Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum Linn.) is a tropical, exotic fruit that has a rapidly expanding niche market in Hawaii. Diseased rambutan fruit was commonly observed in orchards in the Hilo and Kona districts of Hawaii Island during 2006. In surveys conducted in January, symptoms appeared as dark brown-to-black spots on mature fruit and blackened areas at the base of spinterns (hair-like projections) of mature and immature fruits. Pieces of infected fruit (cv. R167) were surface sterilized for 2 min in 0.5% NaOCl, plated on potato dextrose agar, and incubated at 24 ± 1°C for 7 days. The fungus growing on PDA was pale buff with sparse, aerial mycelium and acervuli containing black, slimy spore masses. All isolates had five-celled conidia. Apical and basal cells were hyaline, while the three median cells were olivaceous; the upper two were slightly darker than the lower one. Conidia (n = 40) were 20.3 ± 0.1 × 6.8 ± 0.1 μm. There were typically three apical appendages averaging 16.8 ± 0.2 μm long. The average basal appendage was 3.8 ± 0.1 μm long. The fungus was initially identified as Pestalotiopsis virgatula (Kleb.) Stey. on the basis of conidial and cultural characteristics (3). The identification was confirmed by molecular analysis of the 5.8S subunit and flanking internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) of rDNA amplified from DNA extracted from single-spore cultures with the ITS1/ITS4 primers (1,4) and sequenced (GenBank Accession No. EU047943). To confirm pathogenicity, agar pieces, 3 mm in diameter, from 7-day old cultures were used as inoculum. Five mature fruit from rambutan cv. R134 were rinsed with tap water, surface sterilized with 0.5% NaOCl for 2 min, wounded with a needle head, inoculated in the laboratory, and maintained in a moist chamber for 7 days. Lesions resembling symptoms that occurred in the field were observed on fruit after 7 days. No symptoms were observed on fruit inoculated with agar media. The fungus reisolated from diseased fruit was identical to the original isolates, confirming Koch's postulates. The disease appears to be widespread in Hawaii. Preharvest symptoms may have the potential to affect postharvest fruit quality if fruits are not stored at the proper conditions. Pestalotiopsis spp. have been reported on rambutan in Malaysia, Brunei, and Australia (2). To my knowledge, this is the first report of P. virgatula causing fruit spots on rambutan in Hawaii. References: (1) G. Caetano-Annolles et al. Curr. Genet. 39:346, 2001. (2) D. F. Farr et al. Fungal Databases. Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory. On-line publication. ARS, USDA, 2007. (3) E. F. Guba. Monograph of Pestalotia and Monochaetia. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1961. (4) T. J. White et al. PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications. Academic Press, San Diego, CA. 1990.
In March 2005, a fruit rot disease was found in several commercial strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duchesne) fields at Fongyuan, 24.25°N, 120.72°E, in Taichung County in central Taiwan. The disease was rare and was negligible in most cultivated areas. However, disease incidence has increased by 4 to 5% over the last 2 years and causes significant postharvest losses. In storage, symptoms on berries include light brown-to-black, sunken, irregularly shaped lesions. The lesions gradually enlarge and become firm with a dark green-to-black, velvety surface composed of mycelia, conidiophores, and conidia. Twelve single conidial isolates (AF-1 to AF-12) of a fungus were isolated by placing portions of symptomatic fruit from four locations onto acidified potato dextrose agar (PDA) and incubating at 24 ± 1°C. One isolate from each of the four locations, AF-2, 6, 9, and 12, was selected for identification and pathogenicity studies. The fungus was identified as an Alternaria sp. according to the morphological descriptions of A. tenuissima (2,3). Conidiophores were simple or branched, straight or flexuous, septate, pale to light brown, 3.0 to 5.0 μm in diameter, and bore two to six conidia in a chain. Conidia were dark brown, obclavate or oval, and multicellular with seven transverse (in most cases) and numerous longitudinal septa. Conidia were 15.5 to 56.5 μm (average 35.0 μm) long × 6.0 to 15.0 μm (average 11.0 μm) wide at the broadest point. The pathogen was consistently isolated from berries in the field or in storage. Pathogenicity tests were conducted by inoculating 12 surface-sterilized berries with each of the four isolates. Approximately 300 μl of a spore suspension (2 × 105 conidia per ml) was placed at two points on the uninjured surface of each fruit and allowed to dry for 5 min. Control fruits were treated with sterile water. The berries were then enclosed in a plastic bag and incubated at 24 ± 1°C for 2 days. Disease symptoms similar to those described above were observed on 95% of inoculated berries 3 days after inoculation, while no symptoms developed in control berries. Reisolation from the inoculated berries consistently yielded the Alternaria sp. described above. Pathogenicity tests were performed three times. Previously, strawberry fruit rot caused by A. tenuissima was reported from Florida (2) and Malaysia (1), however, to our knowledge, this is the first report of fruit rot of strawberry caused by a species of Alternaria in Taiwan. References: (1) W. D. Cho et al. List of Plant Diseases in Korea. Korean Society of Plant Pathology, 2004. (2) C. M. Howard and E. E. Albregts. Phytopathology 63:938, 1973. (3) R. D. Milholland. Phytopathology 63:1395, 1973.
Melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, has been successfully employed to improve sleep in both normal patients and insomniacs, and for the treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Melatonergic MT1 and MT2 receptors exist in high concentrations in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus and have been shown to be instrumental for the sleep-promoting and circadian rhythm-regulating effects of melatonin. A lack of consistency among reports on the therapeutic efficacy of melatonin has been attributed to differences in melatonin's bioavailability and the short half-life of the hormone. In view of the need for longer acting melatonergic agonists that improve sleep efficiency without causing drug abuse or dependency, ramelteon (Rozerem™, Takeda) was developed. Ramelteon, which acts via MT1/MT2 melatonergic agonism, has been found clinically effective for improving total sleep time and sleep efficiency in insomniacs. Agomelatine (Valdoxan™, Servier) is another MT1/MT2 melatonergic agonist that also displays antagonist activity at 5-HT2C serotonin receptors. Agomelatine has been found effective in treating depression and sleep disorders in patients with major depressive disorder. A slow-release preparation of melatonin (Circadin™, Neurim) has been shown to be effective in treating sleep disorders in the elderly population.
Use of mosquito coils for personal protection against malaria and mosquito nuisance is advocated under mosquito and malaria control programmes. We performed field studies of mosquito coils containing either metofluthrin or esbiothrin in experimental huts situated in Kamhororo village, Gokwe district, Zimbabwe. All tests were performed on 3-5 day old reared female Anopheles gambiae sensu lato mosquitoes. The burning times were 9hr 20min for mosquito coils containing metofluthrin and 8 hr for those containing esbiothrin and the results were significantly different (p = <0.001). The mean knock down rate for mosquito coils containing metofluthrin was 90% and that for esbiothrin was 73.3% and the results were significantly different (p = 0.00). Mosquito coils containing metofluthrin had a mean repellence of 92.7% as compared to 85.4% for esbiothrin and the results were not significantly different (p=0.27). The protection time as required by EPA (1999) was 6 hr for mosquito coils containing metofluthrin and 5 hr for those containing esbiothrin. The mean insecticidal effect of mosquito coils containing metofluthrin was 84% as compared to 83% for those containing esbiothrin and the results were not significantly different (p = 0.56). Both mosquito formulations could not be classified as having insecticidal effect since none of them met the 95% mortality rate criteria.
Foreword by Professor Chris van Weel
Foreword by Datuk Dr DM Thuraiappah SECTION 1. FAMILY MEDICINE
Synopsis. By Professor Dr EM Khoo
1. Put Not New Wine Into Old Bottles.
2. The Importance Of Primary Care.
3. Primary Health For All The People.
4. First William Pickles Lecture. The Evolution Of General Practice.
5. Future Of Family Medicine In Developing Countries.
6. A Proposal For The Training Of Physicians In Primary Care For The Rural Areas Of Malaysia.
7. Family Practice: Uniting Across Frontiers.
8. The Family Physician In Asia: Looking To The 21st Century.
9. The Emergence Of Family Practice.
10. Quality In Family Practice.
11. Preventing Diabetes: The Task Of The Family Doctor.
SECTION 2: HEALTHCARE & SOCIETY
Synopsis. By Associate Professor Dr CJ Ng
12. Ethical Consequences Of Technological Change.
13. Dr. Sun Yat Sen Oration. Between Faith And Reason.
14. Ethics, Professionalism And The "Trade".
15. Looking Back, Looking Forward.
16. Towards A Nation Of Cultured People.
17. Rural Health And Global Equity: Am I My Brother's Keeper?
18. Achieving Equity Through A Primary Care-Led Health System.
Appendix: Dr MK Rajakumar: A Brief Curriculum Vitae.
MeSH terms: Family Practice; Malaysia; Physicians, Family
Commemorative articles on M K Rajakumar. Usman Awang, National Laureate 1979, wrote this poem for his dear friend who was detained under the ISA in the 1960S. The English translation of this poem is by Wong Soak Koon.
The use of a personal computer together with a Data Acquisition System (DAQ) as the processing tool in optical tomography systems has been the norm ever since the beginning of process tomography. However, advancements in silicon fabrication technology allow nowadays the fabrication of powerful Digital Signal Processors (DSP) at a reasonable cost. This allows this technology to be used in an optical tomography system since data acquisition and processing can be performed within the DSP. Thus, the dependency on a personal computer and a DAQ to sample and process the external signals can be reduced or even eliminated. The DSP system was customized to control the data acquisition process of 16x16 optical sensor array, arranged in parallel beam projection. The data collected was used to reconstruct the cross sectional image of the pipeline conveyor. For image display purposes, the reconstructed image was sent to a personal computer via serial communication. This allows the use of a laptop to display the tomogram image besides performing any other offline analysis.
The main objective of this project is to implement the multiple fan beam projection technique using optical fibre sensors with the aim to achieve a high data acquisition rate. Multiple fan beam projection technique here is defined as allowing more than one emitter to transmit light at the same time using the switch-mode fan beam method. For the thirty-two pairs of sensors used, the 2-projection technique and 4- projection technique are being investigated. Sixteen sets of projections will complete one frame of light emission for the 2-projection technique while eight sets of projection will complete one frame of light emission for the 4-projection technique. In order to facilitate data acquisition process, PIC microcontroller and the sample and hold circuit are being used. This paper summarizes the hardware configuration and design for this project.
A disposable screen-printed e-tongue based on sensor array and pattern recognition that is suitable for the assessment of water quality in fish tanks is described. The characteristics of sensors fabricated using two kinds of sensing materials, namely (i) lipids (referred to as Type 1), and (ii) alternative electroactive materials comprising liquid ion-exchangers and macrocyclic compounds (Type 2) were evaluated for their performance stability, sensitivity and reproducibility. The Type 2 e-tongue was found to have better sensing performance in terms of sensitivity and reproducibility and was thus used for application studies. By using a pattern recognition tool i.e. principal component analysis (PCA), the e-tongue was able to discriminate the changes in the water quality in tilapia and catfish tanks monitored over eight days. E-tongues coupled with partial least squares (PLS) was used for the quantitative analysis of nitrate and ammonium ions in catfish tank water and good agreement were found with the ion-chromatography method (relative error, ±1.04- 4.10 %).