministry of Health Advisory Panel

The impact of modern health care and living conditions on human life has led in 100 years to doubling of life expectancy and a corresponding increase in chronic degenerative diseases.
The existing health system, is unable to shift its momentum from infectious disease fighting, heroic surgical procedures and intensive life-sustaining measures to adapt to these changes. A more informed, demanding and impatient population turns to a ‘new’ alternative medicine for more appealing solutions to the management of diseases and conditions.
The use of herbal medicine in the USA grew by 380 percent between 1991 and 1997, while use of alternative therapies in the age group 35-49 grew by 47.3 percent.
Scientific evidence for the claims of efficacy of most Alternative Medicine therapies is minimal. Much of the ‘evidence’ is anecdotal. For most physicians, the notion of incorporating into medical care and training, methods that have not met the criteria of scientific rigor, is unthinkable. The opportunity lies wide open to the scientific community to pave the way in this exiting new frontier of medicine.

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PENTRAXIN AND OTHER N-GLYCOSYLATED FAMILY MEMBERS ARE OVEREXPRESSED IN PREECLAMPSIA: A CASE FOR SUGARS?

Gregory I.C. Simpson and John Fray
Veterinary Services Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Kingston, Jamaica and Genomic Physiology
Group, Cellular and Molecular Physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester
and
Leslie C. Sharkey
Massachusetts; 3Department of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, Grafton, Massachusetts

Preeclampsia, a leading cause of maternal mortality, accounts for up to 15% of deaths world wide, yet it remains difficult to diagnose and treat. The disorder, characterized by spontaneous and sustained gestational hypertension, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), coupled with renal and placentaldysfunction is thought to be initiated by secretory protein(s) from the placenta. The SHHF/Mcc-fa cp rat has been advanced as a novel and suitable animal model for studying this disease, because during pregnancy it simultaneously has spontaneous hypertension, IUGR, as well as altered renal and placental gene expression. mRNA from placentas of SHHF and WKY control rats were analyzed by independently verified gene chip technologies with 8,979 transcripts and ESTs from the rat genome. Proteomic tools were applied to discover secretory proteins with N-myristoylation and N-glycosylation motifs as well as coiled-coil patterns to gain insights into the molecular mechanism of preeclampsia. Of the 8,178 mRNA transcripts identified in placental tissue, 33% were glycosylated myristoylproteins; 56 transcripts contained coiled-coil attachment motifs. Using this strategy, a cluster of proteins was identified, 90% of which are novel and have not been associated with the etiology of preeclampsia nor the pathophysiology observed in the SHHF/Mcc-fa cp rat. Gene expression patterns within this cluster were reversed with L-arginine treatment and only one protein, pentraxin, was secretory. The conclusion is that this cluster of glycosylated myristoylproteins may play an important role in preeclampsia.

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OXIDATIVE STRESS AND LIVER FUNCTION ENZYMES IN STREPTOZOTOCIN –INDUCED DIABETIC RATS FED JAMAICAN WILD YAM (DIOSCOREA Sp.) STEROIDAL SAPOGENIN EXTRACT

Marie A. McAnuff, Felix O. Omoruyi, Errol Y. Morrison and Helen N. Asemota
Biochemistry Section, Department of Basic Medical Sciences and Biotechnology Centre, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

To investigate the effect of yam steroidal sapogenin extract on lipid peroxidation in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
Diabetic male wistar rats (n=32) were fed diets supplemented with 1% bitter yam steroidal sapogenin extract or commercial diosgenin for three weeks. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), conjugated dienes, lipid profile and the activities of alanine and aspartate transaminases and acid phosphatase were measured in the liver.
The diabetic rats (fed normal, sapogenin extract from Jamaican wild yam and commercial diosgenin diets respectively) lost weight significantly (P<0.05) compared to the normal group even though there was no significant difference (P<0.05) in their feed intake. There was no significant change (P<0.05) in liver weight. Total cholesterol and VLDL-cholesterol decreased significantly (P<0.05), while HDL-cholesterol levels increased significantly in rats fed diets supplemented with commercial diosgenin and wild yam sapogenin extract compared to diabetic control. There was no significant change in phospholipids and triglyceride levels. The feeding of commercial diosgenin and wild yam sapogenin extract resulted in a significant decrease in conjugated dienes and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) compared to the unsupplemented diabetic groups and normal rats. Yam extract and commercial diosgenin also caused a significant decrease in the diabetes!-induced increase in alanine transaminase activity. However, they had no effect on aspartate and acid phosphatase levels.
Results obtained suggests that the feeding of bitter yam steroidal sapogenin extract to diabetic rats may result in alterations in the lipid composition of liver with subsequent reduction in lipid peroxidation. Data from this study also shows that the consumption of sapogenin extract from wild yam decreased liver damage associated with diabetes.

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WILD RATS AS RESERVOIRS OF ANGIOSTRONGYLUS CANTONENSIS IN JAMAICA

C.A. Waugh and R.D. Robinson
Department of Life Sciences, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica
J.F. Lindo
Department of Microbiology, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica
C. Myrie and D. Ashley
Ministry of Health, Kingston, Jamaica
and
M. Eberhard
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA

The nematode parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis is the most common cause of eosinophilic meningitis in humans worldwide. Infections are endemic in Asia, the Pacific islands and several other countries, and a case of eosinophilic meningitis was recently reported from Jamaica. In addition, two years ago, an outbreak of eosinophilic meningitis occurred in a group of United States students who visited Jamaica, and several cases were confirmed serologically.
This study was designed to determine the status of A. cantonensis infections in wild rats (Rattus spp.) in Jamaica as a step towards better understanding the public health significance of the parasite.
Three hundred and thirty five (335) rats were collected from several sites across Jamaica. The animals were dissected and the heart and pulmonary arteries explored Angiostrongylus cantonensis was recovered from 33% of the rats. There was no significant difference in infection rates between R. rattus and R. norvegicus.
This report of infections in Jamaican rats extends the range of A. cantonensis to another Caribbean country in addition to Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The findings further suggest that authochthonous transmission of the parasite to humans is possible in Jamaica.

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BLOOD GLUCOSE AND SOME FAECAL MINERALS IN RATS FED PHYTIC ACID EXTRACT FROM SWEET POTATO (IPOMEA BATATAS)

Lowell L. Dilworth, Felix O. Omoruyi and Errol Y. Morrison
Biochemistry Section, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica
and
Andrew O. Wheatley and Helen N. Asemota
Biochemistry Section, Department of Basic Medical Sciences and Biotechnology Centre, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

To determine the effects of consumption of phytic acid extract from sweet potato (Ipomea batatas) on rats blood glucose levels and the output of some faecal minerals.
In this study the effect of cooking on phytic acid levels and the phytic acid to zinc molar ratio, were assessed in three commonly eaten Caribbean tuber crops namely, Yellow yam (Dioscorea cayenensis), Cocoyam (Xanthosoma sp.) and Sweet Potato (Ipomea batatas). Phytic acid was then extracted from Sweet Potato and fed to Wistar rats for three weeks. At the end of this period the animals were sacrificed and blood glucose was determined. Faecal minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron were assessed weekly.
Faecal magnesium levels increased significantly in the groups fed phytic acid extract for weeks 1 and 2. In week 3, the output of magnesium was significantly higher in the group fed phytic acid extract without zinc supplement. Faecal zinc was significantly higher in the groups fed phytic acid extract compared to the controls in weeks 1 and 2. Supplementation of the diets with both phytic acid extract as well as commercial phytic acid resulted in an increase in the faecal output of iron except for the group which was fed commercial phytic acid plus zinc. There was no significant difference in faecal calcium output throughout the feeding period. All the groups fed phytic acid, or commercial phytic acid, displayed low blood glucose levels compared to their controls. A further lowering of blood glucose was seen in the groups which also had zinc added to their diets.
Supplementation of the rat diets with phytic acid extract resulted in a general increase in the output of faecal minerals. In this short-term study, a lowering of blood glucose was observed in all test groups compared to their controls. However the lowering of blood glucose was more pronounced in the groups fed phytic acid extract or commercial phytic acid plus zinc supplement. Phytic acid and zinc supplementation may play a vital role in the control of blood glucose in rats.

