Indiana University Press (32)
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Medium 9780253014993

10. Yes Wii Can or Can Wii? Theorizing the Possibilities of Video Games as Health Disparity Intervention

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

David J. Leonard, Sarah Ullrich-French, and Thomas G. Power

THE DEBATE ABOUT EXERGAMING OFTEN APPEARS IN headlines such as “Can Wii Games Replace Regular Exercise?” and “Is the Wii Fit Better than Regular Exercise?”1 In this regard, virtual gaming has been reduced to a binary, a mathematical formula that treats participants as universal subjects and analyzes how well the games transport those bodies into virtual space. It reflects on whether these games have real-life impact on the universal game subject and how these virtual activities compare to their real-life brethren. Take one study from the American Council on Exercise, which after testing sixteen participants on six of Wii’s most challenging games – Free Run, Island Run, Free Step, Advanced Step, Super Hula Hoop, and Rhythm Boxing – concluded that virtual reality was distinctively different from the real world, in that twice as many calories were burned with the real “thing.” Emblematic of much of the discourse, the adherence to the virtual-real binary and its conceptualization of all participants as having equal access and opportunity demonstrate the shortcomings of the discourse surrounding virtual exercise.2 Furthering the establishment of this dualistic framework, the discourse focuses on the caloric impact–energy expenditure rates of virtual exercise games; it works to understand if exergaming is a substitute for real-world exercise. Yet there has been little effort to measure the impact of games on the physical body (core strength, balance) and, more important, the impact of games on identity, knowledge about fitness, health, and nutrition. In the end, these studies, more than the games themselves, disembody people and fail to look at how games change people in a myriad of ways, from the physical to the mental, from identity to self-worth.

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Medium 9780253009845

1 Early Modern Western Warships: Technologies of Power Projection and Lethality

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

Killing and the ability to kill are key aspects of military history. In popular works, they also tend to crowd out other types and characteristics of technology. In particular, there is a tendency to downplay those facets that do not relate directly to conflict or to discuss them only when they are involved in battle. This contrast is less marked when considering naval history because ships serve both to project power and to provide the fighting platform. As a result, improvements in the specifications of warships serve to offer an all-round enhancement of capability, although, in detailed terms, as with other branches of military technology, an improvement in a particular specification can compromise other advantages. For example, increasing weight in order to provide greater protection can limit speed and maneuverability, a trade-off that became of major significance as armor developed in the nineteenth century in response to the increased power of naval ordnance.

Western expansion from 1450 to 1700, in what was subsequently described in the West as the early modern period,1 provides an important instance of the linkage between military technology and key changes in world power. The extent to which global naval strength and world history altered as a result of Western warship technology is a central issue. In turn, this question relates to a number of technologies, specifically ship construction, navigation, and firepower, and these technologies have to be considered in both conceptual and instrumental terms.

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1. The Name of the Game Is Jocktronics: Sport and Masculinity in Early Video Games

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Michael Z. Newman

ALTHOUGH IT MAY NEVER BE SETTLED WHICH VIDEO GAME deserves to be called the first, it’s notable that two games based on racquet sports always come up in talk of the medium’s origins. Tennis for Two, a demonstration using an analog computer and an oscilloscope at Brookhaven National Laboratory (1958), and Pong, the first hit coin-operated game from Atari (1972), are in some ways quite similar.1 Both are competitions between two players given the ability to direct the movement of a ball, which bounces back and forth between them. Both are examples of sports games, a genre that would prove to be among the most enduring, enjoyable, and lucrative in the history of electronic play. And both can be placed within a tradition of masculine amusements adapted from professional athletics, which had already been popular in American society in penny arcades and around gaming tables for more than a half century when electronic games were new. We can regard Pong not just as an early and influential video game, but as part of a history of sports simulations and adaptations and as an electronic version of tavern and rec room amusements such as pool and Ping-Pong, from which it gets its name.

