657 Chapters
Medium 9780253356512

4. Connecting the Drops: The Wider Human and Environmental Costs

Nicholas A. Robins Indiana University Press ePub

In order to gauge the health effects of mercury exposure on the residents and workers of Huancavelica and Potosí, it is necessary to understand how a multitude of dynamic factors interact. These include the amount of mercury and silver actually produced, how and under what climatic conditions quicksilver was lost to the atmosphere and waterways, and the effects of elemental mercury on people and animals when it is absorbed through different means. Fortunately, the Spanish authorities maintained detailed records concerning mercury and silver production, and contemporaries described the characteristics and inefficiencies of the respective refining processes, as well as the issue of contraband. By integrating the historical record with modern air-dispersion modeling and current medical knowledge of mercury’s effects, we can approximate the nature and range of the human and ecological effects that mining had at different times during the colonial period.

A Tremulous Toxin

Although mercury has no known use in the human body, it is present in minute quantities in the soil we cultivate and the air we breathe. As an element, designated as Hg in the periodic table, mercury can neither be created nor destroyed, and it has been found in every continent, and even on the moon. There are two sources of this element in the environment: those released through natural weathering processes of mercury-containing rock, and man-made, or anthropogenic, sources. Today, the latter are usually associated with electricity production, industrial applications and byproducts, and municipal and medical waste incineration.1

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Medium 9781780646824

13: Not Clean

Webber, R. CABI PDF

Not Clean


Neonatal Tetanus

The beautiful but remote island of St Kilda, off the West Coast of Scotland, was occupied for at least 1000 years by a very resilient group of islanders who mainly lived on seabirds, fish and the few vegetables they could cultivate on the limited area of arable land available. They were a small but self-sufficient community, passing on their skills from generation to generation and very successfully maintaining a way of life that had seen them survive terrible storms, shortages of food, lack of contact and deprivation.

But on Wednesday 27 August 1930, this all came to an end; they asked to be removed and resettled on the mainland.

It was not any single event that had caused this decision, but the community had gradually declined in size and they now felt it was no longer viable. There were not sufficient young people to continue the community and soon there would not be enough to look after the increasingly older generation. This, however, was not because the younger people had left to find work on the mainland, the fate of many an island community, but because there had been a run of infant deaths and there were now not enough surviving children.

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Medium 9781786390394

9 Non-membranolytic Mechanisms of Action of Antimicrobial Peptides – Novel Therapeutic Opportunities?



Non-membranolytic Mechanisms of Action of Antimicrobial Peptides –

Novel Therapeutic Opportunities?

Marco Scocchi*, Mario Mardirossian, Giulia Runti and Monica Benincasa

Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, via Giorgieri 5, 34127 Trieste, Italy


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) possess a remarkable capacity to inactivate and kill microorganisms by their well-established lytic activity on target membranes. However, an ever-increasing set of data highlights the importance of non-lytic modes of action for a number of AMPs, which affect target microorganisms acting through their interaction with specific molecular targets.

Data indicate that these non-membrane-­ permeabilizing AMPs inhibit protein synthesis, nucleic acid functions and essential intracellular enzymes, or affect cell wall synthesis. Recent findings on these nonlytic modes of antimicrobial action, which appear to be alternative or complementary to membrane lysis, are reviewed here with specific attention to those for which sufficient data have been collected to support a mode of action with a real contribution of killing without lytic activity. A detailed knowledge of this class of AMPs and of their mechanism of action is very important in the design of novel antibacterial agents against unexploited targets, endowed with the capacity to penetrate into pathogen cells and kill them from within.

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1 - Time for Disability Studies and a Future for Crips

Alison Kafer Indiana University Press ePub

Queerness should and could be about a desire for another way of being in both the world and time, a desire that resists mandates to accept that which is not enough.

—José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia

WHAT WOULD IT mean to explore disability in time or to articulate “crip time”? Temporal categories are already commonly used in formulations of disability; one aspect of cripping time might simply be to map the extent to which we conceptualize disability in temporal terms. The medical field in particular has a long tradition of describing disability in reference to time. “Chronic” fatigue, “intermittent” symptoms, and “constant” pain are each ways of defining illness and disability in and through time; they describe disability in terms of duration. “Frequency,” “incidence,” “occurrence,” “relapse,” “remission”: these, too, are the time frames of symptoms, illness, and disease. “Prognosis” and “diagnosis” project futures of illness, disability, and recovery. Or take terms such as “acquired,” “congenital,” and “developmental,” each of which is used to demarcate the time or onset of impairment. “Developmental” does double duty, referring both to lifelong conditions, including those that develop or manifest in childhood and adolescence, but also implying a “delay” in development, a detour from the timeline of normative progress.1

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Medium 9780253010544

10 Lessons for the World

Anna Aulette-Root Indiana University Press ePub

Five Discourses Emerged in our analysis of the interview transcripts: (1) being normal through work and men; (2) disclosure for better or worse; (3) taking care of children; (4) caring for violent men; and (5) women’s bodies. Sometimes these mirror the dominant discourse about HIV, sometimes they pose alternative discourses, and always they reveal the tensions and links between oppression and resistance.

Our discussions of these five topics shows the women we interviewed drawing upon common ways of talking about femininity and normalcy as a means to reconstruct themselves as humans in the face of dominant discourses, which present HIV-positive women as something less than human. All five topics share an overarching core feature of wrestling with the problem of stigma and using notions and practices of femininity to attempt to overcome stigma and appear as normal and acceptable. Within each discourse, however, we also found ambiguity, contradiction, and resistance. At the same time the women attempt to appear “normal,” they also question and sometimes even challenge these constructs of what it means to be real women.

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