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      Biodiversity, traditional medicine and public health: where do they meet?

      review-article
      1 , , 2
      Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          Given the increased use of traditional medicines, possibilities that would ensure its successful integration into a public health framework should be explored. This paper discusses some of the links between biodiversity and traditional medicine, and addresses their implications to public health. We explore the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services to global and human health, the risks which human impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity present to human health and welfare.

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          Most cited references126

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          Factors in the emergence of infectious diseases.

          "Emerging" infectious diseases can be defined as infections that have newly appeared in a population or have existed but are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range. Among recent examples are HIV/AIDS, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Lyme disease, and hemolytic uremic syndrome (a foodborne infection caused by certain strains of Escherichia coli). Specific factors precipitating disease emergence can be identified in virtually all cases. These include ecological, environmental, or demographic factors that place people at increased contact with a previously unfamiliar microbe or its natural host or promote dissemination. These factors are increasing in prevalence; this increase, together with the ongoing evolution of viral and microbial variants and selection for drug resistance, suggests that infections will continue to emerge and probably increase and emphasizes the urgent need for effective surveillance and control. Dr. David Satcher's article and this overview inaugurate Perspectives, a regular section in this journal intended to present and develop unifying concepts and strategies for considering emerging infections and their underlying factors. The editors welcome, as contributions to the Perspectives section, overviews, syntheses, and case studies that shed light on how and why infections emerge, and how they may be anticipated and prevented.
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            Therapeutic landscapes: medical issues in light of the new cultural geography.

            W Gesler (1992)
            Employing an expanded meaning of the concept of landscape taken from the 'new' cultural geography, this paper explores why certain places or situations are perceived to be therapeutic. Themes from both traditional and recent work in cultural geography are illustrated with examples from the literature of the social science of health care. The themes include man-environment relationships; humanist concepts such as sense of place and symbolic landscapes; structuralist concepts such as hegemony and territoriality; and blends of humanist concerns, structuralist concerns, and time geography. The intention of this broad overview is to bring some particularly useful concepts developed in cultural geography to the attention of social scientists interested in matters of health and to stimulate research along new lines.
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              Taxol: a unique antineoplastic agent with significant activity in advanced ovarian epithelial neoplasms.

              To assess the activity of taxol in patients with advanced, progressive, and drug-refractory ovarian cancer and to delineate more clearly the toxicity of taxol in this patient population. Nonrandomized, prospective phase II trial. Forty-seven patients with drug-refractory epithelial ovarian cancer who had one or more lesions measurable in perpendicular diameters. Of these patients, 45 were evaluable for toxicity and 40 were evaluable for response. PATIENTS were treated every 22 days with varying doses of taxol (110 to 250 mg/m2 body surface) given as a 24-hour infusion with subsequent doses based on adverse effects. A premedication regimen was used to avoid acute hypersensitivity reactions. Twelve patients (30%; CI, 16% to 44%) responded to taxol for periods lasting from 3 to 15 months. The dose-limiting toxicity was myelosuppression with leukocytes affected more severely and commonly than thrombocytes or reticulocytes. Leukopenia was usually brief in duration but was associated with sepsis in 3 cases (2 fatal). Other adverse effects included myalgias, arthralgias, alopecia, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, mucositis, and peripheral neuropathy. Rare cases of cardiac and central neurotoxicity were also noted. Taxol is an active agent in drug-refractory ovarian cancer and deserves further study in combination with other active drugs in previously untreated patients with advanced ovarian cancer.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Ethnobiol Ethnomedicine
                Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
                BioMed Central (London )
                1746-4269
                2007
                21 March 2007
                : 3
                : 14
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Estadual da Paraíba, Av. das Baraúnas, 351/Campus Universitário, Bodocongó, 58109-753, Campina Grande-PB, Brazil
                [2 ]Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 58051-900 João Pessoa, PB, Brazil
                Article
                1746-4269-3-14
                10.1186/1746-4269-3-14
                1847427
                17376227
                2a7ed142-4e41-419a-8062-808258a3ee9e
                Copyright © 2007 Alves and Rosa; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Medicine
                Medicine

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