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IN VITRO DIGESTIBILITY OF STARCHES FROM YAMS (DIOSCOREA SPP) GROWN IN JAMAICA: A CONDITION FOR GLUCOSE AVAILABILITY

C.K. Riley and E.Y.St.A Morrison
Basic Medical Sciences (Biochemistry Section)
and
A.O. Wheatley, A.M. Ahmad, H.N. Asemota and I. Hassan
Biotechnology Centre and Department of Chemistry UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

Yams are important sources of carbohydrates in the diet of millions of people in the tropical and subtropical world, where 70-80% of the dry mass is starch. This study was designed to investigate the physiochemical characteristics of starches from different yam varieties and their influence on digestibility.
Starches from five yam varieties grown in Jamaican were extracted. The physiochemical properties; crystallinity determined by X-ray crystallography, granular size and the amylose content were determined and their effects on starch digestibility assessed. Scanning electron microscopy, Crystallinity and amylose contents were determined by the method of Farhat et al (1990) and in vitro digestibility determined by method of Moorthy et al (1999). Statistical differences of starch variables were obtained by use of the student’s t test.
X-ray diffractograms of Round leaf yellow yam (Dioscorea cayenensis), Sweet yam (Dioscorea alata), and Negro yam (Dioscorea rotundata) showed open hydrated hexagonal crystallites (type B). However, Bitter yam (Dioscorea dumentorum) had denser crystallites, with staggered monoclinic packing (type A), and Chinese yam (Dioscorea esculenta) the intermediate type crystallites (type C).

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IS ANGIOSTRONGYLUS CANTONENSIS INFECTION AN EMERGING THREAT TO HEALTH IN JAMAICA?

John F. Lindo
Department of Microbiology, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

Human infection with Angiostrongylus cantonensis can be serious and life threatening. The infection which was once thought to occur only in Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands has now be reported from humans and rats, the normal definitive host from Egypt, the Caribbean, the United States, Australia, Africa and most recently, Jamaica. In 1996 a single case of eosinophilic meningitis was reported from Jamaica but the etiology was unconfirmed. The first outbreak of eosinophilic meningitis in the Western Hemisphere due to A. cantonensis infection was reported from Montego Bay among a group of student tourists from the United States. Since then, the first fatal infection with the parasite from the Western Hemisphere was reported in a 14 month-old Jamaican child who had never traveled outside of Jamaica. This case confirmed that autochthonous infection has occurred in Jamaica and was reinforced by finding of A. cantonensis in a survey of rats and snail across Jamaica. These findings suggest that eosinophilic meningitis due to A. cantonensis may be an emerging threat to health in Jamaica. However, this can only be confirmed by an increase in clinical suspicion, improved knowledge of the natural history and epidemiology of the parasite and improved laboratory diagnostic capacity for infection.

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OPPORTUNITIES FOR WEALTH CREATION THROUGH SCIENCE AND TEACHNOLOGY

OVERVIEW PRESENTATION

Jaslin U. Salmon

Until recently, it was customary to discuss social development and economic development as separate entities. However, it has now been generally accepted that the two are intricately intertwined, and ought to be seen as merely different sides of the same coin. For this reason, although the paper is titled “Opportunities for Wealth Creation through Science and Technology,” the discussion will be presented in the context of social development.
The paper will begin with an overview of the events and circumstances that have led to the world- wide focus on social development, specifically calling attention to the World Summit for Social Development. Of particular interest is the importance of social development for those in poverty; as such, a brief summary of the poverty situation in Jamaica will be presented.
Next, the discussion will be directed to a brief review of the economic climate in Jamaica, after which attention will be turned to relevance of science and technology for social development in general and poverty eradication in particular.
There is no better way to dramatize the impact of science and technology, than by examples, therefore several cases where science and technology are used as tools in shaping social development will be cited.
The final section of the paper will examine prospects for development in specific sectors through the use of science and technology.

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COMPETITION ADVOCACY FOR A KNOWLEDGE-BASED SOCIETY

Barbara Lee
Fair Trading Commission, Kingston, Jamaica

As Jamaica moved from a Government regulated economic environment into a liberalized, market-driven economy, the rivalry among firms as they compete for market share became increasingly intense. Since free market cannot mean “free-for-all”, however, it became necessary for rules to be established, to govern how this highly competitive market will operate. Thus the Fair Competition Act of 1993 was promulgated. The body which was set up, in the same year, to enforce the Act, is the Fair Trading Commission.
Nine years later we are still not able to say that Jamaica has, what is commonly referred to as “a culture of competition”. That is to say that the population at large does not yet understand exactly what competition is about, what benefits may be derived from competition: and the role of each person in advancing the process. Some and perhaps most businesses are similarly uninformed. This is where competition advocacy emerges as an indispensable aspect of the new economic construct. All players in the market must know just how they fit into the whole. This paper will explore what competition advocacy is; its role and some of the challenges faced by the Fair Trading Commission, as it seeks to contribute to a knowledge-based society.

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WILL PORK FOLLOW THE PATH OF CHICKEN?: THE CASE OF VERTICAL COORDINATION IN JAMAICA’S BROILERS AND HOGS INDUSTRIES

Gladstone A. Barrett Jr.
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Kingston, Jamaica

This paper examines the trends towards increased industrialization in the broiler and pork industries. Historical perspectives are presented regarding the movement towards the use of vertically coordinated mechanisms along the supply chain. A comparison is made between the approach and the pace at which the process of industrialization occur within both industries. The paper also identifies some of the factors that are driving vertical coordination along the pork and broiler supply chain. Finally the paper takes a look at “what’s next”---presenting a picture of the future structure and direction of the pork industry.

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GARVEY AGAIN? AN OLD THOUGHT MATURES

James S. Moss-Solomon
Grace, Kennedy & Co. Ltd., Kingston, Jamaica

The presentation will briefly relate the relevance of the Garvey viewpoint to the global environment facing us, especially with regard to science and technology, education, and wealth creation.
It will utilize a framework drawn from a study of Southern California by Trevor Campbell and Reggie Nugent, and will relate this model to our own situation in Jamaica and the Caribbean. I will outline 3 ways of our participation in the global model, and identify deficiencies and opportunities.
The presentation will conclude with a few ideas for forward thinking involving science and technology, with commerce. Also a few areas for relevant product/service collaboration through science and technology will be explored.
In concluding, it is intended that this paper is only a thought clarification process, and will provide a basis for further discussion, refinement, and action.

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COLUMBUS COVE 600 YEARS LATER THE IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH, SAFETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Winsome Segree and Tomlin Paul
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, UWI, Kingston

Columbus Cove forms the northern coastal boundary of the village of Priory, two miles west of St Ann’s Bay, the capital of St Ann, Jamaica. The Spaniards settled at the eastern part of the cove in the sixteenth century and this is where some of Columbus’ ships sunk. The Cove has potential as a historical site, recreational area and marine park. This study is an environmental assessment of the cove focusing on the quality of the water, the extent of garbage and debris accumulation and the status of the coastline. It also seeks to identify hazards inimical to health, safety and the environment.
Over the years, there has been a noticeable decline in the population and variety of coral and marine life with no thought for conversation. Garbage and debris are constantly washed on to the beaches from the surrounding areas, and these harbour mosquitos, roaches and vermin. In addition, persons using the beach are at risk for injury. Extension of building into the water has disturbed the natural currents and this has led to degradation and erosion of the beach, and to the stagnation of the water in certain areas. Biological oxygen demand (BOD) levels at six different sites were well within accepted standards, however levels of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) were high at all but one location.
This paper presents the strategy of Health Promotion using “The Healthy Community Model” as a way to protect the environment and improve the safety and aesthetics of this area which has historic significance for Jamaica.

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THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF THE JAMAICA LOBSTER FISHERY

Richard Kelly
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries Division, Kingston, Jamaica

The lobster fishery is of significant social and economic benefit to Jamaica. In addition to being a popular delicacy in the hotel and food industry, lobsters are the country’s second largest fish export. Lobster production in 2001 was 309 mt. valuing about US$21 million. Lobsters are nutritionally important in many coastal communities across Jamaica and the fishery provides subsistence and employment for many fishers. The fishery also provides employment for workers (especially women) within the fish processing industry. The lobster fishery has a multiplier effect within the fishing communities as many businesses indirectly depend on the fishery for survival. Lobsters are also biologically important species.
Of the six types of lobsters found in Jamaican waters only two are of commercial importance. These are Panulirus argus (spiny lobster) and Panulirus guttatus. Fishing for lobsters is mainly done on the island’s south shelf and offshore banks. Lobsters are also harvested on the north shelf in smaller quantities. Lobsters are harvested mainly by using traps, gill nets, freelung and SCUBA diving.
The lobster fishery has potential to satisfy nutritional needs and generate economic rewards for Jamaica and her people. However, studies indicate that the fishery could be overexploited. It is therefore imperative that adequate and stringent management measures be put in place to curb the decline in the lobster stock. This paper highlights the social and economic significance of the lobster fishery and recommends management measures that could be explored to preserve and enhance the lobster stocks.

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - THE KEY TO NATIONAL GROWTH AND ECONOMIC EXPANSION

Paul Gyles
Biology Department, Northern Caribbean University, Mandeville, Manchester

As the world moves into the new millennium it is of utmost necessity that decision makers in developing economies and institutions embrace Science and Technology as the key for National Growth. Science and Technology forms the base and sets the framework for sustainable development and economic expansion in developed countries.
According to Hang, “it is necessary to develop a Science Infrastructure”. Construction and operation of scientific laboratories and research facilities will lead to discoveries, which are channels for growth and development. The incorporation and implementation of Science and Technology in planning and projects will lead to industrialization, productivity and economic stability. On the other hand if these philosophies are not embraced and implemented the end result is poverty, starvation, epidemic, war and economic instability, which is evident in most developed countries. As a part of the Science and Technology thrust, research and development should play a vital role because these components are wellsprings for technological innovations that will result in wealth for fledging economies. Science and Technology are utilized in the Biotechnology industry which has significant economic potential for developed and developing countries.
Science and Technology should be visible in the Information Technology industry which is a revolutionary area in modern economies. It should be the hub that drives the economy to productivity. It is important for the implementation of Science and Technology across sectors because this will lead to National Growth. Jamaica needs a significant boost in Science and Technology so that the country can be highly competitive and stable in this global market.

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BIOTECHNOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENT OF TUBER CROPS FOR WEALTH AND WELLNESS AMONGST CARIBBEAN PEOPLE

A.O. Wheatley, M.H. Ahmad, Morrison E.Y.St.A and H.N. Asemota
Biotechnology Centre and the Department of Basic Medical Sciences (Biochemistry Section)
WUI, Kingston, Jamaica

The Jamaican agricultural sector at the moment is going through one of its worst phases since the end of colonization. Each year the production levels of traditional and non-traditional export crops are on the decline. A number of factors have contributed to the present state of the sector. Chief among them are the increased prevalence of diseases whether it be bacterial or viral in origin affecting crops, lack of planting materials and the inadequacy of traditional farming practices in an era where technological advances are propelling agriculture worldwide. This makes it difficult for us to compete even in niche markets. The yam is one such crop that faces these problems. Application of biotechnology to crop improvement has increased the wealth of developed countries such as the USA and Canada. The UWI Yam Research has applied biotechnological techniques aimed at improving yam production and storage. Disease-free planting materials have been generated with improved storageability, the tubers are ideal for the export market due to uniformity in shape, size and extended shelf-life and they can also be used as “seed yams”. This provides the opportunity to involve local farmers in the practice of producing “seed yams” as is done for potato. Other aspect of the research involved the assessment of the glycemic index of some commonly eaten tubers and other carbohydrate-rich foods in the Caribbean. This is useful in the planning of diet for diabetic patients with a view to minimize the incidence of post -prandial high blood sugars or spikes.

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JAMAICAN GINGER (Zingiber officinale): A SOURCE OF HEALTH, WEALTH AND KNOWLEDGE?

Y.A. Bailey-Shaw, W.A. Gallimore, S.L. Hibbert and C.S. Reid
Natural Products Unit, Scientific Research Council, Kingston, Jamaica

The emergence of the new billion dollar Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods industry has created a second opportunity for Jamaican ginger to regain its place in the world market. Ginger contains actives, which are molecules that are reputed to improve health status by giving protection against degenerative diseases. These actives are the basic raw materials required by this new industry. However, they must be present in sufficient quantities for efficacy in health promotion.
Ethanolic extracts (oleoresins) of fresh and dried Jamaican blue ginger were prepared using hot and cold percolation procedures. The rhizomes were obtained from the chief ginger growing locations across the island. Gingerols and shogaols, the pungent principles and active components were extracted from the oleoresins using methanol. They were thereafter quantitatively analyzed by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Results indicate that Jamaican blue ginger oleoresin contains [6]-, [8]- and [10]- gingerols and [6]- shogaol. The main active identified was [6]- gingerol, which was present in ranges of 8.70%-13.22% and 11.90%-18.11% in fresh and dried oleoresin samples respectively (extracted by cold percolation). [6]- gingerol was also detected in ranges of 5.17%-12.63% and 10.77%-16.07% in fresh and dried oleoresin samples respectively (extracted by hot percolation). Observed ranges of [6]-shogaol were between 0.85%-1.65% (fresh) and 0.64%-1.37%(dried) for samples extracted by cold percolation and 0.45%-2.21% (fresh) and 0.91-3.21% (dried) for samples extracted by hot percolation. No major differences were observed in the quantities of actives extracted from oleoresin samples obtained from blue ginger cultivated in the various locations across the island. Implications of these findings as they relate to health, wealth and knowledge will be discussed.

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ADOPTING APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Abdullahi O. Abdulkadri
Department of Economics, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

Technology has played and continues to play a major role in the economic development of nations. The development of new technologies is often at considerable costs and it is not by accident that most new innovations are developed in the industrialized countries where both public and private funds go to support research and development. While new technologies, at least in the initial stages of dissemination, are tailored to specific industry, market or region, successful technologies are usually adopted globally within a short time. The adoption of new technologies, while undoubtedly may improve efficiency, also comes at a cost. This cost may be in the form of a private cost to the adopter, as a public cost to the society, or both. In the developing countries, the public costs of new technologies are often ignored. In the context of the new information age where technology is increasingly more mobile, this paper focuses on the economic yardsticks for measuring the adoption of appropriate technologies so as to achieve a sustainable economic development.

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DEVELOPMENT OF TURMERIC INTO A JAMAICAN NUTRACEUTICAL

Edwards, and D. Robinson
Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Technology
and
M. Millar and S.A. Mitchell
Biotechnology Center, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

The development of a nutraceutical industry in Jamaica will require the collaborative effort of scientific, agricultural, industrial and marketing interests and institutions; drawing on the strengths of each to accomplish a common goal. An example of such collaboration is the development of tumeric as a crop and as a source of the nutraceutical curcumin.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) is an ancient spice and a traditional remedy that has been used as a medicine, condiment, flavouring (curry, mustard) and dye. Recently curcumin has been used to inhibit the growth of tumors, protect against cancer, heal pain and inflammation, as an antioxidant and even against AIDS by inhibiting HIV replication and by boosting the immune system. In Jamaica, data published in the Provisional External Trade Magazine, STATIN, for the years 1990-1999 showed that the yearly quantity of fresh turmeric exported was 18,000 kg (worth US$ 334,283) and the quantity of dry turmeric imported was 30,155 kg (US$ 1,511,160). For the same period, however, the export of curry (11,701 kg worth US $ 1,687,495) outweighed the import of this commodity (7,340 kg worth US $ 552,988).
At the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division, seven treatments were applied to one turmeric cultivar that is commonly grown in Jamaica. Approximately 300g turmeric were boiled for 10, 15 and 20 mins respectively (Groups T1-T3); steamed for 10, 15 and 20mins (Groups T4-T6) and T7 (control) did not receive any heat treatment. All seven samples were then sun dried for 31 days. After drying, the groups were polished and ground. Their curcumin content (ISO standard spectrophotometric method 5566:1982) and their volatile oil content (AOAC Official Method 962.17) were determined. Their curcumin content ranged from 4.70 to 5.20 as a percentage by mass and volatile oil content from 4.8 to 5.6 % in 100g samples. The average wet/dry ratio was 5:1. At the Biotechnology Center, the bacteria levels in fresh and dried tumeric, and curry were tested. In vitro experiments have also been initiated. The significance of these results for the use of curcumin as a Jamaican-produced nutraceutical is discussed.

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TOWARDS A NATIONAL SYSTEM OF INNOVATION FOR DEVELOPMENT: THE AGRO-INDUSTRIAL SECTOR

Merline E. Bardowell
National Commission on Science and Technology, Kingston, Jamaica

Jamaica’s growth and development strategy is being propelled by its National Industrial Policy and has the strategic focus of export push and import substitution. This emphasis is also supported by the Trade Policy and the National Science and Technology policies. However, there are other challenges such as globalization, knowledge-based economy, internal social problems, sustainability of the environment and the erosion of protected markets and guaranteed quotas
To achieve and maintain competitivc edge in this environment, Jamaica, like developed economies, will have to look to innovation as a major driver of economic growth. It is, therefore, imperative that Jamaica develops a national system of innovation to formulate policies and to develop strategies to facilitate this thrust.
The paper will examine the challenges faced by Jamaica, its strategic focus, infrastructure for technological innovations in the agro-industrial sector, innovations in agro-industry and lessons learnt, conclusions and recommendations with respect to the establishment of a functional national system of innovation in support of this sector.

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EXPERIENCES OF WASTE MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING CENTRE (WRM&TC) IN PROVIDING COST EFFECTIVE AND SUSTAINABLE WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Julia Brown
Scientific Research Council, Kingston, Jamaica

Jamaica, an island state in the Caribbean, is one of the special places in the world that heavily depends on its water resources to sustain the economic livelihood and social well being of its people. Agriculture for primary production and tourism are two of the main economic activities from which Jamaica earns most of its foreign exchange. Fishing from rivers, the Caribbean Sea and inland pond systems are other important means of livelihood for many of its residents, activities that directly impact the water resources of the country. Water and energy use is critical to most economic activities in Jamaica.
There is an urgent demand to support public and private industry compliance with local and international environmental standards. Among the implications of this great demand is the need to mange these resources in a sustainable, efficient and effective manner to ensure long-term availability for use. The availability of these resources is threatened by environmental pollution caused by domestic, agricultural and industrial interference.
The Waste Research Management and Training Centre (WRM&TC), a unit of the Scientific Research Council of Jamaica, has over the past seven years focused on providing appropriate technological and economic alternatives to the agricultural, municipal and industrial sectors, in order to avoid, reduce and treat wastewater. The Centre has completed pioneering research and development activities to adapt anaerobic technology to local conditions, in the treatment of wastewater in an environmentally friendly and cost effective manner. The process generates treated water for irrigation purposes or its return to water bodies without polluting them; organic fertilizer; and biogas, an alternative source of fuel, by allowing naturally occurring bacteria to break down solid waste, in a closed system. The process is energy generating and requires minimum operation and maintenance thus reducing operating and maintenance costs.
This paper will present experiences of the Centre in providing cost effective solutions to waste producers in Jamaica enabling delivery of “green” products and services to satisfy local and international environmental standards.

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CORAL REEFS, ARE THEY REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?

Peter Edwards and Tatum Fisher
Centre for Marine Sciences, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

For the past 30 years the decline in coral reefs in Jamaican waters has been very significant. This decline in coral health has been attributed to a number of factors, both natural and anthropogenic. Coral reefs continue to be impacted from eutrophication, sedimentation and overfishing.
This paper will discuss the decline of coral reefs in the nearshore coastal waters of Jamaica. The influence of the Diadema die-off, eutrophication and overfishing on reef health will also be examined. The paper will explore the possible impacts of coral reef degradation on the overall economy of Jamaica. As well as briefly outline possible management strategies that can be implemented in order to reduce current stresses on the Jamaican coral reef environment.

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CREATING A KNOWLEDGE-BASED SOCIETY

OVERVIEW

Dr Patrick Dallas, Infotech Ltd.
EFFECT OF BREADFRUIT AND COCOYAM STARCH BINDERS ON FLUIDITY AND COMPRESSIBILITY OF PARACETAMOL GRANULES AND THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF THEIR TABLETS

A.S. Adebayo
Drug Research and Production Unit, Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State
and
O.A. Itiola
Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Mucilages of breadfruit and cocoyam starches were evaluated as binders in formulated paracetamol tablets. Corn starch BP and Polyvinylphyrrolidone (PVP) were used as reference standards. Granule fluidity and compressibility and tablet strength were used as assessment parameters. Generally, granules with breadfruit or cocoyam starch binder possessed higher fluidity than those with corn starch or PVP. Granule compressibility assessed by the Kawakita plot was of the rank order breadfruit >PVP>cocoyam>corn respectively. However, assessment with Heckel plot showed adifferent order of cocoyam>breadfruit>PVP>corn. The tablet tensile strength was compression pressure dependent in the general rank order of breadfruit>cocoyam>corn>PVP. Results showed that mucilage of breadfruit and cocoyam starches may serve as good substitute for corn starch binder in tablet formulation.

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THE ELDERLY AND COMPUTING: A CASE STUDY

Paulene S. Gayle, Denise Eldemire- Shearer and Chloe W. Morris
Department of Community Health & Psychiatry, UWI

The paper examines the use of computer technology by older persons 60+ years in two rural area communities in Jamaica. It relinquishes the technological myths and assumptions often made in regards to the elderly and the use of computing technology.
Technology seems to have widened the gap between the two generations, thus creating an almost total exclusion of one and inclusion of the other, older and younger generations respectively. In these two rural communities, parish organizers in collaboration with Community Based Organizations (CBOs), organized and operate computer classes for the elderly in the community on a weekly basis.
The case study focuses on these older computer users in order to get a qualitative insight on how learning to use computer technology has effected change in their lifestyle.
Technology has heightened the concept of ageism in our society, and more and more we build technological barriers for the elderly and make them into “technology dummies”
The study shows that by learning to use computer technology, the elderly in more ways than one can bridge the gap created by geographical mobility of family and friends.

