Posted tagged ‘technology’

WORMS CAN BE WIPED OUT BY GM BACTERIA

September 20, 2013

WORMS CAN BE WIPED OUT BY GM BACTERIA

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Worm parasitism, notably of the pinworm variety, infects over 2 billion children and pregnant mothers across the globe. That’s nearly 1 in every 3 Earthlings infested by the worm disease!

 

Sadly, many worms are now resistant to drugs. Reversing the process, with the object of eliminating worm parasitism in the long run, seems to find its salvation in the genetic modification of a certain bacterium. But while the new panacea awaits trial results on humans, many children and pregnant women will face the scourge of disabilities brought by worm parasitism.

 

The GM bacterium was already tested on hamsters in the laboratory. Gladly, the finds about the impact of the GM strain on the parasite-infested hamsters were positive and conclusive. The next stage—of testing the panacea on humans—is now in the works, which should cheer up many children and mothers.

 

The brightening reportage is shown below.

 

[Manila, 18 September 2013]

 

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/medicine/news/gm-bacteria-could-help-mass-produce-hookworm-drugs.html

 

GM bacteria could help mass produce hookworm drugs

Speed read

  • GM bacteria similar to those used in food makes proteins against parasitic worms
  • The proteins are more effective in animal experiments than currently used drugs
  • The work has yet to reach the pre-clinical stage but plans are underway

[SÃO PAULO] Researchers have produced a protein that kills parasitic intestinal worms, by genetically engineering a bacterium similar to those used in probiotics — raising hopes of more effective and safer therapies for infections that affect up to two billion people worldwide.

“There is a growing number of drug resistant parasites.”

Rose Gomes Monnerat 

The protein, Cry5B, has previously been shown to kill parasitic worms. It is normally produced by Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium used as an insecticide and not considered safe for use in people.

Bacteria containing Cry5B could be an ideal drug against human parasites, researchers say, as they can be easily and cheaply produced in large quantities, as well as shipped and stored under adverse conditions.

The researchers inserted the protein-producing gene into another related bacterium, Bacillus subtilis — strains of which are commonly used in foods such as probiotic yoghurts.

They first showed that the modified strain successfully produces the protein, and then tested it for treating parasitic worms in hamsters.

When given in small doses to hamsters infected with hookworm, Ancylostoma ceylanicum — which is capable of infecting people, and is related to a major human parasite, A. duodenale — the protein reduced the parasite burden by 93 per cent.

The study reports that this is comparable or even more effective than currently approved drugs for treating hookworms, whipworms and large roundworms.

These parasitic worms “are the leading causes of disease burden and disability in children and pregnant women worldwide” and “infect mostly impoverished people in the developing world and contribute significantly to keeping these people trapped in poverty”, the study says.

Rose Gomes Monnerat, a researcher at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), and a member of the study team, tells SciDev.Net: “Treatment of gut parasites has been done with highly toxic drugs so far.”

“There is also a growing number of reports of drug resistant parasites. So it is important to have alternatives to their control,” she adds.

Manoel Victor Franco Lemos, a biologist at São Paulo State University, Brazil, says: “Although the results have been achieved by using animal models of parasitic infections, the worm species used are quite close to those that cause the same infections in humans”.

But he highlights the need for trials on humans.

Raffi Aroian, co-author and a biologist at the University of California, San Diego, says: “We are talking to knowledgeable people about how much pre-clinical testing would have to be done prior to human clinical trials”.

One of the main challenges, Aroian adds, is that although the B. subtilis strain used is a model for food-safe bacteria and used in some probiotics, it is not a proven food-safe bacterium.

“Now we need to put the gene into a proven food-safe one,” he says.

“Additionally, several toxicity tests must also be done until we can ensure its safety,” says Monnerat.

The study will be published in the September issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Link to full article in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

References

Applied and Environmental Microbiology doi:10.1128/AEM.01854-13 (2013)

AID AGENCIES BETTER LOCALIZE THEIR PURCHASES OF MATERIALS

September 16, 2013

AID AGENCIES BETTER LOCALIZE THEIR PURCHASES OF MATERIALS

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

$69 Billion is spent each year by international aid agencies for procurements of needed materials from external markets. The total amount is over half of aid funding for developing countries.

