Volume 13, Issue 2, 2013 April-June

Volume 13, No 2 Pages:
2013 April-June Articles: 7

Tradition to technology: an approach to drug development against human pathogenic fungi

During antidermatophytic investigations of the plant secondary metabolites of some common ethnomedicinal plants, the essential oil of Curcuma longa Linn (family Zingiberaceae) was found to be the strongest toxicant against the pathogenic fungi Trichophyton mentagrophytes and T. rubrum, dermatophytes causing ringworm infection in human beings. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the oil was recorded at 1.9 mg/ml against T. mentagrophytes and 2.1 mg/ml against T. rubrum. However, it was fungicidal at 2.4 mg/ml against T. mentagrophytes and 2.5 mg/ml against T. rubrum respectively. The effective concentration contains heavy doses of inoculums (25 discs of 5 mm each.). The minimum killing time (MKT) of the oil was 45 sec against T. mentagrophytes and 30 sec against T. rubrum, while it’s MFCs required 7.00 hrs against T. mentagrophytes and 5.30 hrs against T. rubrum. The efficacy was thermo stable up to 80°C and for 36 months of storage, the maximum unit taken into consideration. Moreover, the oil did not exhibit any adverse effect on human skin up to 5% conc. Further detail in vivo investigations as well as clinical trial are required with the formulation(s) of the oil to fully develop an alternative to the synthetics.

The 2013 rockslide disaster of Aizawl, Mizoram, India

The early morning landslide (at 2:45 a.m. local time) of 15 May 2013 shocked the city of Aizawl, India. An abrupt rockslide forced a series of building collapse at Laipuitlang all the way down to Ramhlun Venglai area, which have been very high landslide prone regions of Aizawl. The disastrous landslide covered an area of 1025 sq m and an estimated volume of about 8 Mm3. From the massive wreck, 17 corpses were exhumed, 8 persons were rescued alive, from the collapse of 15 houses. The area has a history is violent and dangerous geologic events during the last century. The ultimate collateral damage could have been due to a combination of the soft and high porous rock bedding, the steep slope, heavy rainfall, thunderstorm, anthropic destruction of the rock bed and overweight constructions. This brief report presents a summary of our observations pertinent to the landslide activities based on our field investigations. This report particularly focuses on the geological implications related to the landslide development, and identification of the landslide mechanism and its triggering factors.

Assessment of air quality at the municipal waste dumping site in Aizawl, Mizoram

A study was done on the air quality of the Tuirial municipal dumping site in Aizawl, Mizoram, India. The air quality for suspended particulate matter (SPM), respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM), NO2 and SO2 was analysed for a period of one year during 2011-2012. The study was undertaken under the aegis of MIPOGRASS (Mizo Post Graduate Science Society) and the Directorate of Science and Technology, Government of Mizoram. The SPM and RSPM concentrations were to a great extent above the permissible limit of the the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) throughout the study period. The highest SPM mean concentration was on April 2012 at 789.64 (SD ± 1172.73) µg/m3 and highest RSPM on November 2011 at 1345.99 (SD ±1 08.29) µg/m3. The mean concentration of NO2 also showed above permissible limits for four months with highest on March 2012 at 43.62 (SD ± 8.19) µg/m3. The SO2 showed highest concentration at 1.95 (SD ± 0.57) µg/m3 which was within the permissible limit throughout the study period.