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TELEMEDICINE: THE JAMAICAN/CARIBBEAN MODEL; A CREATIVE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION FOR THE EXPORT OF HEALTH SERVICES AND BUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE HEALTH TOURISM INDUSTRY IN JAMAIA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Winston Mendes-Davidson
Health For All Jamaica Limited, Kingston, Jamaica

This paper outlines the implementation of an information technology response to the impact and challenge of globalization on the health services in Jamaica and Caribbean territories. It outlines the principles and elements of a Telemedicine solution designed to facilitate the integration of voice, data and video in a seamless integration with existing health services and facilities throughout Jamaica. The design provides for the integration of IP telephony, ISP, web services, multimedia streaming for intranet, extranet and Internet; facilitating real-time consultation over a dedicated broadband wide area network. The development of virtual private networks will be used to assist in the efficient management of health information between facilities however remote they may be. Health information television channel deployment completes the infrastructure of the public health information management system.
The objective is the integration of all elements of the health care industry to increase efficiencies and to satisfy the bottom line of affordability to the Caribbean people. In so doing this would facilitate the establishment and maintenance of competitiveness in the global domain. This is necessary to meet the challenges of developing the infrastructure for a health services export and tourism industry in Jamaican and the Caribbean, which is sustainable and which creates a greater competitive edge and diversity in the development of the Caribbean tourism market.

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MINING OF JAMAICA’S TRADITIONAL MEDICINAL KNOWLEDGE: A PROSPECTUS

Ajai Mansingh
Natural Products Institute, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

The unraveling of limitations and adverse chronic effects of modern Western medicines, traditional food habits and herbal health products of the “primitive people” have gained unprecedented attention. The custodians of Traditional Medicine Knowledge (TMK) are being recognized as magic healers by the sick and ‘gold mine’ by scientists and entrepreneurs. Most of the herbalists, however, are unwilling to share their TMK, which indeed is their livelihood. Exploring the rich mine of TMK Jamaica is a challenge, with a novel collaborative legal, sociological, scientific and entrepreneurial approach.
The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) unit in the Government of Jamaica should encourage the deposition of TMK by its custodians at the IPR unit for scientific analysis. Venture investment from government and a cultivated breed of entrepreneurs should enhance the capacity of the NPI, for chemical, biochemical, physiological, pharmacological and toxicological profiling of a couple of TMK formulations per year. Joint venture commercial manufacturing of such scientifically validated products would ensure proper financial returns to all the partners - the TMK custodian, the NPI and the investors.

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SYNTHESIS OF PYRIDOACRIDINE ANALOGUES- IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE DRUG.

Norman Townsend and Yvette Jackson
Department of Chemistry, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

Pyridoacridines such as the dercitin alkaloids, kuanoniamines A, B and D and shermilamine A-C have been found possess high antiviral, antibacterial and antitumor activity. They, however, are quite toxic to normal mammalian cells. A compound that possesses all the biological activities and none of the toxicity would therefore be a dream drug.
An analogue of kuanoniamine A, 1 is possibly such a compound. Synthesis of this novel compound, achieved in 11% yield from readily available dimethoxyaniline, will be discussed. This synthetic pathway also yielded novel intermediates possessing the ability to regulate the release of calcium in the body. The biological properties of the kuanoniamines and their intermediates will also be discussed.

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CARIBBEAN SECONDARY EDUCATION CERTIFICATE GENERAL PROFICIENCY PROFILES A MEASURE OF APTITUDE FOR TERTIARY STUDIES?

Jeff Von Kuster
Mathematics and Computer Studies Department, College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Portland, Jamaica
and
Subhas Ramkeerat
Department of Mathematics, Titchfield High School, St Mary, Jamaica

As the Caribbean continues to implement advances in science and technology, many opportunities are created for individuals to pursue challenging careers while enjoying a high standard of living. Tertiary education is a prerequisite for making full use of these opportunities.
At present much attention is focused on the overall grades and pass rates achieved by students in the CXC Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations. With the demand for tertiary education growing rapidly, there is a need to focus attention on an individual’s aptitude for tertiary work after passing the CSEC subjects necessary for matriculation.
This exploratory study seeks to determine if a measure of aptitude, similar to the SAT administered in North America, exists here in the Caribbean. A statistical analysis is done using CSEC Mathematics and English profiles of 100 students entering the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE). The CSEC profiles are assigned numerical values and correlated with the grade point average earned in the first year at CASE.
The preliminary findings suggest that the profiles for CSEC Mathematics and English provide a measure of aptitude for tertiary studies. The statistical analysis of the profiles identifies specific areas where Mathematics and English teachers may focus more attention in order to improve student performance.

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BANANA PRODUCTION USING TISSUE CULTURE: THE SRC/EU/BECO BANANA

Clifton Wilson
Banana Export Company Limited, Kingston, Jamaica
and
Charlene Richards and Jeanelle Roberts-Smith
Tissue Culture Unit, Scientific Research Council, Kingston, Jamaica

The Banana Industry is the third largest earner of foreign exchange in the agricultural sector. This industry impacts on over 40,000 lives island wide. In terms of production last year 2001 over 100,000 tonnes of banana were consumed locally and 42,000 tonnes were exported.
Robusta was identified as the most suitable cultivar for the small farmers owing to its particular qualities such as its high tolerance to drought and Black Sigatoka disease. This led to a high demand for true-to-type, disease free and high quality Robusta planting material. This resulted in the development of the SRC/EU/BECO banana project in 1999 with the objective of producing 500,000 high quality disease-free tissue culture derived from banana plantlets (Musa sp) for the EU Banana Support Programme Phase 111. To date a total of 125,000 plantlets have been delivered and delivery of plantlets is expected to be completed by December 2003.
Since 1985 banana planting material derived from in vitro technique has been used commercially in some countries. Tissue culture allows for the production of a large quantity of plants in a shorter period of time when compared to conventional methods. Meristems (growing tips) were used to establish in vitro culture, which differentiated into plantlets. These were selected from sword suckers collected from plants true to type, which exhibited vigour and good bunch characteristics. A series of diagnostic methods were applied in order to ensure that the planting material produced was disease-free.
Robusta tissue culture-derived planting material was distributed to small farmers islandwide. Average bunch size nine and a half (9½) hands/bunch for first crop and eleven and a half (11½) hands/bunch for the second crop compared to eight (8) hands/bunch for first crop and nine (9) for second crop using suckers which is the conventional method. Gross yield for tissue culture planting material was 37.5 tonnes/hectares while the yield obtained via the traditional planting method was 30 tonnes/hectares. In addition to this, it was observed that the gestation period decreased from seven (7) months to five (5) months and two (2) weeks.
The occurrence of off types during in vitro propagation has been widely reported and discussed. The acceptance level worldwide is 2% at the production stage. It must be stated that the mutant rate at the productions level is almost nil
Observations from this project have indicated that tissue culture technology is playing a significant role in revitalizing the Jamaican banana industry.

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AVIAN IgYs: ISOLATION AND NOVEL INTERACTIONS WITH BACTERIAL ANTIGENS

A. Justiz-Villant
Department of Basic Medical Sciences, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

Avian egg yolk constitutes a good source of antibodies (IgY) that fulfill important functions in the avian immune system, protecting against infectious diseases. Avian IgYs have been used as reagents in different immunological methods and in the therapy of viral and other infections.
The objectives of this study were (1) to isolate antibodies from egg yolk of some domestic avian species: chicken, pigeon, guinea hen, duck, quail, goose, bantam hen, pheasant and ostrich, (2) to study the interaction of these antibodies with bacterial antigens: protein L (SpL), protein LA (SpLA) and a new protein LAG (SpLAG). Our results suggest that these proteins are potential reagents that may be used in the immunodiagnosis of avian diseases and in food safety.