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2 Gunpowder Technology, 1490–1800

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

Edward Gibbon was to claim that gunpowder “effected a new revolution in the art of war and the history of mankind,”1 a view that was common in the eighteenth century and indeed both earlier and later.2 More recently, the widely repeated thesis of the early modern Military Revolution3 has focused renewed attention on the issue of gunpowder technology. Improved firepower and changing fortification design, it is argued, greatly influenced developments across much of the world and, more specifically, the West’s relationship with the rest of the world. In other work, I have questioned the thesis,4 but here, first, I want to draw attention to the changes that stemmed from the use of gunpowder.

Gunpowder weaponry developed first in China. We cannot be sure when it was invented, but a formula for the manufacture of gunpowder was possibly discovered in the ninth century, and effective metal-barreled weapons were produced in the twelfth century. Guns were differentiated into cannon and handguns by the fourteenth.

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2. Madden Men: Masculinity, Race, and the Marketing of a Video Game Franchise

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Thomas P. Oates

IN AUGUST 2012, AS THE RELEASE OF EA SPORTSMADDEN NFL 13 video game approached, a months-long marketing blitz peaked with a series of advertisements featuring actor Paul Rudd and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. In the campaign, the two are presented as close, lifelong friends, whose bond is cemented by periodic Madden NFL marathons. The ads are clearly presented with tongue firmly in cheek. The friendship between Rudd and Lewis is offered as a whimsical premise. Rudd is a recognizable film and television actor, best known for roles playing middle-class white professionals. While appearing to be reasonably fit, he would never be mistaken for an NFL player, and though his movies are frequently about masculine themes (see, for example, I Love You, Man; The 40-Year Old Virgin; and Forgetting Sarah Marshall), he has never played the role of an action hero. Lewis, meanwhile, is black, was raised in poverty by a single mother in Lakeland, Florida, and was a major NFL star at the time, and hence a visible representative of hegemonic masculinity. The joke turns on the premise that despite the seemingly unbridgeable gaps separating affluence from poverty, white from black, icons of masculinity from the average guy, Rudd and Lewis are improbably buddies. Their friendship goes back to the cradle, as Rudd explains in the first ad in the series: “Oh, man, Ray and I have known each other our whole lives. We grew up together. Best friends!” The rest of the campaign shows the two friends playing the video game, engaging in verbal dueling, boasting, and performing other acts that characterize a certain kind of friendly masculine competition.

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Cabi (590)
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9781780647326

10 A Political Ecology of Community Gardens in Australia: From Local Issues to Global Lessons

WinklerPrins, A.M.G.A. CABI PDF

10 

A Political Ecology of Community

Gardens in Australia: From Local Issues to Global Lessons

Jason A. Byrne,1* Catherine M. Pickering,1

Daniela A. Guitart2 and Rebecca Sims-Castley3

1

Environmental Futures Research Institute, Gold Coast,

Queensland, Australia; 2Griffith School of Environment,

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia; 3Independent scholar

10.1  Introduction

The local impacts of global urbanization (e.g. dwindling green spaces, food insecurity, land shortages, loss of biodiversity) have triggered resurgent interest in various forms of urban agriculture (Godfray et al., 2010; Evers and Hodgson,

2011). In many rapidly growing cities across the

Global North (GN) and Global South (GS), residents are clamouring for better access to places to grow safe and healthy food, for spaces that foster social inclusion, and improved environmental quality (Guitart et al., 2015). Urban cultivation initiatives are often framed around the social benefits of local food growing and typically seek to be ‘sustainable’ (Chapters 8 and 9, this volume). These twin goals have important implications for land-use planning and policy, implications that we address in this chapter.

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Medium 9781780647098

10: Aphid Movement: Process and Consequences

van Emden, H.F.; Harrington, R. CABI PDF

10

�Aphid Movement: Process and Consequences

Alberto Fereres,1* Michael E. Irwin2 and Gail E.

Kampmeier3

1

Spanish Research Council, ICA-CSIC, Madrid, Spain; 2Department of ­Natural

Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, USA;

3

Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois,

Champaign, USA

Introduction

This chapter reviews the movement of agriculturally important aphids. It includes information on how different morphs and life stages redistribute themselves in response to intrinsic factors and extrinsic perturbations over time and through

­spatial scales that span walking behaviour on individual plants to aerial transport over very long distances. The chapter explores the economic consequences of aphid movement and weaves the multiple roles of movement into the tapestry of pest management, providing insight into ways of manipulating aphid movement and thereby mitigating the negative economic impacts resulting from it.

