The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future


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This rise was mainly due to the increasing share of researchers in China from The world needs new and sustainable energy sources, protection from emerging diseases, and lower cost infrastructure. Knowledge production has been internationalized, access to money and skills has become increasingly competitive, and global technology and markets are changing with breathtaking speed. A new set of actors has emerged in the quest to meet these challenges. Following sustained investment in education, research infrastructure and manufacturing in a number of developing countries, the IDCs have achieved high levels of economic progress and overall improvements in human wellbeing.

How can these successes be generalized, and what role do the IDCs have in contributing to sustainable development? In conclusion, the leaders noted that it is time for a number of important initiatives. Governments and industries often use technologies in a way that harms both workers and the natural environment.

Openness about these spectres will help to assure more equitable and constructive practices in the future. It is also time for the IDCs to act collectively and think globally. An effective response to a number of shared global challenges, such as global climate change, infectious diseases and the loss of biodiversity, can only be achieved with the involvement of all countries, and especially the developing countries.

Extract from Tshwane Consensus [] 0— per million — per million — per million — per million per million and above Data not available Figure 1. Bibliometric analyses of country outputs can be a useful tool for uncovering strengths and weaknesses in particular areas of science [, ]. For example, a study [] in Malaysia noted that more papers were produced by Malaysian scientists in physical chemistry The largest outputs of patents are predominantly made by HICs [] Figure 1.

In , patents were granted around the world. More than a third of these were granted in Japan and just under a third were granted in the United States. The loss of such workers from the LMICs substantially lowers their capacities to innovate. Productivity gains in a number of destination places have been traced to the contributions of foreign students and scientists to the knowledge base.

Data from the USA show that between and , skilled migrants boosted innovation: a 1. The innovation environment in which scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs work plays a substantial role in determining how successful a country becomes in translating novel ideas into practical processes and products that contribute to national development []. Investments in science, including chemistry, must be coupled with national policies on the applications of science and creation of national environments that foster innovation.

Brazil provides an example of a country that is pursuing this approach Box 1. Areas now receiving considerable attention, which have a chemistry linkage, include bio-fuels and pharmaceuticals. It is remarkable that, in , the Chinese Academy of Sciences published a year science strategy as an extension to the Mid-to-Long-Term Plan for Development of Science and Technology — issued by the State Council of China []. Number of USPTO patent applications However, the environment for innovation remained unfavorable with laws that restricted the ability of universitybased researchers to develop their discoveries.

As a result, Brazil lagged behind other economies with a more open approach. See []. Having joined the WTO, the India pharmaceutical industry is being strongly encouraged to innovate and create its own intellectual property. Initially, the focus was on training of individual chemists — mainly by supporting students from LMICs to attend universities in HICs to obtain higher degrees and research experience.

Some were assisted by maintaining close relationships with the HIC institutions where they had trained and by developing new North— South and South—South networks. Later, a more systematic effort emerged to develop high quality centers of advanced teaching and research in LMICs, creating their own cohorts of masters and PhD graduates and providing support and posi- 1. However, chemistry and other academic disciplines have generally continued to have low esteem in many LMICs and to lack rewarding career pathways able to retain the brightest people.

The importance of basic sciences like chemistry has been the subject of major emphasis in a number of conferences attended by scientists, policy makers and donor representatives [, ]. Chemistry is taught within the overall framework of secondary and higher education. In many countries there are fragmented systems, sometimes involving separate ministries. Public sector teachers and lecturers in LMICs are often employed directly by the state as civil servants and subjected to a wide range of government regulations affecting salaries and terms and conditions of employment.

On the other hand, overseas funding for research in LMICs may seem extremely large relative to national sources. An open public debate is needed which avoids taking an all-ornothing extreme view about the direction of resources, but focuses on what are the appropriate proportions of national resources that should be apportioned to priority-focused versus undirected research and appropriate and evidence-informed mechanisms for selecting the priorities. Scientists in LMICs need to work more closely with their political leaders to show the importance of investment in longterm research in science.

They are often very quick to blame their leaders for not allocating funds for research, especially when they wish to appeal for funding from external agencies.

