The vast diversity of the biological world is the result of evolution. Globally, much attention has
been drawn to protect this biodiversity, with emphasis on the marine ecosystem. Earth is often
referred to as the water planet and is probably the only planet to have oceans that are home to marine life and have been evolving for over several billion years. In the past century, significant negative effect on the natural balance of the marine ecosystem was a cause for serious concern. The marine environment has been often referred to as the birth place of life on earth. Over several billions of years, it has developed through an intricate and complex balance of natural phenomena. The marine system serves as the ecosystem for different plant and animal species. It is essential to all living beings, both in the water and on land, to be in harmony with the marine system. The marine environments are also currently being exploited for many other resources. There is an urgent need to protect the environment and identify new threats so that the damage is lessened.
Given this backdrop, in the paper, “Possible Invasion of Terrestrial Bacteria into Marine Algal Consortium”, the authors, Shibayan Ganguly, Soumi Sinha Roy, Dipavali Acharya, Malavi Sengupta, Debarati Shome, Monalisa Baidya and Arup Kumar Mitra, have shown that the terrestrial transfer of bacteria to marine environments can open new threats to marine environments. Marine algae were collected from a fisherman’s net in the Arabian sea at the Kovalam Beach, Trivandrum, Kerala. Further observations showed that the algae caused blackening of the layer of sand which got precipitated beneath the vessel due to liberation of hydrogen sulphide by bacteria present along with the algae. The algae were having an antagonistic relationship with bacteria, as the latter reduced the algal viability and shelf life. This negative impact of the bacteria is harmful to the natural marine environment. The paper clearly shows that the sewage carried by different rivers or canals flowing into the sea is detrimental to the marine biodiversity in the estuarine areas of the subcontinent and is a potential threat to the marine environment. Early preventive measures are to be adopted to preserve biodiversity.
The second paper, “Efficient Recovery of Hyaluronic Acid from Highly Viscous Culture Broth”,
by Jagadeeswara Reddy Kanala, Kalpana Panati and Venkata R Narala, provides an efficient method for the separation and recovery of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) from highly viscous culture broth. Purification was carried out by optimizing different parameters like temperature, pH and treatment with activated charcoal. HA is a naturally occurring biopolymer. It has a wide range of applications in the treatment of osteoarthritis, cosmetic surgery, ophthalmic surgery and wound healing. The authors have produced clinical grade HA. An indigenous method for purification of HA in large-scale from microbial origin will be quite economic and will have widespread application in the field of medicine, cancer and tissue engineering studies.
The third paper, “A Comparative Study of Moringa oleifera in Native Wet and Dry Habitats
of Muthagoundanoor, Salem District, Tamil Nadu” by P Jagadheesan, V Mugilan, V Kannan and V Stalin,
deals with studies related to plant stress in drought condition. Moringa oleifera or the horseradish tree is a pan-tropical species and there are extensive reports describing its nutritional and medicinal properties. It is an important tree that can continue to grow under severe drought and produce good yields. Moringa sp. continues to resist drought and the authors have studied the morphological, anatomical and physiological changes in Moringa in response to water stress. The paper is of significance in understanding plant physiological mechanisms.
The fourth paper, “Characterization of Milk Production Systems in Bure District, Ethiopia”, by Adebabay Kebede, Firew Tegegne, Zeleke Mekuriaw and Azage Tegegne, discusses the study was conducted in Bure district of the Amhara National Regional State with the objective of characterizing the milk production system. Bure is one of the districts of West Gojjam Administrative Zone in Amhara National Regional State. This district has surplus agricultural products and has high potential for milk development. The study explores the existing milk production and marketing systems. The paper gives information about the milk development strategy in the area and highlights the need to characterize the existing milk production and marketing systems. The study fills the information gap in milk production and marketing systems to prioritize the constraints and opportunities with regard to milk production in Bure district. The paper draws attention to areas of milk nutrition, health, product marketing in order to capitalize on the market-oriented milk industry in the area.
The last paper, “Bioprospecting Concept of Sugarcane Towards Antihepatitis Drug Development:
A Nanobiotechnological Approach”, by J Karthikeyan and G Gowsigan, is a research note on nanobiotechnology which has found greater application of nanoparticles for their biological effects. The note is a hypothesis for the identification and development of pharmaceutically active natural compound by conjugation with suitable nanoparticles. Nanomedicine is one of the medical applications of nanotechnology. It is well-known that sugarcane juice is widely used as a crude drug to cure jaundice caused by Hepatitis-B-Virus (HBV). The authors have noted the identification of sugarcane bioactive principle(s) having target-specific therapeutic potentiality/efficacy to curtail HBV development and to further apply the nanobiotechnology approach for drug encapsulation and tissue targeting for enhancement of pharmacokinetic activity. Nanobiotechnology takes most of its fundamentals from nanotechnology. Nanobiotechnology is often used to describe the overlapping multidisciplinary activities associated with biosensors. The paper gives a new approach to develop new medicines by converting currently available drugs into nanoparticle forms.
S B Mukherjee