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A SUSTAINABLE JAMAICAN ENVIRONMENT, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY

Raymond M Wright
Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica

When we look at the burden that increasing consumerist human society places on natural resources it is not difficult to appreciate the concern about the sustainability of current patterns of growth and consumption. This concern is not based on any Malthusian predictions of doomsday, but on a careful assessment of the rate at which the natural resources, - air, water, soil - are being degraded and depleted. Also, we are using resources that have no positive effect on production or economic growth. As an example, the rate to energy use in Jamaica has moved at an average of over 6% per annum over the past decade, whereas the GDP has moved at less than 1%. This is creating a yawning gap which is inconsistent with sustainability. Jamaicans now use energy mainly to enhance their quality of life, and not for production.

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ANALYSIS OF HEAT TRANSFER THROUGH A CONCRETE SLAB WITH AN EMBEDDED PIPING NETWORK

Olutola Fakehinde, Jacqueline Bridge and Sarim AL-Zubaidy
School of Engineering, University of Technology, Kingston, Jamaica

In Jamaica, many low cost housing units are made with concrete slab roofs. This poses a problem in the tropical regions because the solar energy heats the roof during the day and passes into the room spaces below during the night, causing discomfort to the occupants. It is therefore important that a method of reducing the heat gain into the roof be determined.
It has been conjectured that circulating water through a network of pipes embedded in the roof will reduce the heat gain into the roof. This study investigates the various mechanisms by which heat is transferred to the roof, and determines the effect circulating water in a piping network has on the heat gain into the roof and the spaces below. The system is essentially closed circuit, with the removal of heat through a radiator, in order to reduce the consumption of eater.
A set of five (5) model rooms (4’ x 4’ x 4’) with four inch (4”) thick concrete slab roofs were constructed. One cubicle served as the control unit and had no pipes embedded. The units are fitted with thermocouple probes which measure the temperature of:

§ the concrete at the top of the roof
§ the concrete on the inside of the cubicle
§ the concrete midway through the slab
§ the ambient temperature
§ the temperature of the water flowing into the roof
§ the temperature of the water flowing from the roof

The water flow rate and the solar energy radiation were also measured. Mathematical relationships to determine the heat gain into the roof slab were also developed and validated with the experimental data. The model was then used to determine the effect of varying certain parameters (depth of placement of pipes, distance between pipes, piping configuration).
Preliminary results show that the heat gain into the roof is reduced by the addition of the piping networks. The copper serpentine configuration gives the greatest reduction in the heat transfer into the roof.

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INFUSION OF TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING FOR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

Moses Peart
Institute of Education, UWI, Kingston Jamaica

In the context of rapid developments in Information and communication technologies, this paper introduces a systematic process model for infusion of technology in education - towards quality assurance. The writer/presenter offers functional definitions foe “Technology” and “Quality” in terms of educational and training values; and examines the roles of teachers/instructors, learners, private and public sector leaders, and the community in ensuring such quality. The paper examines some of the technology in education interventions in Jamaica over the last five years, and suggests important lessons learned. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations on how to manage the processes of technology selection and infusion; and suggest ten Critical Success Factors for effective technology interventions.

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KEY GENES IN PREGNANCY RELATED DISEASE: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRESS AND HEALTH, WEALTH AND KNOWLEDGE PROMISE

John C.S. Fray and Gregory I.C. Simpson
Genomic Physiology Group, Cellular and Molecular Physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA
and
Veterinary Service Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Kingston, Jamaica

Preeclampsia is the leading cause of pregnancy-associated disorders worldwide and accounts for 10% of the deaths of both mother and child. In Jamaica, these deaths are 5 times higher than in Europe and 20 times higher than in Singapore. The most significant risk factors for preeclampsia are chronic hypertension, diabetes, renal disease, low protein consumption, and low birth weight. The pathogenesis of preeclampsia is unknown, but the cause is believed to be the release of a "factor X" from the placenta. This factor has remained elusive after many years of research, prompting some of us to theorize that it may be more than one factor working in unison to cause preeclampsia. Thus, despite research from ancient times, we still have neither diagnosis nor cure for preeclampsia, mainly because there has been no acceptable animal model and no high throughput technologies to do scientific research on this complex disorder. We have now discovered an animal model that develops features of early preeclampsia; we have used this model to identify 19 preeclampsia-induced genes (PIGs) that are acceptable candidates for proper early diagnosis. We have also discovered that a nitric oxide stimulator and a cyclooxygenase inhibitor cure preeclampsia. What is more exciting, however, is that we have also tried natriceuticals and have identified 1 plant that also cures preeclampsia. In this presentation, we should like to present the scientific evidence supporting the theory that these 19 PIGs cause preeclampsia and show our progress with building a diagnostic kit and a therapeutic package to attack preeclampsia. If time permits, we show the scientific value as well as the educational potential of the discovery. The commercial outlook suggests that the discovery of an early diagnosis as well as a cure for preeclampsia (wherever it is found) is bright in terms of healthy living, wealth creation, and enlightenment (or heightened social well being). As Jamaicans, we are extraordinarily pleased to be part of the discovery and commercialization of these 19 PIGs.

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THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE FOOD TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE TOWARDS HEALTH, WEALTH CREATION AND KNOWLEDGE IN THE AGRO-PROCESSING INDUSTRY

Food Technology Institute, Scientific Research Council, Kingston, Jamaica

The Food Technology Institute has been involved in various activities with the aim of fostering and facilitating the growth of the agro processing industry in Jamaica. This poster presentation aims to show how the Institute has contributed to wealth creation in the Agro-processing Industry in Jamaica. It indicates some of the technologies that have been transferred to industry and how this has impacted on the development of new businesses and on the growth of existing ones during the past thirty years. The contribution to the Industry in improving the knowledge of the area of food processing and in nutritional labeling is also highlighted.
The Presentation demonstrates how these technologies and assistance have helped to develop markets locally and internationally. It also indicates employment generation through the use of these technologies in representative companies and shows how the Institute has played its part in contributing to wealth creation in Jamaica. It also shows the continued relevance of the Institute to the Jamaican Agro-Industry and the economy.

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THE DEVELOPMENT OF MOLECULAR SENSORS AT UWI FOR PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

Mohammed Bakir and Collin Gyles
Department of Chemistry, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

The development of molecular systems sensitive to their surrounding is of interest for their applications in many important processes that include the detection and determination of trace amounts of a variety of biological and industrial substrates. Although a variety of molecular sensors that rely on specialized optical techniques such as fluorescent and circular dichrosim are widely used, the development of transducers for general optical technique such as UV-vis spectrophotometric determination is highly desirable due to their convenient use and availability in general laboratories. At UWI, Mona we have been interested in the development of optical sensors for biological and environmental applications and in recent reports we described the optosensing behaviour of a variety of sensors toward biomolecules that include chemotactic amino acids and glucose and gases such as carbon dioxide. Chemotaxis is the directional migration of cells toward chemical substances in their environment. The activation of this process is important in the migration of macrophage and neutrophills during wound healing, homing of thymocytes, migration of neural crest cells, and aggregation of Dictyostelium cells to form multicellular organisms. In addition, we have reported on the possible use of our sensors for the detection of environmentally important metal ions such as cadmium and mercury. In this presentation, detail analysis of our sensors and their impact on the development of new technologies will be addressed.