 

The advisory from experts who know the development processes in Africa is this: aid agencies better source materials locally. The behavior will impact as sound social development practice. Besides, the materials sourced from local markets do reduce the cost of materials.

 

I still recall, in my studies on economic history, when aid agencies infused massive aid funds supposedly on Philippine agriculture in the late 40s through the 60s. PH during those days was predominantly agricultural, with farmers and fisherfolks comprising past 75% of the population. Studies showed that the aid agencies bought tractors, fertilizers and seedlings from International Harvester and outside sources. The tractors alone provided headaches for the end-users, as they are hardly practicable in terrains that are hardly fit for them.

 

Let it be stressed that procuring materials in external market bring along with them inefficiencies. Besides, there could be corruption in the procurement processes, as they could favor certain manufacturers or producers that result to padding of prices. In the end, a very small portion of the aid funds actually go directly to the target beneficiaries, thus defeating the purpose of the development endeavor.

 

Below is the insightful report about the subject matter.

 

[Manila, 12 September 2013]

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/aid/news/aid-agencies-should-go-local-when-sourcing-materials.html

Aid agencies should ‘go local’ when sourcing materials

Speed read

  • Buying locally would slash costs, and identify locally appropriate solutions
  • 20 per cent of aid purchases are still tied to firms in donor countries
  • Local social enterprise experts firms to carry out policy reviews

Aid agencies should source development products from local manufacturers to help them make the most of their budgets and improve their impact, a group of small businesses, service providers and manufacturers from Africa said this week.

Development agencies spend around US$69 billion each year on procuring goods and services from external providers — more than 50 per cent of total official development assistance — according to a press release by AidEx, a global humanitarian and development aid event held annually in Brussels. But 20 per cent of bilateral aid purchases are still tied to firms in donor countries, resulting in project expenses increasing by up to 40 per cent.

The group of businesses participating in the AidEx Developing World Supplier Zone — an area of 25 free stalls designed to help businesses from developing countries reach an international buying audience — is now urging aid agencies to carry out procurement policy reviews that would compare the cost, delivery time and social benefits of obtaining goods and services through local providers. They are also calling for the removal of conditions that tie donors to procurement in donor countries.

“Aid agencies’ use of local suppliers is key to maximising business opportunities and upskilling communities.”

Ben Solanky

By using local businesses in Africa, aid agencies could lower transaction costs, shorten delivery times and improve the investment climate in the surrounding region, the press release said.

“It’s vital for aid organisations to seriously consider locally developed solutions in their procurement, as these companies’ offerings have already been tried and tested ‘on the ground’,” said Grant Gibbs, project manager at Hippo Water Roller, a water technology project in South Africa.

“Superimposing First World business models can underestimate differences in African infrastructure — particularly at the rural level — and lead to inefficiencies,” Gibbs added.

Simon Lucas, CEO of Reltex Africa, a humanitarian relief materials supplier based in Kenya, said the benefits of the organisation’s location in Mombasa, for example, are that it “can easily access raw materials and re-export finished goods through supply chain routes across East Africa.”

“This,” he said, “has led to reduced transportation times and decreased environmental impact for humanitarian aid deliveries.

“When looking at purchasing products from Africa, I urge procurement managers to look further than just the price and take into account the social benefits and economic input to the region.” 

Charles Mugasa, of Ugandan social enterprise start-up Chiabiz, said: “Aid agencies must prioritise local companies that have grassroots connections with the community if they are to realise their goals, otherwise the bureaucratic nature of governments can get in the way.”

And Ben Solanky, director of Global Hand, a non-profit matching service for public-private partnerships, added: “Aid agencies’ use of local suppliers is key to maximising business opportunities and upskilling communities.

Dialogue, openness and connectivity between for-profits and non-profits is crucial in Africa — to see the idea of ‘doing well’ become an economic reality.”

 

FOLKLORE TO IMPROVE LITERACY: ORAL TRADITION IN ASEAN

May 24, 2012

FOLKLORE TO IMPROVE LITERACY: ORAL TRADITION IN ASEAN
Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Ra

Visual and oral traditions are very strong among the peoples of ASEAN region. In our current analytic models, Southeast Asians are strongly right-brained as learners.
The right-brained facet of ASEAN peoples is largely a legacy of the Lemuro-Atlantean race (part of 4th ‘root race’). As per explications from Divine wisdom or Theos Sophia, the current Southeast Asians, with Malayan and IndoMongolian ethnicies as the largest, were among the last sub-races to evolve in the Atlantean racial phenotypes. The Mahatmas termed them as Lemuro-Atlantean, as they were bred from the surviving Lemurians that appeared prior to Atlantis’ heyday.
The use of folklore as potent tools for learning is practically accepted in the entire ASEAN region. Below is an example of a human development effort in Malaysia in substantiation of the folklore as learning tool.
[Philippines, 16 June 2011]
Source: http://www.unicef.org/malaysia/media_7099.html
Folklore inspiration to improve Malaysian Orang Asli children’s literacy
By Indra Nadchatram
KUALA LUMPUR, 25 July 2007 – Malaysia’s Orang Asli children will soon get to improve their literacy skills as a result of a specially tailored education program which will incorporate Orang Asli folklores and legends into teaching and learning aids.
Organised by the Ministry of Education and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the remedial program will introduce story-telling techniques in the classroom together with story books designed to capture the imagination of close to 6,000 Orang Asli children, with the aim of encouraging reading habits and improving writing skills.
While the country has achieved impressive results in education with a net enrolment rate of 96% in primary school for Malaysian children, most children from the Orang Asli community however are found lagging behind. Orang Asli children together with children from Sabah and Sarawak’s indigenous groups make up for a sizeable proportion of Malaysia’s remaining 4% children who fair poorly in both primary school enrolment rates and achievements.
Trapped in poverty
Due to poor education performances, Malaysia’s Orang Asli remain one of the poorest in the country. A household income survey carried out less than ten years ago found as many as 51% of the population living below the poverty level.
Teacher Santey anak Dugu (24) who hails from Malaysia’s Mah Meri ethnic group in Selangor’s Carey Island blames the lackadaisical attitude of Orang Asli parents towards education for low school enrolment, absenteeism and drop out rates.
“Orang Asli parents simply don’t realise the value of an education. When girls reach 10 or 11 year old, they are often asked to stay at home to look after their younger siblings and do household chores, while boys will be taken out to sea to fish,” says Santey. “It is a huge loss to our community because without an education, we will always remain trapped in poverty”.
Collecting folk stories
Santey together with 19 Orang Asli teachers representing 5 ethnic groups – Jakun, Mah Meri, Semai, Semalai and Temuan from the states of Pahang, Johor, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka came together recently for a four day workshop to share Orang Asli folklores and legends with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF.
Like many other Orang Asli teachers who participated in the Workshop, Santey relied heavily on the knowledge of her village elders for Mah Meri folklore. She is particularly glad for the program as it means the culture and beliefs of her community will be kept alive for the younger generation through the story books.
“I am excited about the value the Ministry of Education and UNICEF is placing on our cultural heritage. It gives me pride to be able to share stories from my own community for others to learn from,” continues Santey.
Santey believes the folk stories, each with its own important life lesson, will be a powerful incentive to encourage both parents and children to get involved in learning. At the same time, the initiative will help the others learn about the traditions and beliefs of the different Orang Asli ethnic groups in Malaysia.
Children’s love for stories
A total of 13 stories were collected during the workshop to develop story telling materials and text books for use by Year Two and Year Three Orang Asli students in the country. In addition, the Ministry of Education and UNICEF will train Orang Asli teachers from 93 schools in techniques and practices of storytelling which will include the use of facial expressions, body gestures and exaggerated character voices.
According to the Ministry of Education’s Assistant Director, Puan Norhayati Mokhtar, the program design takes into consideration children’s love for stories.
“Stories are most meaningful and best able to promote literacy when they speak to a student’s world. Using folklores can help children develop pride in their ethnic identity, provide positive role models, develop knowledge about cultural history, and build self-esteem,” explains Puan Norhayati.
This recent initiative builds on the Ministry of Education and UNICEF’s 1997 Special Remedial Education Program for Orang Asli children.
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PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA WEBSITE: http://erleargonza.com