Study on bat diversity in and around Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Mizoram, India

Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary (23°44’20”N - 23°52’15”N and 93°13’40”E - 93°17’50”E) is the third largest among the six (6) wildlife sanctuaries of Mizoram; situated in the eastern part of Mizoram adjacent to Murlen National Park. Due to various types of topography there is a diversified climatic condition in this sanctuary and this supports a variety of semi evergreen trees, bamboo, wild bananas; hence a rich biodiversity. Bats play major role in food chain between plants and carnivores as well as habitat specific that help in seed dispersal, and also is considered as pest. The present investigation conducted from August 2012 to April 2013 was undertaken to study the bat diversity and prepare the checklist at Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary of Champhai District of Mizoram. Nine (9) bat species under eight (8) genera of four (4) families were identified from study area. Insectivorous bat, Rhinolophus hipposideros, which was identified in this sanctuary, was for the first time recorded in Mizoram. Mist-nets and hoop-nets were used for the trapping of the bats and roosting sites were surveyed with the help of binoculars. Trapped bats were photographed by digital camera and video camera for documentation. Dead bats found in the study area were preserved in the laboratory by using 10% formaldehyde solution after identification.

Spawning density and morphometric characteristics of the horseshoe crab Tachypleus gigas (Müller) on the Balasore coast of Bay of Bengal, India

The spawning density and morphometric characteristics of the Asian horseshoe crab Tachypleus gigas (Müller) found along the Balasore coast of Bay of Bengal was studied during 2008-2011. The spawning population was generally higher during March and July and were significantly higher (2-sample t-tests, all p ≥ 0.1) between the new moon and full moon. The relationship between various body parts of T. gigas revealed an increase in total length proportion to the of the prosomal (carapace) length. Similar relation was also observed with the carapace width with the advancement of total length. Telson length to the total length relationship also indicated a proportional increase. The body weight to total length relationship was also linear. The relationship between carapace width (dorsal prosomal breadth) with the body weight and total length with the body weight of the gravid females though showed a linear relationship but the r values were very weak. But there was a strong relationship between the body weights of the gravid female with that of the amount of the eggs present in the body.

Studies on types of acidity in soils of Kolasib agriculture, Kolasib district, Mizoram, India

The study was made on assessment of the soil quality of Kolasib, Agriculture district of Mizoram. 20 soils samples were selected from various localities of the study out of 200 samples and were found to have their pH fall under five classes of soil acidity. Total acidity in the soils was estimated by following standard method based on the technique of by Sokolov and Soroken. The soil samples were found to be acidic and exhibited increased concentration of Al+3 with the decrease of pH. Upon the different forms of acidity detected in Kolasib, soils can be arranged in decreasing manner as – total acidity > non- exchangeable acidity > active acidity.

Survey on distribution of pheasants (Galliformes) in Mizoram, India

Reconnaissance on spatial distribution of pheasants in eight districts of Mizoram was done during September 2012 to March 2013. The study shows that six species inhabit the study areas. Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) and Kalij Pheasants (Lophura Leucomelanos lathami) are most versatile in distribution and are present in all sites (n=235). Grey Peacock Pheasant (Polyplectron bicalcaratum) is recorded in 103 sites and is more abundant in middle and eastern parts of the state. Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) is recorded at 10 sites and Blyth’s Tragopan (Tragopan blythii) at 4 sites, both in eastern higher elevation ranges. A lone record of Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) is from Tarpho village, Lunglei district, near Myanmar boundary. Comparison of the present data with previous records and possible sites for endangered pheasants has been discussed.

Evaluation of geochemical characteristics of shale of Disang Group in a part of Assam-Arakan basin in perspective of its hydrocarbon potential

The geochemical properties of shale were studied in the Assam-Arakan basin covering a portion of the Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh. Here the dominant rock type is light to dark grey shale belonging to the Disang Group of Eocene age. The northeast-southwest trending shale of Disang Group exposed in Tisa river and Deomali-Longding road section showing distinct fissility parallel to the bedding plane. Grey to dark grey and fine-grained sandstone, which is either massive or thin bedded, occurs interbedded with shale. The Rock-Eval analysis of shale samples from the outcrops shows high Tmax values and lower TOC and S2 values. Thus, it transpires that source-rating of studied shale, is found to be poor and also its source proclivity is towards gas. Further, shale of Disang Group is found to contain over-matured organic matters, represented by Kerogen Type-III and Type-IV.