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QUANTUM ORGANICULTURE: A HYPER-LEAP IN HLISTIC NATURAL ORGANIC GROWING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Lloyd S. Gordon
Kingston, Jamaica

Quantum cosmology has catalysed numerous extraordinary changes in thought in the domaine of science even in the Cinderella field of Biology which is often outpacked by other richer sister sciences such as Physics and Chemistry. This has resulted in a renaissance in methodology in the traditional hard sciences but it is the opinion of this presenter that the way in which we cultivate our food plants (and our entire attitude to what we eat) could benefit from quantum perspectives.
Although many ideas concerning this are rampant Earthwide today there is no one single captivating and comprehensive idea or epithet to describe them. The idea or ‘Organic Farming’ seems to be one of the most appealing and pervasive but it needs to be better organized and linked to hydroponic culture - another idea going the rounds which if respected and encouraged could radically transform terrestrial cultivation practices and ease the stressing of potable water supplies due to the need for ensuring adewuate supplies of irrigation water.
In the present terrestrial scenario, it is not enough, however, to merely alter our methods of cultivation or simply to institute a new of thinking to be mimicked by all; our practices must be accompanied by an effort to transform human consciousness to accommodate the need to anticipate and cope with novelties in the human environment both of a benign and hostile nature.

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DEVELOPING A NEW SYSTEM OF WASTE WATER TREATMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, JAMAICA

Nilza Justiz-Smith, Alexander Okuonghae, Delroy Peters, Ian Gage, Gary Campbell, Rohan Anderson and Philbert Lawrence
School of Engineering, University of Technology, Kingston, Jamaica

The actual system of treating the wastewater generated at the University of Technology (UTECH), Jamaica consists of a series of septic tanks and absorption pits connected independently to various buildings. The expansion of the University over a long period of time generated new building with the toilet facilities resulting in a series of small networks of sewer mains connected to absorption pits.
The University recognizes the need for a more environmentally safe approach to manage the waste generated on the campus, which involves the design and construction of wastewater treatment facilities. The treatment plant designed will treat the wastewater in compliance with national and international standard and also will be part of formal training from certificate to graduate programme in environment engineering in Jamaica and the Caribbean Region. The design of such a treatment plant will e presented in this paper.

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GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) AND HEALTH

Wilma Bailey
Department of Geography and Geology, University of the West Indies
and
Elizabeth Ward, Deanna Ashley, Hugh Semple, Nadine Jones
Kingston, Jamaica

Researchers in the Department of Geography and Geology have been collecting data on the distribution of several health conditions in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) since the 1980s. In addition, PAHO has long been encouraging the Ministry of Health to use maps to portray variations in health status. An assessment of health risk can be based on evidence of higher than expected incidences and this requires the linking of exposure to the physical and socio-economic environment and health data.
Although the identification of vulnerable areas was attempted in several research papers, the task was time consuming and the results unsatisfactory because of the inadequacies of the data at the required spatial scale and the lack of appropriate information tools. Graphic presentation of increases in obesity by Center for Disease Control (CDC) stimulated the interest of policy makers and created an awareness of the utility of geographically coded information. A GIS database for the KMA is nearing completion because of collaborative work spearheaded by the Ministry of Health and involving the Department of Geography and Geology, the PIOJ, and STATIN. In-patient records have already been used to identify injury prone areas in the KMA. This database will be shared with the police.
However, many problems remain. There are gaps in primary survey data availability and problems with the specification of spatial units. There is also a need for more exact postal codes.

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QUANTIFICATION OF INFECTIOUS WASTE AND SIZING OF INCINERATORS FOR SELECTED MINISTRY OF HEALTH FACILITIES

Heather Storrud, Nilsia Johnson and Ambrose Fuller
Ministry of Health/National Public Health Laboratory and Environmental Health Unit

Infectious waste handling and disposal is a priority of the Ministry of Health (MOH). The objective of this study was to provide a quantitative assessment and characterization of the infectious waste generated by MOH institution according to the different categories and health centers. The formulation of a disposal scenario for infectious waste generated at the selected hospitals. The waste was categorized in five categories - sharps, glass, plastics, organic, and others defining “others” as any waste containing body fluid. It was found that the average rate of generation of infectious waste for hospital was 0.24 kg per bed per day and for the health centre was 0.03 kg per patient per day during three weeks duration. Inadequacies in the current methods of handling and disposal of infectious waste were also found at that time.
It was recommended that new incinerators be installed at the study hospitals and repair of existing incinerators where it was needed. Infectious waste from health centers should be incinerated at the nearest hospital. Incinerators should also be installed at any hospital outside study area that does not already have adequate incinerators meeting the Natural Resources Conservation Authority standards. A further recommendation was that the MOH’s Health Facilities Infection Control Policies and Procedures Manual be fully implemented in all hospitals and health centers.
The recommendations of the study were well taken by the MOH, few incinerators have been repaired, new incinerators have been installed and the proposal is to continue the installation, upgrading, and repair of the incinerators in different hospitals. The Health Facilities Infection Control Policies and Procedures Manual was amended and it was distributed to the hospitals and interested parties. The study is being implemented at other health facilities.

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A HISTORICAL REVIEW OF ANTHRAX IN JAMAICA - CAN WE FORGET ABOUT THIS DISEASE?

Henroy Scarlett, Tomlin Paul and Brendan Bain
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, UWI, Kingston

Anthrax is an acute zoonotic bacterial infection caused by Bacillus anthracis that occurs most frequently in herbivorous animals. The organism was first discovered in 1863 and the disease was the first for which a microbial agent was definitely established by Robert Koch in 1876. It was also the first disease for which an effective bacterial vaccine was developed in 1881 by Louis Pasteur.
Anthrax was found to have existed in Jamaica as far back as nearly 7 decades ago when outbreaks in animals were reported in 1933. One man died in 1938 from the disease, which was apparently contracted through exposure from an outbreak in animals in Bluefields, Westmoreland a Parish in which it was enzootic. “Man stricken with anthrax!” was the headline in the Jamaican Gleaner of July 12, 1952 heralding the second reported case for Jamaica. The disease in animals was restricted to the enzootic area of South St Elizabeth and Manchester. Between 1947 and 1955, 42,213 animals were vaccinated against anthrax. The last reported case of anthrax in animals in Jamaica was reported in 1968 and the vaccination programme was discontinued in 1974.
The impact of anthrax on the human population in Jamaica was not reported to be disastrous and its eradication from the animal population should be seen as a success on veterinary public health. It will take deliberate intervention such as that of contemporary bioterrorism for anthrax to re-emerge in Jamaica.

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CHANGING PUBLIC HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES AND THE EPIDEMIOLOGICAL TRANSITION IN JAMAICA

Tomlin Paul and Chloe Morris
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

The epidemiological landscape has changed significantly for Jamaica over the last century. With large reduction in morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases, the country is now experiencing increasingly high burdens of chronic non-communicable disorders along with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In addition, the ageing of the population brings with it, health care challenges related to multiple chronic disorders and the need for social support. Traditional public health methods have had greater gains in the past but are now limited given the emerging landscape.
This paper examines the approaches which have been used in the past in addressing public health problems and their impact on the health status of Jamaicans. It also reviews the current morbidity, mortality and demographic profile and examines how related problems are being addressed. Lifestyle, behavioral factors and general conditions of living are seen as dominant issues of the emerging scenario. These call for greater applications of the social epidemiological model in addressing Jamaica’s emerging health problems.