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Medium 9781845939946

10: Brief History of the Main Published Works on the Mites of Economic Plants

Vacante, V. CABI PDF

10  Brief History of the Main Published Works on the Mites of Economic Plants

The mites of economic plants are mainly included in the superfamily Eriophyoidea and the families Tetranychidae and

Tenuipalpidae. Other families, e.g. the Tarsonemidae and the

Penthaleidae, have relatively few injurious species. Summarizing the history of these mite groups according to their economic importance is very difficult because of the very large number of references. This brief history covers only the main works on economic acarology, and the references that are included on systematic and taxonomic aspects highlight the importance of basic knowledge in the intervention that is applied. The discussion is arranged by geographic area. The Mediterranean region is taken to include the North African countries, the Middle

East, Turkey and Cyprus; the northern Mediterranean countries are included in the section on Europe.

Europe

The European history of acarology follows for long stretches of time the world history of the discipline, in conjunction with North

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Medium 9781786391216

10: Cell Cycle and Cell Size Regulation during Maize Seed Development: Current Understanding and Challenging Questions

Larkins, B.A. CABI PDF

10 

Cell Cycle and Cell Size Regulation during Maize Seed Development: Current

Understanding and Challenging Questions

Paolo A. Sabelli*

School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA

10.1 Introduction

Formation of the maize seed and that of related cereals occurs through coordination of different biological processes, including cell proliferation, cell fate specification, endoreduplication, cell differentiation, accumulation of storage metabolites, and programmed cell death (PCD). Development of the three genetically distinct seed compartments, the sporophyte (i.e. the embryo), the triploid endosperm, and the maternal pericarp, involves extensive crosstalk and tight regulation between and within maternal and filial structures, with genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors playing important roles. The objective of this chapter is to provide a perspective on the roles of cell cycle and cell size regulation during maize seed development, with an emphasis on what is not yet understood about these processes.

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Medium 9781780641409

10: Certification of Forest Management and Timber Origin

Bruenig, E.F. CABI PDF

10

Certification of Forest Management and Timber Origin

10.1  Roots: Forest Resource Rape;

Offshoots: Boycott of Tropical

Forestry and Timber

The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the second Book of Chronicles in the Old Testament, tell us of illegal timber logging and the murder of forest guards who tried to intervene. Millennia later, Plato (427–347 bc) lamented the less than platonic love of the social elite for wealth, prestige and power, and blamed that as the cause of the deforestation and denuding of hills in Attica. Much later, in the 18th century, the British Crown hammer-­marked large and suitably curve-shaped oak and hickory trees and declared them protected crown property. The navy kept a ledger of all hammer-marked trees and their shapes and locations, to enable collection when the navy shipyards needed them. The British settlers in the New England colonies did not like this – one reason for the War of Independence. In the 19th and 20th centuries, foresters in Germany were still murdered by poachers and timber thieves (Busdorf, 1928–1929). In the tropics, sixty years later, I had twice to take cover and retreat quietly on the advice of local foresters when we stumbled on illegal logging in Borneo and Papua New Guinea.

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Cabi (198)
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Medium 9781780644325

10 Carbon Sequestration and Animal-Agriculture: Relevance and Strategies to Cope with Climate Change

Malik, P.K CABI PDF

10

Carbon Sequestration and

Animal-Agriculture: Relevance and Strategies to Cope with

Climate Change

C. Devendra*

Consulting Tropical Animal Production Systems Specialist,

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract

Carbon sequestration is an important pathway to stabilize the environment with minimum effects of climate change. Farming systems provide a non-compensated service to society by removing atmospheric carbon generated from fossil fuel combustion, feed production, land restoration, deforestation, biomass burning and drainage of wetlands.

The resultant increase in the global emissions of carbon is calculated at 270 Gt, and increasing at the rate of 4 billion tonnes year–1. Strategies to maximize carbon sequestration through enhanced farming practices, particularly in crop–animal systems, are thus an important priority to reduce global warming. These pathways also respond to agricultural productivity in the multifaceted, less favoured rainfed environments. Sustainable animal-agriculture requires an understanding of crop–animal interactions and integrated natural resource management (NRM), demonstrated in the development of underestimated silvopastoral systems (tree crops and ruminants).