The scientists and academics have a corresponding set of responsibilities to be sensitive to national priority problems and to the need to communicate effectively with policy makers. It is also vital for international development partners to accept and orient their behavior towards the systems-based approach. Development assistance has undergone a revolution in recent years, with the preferred modality shifting away from project-based bilateral programs. Many such programs are now perceived to have had limited success and poor sustainability, being too donor-driven and failing to build country capacities and local support.

In their place have come new multilateral arrangements based on sector-wide programs or general budget support, enabling the government to be in the driving seat in terms of national policies and fostering the building of government capacities for policy development, implementation and accountability. Northern research institutions, research funding agencies and development assistance partners often still indulge in project-type approaches that engage individuals 1. By the early s, the chemical industry was the largest industrial sector, contributing Information from [] 35 36 1 Chemistry for Development Box 1.

Key principles are: Ownership Partner countries set their own strategies for poverty reduction, improve their institutions and tackle corruption. Alignment Donor countries align behind these objectives and use local systems. Harmonization Donor countries coordinate, simplify procedures and share information to avoid duplication.

Results Partner countries and donors shift focus to development results and results get measured. Mutual accountability Donors and partners are accountable for development results The Accra Agenda for Action was drawn up in and builds on the commitments agreed in the Paris Declaration, focusing on: Predictability Donors will provide 3—5 year forward information on their planned aid to partner countries. Untying Donors will relax restrictions that prevent partner countries from buying the goods and services they need from whomever and wherever they can get the best quality at the lowest price.

Based on []. These not only ignore but often effectively undermine any existing national policies and programs, drawing scarce research resources into externally-driven activities. The Royal Society of Chemistry RSC [] the largest organization in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences, was formed in by amalgamation of the Chemical Society founded ; the Society for Analytical Chemistry founded , initially as the Society of Public Analysts ; the Royal Institute of Chemistry founded , initially as the Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain and the Faraday Society founded Other early chemical societies include Australia [], Austria [], Brazil [], Egypt [], France [], Germany [], Japan [], Netherlands [], Norway [], Portugal [], Russia [], South Africa [66], Spain [], Sweden [] and Switzerland [].

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry IUPAC , founded in , includes many national chemical societies among its members and provides global networking opportunities through its conferences and symposia []. Recently, international groupings of chemical societies have taken on regional networking and capacity building roles. One of the important ways that chemists can contribute to sustainable capacity development and utilization in LMICs is by developing and participating in South— South and North—South—South cooperation networks.

During the course of the last century, advances in science generally have moved from being the work of highly gifted individuals e. In addition to these types of networks that are driven by the demands of tackling large, complex challenges, there are also networks whose purpose is to provide support and capacity building for scientists working in settings with limited resources.

There are recent trends showing the increasing engagement of chemists in networks aiming to foster research, capacity building and development, as summarized below. It aims at assisting developing countries to strengthen their domestic research capacity within the chemical, physical and mathematical sciences. Support focuses on regional networks and on research groups that are primarily in least developed countries targeted by the Swedish government for long-term cooperation [].

It is intended for the purchase of the basic tools needed to conduct a research project: equipment, expendable supplies, and literature. IFS also acts as both enabler of existing and emerging networks and convener of new ones. Involvement is especially in the initial stages, with IFS providing seed money, co-operative and administrative assistance and funding to workshops, training courses, exchange visits and fellowship programs [].

Member countries are to date Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Among the founding African scientists were several IFS grantees. NAPRECA members are mainly chemists, but also biologists and pharmacologists, working on the chemistry, botany, biological activities and economic exploitation of natural products. IFS involvement dates back to the founding assembly. In the area of providing support and capacity building for scientists working in settings with limited resources, IOCD [] began a program in the s to provide analytical services for chemists in LMICs.

In some cases, at the invitation of the submitting group, assistance was provided with the interpretation of spectra and the elucidation of structures of synthetic and natural products. More than 30 short-term visits to the University of Gabarone were arranged for chemists from different African countries [].

Photo from B. South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, in order to help build and strengthen capacities and increase the overall impact of the collaboration. The Board is drawn from several African countries. This problem has been especially acute for libraries in LMICs. As access to the internet has gradually extended to lower-income countries and some existing and newly established journals have introduced open access policies, there has been some improvement in access for those working in resource-poor settings.