ARGONZA COSMIC BLOGS & LINKS:
http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com, http://kathapantas.blogdrive.com, http://talangguro.blogfree.com, http://tribes.tribe.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://thatsthewayoflight.socialparadox.com, http://lightworkers.org, http://www.spiritualpassions.com, http://www.articlesforfree.net
http://community.beliefnet.com/erleargonza, http://paranormaluniverse.ning.com, http://healinginternational.ning.com, http://innercoredaystarcommand.ning.com, http://raefdargon.mysticblogs.com, http://efdargon.multiply.com, http://newageconnection.com, http://www.facebook.com

MASTERS’ SITES:
http://www.theascendedmasters.com, http://www.greatdreams.com,
http://www.drunvalo.net, http://www.lightchannels.com,
http://www.blavatsky.net, http://www.joelyonskincheloe.info/,
http://www.kriyayoga.com, http://www.lightascension.com,
http://www.tsl.org, http://www.gandhiserve.org,
http://www.maharishi.org, http://www.rssb.org, http://www.fisu.org, http://www.saibaba.org, http://trishulabearer.com,
http://www.salrachele.com, http://www.yogananda.srf.org,
http://www.sriaurobindosociety.org

VALUES EDUCATION VIA FOLKLORE: BRUNEI SHOWCASE

May 21, 2012

VALUES EDUCATION VIA FOLKLORE: BRUNEI SHOWCASE

Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Guru Ra

Values education is of fundamental import in awareness-raising and human formation anchorage. It is important too that values are made to work for those imbued with it, for the powerlessness to assert values make people less human.

There are many entry points to values education, which renders values formation an open field for the exercise of creative imagination and ingenuity. One of these entry points is folklore. Among the showcases for the region is that of Brunei, which I will echo in this note.

As argued by me in previous writings, folklore is a depository of ancient wisdom in Southeast Asia. I would hasten to add the Polynesians as manifesting also such a deep embeddedness of ancient or divine wisdom in their folklore. Values are part of the practical domains for divine wisdom, as it is in values where virtues (dharma) are made to work in demonstrative ways.

Below is a news briefer of the Brunei efforts.

[Philippines, 16 June 2011]
Source: http://bruneitimes.com.bn/news-national/2011/01/28/promoting-values-through-folktales
Promoting values through folktales
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Friday, January 28, 2011
ANTHOLOGIES of local folk tales should be published to promote Brunei stories as such books are found to be lacking in many Asian countries, with the exception of Japan, said an expert.

Dr Chu Keong Lee, a lecturer from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore made this suggestion when he presented his working paper “Promoting values using folk tales from Brunei” during the last day of the Brunei Information Resource Collection Symposium at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

Local folklore are well worth promoting and libraries are the organisation most well-placed to promote them, said Dr Chu.

Additionally, governments can play a part in ensuring that local schools purchase a specific number of books for their students to encourage publishers to print local stories.

“Stories play an important role in the transmission of culture in a society, in effective organisational communication and learning, in knowledge sharing and in helping to understand a person’s illness experience,” said Dr Chu.

His paper analysed four local folk tales published in The Singing Top: Tales from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei by Margaret Read MacDonald in 2008.

The four folk tales were The Dollarbid and the Short-tailed Monkey, The King of the Mosquitoes, Dayang Bongsu and the Crocodile and Si Perawal, the Greedy Fisherman.

It also discussed the ways in which libraries can leverage on indigenous stories in promoting the values within the tales locally and internationally.

The stories were first read as a whole to obtain a gist of the story, after that, each story was read carefully to find out what it was about and what value was being referred to.

The values identified from The Dollarbid and the Short-tailed Monkey were the importance of paying heed to good advice and the consequences of ignoring it, bravery, compassion and the perseverance of nature.

The King of the Mosquitoes emphasised the consequences of greed, bravery, not judging a book by its cover and the fruits of kindness.

In the paper, Dr Chu suggested that librarians should train tertiary students to be engaging and sensitive storytellers when promoting folk tales and their values, and then the students can be sent to primary and secondary schools to tell the stories to other students.

This, he said, was a method successfully employed by the Mahasarakham University Storytelling Project in Thailand.

“Senior citizens should be mobilised as their real-life experiences contain many valuable lessons that can be used as examples that illustrates the manifestations of these values.

“Senior citizens are probably the best people to convey these values to the young because of the Asian values of respect for elders,” he said.

The two-day symposium which concluded yesterday was attended by librarians, researchers, teachers, archivists, information specialists as well as government officers.

The symposium was aimed at sharing best practices and advancements in the management and dissemination of local information collection, while highlighting efforts to enhance collections and resources for the benefit of the teaching and learning community. — Zareena Amiruddin

The Brunei Times

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PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA WEBSITE: http://erleargonza.com

ARGONZA COSMIC BLOGS & LINKS:
http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com, http://kathapantas.blogdrive.com, http://talangguro.blogfree.com, http://tribes.tribe.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://thatsthewayoflight.socialparadox.com, http://lightworkers.org, http://www.spiritualpassions.com, http://www.articlesforfree.net
http://community.beliefnet.com/erleargonza, http://paranormaluniverse.ning.com, http://healinginternational.ning.com, http://innercoredaystarcommand.ning.com, http://raefdargon.mysticblogs.com, http://efdargon.multiply.com, http://newageconnection.com, http://www.facebook.com

MASTERS’ SITES:
http://www.theascendedmasters.com, http://www.greatdreams.com,
http://www.drunvalo.net, http://www.lightchannels.com,
http://www.blavatsky.net, http://www.joelyonskincheloe.info/,
http://www.kriyayoga.com, http://www.lightascension.com,
http://www.tsl.org, http://www.gandhiserve.org,
http://www.maharishi.org, http://www.rssb.org, http://www.fisu.org, http://www.saibaba.org, http://trishulabearer.com,
http://www.salrachele.com, http://www.yogananda.srf.org,
http://www.sriaurobindosociety.org

POTATO BATTERY

May 17, 2012

POTATO BATTERY

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good news meets you rural folks as well as field workers, as research & development discovered the positive usable energy stored in potato that can be used for micro-instruments.

The cooking pot surely promises lots for those living in hinterlands, as boiled potato was shown to exhibit positive energy capacities. That is, just to stress, when potato is boiled.

Potato is eventually available everywhere, which explains why it was chosen among diverse agri products for the research & development project. From rural to urban markets, potatoes can be found. They comprise the 4th most abundant agri products.

Below is the exciting news about the a battery of the future.

[Philippines, 20 April 2012]

Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/news/potato-battery-could-help-meet-rural-energy-needs.html
Potato battery could help meet rural energy needs
James Dacey
25 June 2010 | EN
The holy grail of renewable energy research may lie in the cooking pot, according to scientists.
The search for a cheap source of electricity for remote, off-grid communities, has led to batteries that work on freshly boiled potatoes.
One slice of potato can generate 20 hours of light, and several slices could provide enough energy to power simple medical equipment and even a low-power computer, said a research team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
“The technology is ready to go,” co-researcher Haim Rabinowitch told SciDev.Net. “It should take an interested body only a short while, and very little investment, to make this available to communities in need.”
The team, which described its work in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy earlier this month (7 June), said its work hinges on a recent discovery that the electrical flow from potatoes — long known to be natural electrolytes — can be enhanced tenfold when their cell membranes are deliberately ruptured by boiling.
To demonstrate, the researchers created a series of batteries out of slices of boiled Desiree potatoes about the size of a standard mobile phone, though they say the type and size of potato slice do not determine its power.
The device had the same basic components as conventional batteries, consisting of two electrodes separated by an electrolyte (the potato). Each battery powered a small light for 20 hours, after which a new slice could be inserted.
Potato batteries are estimated to generate energy at a cost of approximately US$9 per kilowatt hour (kW/h), which compares favourably with the best performing 1.5 volt (AA) alkaline cells — or D cells — which generate energy at US$50/kWh.
Banana and strawberry batteries could also be used, said Rabinowitch, but their softer tissues would weaken the structure of the battery and the sugars could attract insects.
“Potatoes were chosen because of their availability all over including the tropics and sub-tropics,” he said. They are the world’s fourth most abundant food crop.”
Teo Sanchez, energy technology and policy advisor at Practical Action, a charity which promotes technology for development, said: “With half the world’s population having no access to modern energy, this research is a valuable contribution to one of the biggest challenges in the world”.
But he is concerned about the limited amount of power that individual batteries can generate and the possible implications of diverting a food crop into energy production.
Link to abstract in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
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Comments (9)
Dr.A.Jagadeesh ( Nayudamma Centre for Development Alternatives | India )
28 June 2010
Any energy generation must be consistent,economic and available in plenty. Potatos are primarily for food. There are several ways of generating electricity. For a school project POTATO ELECTRICITY is OK but not for commercial exploitation. Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP), India
Boris Rubinsky ( University of California at Berkeley | United States of America )
6 July 2010
The potato serves as a solid state salt bridge. The advantage is in the convenience of a solid component with a naturally generated composition. The quantity of potatoes needed for the salt bridge function is negligible relative to food consumption. The wearable material is the Zn. In fact with proper studies it may turn out that the migration of Zn ions into the potato may provide nutritional benefits to the potato slice used in the battery. Therefore no food is wasted. Furthermore, as mentioned in the paper, while the potato may be optimal because it is widely available, every tuber or solid plant material could be used as a solid state bridge. Nevertheless, reducing the internal impedance of the salt bridge through actions such as boiling is crucial to increasing efficiency.
Agnes Becker ( Institute for Global Health, Imperial College London, UK | United Kingdom )
6 July 2010
Definitely need something more sustainable. Take a look at e.quinox (http://www.e.quinox.org/), a non-profit, humanitarian project that hopes to bring cost-effective renewable energy to developing countries. They have already set up energy kiosks in rural Rwanda in which a local staff member uses solar energy to recharge portable battery packs that people can take home and use for electricity.
musoke christopher ( MUST | Uganda )
19 August 2010
Potato electricity is a good idea in regions where potatoes are grown in plenty. Regions like western Uganda where potatoes rot due to the inability to transport them to urban areas in time for sale, the idea can work perfectly well. If the people are sensitized, excess food crop can be converted in electricity.
Arthur Makara ( Uganda )
13 January 2011
This is a marvellous invention, it should not merely be dismissed on the pretex of encroachment on food. It is s significant scientific find and can be modified or improved upon to a commercial value level using substitute sources of appropriate materials to avail energy rural communities. It should be encouraged!

Arthur Makara, Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development, Kampala, Uganda
ironjustice ( Canada )
15 January 2011
Quote: Regions like western Uganda where potatoes rot due to the inability to transport them to urban areas in time for sale

Answer: “A solar crop dryer developed by a UNSW photovoltaic and solar energy engineering student has the potential to provide a living for thousands of people”

“It’s particularly great for women because they are the ones that sell foods through the local markets.”
http://www.unsw.edu.au/news/pad/articles/2011/jan/solar_dryer.html
SteveK ( United States of America )
3 April 2011
There is a huge amount of cattail rhizome going to waste in Lake Chad. I doubt that this is the best way to use it, but it beats wasting it.
louandel ( Jacob Eco Energy Ltd | United Kingdom )
3 May 2011
I find it extraordinary that people should find this obvious move forward in renewable resources not only innovative and creative but also potentially effective to global community if it is taken seriously. All renewable resources were considered marginal and off-beat when they first came to being. Now they are part of our everyday lives. Give this the same respect.
elecsolar ( offgrid energy alternative technologies | Kenya )
29 March 2012
This is brilliant idea, so glad that soon the rural people will have clean cheap electricity thanks to LED discovery. i have also been working on a charcoal battery which have impressed me very much since am able to make none spill-able charcoal battery for portable use it lasts for many days. Women and children can make it when they need it and there is no need to switch it off after use .Thanks to these technologies
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PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA WEBSITE: http://erleargonza.com

ARGONZA SOCIAL BLOGS & LINKS:
http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.biz, http://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://talangguro.blogfree.net, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonza, http://efdargon.multiply.com,
http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://www.articlesforfree.net, http://www.facebook.com