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Medium 9781845938178

10: Damage Assessment and Damage Surveys

Buckle, A.P.; Smith, R.H. CABI PDF

10 

Damage Assessment and

Damage Surveys

A.P. Buckle

School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK

Introduction

The practice of damage assessment in rodent control is much neglected. The tendency of researchers is to concentrate on the study of control technologies and, similarly, the attitude of those involved in practical rodent control leans towards the immediate implementation of management programmes. However, carefully planned and executed damage surveys provide immensely useful information

(Judenko, 1973; Engeman, 2002). The reasons for conducting damage assessments may be considered under the following heads:

1. To establish the economic status of rodent pests, including justifiable expenditure on control and damage thresholds.

2. To determine the geographical distribution of pests, to assist decision making and to allow resources to be allocated where they are most needed.

3. To estimate the effectiveness of control measures, both on a small scale in experimental comparisons of different techniques and during large-scale management programmes.

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Medium 9781780644837

10: Plant Disease Resistance Genes: Insights and Concepts for Durable Disease Resistance

CABI PDF

10 

Plant Disease Resistance Genes: Insights and Concepts for Durable Disease Resistance

Lisong Ma and M. Hossein Borhan*

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Introduction

understanding the innate resistance mechanisms in plants is central to genetic improvePlants are continuously exposed to biotic and ment of plant disease resistance (McDowell abiotic stress. Plant pathogenic fungi, oomy- and Woffenden, 2003).

Plants rely mainly on the innate defence cetes, bacteria, viruses and nematodes affect various crops and contribute to major yield mechanism to resist pathogen infection. This loss. Aside from their economic importance, innate defence is orchestrated by a multilayered plant pathogens of staple crops could have innate immune system (Segonzac and Zipfel, great social impact. The best example is the 2011). The first layer is based on the membrane-­

Irish famine of the 19th century caused by localized pattern-recognition receptors

Phytophthora infestans, the oomycete agent of (PRRs) that perceive the microbe or pathogen-­ potato late blight (Vurro et al., 2010; Fisher associated molecular patterns (MAMPs or et al., 2012). Despite advances of modern agri- PAMPs). Recognition of these e­ ssential moltriggered culture in controlling plant diseases, emerging ecules by PRRs initiates PAMP-­ immunity (PTI) (Ma et al., 2012). Adapted infectious diseases are still posing a threat to ­ the global crop yield and food security (Fisher pathogens have evolved to overcome PTI by et al., 2012; Gawehns et al., 2013). An estimated the production of effector proteins. Effectors

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Medium 9781780644233

10: Preferences for Conservation Agriculture in Developing Countries: a Case Study on the Tribal Societies of India and Nepal

Chan, C.; Fantle-Lepczyk, J. CABI PDF

10

Preferences for Conservation

Agriculture in Developing

Countries: a Case Study on the

Tribal Societies of India and

Nepal

Cynthia Lai,* Catherine Chan, Aliza Pradhan,

Bikash Paudel, Brinton Foy Reed and

Jacqueline Halbrendt

University of Hawaiʽi at Ma¯noa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

10.1  Introduction

In many agricultural regions of the world, farmers are experiencing the effects of climate change and its subsequent effects on soil productivity, which lead to reduced agricultural productivity (FAO, 2012). For smallholder subsistence farmers who reside in developing countries, the effects of climate change coupled with population pressures are of even greater impact, due to existing marginalized land conditions (i.e. poor soil fertility, moisture retention, and erosion), as well as lack of capital, institutional support, and access to resources and information (Lai et al., 2012a). With increasing population and decreasing land fertility, agricultural research in the 1960s and 1970s focused on agricultural intensification and increasing per capita food production (Conway and Barbier, 1990). The new technologies, innovations, and increased agricultural productivity that emerged from this period are recognized as the “Green Revolution”. Although the resulting chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and breeding programs for high-yielding varieties provided increased yields, the successes were short-lived, as they failed to provide sustainable solutions to existing land degradation and soil fertility problems, particularly for the smallholder subsistence farmer (Conway and Barbier, 1990).

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Medium 9781845939212

10 Shifting Sources of Agricultural Growth in Indonesia: A Regional Analysis

Fuglie, K.O., Ball, V.E., Wang, S.L. CABI PDF

10

Shifting Sources of Agricultural Growth in Indonesia: A Regional Analysis

Nicholas E. Rada and Keith O. Fuglie

Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC

10.1

Introduction

Indonesia is a large country with diverse agriculture. One dimension of this diversity is sharp regional differences in relative resource endowments, which range from very densely populated ‘inner’ Indonesia, defined here as Java and Bali, to relatively land-abundant ‘outer’ Indonesia, including the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan and

Sulawesi. Another dimension of its agricultural diversity is its broad commodity mix.

Although rice-based farming is the principal agricultural system – accounting for about half of all agricultural output –

Indonesia also has extensive areas in tropical perennial or plantation crops, especially oil palm, rubber, cocoa, coconut and coffee.

Recently it has emerged as a major net agricultural exporting nation, although it continues to experience a trade deficit in strategically important food grains. A majority of its agricultural exports are from tropical perennials. These two dimensions of diversity are not independent, because most of the country’s rice crop is produced on the inner islands whereas perennial crops are primarily grown on the outer islands. Both geographic segments, however, do have significant resources in both annual and perennial crops, as well as in livestock production. Examining Indonesia’s record

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Cab International (154)
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Medium 9781780645742

10: Decision Analysis with Multiple Objectives

J.B. Hardaker; R.B.M Huirne; J.R. Anderson CAB International PDF

10 

Decision Analysis with

Multiple Objectives

Introduction with Some Examples

In earlier chapters we have defined utility functions that indirectly embody an important trade-off:

­expected monetary return versus variance. Such a utility function represents a preference model for choice that captures the DM’s attitude to expected return and variance. Obtaining high returns and reducing exposure to variability are usually two conflicting objectives in decision making. We have shown in

Chapters 5 and 7 how to model the preference trade-off between these objectives. In many situations, however, the action chosen depends on how each possible choice meets several objectives, as the following examples show.

A dairy farmer has become concerned about some long-term negative impacts of the current system of milk production on the farm and is therefore considering changing this system. The current production system is a high-input/high-output system. Large amounts of resources are used per cow to produce a high milk yield. In the short term, this system gives the farmer a good income and a high status in the local community. However, because of its intensive nature, it may cause some environmental problems in the future, as well as some problems with cow health and welfare. In thinking about changing the production system, the dairy farmer might consider diverse possible objectives such as the following: (i) maximizing current farm income; (ii) maximizing farm income in the future; (iii) minimizing environmental damage; (iv) maximizing animal health and welfare;

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Medium 9781780642109

10: Erosion and Sedimentation Effects on Soil Organic Carbon Redistribution in a Complex Landscape in Western Ecuador

Brearley, F.Q., Editor CAB International PDF

10 

Erosion and Sedimentation Effects on Soil Organic Carbon Redistribution in a Complex Landscape in Western Ecuador

Marife D. Corre,1* Jeroen M. Schoorl,2 Free de Koning,3

Magdalena López-Ulloa4 and Edzo Veldkamp1

1

Büsgen Institute – Soil Science of Tropical and Subtropical Ecosystems,

Georg-August University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany; 2Soil Geography and

Landscape, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands;

3

Conservation International Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador; 4Environmental Engineering,

Universidad de las Americas, Quito, Ecuador

10.1  Introduction

Soil organic carbon (SOC) contains a large

­proportion of the nutrient-holding capacity of most soils and contributes to important structural properties such as aggregate stability, fertility, erodibility and water-holding capacity.

In recent years, losses of SOC due to land-cover change and agricultural practices have contributed about 12 to 15% of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions to the atmosphere (~1.2 Pg C year–1), the bulk of  which is released from tropical regions (Le Quéré et al., 2009, Van der Werf et al.,

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10. Ethylene Biosynthesis

P Nath;  M Bouzayen; A K Mattoo CAB International PDF

10

Ethylene Biosynthesis

Donald Grierson*

Laboratory of Fruit Quality Biology/The State Agriculture Ministry

Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Growth, Development and Quality

Improvement, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China; Plant and Crop

Sciences Division, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham,

Loughborough, UK

10.1 Introduction

Research during the first few decades of the 20th century showed that hydrocarbon gases in the environment influence plant growth, development and fruit ripening.

Once it was realized that ethylene was the key molecule in this process, and that plants produce it themselves, it was recognized as a bona fide hormone. This stimulated interest in determining the pathway of ethylene biosynthesis and led, ultimately, to the discovery of the enzymes, genes and regulatory factors that control ethylene production and action at different stages in the life cycle. All plants produce ethylene, but increased ethylene production occurs at many stages of development, particularly in response to developmental signals (e.g. flower development and sex determination, abscission, fruit ripening, leaf senescence), hormones

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Medium 9781845938291

10. Host Range of the Nettle Caterpillar Darna pallivitta (Moore) (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae) in Hawai’i

Pena, J.E., Editor CAB International PDF

10 

Host Range of the Nettle Caterpillar

Darna pallivitta (Moore) (Lepidoptera:

Limacodidae) in Hawai’i

Arnold H. Hara,1 Christopher M. Kishimoto2 and Ruth Y. Niino-Duponte1

1

Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, Komohana

Research and Extension Center, University of Hawai’i at Manoa,

875 Komohana Street, Hilo, Hawai’i 96720, USA;

2

Honolulu, Hawai’i 96819, USA

10.1  Introduction

The stinging nettle caterpillar, Darna pallivitta

(Moore) (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae), was first discovered on the Island of Hawai’i in September 2001

(Pana’ewa 119° 39 min 13 s N / 155° 3 min 32 s W), and probably arrived from Taiwan on a shipment of rhapis palm seedlings (Conant et al., 2002). The native range of D. pallivitta is China, Taiwan,

Thailand, Java and Indonesia (Godfray et al., 1987), where it is regarded as a minor pest mainly on palms and grasses, including maize. D. pallivitta quickly became established, and caused extensive feeding damage on numerous agricultural and nursery crops, and on landscape plants. Moreover,

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Medium 9781780643755

10: Nematophagous Bacteria: Virulence Mechanisms

Askary, T.H., Editor CAB International PDF

10 

Nematophagous Bacteria: Virulence

Mechanisms

Fernando da Silva Rocha1* and Jorge Teodoro de Souza2

Laboratory of Phytopathology, Federal University of Minas Gerais,

Montes Claros, Brazil; 2Department of Phytopathology, Lavras Federal

University, Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

1

10.1  Introduction

Bacteria may affect nematode populations by a series of direct mechanisms, including para­ sitism and antibiosis and indirectly by inter­ fering with the recognition of host plants, inducing systemic resistance and improving plant health (Tian et al., 2007). Bacteria may be classified as antagonists, parasites and sym­ bionts, according to their ecological associ­ ation with nematodes. Antagonistic bacteria are saprophytes that may use nematodes as a source of nutrients under certain conditions, but are not dependent on them for survival.

These bacteria kill nematodes through the production of toxins, enzymes, volatile com­ pounds and antibiotics. On the other hand, obligate parasitic bacteria and symbionts depend on the nematode host for survival and have evolved a biotrophic lifestyle with little or no production of enzymes and toxic compounds.

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Berrett Koehler Publishers (22)
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Medium 9781626569737

10 The Drones Are Coming

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You have probably had to pop out to the grocery store to pick up something you needed for a dinner party. Or maybe you’ve dashed to the pharmacy to get a prescription refill before you took a long trip. By the early 2020s, small drones will do that, and a whole lot more, for you.

Companies such as Amazon and Google have long been planning drone-delivery services, but the first authorized commercial delivery in the United States happened in July 2016, when a 7-Eleven delivered Slurpees, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee, and candy to a customer in Reno, Nevada.1 In the United Kingdom, an enterprising Domino’s franchisee had made headlines by using a drone copter for deliveries in June 2013. Hundreds of companies delivering by drone are starting up all over the world. Venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins estimates that there were 4.3 million shipments of drones in 2015 and that the market is growing by 167 percent per year.2

Not since the automobile has a transportation technology spurred such enthusiastic entrepreneurial activity. The barrier to entry into the business of building drones is exceptionally low. Commodity kits compete with commercial models, and Arduino circuit boards and open-source software make it easy for motivated coders and hackers to tailor drones to exacting functions in arcane and lucrative fields. Just a decade after the military began using drones in earnest as remote-controlled killing machines, the same technology is available to everyone (but not to hunt down terrorists).

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11 Designer Genes, the Bacteria in Our Guts, and Precision Medicine

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the near future, we will routinely have our genetic material analyzed; late in the next decade, we will be able to download and “print” at home medicines, tissues, and bacteria custom designed to suit our DNA and keep us healthy. In short, we will all be biohackers and amateur geneticists, able to understand how our genes work and how to fix them. That’s because these technologies are moving along the exponential technology curve.

Scientists published the first draft analysis of the human genome in 2001. The effort to sequence a human genome was a long and costly one. Started by the government-funded Human Genome Project and later augmented by Celera Genomics and its noted scientist CEO, Craig Venter, the sequencing spanned more than a decade and cost nearly $3 billion. Today, numerous companies are able to completely sequence your DNA for around $1,000, in less than three days. There are even venture-backed companies, such as 23andMe, that sequence parts of human DNA for consumers, without any doctor participation or prescription, for as little as $199.

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12 Your Own Private Driver: Self-Driving Cars, Trucks, and Planes

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In a popular children’s book called If I Built a Car, a fanciful fledgling engineer (who is probably about ten) waxes enthusiastically about designing a car that houses an onboard swimming pool, makes milk shakes, and can both fly and dive under water.1 Of course, the car has a robot driver that can take over if the humans need a snooze.

We aren’t getting cars that can make milk shakes or are big enough to house a decent sized swimming pool, and flying cars remain a couple of decades away. But our robot drivers are here.

There are debates in mainstream media over whether driverless cars will ever be adopted and whether we can trust our lives to a machine. A survey by the American Automobile Association in March 2016 revealed that three out of four U.S. drivers would feel “afraid” to ride in self-driving cars, and that just one in five would entrust his or her life to a driverless vehicle.2

When I first encountered the Google car in Mountain View, back in 2014, I had the same doubts. If I had taken the survey, I would have been in the three out of four who are afraid. And then, in July 2016, I took delivery of a new Tesla that had some of these self-driving capabilities.

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13 When Your Scale Talks to Your Refrigerator: The Internet of Things

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Your refrigerator will talk to your toothbrush, your gym shoes, your car, and your bathroom scale. They will all have a direct line to your smartphone and tell your digital doctor whether you have been eating right, exercising, brushing your teeth, or driving too fast. I have no idea what they will think of us or gossip about; but I know that many more of our electronic devices will soon be sharing information about us—with each other and with the companies that make or support them.

The Internet of Things (I.o.T.) is a fancy name for the increasing array of sensors embedded in our commonly used appliances and electronic devices, our vehicles, our homes, our offices, and our public places. Those sensors will be connected to each other via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile-phone technology.

Using wireless chips that are getting smaller and cheaper, the sensors and tiny co-located computers will upload collected data via the Internet to central storage facilities managed by technology companies. Their software will warn you if your front door is open, if you haven’t eaten enough vegetables this week, or if you have been brushing your teeth too hard on the left side of your mouth.

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14 The Future of Your Body Is Electric

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the television series Star Trek, the blind Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge wore futuristic goggles called a VISOR (for Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement). With the VISOR, La Forge enjoyed vision better than humans do with normal eyes.

Today, in the real world, a company called Second Sight is selling an FDA-approved artificial retinal prosthetic, the Argus II. The Argus II provides very limited but functional vision to people who have lost their sight due to retinitis pigmentosa, a retinal ailment that presently afflicts about 1.5 million people world wide. The Argus II captures images in real time with a video camera and processor mounted on eyeglasses. A wireless chip in the eyeglass rim beams the images to an ocular implant that uses sixty electrodes to stimulate remaining healthy retinal cells, and those cells then send visual information to the optic nerve. The Argus II lets people detect light and motion but not much more; users cannot recognize faces or detect colors, for example. And its cost is prohibitive, at U.S. $100,000.

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