Chemists need to work with their learned societies, professional bodies and funding agencies to seek innovative solutions that will maximize access to published material for those working in resource-poor settings. A number of technologically strong universities have established their own business parks as a further way of promoting commercialization. There are instructive examples to be found in some successful initiatives in LMICs [—]. Interest now centers on the acquisition by LMICs of processes for manufacturing chemicals, pharmaceuticals and advanced materials.

Tanzania provides an example Box 1. Sources of technology for transfer may include the private sector [, ], international organizations [] and public—private partnerships []. This Centre is charged with powers to establish rules and regulations for rationalizing the acquisition evaluation, choice coordination and development of technology. In order to achieve the national goal of steady economic growth, maximum utilization of local resources and technology, expansion of technical education through development of local research units in enterprises, and long-term comprehensive technological policies integrated within the overall national development plans have been adopted by the Tanzania government.

Extracts from Tanzania National Website [] technology transfer may be the entry point for developing high value-added industries. But experience has shown that this view is not correct. They need to be able to adapt and localize technologies even if these are created elsewhere; and they need the capacity to address their own problems, which are not always shared with higher-income countries e.

Moreover, all countries need a basic capacity in fundamental areas like analytical chemistry in order to be able to monitor what is happening, identify problems and develop and apply solutions — for example, in relation to the quality of the environment or the quality and authenticity of pharmaceuticals in local supply. These considerations are encouraging a growing realization that many problems have a dual character, involving a global dimension which requires joint international action on the one hand, but a local adaptation, application or focus on the other.

The following discussion of some major challenges provides a number of examples of the importance of this global—local duality of approach. They enabled many LMICs to increase their industrialized agriculture production and thereby to help meet the food and nutrition needs of growing populations Box 1. Borlaug was convinced that, while traditional plant breeding methods remained important, agricultural biotechnology and herbicide-resistant crops had a vital role to play in places like Africa [, ]. This spring the farmers of Pakistan will harvest the new wheats from an estimated 3. They will bring in a total wheat crop of 7.

This year they will be planted to 6 million acres. Another 10 million acres will be planted to high-yield varieties of rice, sorghum, and millet. India will harvest more than 95 million tons in food grains this year — again a record crop. She has the capability to do so. In Turkey will plant the new seed to one-third of its coastal wheat growing area. Total production this year may be nearly one-third higher than in This year more land will be planted to the new varieties.

I call it the Green Revolution. To accelerate it, to spread it, and to make it permanent, we need to understand how it started and what forces are driving it forward. Good luck — good monsoons — helped bring in the recent record harvests. But hard work, good management, and sound agricultural policies in the developing countries and foreign aid were also very much involved.

Chemistry has many roles to play in meeting these challenges, from soil chemistry to pollution monitoring, from creation of better methods of plant crop protection to helping develop new, more productive and more robust varieties. While there has been a temptation to see the impact of climate change as being something that will be felt some decades in the future, there is much evidence that the adverse consequences are already being seen, Three broad categories of health impacts are associated with climatic conditions Figure 1. Furthermore, it is of special concern that the most severe impact of climate change is being felt by vulnerable populations who have contributed least to the problem.

The risk of death or disability and economic loss due to the adverse impacts of climate change is increasing globally and is concentrated in poorer countries [48, ]. Needed contributions from chemistry towards the international response to climate change involve a combination of measures to mitigate its extent and to adapt to the unavoidable consequences.

LMICs will require substantial assistance, including technology transfer []. Chemistry has already made innumerable contributions to identifying climate-related problems e. Impacts that result from environmental changes that occur in response to climatic change 3. Impacts resulting from consequences of climateinduced economic dislocation, environmental decline and conflict Figure 1. Reproduced from [].

World energy use measured in kg of oil equivalent per capita rose from kg per capita in to kg per capita in , while world population rose from 3. The pace of these changes has accelerated as the population of Earth has grown, especially in the last couple of centuries, but it is only within the last few decades that the extent of the problem has been recognized internationally [] and a 1. This term encapsulates the need to ensure that human beings can live in an environment free from pollutants and health hazards and that the sum of human activities does not cause degradation of the physical and biological environments of the planet.

This was followed up a decade later by the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in [58]. Sustainable chemistry is understood as the contribution of chemistry to the implementation of the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21 and of follow-on processes such as the Johannesburg Declaration. Strengthening capacity for analytical chemistry in LMICs is indispensable to achieving these objectives []. Some of the key health challenges and roles for chemistry in meeting them are highlighted below. Non-communicable diseases NCDs — e.

Many of the tropical infectious diseases have been neglected by the global pharmaceutical industry and new or improved drugs are still needed []. Chemists have a central role to play in the discovery of new drugs for these communicable and chronic diseases — drugs that are safe, effective, affordable and suitable for use in resource-poor settings where there may be a dearth of cold chains, laboratory diagnostic and clinical analysis facilities and specialist medical facilities and personnel.

Drugs that are sub-standard, illegal imitations and non-effective fakes are widely available in many LMICs, as well as authentic drugs that are out of date or have deteriorated due to poor conditions of transport and storage []. Every country needs mechanisms to identify such pharmaceuticals — requiring the establishment and maintenance of wellequipped and staffed national analytical laboratories able to conduct reliable and speedy analyses to internationally-recognized standards.

Recently, there has been demand from some LMICs to be able to localize the production of pharmaceuticals essential to their health needs, which increases the need for local capacities for drug regulation and quality control. Pandemics such as those caused by viruses responsible for severe respiratory diseases e. The importance of the contributions of clinical chemistry to diagnosis and of medicinal chemistry to developing preventions and treatments cannot be underestimated. Demographic changes are occurring on an unprecedented scale of speed and scope.

It is predicted to reach around 9 billion by These demographic shifts have major implications for patterns of consumption and demands for physical and energy resources — and also for health. For example, the largest cohort of adolescents that the world has ever seen requires greatly increased attention to sexual and reproductive health services, including safe, effective and acceptable means of family planning, while the growing numbers of aging people will present growing challenges in the management of chronic diseases, including disabling conditions such as arthritis.

Chemistry can make a major contribution, not only to the development of new drugs, diagnostics and medical devices appropriate to these changing populations but also to the creation of new materials that enhance their quality of life. Chemistry and allied sciences such as chemical engineering and materials, food, energy and sewage treatment sciences have much to offer in helping to ensure the availability of salubrious living conditions including healthy dwellings, clean water, sanitation and safe foodstuffs.

In , 1. This creation of new knowledge is increasingly taking place in emerging economies and involving researchers in LMICs. As one indicator of the globalization of research, Two aspects of IP issues are of particular relevance in the context of chemistry for development: 1 Protection of IP rights of LMIC citizens and institutions: This has been of particular concern in relation to the discovery or invention of useful processes and products by researchers in LMICs, and the protection of indigenous knowledge in areas like traditional agriculture and medicine.

With regard to this aspect, it is particularly important for LMIC governments to ensure that strong IP policies and legislation are developed and implemented and that governments and institutions in LMICs strengthen their capacities for the management of IP at the national levels and for the negotiation of IP issues at the global level.

In some cases, this can allow member states to import or synthesize drugs considered essential to their national health needs. However, the rules also make provision for agreements among parties which introduce additional restrictions. In this document, Member States endorsed by consensus a strategy designed to promote new thinking in innovation and access to medicines, which would encourage needs-driven research rather than purely market-driven research to target diseases which disproportionately affect people in developing countries.

At the same time, there is pressure on these countries to conserve their natural resources, engage in sustainable development and not follow the historic pathways set by HICs which have led to pollution, exhaustion of resources and loss of biodiversity. The exploitation of biological resources has become an area of particular concern. Conservation of biodiversity is considered vital for long-term human survival because plants, animals and bacteria can be the source of new nutrients, genes conferring resistance to crop pests, and drugs for combating diseases.

This implies that studies are undertaken globally to uncover these valuable assets, but exploitation needs to conserve their stocks as well as ensuring appropriate rewards for their owners. Valuable lessons have been learned from the experience of LMICs that have developed ways to meet these challenges. One very instructive example has been that of Costa Rica, a tiny Central American country which covers 0. In , INBio instituted an innovative agreement with a multinational pharmaceutical company, in which Merck was granted the right to evaluate the commercial prospects of up to 10 plant, insect, and microbial samples collected in Costa Rica.

This has included work in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda — in the latter case, most recently assisting policy makers in the development of draft legislation []. The target under MDG Goal 7 aims to halve, by , the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. There has been some progress: between and , over 1. Moreover, the world is not on track to meet the MDG sanitation target by About million Africans lack access to safe drinking water and almost million lack access to adequate sanitation [—].

Meeting the challenge requires coordinated action by international agencies, governments and civil society partners, with a strong focus on sanitation [] and major inputs from science and technology. But what is needed for the future is not simply more of the same. The world has changed substantially in the last two centuries and 1. Chemistry is a platform science. This requires establishing sound policies, adequate funding mechanisms and environments where research is valued and its products utilized. References 1 Gardner, C. Health Affairs, 26 4 , — Dyestuff Rep.

Yale J. Rosenfeld, L. The early years of discovery. Pauling, L. Crick, F. Sanger, F. Perutz, M. Ferracane, J. Smil, V. Hager, T. Hartley, D. A look at the modem history of mortality. Innovation: Applying Knowledge in Development. Nature Editorial How to feed a hungry world, Nature, , — International Institute for Sustainable Development Programme of action. Hogan, M. Dixon, D. Chapter 1: Research 61 62 1 Chemistry for Development 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 and Development, 95— Leadbeater, C.

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UNDP Globalization and the least developed countries: issues in technology. United Nations Millennium Declaration. Interciencia, 8, Steroids, 41, — Science, , 9. Matlin, S. High Resolut. Waites, G. Fertility and Sterility, 80, 1— Science, , — Landriault and S. Eurostat Statistics: Main Tables. Nordling, L. Obama, B. Esteves, B. UIS, Issue No. Pendlebury, D. Dumont, J. Hunt, J.

Working Paper No. Chu, R. Silberglitt, R. Bound, K. Nature, , — References Abegaz, B. Garett and C. Granqvist , Ashgate, Aldershot, pp. Coober, S. Langer, and J. Esparza, J. Abegaz, B. Bringmann, G. Knipholone and related 4-phenylanthraquinones: structurally, pharmacologically, and biosynthetically remarkable natural products. Personal communication. Addis Ababa, 1—4 September Masesane, I.

Phytochemistry, 53, — Mdee, L.

About the Author

References Becker, E. IAC Report, 43— Directory of Open Access Journals. Trager, R. Bueno, R. Teng, H. Ganguli, P. The Indian Scene — An Overview. Ogbu, B.

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The Chemical Element by Javier García-Martínez (ebook)

Oyeyinka, and H. An ActionBioscience. Health Perspect. United Nations Publication, Sales No. Musungu, S. Berger, J. Collins-Chase, C. University of Pennsylvania Law School J, 29, — Eisner, T. Technology in Society, 20, — Grifo and J. Global Health, 6 12 , 1—8. Biochemistry, in particular, is composed of the structural chemistry of living matter, the metabolism or chemical reactions of those living matters, and the molecular genetics of heredity.

The ability of plants to derive energy from sunlight and animals and humans to derive energy from food begins with chemistry and the principles of thermodynamics, and the basics of food itself are made of chemical and biological structures — amino acids, sugars, lipids, nucleotides, vitamins, minerals and hormones. The chemical elements are key to understanding our modern day food and nutritional needs. The characterization of energy and calorimetry were also critical for the food and nutrition science world and could not have been understood without the use of physiological chemistry [1]. In the mid s, British naval commander James Lind pleaded with the British Navy to make citrus foods available on all sea voyages.

In a book he authored after an especially long journey with high mortality among the crew, he described miracle cures achieved with the use of lemon juice. Agriculture, the source of most food, became a science when Justus von Liebig — discovered the essential nutrient elements in plants.

Fritz Haber — and Carl Bosch — invented ammonia synthesis that produced nitrogen fertilizers. At the root of these chemical compounds is food, the backbone of human survival and evolution. These targets, the Millennium Development Goals MDGs and their indicators could be used to set benchmarks and monitor country-level progress. Among these MDGs is a commitment to reduce the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by half between and [6]. In , many countries remain far from reaching this target, and ensuring global food security persists as one of the greatest challenges of our time.

In the developing world, reductions in hunger witnessed during the s have recently been eroded by the global food price and economic crises [7], which together added million to the ranks of the hungry since [8]. There is clearly much progress to be made in addressing both hunger and undernutrition. In its common usage, hunger describes the subjective feeling of discomfort that follows a period without eating [11]; however, even temporary periods of hunger can be debilitating to longer term human growth and development [12]. Acute hunger is when lack of food is short term and is often caused by shocks, whereas chronic hunger is a constant or recurrent lack of food [13].

What does it mean to have enough to eat? The concept of food security goes beyond caloric intake and addresses both hunger and undernutrition [14]. Reducing levels of hunger places the emphasis on the quantity of food, and refers to ensuring a minimum caloric intake is met. A diet rich in proteins, essential fatty acids, and micronutrients has been proven to improve birth weight, growth, and cognitive development while leading to lower levels of child mortality [9a, 15]. The achievement of food security depends upon three distinct but connected pillars.

Such food can be supplied through household production, other domestic output, commercial imports, or food assistance. Access depends on income available to the household, on the distribution of income within the household, and on the price of food. Effective food utilization depends, in large measure, on knowledge within the household of food storage and processing techniques, basic principles of nutrition and proper child care, and illness management [14a].

For many years, food security was simply equated with enhancing the availability of food, and was linked to innovations in agricultural production. In many developing countries, agriculture remains the backbone of the rural economy. Increasing agricultural outputs impacts economic growth by enhancing farm productivity and food availability [17], while providing an economic and employment buffer during times of crisis [8].

In the s and 80s, large investments in agriculture, technology, roads and irrigation led to major improvements in food production, particularly in Asia and Latin America. Chemistry was at the heart of some of these tools and technologies. Over the past decade, decreasing levels of agriculture aid and investment, particularly the dismantling of input, credit and market subsidies, reduced public support for research and extension, and declining infrastructure investments have been linked to rising numbers of people being undernourished [8].

The reverse relationship has also been suggested, with hunger and undernourishment carrying substantive economic and social costs with reduced labor productivity, investment in human capital, and escalating poverty [18]. While food availability is clearly important to achieving food security, having the means to effectively access and utilize food remains central to good nutrition.

This wider focus is important. This interdependence is illustrated in Figure 2. Future production will be further threatened by increased soil degradation, climate change, and the increased volatility of oil production and its impact on fertilizer prices [21]. In many poor rural settings, addressing hunger is inextricably linked to improving soil fertility and crop management [22]. Soil chemistry and applications play a critical role in developing soil and crop management practices through enhanced understanding of soil processes, plant nutrition, fertilizer production, development of improved crop varieties and methods for controlling pests and diseases.

Most of the 2. Massive starvation was predicted and international organizations and concerned professionals raised awareness of the ensuing food crisis and mobilized global resources to tackle the problem [19, 23]. Fortunately, large-scale famines and social and economic upheavals were averted, thanks largely to the marked increase in cereal grain yields in many Asian developing countries that began in the late s [24]. Key was the development and extension of genetically improved high-yielding varieties of cereal crops that were responsive to the application of advanced agronomic practices, including, most importantly, fertilizers and improved irrigation [23a, 24b].

As shown in Figure 2. The projected demand for nitrogen from chemical fertilizer is estimated to increase to MT in [27b]. The Green Revolution had a tremendous impact on food production and socioeconomic conditions. Applying advanced technology to high-yielding varieties of cereals caused the marked achievements in world food production.

In addition to fertilizers, pesticides have also played an important role in increasing agricultural production during the Asian Green Revolution. Insect pests, diseases, weeds and rodents are serious constraints to agricultural production, especially in the humid tropics. In developing countries, most of the pesticides are, however, applied to exported crops, such as cotton and tropical fruits, rather than to locally consumed food crops. In this way, the Green Revolution was able to address food availability challenges.

The widespread adoption of high-yielding varieties has helped many Asian and Latin American countries to meet their growing food needs from productive lands and has reduced the pressure to open up more fragile lands. Further, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the monoculture of a few crop cultivars, created serious environmental problems, including the breakdown of resistance and the degradation of soil fertility [24b, 30].

It is now critical that chemical science invests and takes a leading role in cross-disciplinary efforts to predict when and where the use of agrochemicals and chemical-based technologies are pushing food production systems over sustainable boundaries [31], and to develop innovative strategies that can enhance social, environmental and economic sustainability of food systems.

