Friday 29 November 2019

We are the World Blogfest # 31: Searching for new remedies against the malarial parasite …

# WATWB – Soup War on Malaria?!  At long last we are researching indigenous remedies – but in this case finding them via the cuisine of London’s ethnic community …


… looking into the apparent blocking of the malarial parasite in the process of transmission, through various broths.

Malarial parasite connecting to a red blood cell
In one primary school – the pupils were asked to bring in samples of clear soup made from traditional family recipes (European, North African and Middle Eastern).   (London being one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world).

The broths varied: vegetarian, chicken, or beef based were all home-made – thus no obvious particular ingredient leading to an antimalarial activity … but which was known about.

Chicken Soup
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine have been working with the students testing their families’ broths … against two stages of the parasite: when it can infect mosquitoes, and when it can cause the disease in humans.

The research is ongoing … but the other benefit has been to engage the children in the idea of research: where it can start, and how results are evidenced … how many of them will now become scientists?

Winsor McCay's 1912 animated film:
"How a Mosquito Operates"
We live in interesting times … and as usual to this curious mind two other appropriate links appeared … a BBC programme on Li Shizhen (1518 – 1593): who is considered to be the greatest scientific naturalist of China …

… and an Ethiopian Swedish chef and restaurateur,  Marcus Samuelsson, now living in New York … again from a conversation on the Beeb … bringing together those culinary influences.

“In Darkness, Be Light.”

Li Shizhen - and his Compendium of Materia Medica 

Be thankful ... we, the privileged human race, can learn so much from history and each ecosystem.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday 11 November 2019

Remembrance Day … Making Peace with Death …

On this day of Remembrance we will all be viewing departures from this life in different ways depending on our life experiences and those of our family members gone before us …

A British charity providing financial, social and
emotional support to members and veterans of the
of the British Armed Forces, their families and
dependants; their motto "Service not Self"

… I mentioned in my last post that I went to see an exhibition in 2012/3 about the value of art in communicating ideas about death - back then I wasn’t quite as ready to see it – yet felt compelled that I should …

... but decided to wait until next year to post about it … there’s quite a lot to show and mention …

The Cenotaph in
Whitehall (2014)
So today – I’ll be remembering everyone I've known who has left this world … including the lady I befriended over the years my mother was in the Nursing Centre - she died eleven days ago, two days after her 80th … 

Eirene - Goddess of Peace

... she had not had an easy life - eighteen years of it had been spent in the Nursing Centre … but with the encouragement and care particularly of the staff, and us, she had a lovely happy birthday, perked up considerably, dying in peace … all we can do for others helps …

Cardinal Newman (1801 – 1890), who has recently been made a Saint (our first since 1615 and more about him anon), stood for the life of the spirit against the forces that would debase human dignity and human destiny …

His Eminence Saint
John Henry Newman in 1881
before his canonization

This today is the simple message I hope we can remember … we need to be compassionate to all and to understand each other …

I watched the Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph, … which always brings tears to my eyes reminding us of who and how many have helped through all the War years … 

We Will Not Forget …

Royal British Legion

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories