4 research outputs found

    Sensational pedagogies : learning to be affected by country

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    Student capacities to actively listen, sense and feel are often relegated to lower order skills in an education system increasingly governed by measurable outcomes. While most school-based pedagogies focus their approach on cognition, this paper considers how we might make sense of the affective experiences that often resist the deep thinking, independent learning and explanation so often required of students. The guiding aim is to explore how affective learning can be better understood through an Indigenous Australian concept of Country. We apply the pedagogical work of Elizabeth Ellsworth, along with Lacanian psychoanalytic theory to explore ways in which sensation and affect are already a method of learning, but ones that are substantially under-valued in designed curricula. A series of interviews with senior Aboriginal people are presented to assist in understanding the various ways in which affect can lead to thought. The authors present three case studies to highlight how knowledge can be taught through affective experiences of Country

    Medicinal plants of the Australian Aboriginal Dharawal people exhibiting anti-inflammatory activity

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    Chronic inflammation contributes to multiple ageing-related musculoskeletal and neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. More recently, chronic neuroinflammation has been attributed to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease and autism-spectrum and obsessive-compulsive disorders. To date, pharmacotherapy of inflammatory conditions is based mainly on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which in contrast to cytokine-suppressive anti-inflammatory drugs do not influence the production of cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor-α or nitric oxide. However, their prolonged use can cause gastrointestinal toxicity and promote adverse events such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and thrombosis. Hence, there is a critical need to develop novel and safer nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs possessing alternate mechanism of action. In this study, plants used by the Dharawal Aboriginal people in Australia for the treatment of inflammatory conditions, for example, asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, fever, oedema, eye inflammation, and inflammation of bladder and related inflammatory diseases, were evaluated for their anti-inflammatory activity in vitro. Ethanolic extracts from 17 Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae) were assessed for their capacity to inhibit nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor-α production in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Eucalyptus benthamii showed the most potent nitric oxide inhibitory effect (IC50 5.57 ± 1.4 μg/mL), whilst E. bosistoana, E. botryoides, E. saligna, E. smithii, E. umbra, and E. viminalis exhibited nitric oxide inhibition values between 7.58 and 19.77 μg/mL

    Identification of tetragocarbone C and sideroxylin as the most potent anti-inflammatory components of Syncarpia glomulifera

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    In contrast to ancient Western and Asian cultures, medicinal plants of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia have not been as intensively studied for their molecular composition and molecular bioactivity. Syncarpia glomulifera subsp. glomulifera is a species in the plant family Myrtaceae. The resin of the plant has been traditionally used by the D'harawal people of Western Sydney to heal inflamed sores and ulcers. Hence, the anti-inflammatory activity of its leaf extract was investigated in RAW 264.7 macrophage and N11 microglia cell lines to isolate and identify the most active compounds. One new compound, tetragocarbone C, and three known compounds, tetragocarbone B, sideroxylin, and lumaflavanone A showed potent anti-inflammatory activity by downregulating nitric oxide and TNF-alpha production in LPS and IFN-gamma stimulated cells. Except for the less potent tetragocarbone B, all compounds had an IC50 value (for nitric oxide downregulation) of <10mug/mL and moderate cytotoxicity in both cell lines. The molecular targets along pro-inflammatory signaling pathways were further investigated in RAW 264.7 cells. All four compounds suppressed phosphorylation of ERK, c-Jun, and limited the phosphorylation of STAT-1 and STAT-3 in response to LPS and IFN-gamma activation. The four compounds also suppressed NF-kappaB activation by preventing the translocation of the p65 subunit into the nucleus. Collectively, these findings suggest that the compounds isolated from Syncarpia glomulifera, especially tetragocarbone C and sideroxylin are promising anti-inflammatory agents, and could be further investigated for the treatment of diseases characterized by chronic inflammation