DEVELOPMENT SITES:
http://www.adb.org, http://www.asean.org, http://www.bis.org, http://www.devex.com, http://www.eldis.org, http://www.fao.org, http://www.icc-cpi.int, http://www.imf.org, http://www.iom.int, http://www.scidev.net, http://www.un.org, http://www.undp.org, http://www.unescap.org, http://www.unesco.org, http://www.unhabitat.org, http://www.unhcr.org, http://www.unido.org, http://www.unis.unvienna.org, http://www.who.int, http://www.worldbank.org, http://www.wto.org

INDEXING AFRICA-SPECIFIC SCIENTIFIC INNOVATIONS

August 16, 2011

INDEXING AFRICA-SPECIFIC SCIENTIFIC INNOVATIONS

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

There seems to have been an abusive employment of universalistic yardsticks to measure scientific innovations across diverse countries. For instance, the preponderance on formalistic institutional developments have tended to favor Northern economies that have built universities and think-tanks across the centuries.

Such cross-cultural indices have incidentally overshadowed equally significant developments that could serve as yardsticks for innovations in any given Southern country. Therefore, the move towards idiographic assessments of innovations—based on culturally-specific indices—is novel an approach to unearthing those informal, primary sector engagements that were overlooked using Northern-biased yardsticks.

The case for Africa is shown in a report below.

[Philippines, 16 July 2011]

Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/opinions/africa-needs-its-own-indicators-of-scientific-innovation.html
Africa needs its own indicators of scientific innovation
Watu Wamae
6 July 2011 | EN
Policies to stimulate African development require evidence that is difficult to obtain using existing indicators, says policy analyst Watu Wamae.
Evidence-based indicators in science, technology and innovation (STI) help governments across the world to formulate policies and identify opportunities for development. The second round of a survey designed to capture such indicators across Africa, a project sponsored by SIDA, was recently launched in Ethiopia.
But if STI indicators are to contribute effectively to a sustainable path towards social and technological transformation, they need to be sensitive to the African context. Comparisons of indicators such as research and development (R&D) expenditure between African countries must not dominate policy discussions.
Besides, Africa is not well served by borrowing indicators from other regions. There is no point simply reinventing the wheel, but Africa must develop measures of STI activity that accurately reflect African economies and experiences that are likely to be neglected because existing methods to capture them are lacking.
In particular, we need to understand how to convert beneficial technologies into tangible benefits in Africa, and how to capture traditional as well as modern knowledge.
Collecting the right data
To develop effective indicators, African nations must first establish what resources they have and how to make the most of them.
Most African economies are dominated by agriculture, although some resource-rich countries have industries such as petroleum exploration or mining of minerals. In the current context of rapidly emerging economies such as China, the demand for natural resources will continue to grow, and these industries will continue to expand.
This demand is closely connected to the boom in the development of infrastructure across Africa, such as roads and ports, providing opportunities not only for economic activity, but also for learning about technology and applying scientific knowledge.
Ensuring that this development benefits people requires STI indicators that can help policymakers stimulate innovation in these sectors.
Existing methods of data collection provide neat and tidy indicators for manufacturing, among other sectors, but this is clearly not the main driver of most economies in Africa.
And although it is important to strengthen manufacturing, this must not come at the expense of other key sectors, such as agriculture, health, extractive industries and infrastructure development, even though these areas lag behind in useful methods for data collection and analysis.
Capturing complexity
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, the contribution of manufacturing to national income has not risen since the 1960s when it stood at 15 per cent. In Kenya, for example, manufacturing accounts for 12 per cent of national income, roughly half the contribution from agriculture (25 per cent) – and Kenya has one of the strongest manufacturing sectors on the continent.
Agriculture can involve the use of sophisticated technologies. And vegetables such as French beans and snow peas grown in Kenya are on supermarket shelves across Europe within 24 hours of being harvested.
But like other sectors, agriculture straddles the formal and informal economies. It also draws on both modern and traditional knowledge. The STI indicators used must capture this duality of knowledge systems, as well as the informality of the economic activity.
Agricultural innovation often results from work in research institutes — but also from the ingenuity of farmers, including those in remote areas, who use and adapt new ideas to suit their needs. These innovators are often part of informal networks that pool ideas and expertise, using them in novel ways to meet specific challenges.
This complexity raises the question of how STI indicators should be developed to capture innovative activity that is highly fragmented and informal, and that often goes undetected by existing processes.
I am not suggesting that those responsible for collecting STI data should single-handedly deal with these issues. There must be broader national ownership of processes to develop such indicators in a systemic, strategic way. People need to understand that, like a national census, the collection of STI data is useful, meaningful and deserving of their cooperation.
Beneficial technologies
Another major gap in Africa’s STI system is the lack of specialised capabilities for innovation — the process of converting knowledge to tangible benefits for people and communities.
This transformation depends on human capabilities or skills that can connect scientific output to local demand for solutions to existing problems. Without these capabilities, the products of scientific research will just gather dust.
Policymakers have tended to focus on capabilities for R&D to promote STI. But we need to give serious attention to the capabilities needed to translate the outputs from R&D into usable and accessible solutions to existing problems challenges — such as technical, engineering and managerial skills.
Producing STI indicators that overlook these capabilities is not likely to lead to evidence-based policies that can effectively leverage innovation for development.
Innovation is not just a technical process, but also a social and economic process of introducing beneficial technologies and helping countries achieve development. This is important for the shift from R&D as a determinant of progress to the broader perspective of innovation as a process of social transformation.
STI indicators must provide policymakers with the means to formulate evidence-based policy that is effective in mobilising innovation for development.
Watu Wamae is innovation and technology policy analyst for the non-profit research institute RAND Europe.
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CHINA’S 450-KPH BULLET TRAIN IS WORLD’S FASTEST!