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BLOOD LEAD SCREENING OF CHILDREN USING PORTABLE LEAD ANALYZER

Mitko Vutchkov, Gerald Lalor and Sean Bryan
International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica

Childhood lead poinsoning is a worldwide problem. Although recent data continue to demonstrate a decline in the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels in children lead remains a common, preventable, environmental health threat. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioural problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children six years old and under are most at risk and they are more susceptible than adults to the adverse effects of lead exposure. A simple blood test can prevent a lifetime irreversible damage caused by lead poisoning. Blood lead is usually analyzed using Graphite Furnance Atomic Absorption Spectrometry and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, however there is no locally available commercial facility for this analysis. Lead testing of children had been carried out in Kintyre community since 1995 and blood lead samples were sent to Leadtech, an approved overseas laboratory for blood lead analysis.
The International Centre for Environmental ad Nuclear Sciences (ICENS) has recently been applying a quick and efficient method of blood lead screening using a portable lead analyzer. The overall testing time is 3-4 minutes. The methodology was employed for over 50 children at Chevannes Basic School and 30 adults in the Kintyre community. The results showed that the blood lead levels of children were in the range 2.0-38.6 ug/dl and a mean value of 7.8 ug/dl and for adults ranged from 1.4-39.7 ug/dl with a mean of 22.1 ug/dl. Quality Control was done using blood lead standard reference material SRM-955b. This methodology is now being applied by ICENS to carry out an islandwide blood lead-screening programme supported by the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica.

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INTEGRATING THE HERBAL PRACTIONER INTO THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

Lloyd S. Gordon
Kingston, Jamaica

Since 1983, the matter of integrating the herbal practioner into the health care system has been a matter of major concern for the Quantum Organiculture Institute, the teaching arm of Gordon’s Organiculture and Biotech Enterprises (GOBE).
GOBE was founded on the North Coast of Jamaica with its activities centred initially in the resort town of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, respectively. Its activities began initially, in the face of certain negative reactions mixed in with many positives and suggested a disturbing pattern of self-hate and tendencies towards low self-esteem, or self-negation in the psyche of the locally-resident Jamaican manifesting itself in terms of extreme denigration such as: bandoolooism, science man, bush medicine and so on.
This paper considers the positive value of ethno-botany to the health care system as an indicator of potentially valuable botanicals, in a therapeutic sense, which once sourced though reconnaissance’s at the small country town, or village level by engaging the indigent in conversational sorties and recording the sometimes garbled information may be incorporated into standard research activity in botanical medicine (i.e. utilizing respectable double-blind placebo studies and meta-analysis) for verification, or proving. Through this first step of cultural research at rural community level and in the extended community subsequently, the would be herbal practitioner may secure a form of bonding with the people or society he or she would hope to serve including receptive, or not disagreeable practitioners of standard (allopathic) medicine and authority figures in the various professions and local government.
Given that there is a consensus of opinion in support of a herbal (botanical) alternative and the principle of permitting choice between different approaches to healthcare, integration should reside in I) developing suitable protocols: for (a) conducting patient interviews, (b) presenting information concerning the herbal products and treatment to the customer/client/patient (c) collaboration with family medical doctors (i.e. allopathic practitioners, (d) evaluation of herbal (botanical) treatment effectiveness, and (e) review of the treatment profile; (ii) arrangements for service in medical complexes and government clinics/hospitals given by herbal (botanical) practitioners ought to become a matter of course; (iii) provision for talks and workshop presentations by herbalists, or botanical specialists in medical schools/conference, also introductory programmes for members of the police force and the judiciary; (iv) the establishment of a research chair(s) in Ethno-botany at the country’s major universities, or the creation of a department of Botanical Medicine.
The Quantum Organiculture Institute’s concept is thus summarized for further elaboration.

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BIO-ELECTRONIC MEDICINE: AIR-TRACS REFLEXING-PATTERNS IN PROFILES

Lloyd S. Gordon
Kingston, Jamaica

In a purely Western sense, so called Alternative Medicine, or if you prefer Alternative Procedures in Medicine (APM), has developed out of Homeopathy and other forms of traditional folk medicine involving the use of herbs and sundry home made recipes reception in the United Kingdom, as well as elsewhere abroad following on its gestation as a new science, or arm of medicine has been hampered and severely criticized by the more conservative elements of the Medical Profession. However, in more recent times as a result of the relaxation of negative attitudes towards oriental procedures in medicine, such as Acupunture and Shiatzu as well as the oriental influenced therapy of Reflexology, the state of the art of AM/APM reflects a scenario of a wide range of procedures which are variously considered as complementary, alternative, or non-orthodox forms of Medicine which share concept or idea “of a natural healing force by which the body cures itself, given the right circumstances” (Lockie, 1989).
In an earlier paper: Alternative Medicine I. : “An Overview Widespread Ignorance”, I proposed a classification which permits scope for modification, or revision with time (Gordon, 1990). Acutracs was not discussed in this paper but at the time of its presentation the procedure was undergoing assessment by me and I was able to crystallize the basic concepts and elaborate a definitive procedure by including it in my activities as an area of Experimental Physiology/Bio-Medicine whilst the incumbent in the chair of Associate Professor in Chemistry/Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics at the West Indies College in Mandeville, Jamaica. The WIC environment was conducive to this kind of development because of the prevailing climate of interest in Holistic Nutrition and lifestyle practices, also because of my involvement in the teaching of Human Anatomy an Physiology to trainee nurses and dieticians as part of the programme in Nursing Education.
The discussions which follow, then address the theoretical and historical background of Acu-Tracs Reflexing and the significance of the Reflex and Rechi (or Reashi) Patterns in the Acu-Tracs profiles prepared during a ‘reading’ as a preliminary to performing Relaxation Therapy; the meanings of the terms coined by the present author are also explained. Attention is also given to the need for the creation of an electronic device - Electronic Hot Spot Recorder (EHSR) - or suitable mechanical aid for recording the points of a detectable pain or tenderness via the Reflex and Rechi/Reashi points or “Hot Spots”. Essentially, the studies presented, are based on original research with consenting customers, or patients if you will, over a period nineteen years.

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PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON THE EFFECT OF TRANS-CINNAMIC ACID (tCA) On Selected In vitro JAMAICAN MEDICINAL PLANTS

T. Johnson and T. Falconer
Tissue Culture Unit, Scientific Research Council, Kingston, Jamaica

The growth and development of in-vitro micropropagated plants is greatly influenced by the interactions of various hormones and plant growth regulators used in the culture medium. Trans-Cinnamic Acid (tCA) is a polar auxin inhibitor and has been observed to break bud dormancy in orchids. It has also been shown to induce the formation of trumpet-shaped leaf-like organs in tobacco seedlings.
The objective of this study was to observe the impact of tCA on the initiation and development of selected medicinal plants namely Carica papaya (Papaya), Coffea arabica (Coffee), Chrysophyllum cainito (Starapple), Manilkara zapota (Naseberry) and Blighia sapida (Ackee). Varied concentrations of tCA were added to Murashige-Skoog culture medium containing 6-Benzylaminopurine Acid (BA). Stem cuttings of each species were cultured onto each media formulation and also onto a control containing (BA) only. When incorporated into MS culture media at varying concentrations, the inhibitor induced varying effects from improved plant growth to mutant formation. These preliminary observations show that the anti-auxin effects of tCA could be employed in the protocols of some tissue cultured plants to enhance plant development.
The use of medicinal plants has traditionally been an integral part of Jamaican culture. Information on these plants, however, is limited largely to oral history. As such, the need has arisen for the provision of information that has been scientifically researched and documented. The development of protocols for the in vitro micropropagation of medicinal plants would facilitate gene bank conservation. Ultimately, this would also facilitate the timely use of specific research techniques to elucidate the active compounds in these plants responsible for their medicinal properties. The bioextraction industry, and programmes involved in the regeneration of orchards would also stand to benefit.

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Copyright 2003, The Scientific Research Council (Jamaica)