2020 is a year that was ushered
with all humanity cheering
with fireworks and ululations
as they bid 2019 away;
with all its insurmountable hardships,
burdens, woes and tribulations.

Humanity wanted to just move on,
to a better year,
even when reports had emerged
of an epidemic that was ravaging China
and the difficulties that China
was facing to contain it;

but humanity went on
with life as usual
as if nothing else mattered
except to get into 2020;
hoping that what was happening in China
would remain there.

Then, however, the epidemic spread,
first to Europe, then to the Americas
and soon it was everywhere;
the World Health Organization
declared it a pandemic.

The whole World came to a standstill;
no flights, and no cross-border movement.
The word, ‘lockdown’, Continue Reading "2020, The Year When Humanity Stayed Indoors"

On my mind is “Theatre of The Absurd”, whose part definition means, ‘a form of drama that emphasizes the absurdity of human existence by employing purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that lack realistic or logical development.

My mind’s particular reference is an absurd incident that played out today, in broad daylight, and in front of my wide-open eyes in a butchery.

And like all absurd plays such as Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”, the characters will not be introduced to you, the audience, except for their names and their miserable situation, which pans out as follows:

I enter the butchery to buy some steak, strictly minding my own business, Continue Reading "Theatre Of The Absurd In Covid-19 Times"

Quality food production and food security have several components, including the production of sufficient amounts of food, adequate nutrient content in the food products, and the exclusion of potentially toxic compounds from the food products. The soils in which plants grow play a role in all of these areas, and they also influence human health in more ways than most realize.

One major way that soils influence human health is through their ability to act as natural filters by removing contaminants from water and thus preventing water-borne diseases. The contaminants, including sewage, are removed by soil through physical capture as the water moves through pore spaces, through chemical sorption to solid surfaces, and through bio-degradation carried out by microorganisms living in the soil.

Secondly, approximately 78% of the average per capita calorie consumption worldwide comes from Continue Reading "The Link Between Soil Health and Human Health and the Consequences of Soil Degradation in Africa"

The cells of plants and animals carry their instructions in the form of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), which is contained in genes. To make a protein, the sequence of genetic letters in each gene gets copied into matching strands of RNA (Ribonucleic acid) in a process called expression, which then float out of the nucleus to guide the protein-making machinery of the cell in a process called translation.

Until very recently, genetically engineered organisms were created by deletion of some of the genes in their genetic makeup or insertion of genes from external sources into their genetic makeup. This article is the third of a four-series feature on genetic engineering, after Genetic Engineering – Definition, History, Benefits and Risks, and, Genetic Engineering – The Great GMO Debate. Its aim is to highlight several advances in genetic engineering where organisms such as plants and animals have been modified without interfering with the composition and sequence of genes in their genetic makeup, which has not only been controversial, but is also very expensive and labor intensive.

For the last seventeen years  Continue Reading "Genetic Engineering – Recent Advances; the Promise of Tomorrow"

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have with time brought a sense of anxiety in the minds of consumers and environmentalists, among others; and this has resulted in a marked divide between the proponents and opponents when it comes to the use of genetically engineered foods.

Proponents believe that the increased yields resulting from genetic engineering can bolster food security and efficiently, affordably and responsibly feed the 7.6 billion people currently living on Earth. Opponents of genetic engineering, however argue that this technology has only been around since the 1990s, therefore, the true long-term health or environmental effects of these products cannot be known.

This article is the second of a four-series feature on genetic engineering, after Genetic Engineering – Definition, History, Benefits and Risks. It aims at outlining the two sides of the debate, the reasons why each side feels the way they do, and the points that justify each opinion.

Is genetic engineering a potential cure for world hunger?

Whether GMOs’ increased yields can feed a hungry world or whether they cannot is a big debate. Proponents of GM foods argue that since GMOs are easier to produce in large quantities, and may be modified to have a longer shelf life, they have the potential to reduce world hunger and poverty, improve nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitate social and environmental sustainability; especially if they are efficiently distributed to places where food is sparse. Anti-GM activists refute this argument by wondering why GMO manufacturers have not shown any interest whatsoever in using them to alleviate world hunger; they wonder why, in the two decades that GM crops have existed, the world has experienced several famines and disasters that could have benefited from genetically engineered food; they contend that GMOs divert money and resources that would otherwise be spent on more safe, reliable, and appropriate non-GMO agricultural technologies. Continue Reading "Genetic Engineering – The Great GMO Debate"

Introduction

Advances in genetic engineering have revolutionized medicine for decades; helping us to better understand biological processes, improve disease diagnosis, treat several diseases and conditions, and develop a wide range of vaccines.

When it comes to food and agriculture, however, the development of genetic engineering and proliferation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), is often clouded in confusion, fear, and an instinctual reflex to protect our food. This is probably because of a lack of clear understanding of GMOs and the inability to separate fact from myth. Continue Reading "Genetic Engineering – Definition, History, Benefits and Risks"

While in humans, females have a more attractive physical appearance than males; it is the opposite in birds. Males have a more appealing physical appearance than females.  Further, the attractiveness increases with age for women but decreases with age for female birds? The best example is the attractiveness of the peacocks which far outclasses that of peahens.

Some of the distinctions in the physiques of males and females are designed to suit each sex for the role it plays in reproduction, while others exist to help aid in male – female mutual attraction.

Women are better groomed. They are blond and fair-skinned, while men are often dark-skinned. Women have fully buoyant Continue Reading "Women Are Better Groomed Than Men; Cocks Are Better Groomed Than Hens – Genetics Explains Why"