May 15, 2011

CHINA’S 450-KPH BULLET TRAIN IS WORLD’S FASTEST!

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good afternoon from the Pearl of the Orient!

A stunningly good news was recently released concerning the success of the test drives for the bullet train of China. Built by the Foton state corporation, which also manufactures cars, buses, and a whole line of transport vehicles, the bullet train accordingly capped the 450 kilometer per hour speed.

That speed is the world’s fastest today for the bullet train. I extend my Big Kudos to China and the Foton group for the successful tests!

Let us all recall that Western analysts were of the consensus that the year 2007 was the turning point when Asia surpassed the West in terms of cutting edge technologies. Since then, sector after sector of the economy, from consumer goods to capital goods industries, the East’s cutting edge over the West had been breached.

The 450 kph bullet train is another one of those milestone events that shows the upward ascent of Asia at a time when the West is on a rapid decline. Since the prototype of the Foton bullet train is now perfected, after so many tests were done, it is time to build the commercial prototypes, and the launching of the said trains could come just couples of months away from now.

Japan used to hold the record for building the first bullet train tracks, commercializing the maglev or magnetic levitation technology for trains, and launching the bullet trains right on its very island groups. Those trains ran as fast as 250 kph, and traversed 500-kilometer distances in just over two (2) hours to a maximum of three (3) hours.

Germany followed through with the maglev tech and bullet trains, and launched its own versions of the same right within its territorial confines. Since then, Germany has commissioned to build maglevs cum bullet trains of other countries, following from the successful experiences of Japan about the same development.

It is irrelevant to talk of the USA concerning maglevs, as America neglected the development of its railways, a sector that has been in rut there for six (6) decades now. Fact is, America just erected its first maglev, which runs along the California-to-Nevada corridor, and that project was done by an external player.

However, China’s 450 kph speed is a recent development, showing that it had eclipsed the cutting edge of both Japan and Germany. Such a development is very important, as it practically slaps the arrogance of the OECD countries to which Japan, Germany and USA belong to. Increasingly, the braggadocio and condescension of OECD countries is turning more into ‘wet chicken’ self-pitying mien, as the once mighty coalition of filthy rich countries is on its way down.

As China and Asian countries are erecting and launching projects such as the latest maglev & bullet train, Western powers are raining bombs on Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, and who knows what country would be the next target of weapons of mass destruction or WMD. Clearly, the difference between Asian cooperation and Western polarity is being felt across the globe today.

[Philippines, 06 May 2011]
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