5 research outputs found

    From the bush to the brain : preclinical stages of ethnobotanical anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective drug discovery : an Australian example

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    The Australian rainforest is a rich source of medicinal plants that have evolved in the face of dramatic environmental challenges over a million years due to its prolonged geographical isolation from other continents. The rainforest consists of an inherent richness of plant secondary metabolites that are the most intense in the rainforest. The search for more potent and more bioavailable compounds from other plant sources is ongoing, and our short review will outline the pathways from the discovery of bioactive plants to the structural identification of active compounds, testing for potency, and then neuroprotection in a triculture system, and finally, the validation in an appropriate neuro-inflammatory mouse model, using some examples from our current research. We will focus on neuroinflammation as a potential treatment target for neurodegenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s (PD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) for these plant-derived, anti-inflammatory molecules and highlight cytokine suppressive anti-inflammatory drugs (CSAIDs) as a better alternative to conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat neuroinflammatory disorders

    Aboriginal identity, world views, research and the story of the Burra'gorang

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    In recent times there has been a growing recognition that some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities have been harmed and even divided by those who question their very right to identify as ‘Indigenous or not’ (Bodkin-Andrews & Carlson 2016 ; New South Wales Aboriginal Education Consultative Group [NSW AECG] 2011 ). Numerous scholars have suggested that such ‘questions’ are an unfortunate extension of the continual epistemological violence (a pressure on ways of knowing) that has sought to eradicate the diverse world views, histories, and knowledges of our peoples since colonisation (Bodkin 2013a ; Moreton-Robinson 2011 ; Nakata 2012 ), and that they result in the emergence of stereotypical accusations of ‘inauthenticity’, ‘wanna-be-Aborigines’, ‘welfare-blacks’, ‘fragmentation’ and ‘cultural absurdity’ (Behrendt 2006 ). It is the purpose of this chapter to highlight the existence of this form of epistemological and identity-based violence and explain how it threatens our communities. In addition, such violence will be challenged by focusing on the strength of diverse world views, knowledges and unique stories that exist within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities today. We also offer you a traditional D’harawal Law Story as the central case study within this chapter. This Law Story holds valuable insights that may guide individuals and communities towards a stronger and more resilient future

    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

    Mudjil'dya'djurali dabuwa'wurrata (how the white waratah became red) : D'harawal storytelling and welcome to country "controversies"

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    The overarching purpose of this paper is to critically engage with non-Indigenous representations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Welcome to Country ceremonies, particularly within the conservative mainstream media and academic setting. The foundations of the paper will be drawn from both the critical Indigenous standpoint theories of white pathology by Moreton-Robinson (2015) and colonial storytelling by Behrendt (2016). Both these theories suggest that, too often, non-Indigenous representations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are more a reflection of non-Indigenous ideologies than accurate portrayals of Indigenous positionings. Further, an ancestral D'harawal Law Story will be utilized to reveal that Welcome to Country ceremonies, despite their contemporary adaptations under colonization, may be considered an essential contextual representation of Australia's true history prior to colonization, and thus should not be dismissed due to ideological misrepresentations or even tampered with by a colour-blind rhetoric

    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