This is partly due to some key successes — at the local and national levels — of policies that support smallholder farmers. In Malawi, because of a smart input subsidy program implemented by the government, maize harvests have greatly surpassed those of previous years, turning that country from a recipient of food aid into a food exporter and food aid donor to neighboring countries [33] Figure 2.

The Chemical Element: Chemistry's Contribution to Our Global Future

Micronutrient fertilizers Under certain soil conditions, the use of micronutrient fertilizers, in balanced combination with macronutrient fertilizers, has promising potential to increase production, disease resistance, stress tolerance, and the nutritional quality of crops. The African Green Revolution cannot be limited to increasing yields of staple crops but must be designed as a driver of sustainable development, which includes nutrition elements.

Advances in chemistry can again play a pivotal role in this process. For example, our understanding of human N protein needs has undergone many revisions, and, although some uncertainties still remain, it is clear that average protein 79 80 2 The Role of Chemistry in Addressing Hunger and Food Security intakes are excessive in rich countries and inadequate for hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The addition of micronutrients to fertilizers is another area of interest [3, 35]. GE is one of several tools in the modern crop biotechnology kit and allows the introduction of genes from the same species or from any other species, including species that are beyond the normal reproductive range of the plant, into the plant or animal. The need to develop new crop varieties that are adapted to local conditions, conducive to sustainable agriculture, and remain high-yielding in the absence of irrigation or large inputs of petrochemicals, is an exceptionally tall and urgent order.

However, there are a multitude of concerns about the effects of GE crops on human health, environment, social well-being and ethics which are fueling a polarized debate. GE crops and foods have been commercially available in the US since and their adoption around the world followed, showing increases each year Figure 2. In , the global area of commercially grown GE crops was million hectares, involving 25 countries [40]. The four primary GE crops in terms of land area are soybean, maize, cotton and canola oilseed rape.

Many more GE crops with enhanced nutritional value have followed, such as increased protein quality and levels in maize, increased calcium levels in potato and increased folate levels in tomato. However, none of these crops is commercially available yet. Despite sizeable GE crop acreage, the current diversity of crop types and traits in commercial production is limited. Nearly all major-acreage, commercial releases of GE crops are at present based on pest protection via genes from Bacillus thuringiensis Bt , a widespread soil bacterium that produces insecticidal proteins called Bt toxins, or herbicide tolerance HT , or a combination of both [40, 41].

HT crops are tolerant to certain broad-spectrum herbicides such as glyphosate and glufosinate, which are more effective, less toxic, and usually cheaper than selective herbicides. For HT crops, in most cases no increase in yield is observed compared to conventional crops [37c]. This access depends on income available to the household, on the distribution of income within the household, and on the price of food. Access also depends on what happens to the food after production, such as during post-harvest storage.

Maize is an excellent food source and an ideal breeding site for storage pests [45]. The primary host is maize, in particular maize on the cob, both before and after harvest. LGB also bores into non-food substances such as wood, bamboo, and even plastic, which poses a challenge to controlling the pest. Also, effectiveness of some insecticides is questionable. There are cases of purportedly effective insecticides bought direct from the importing company.

It is apparent that maize storage is a crucial component of ensuring greater food security and should be included in efforts by research institutes, national governments and development partners, especially in countries where such efforts have yielded substantial returns in maize or other food crop productivity. Recommendations and management strategies form an integrated approach to the management of storage pests and include chemical-based technologies, particularly drying techniques, drying cribs and treatment of maize, before and during storage, with insecticides Figure 2.

However, due to lack of awareness and access to proper technologies, farmers end up selling their maize soon after harvest, only to buy it back from the same people at more than twice the price they sold it for just a few months after harvest, resulting in a continual poverty trap. These may appear like small savings, but from analysis of family sizes in rural sub-Saharan Africa and the corresponding maize required to feed larger traditional families, these translate into huge savings per a b Figure 2. Within the Project, hunger and undernutrition is being addressed with an integrated foodand livelihood-based model that delivers a comprehensive package of development interventions.

Households produced enough maize to meet basic caloric requirements, with the exception of farms smaller than 0. A multi-sector approach that exploits the synergies among improved crop production, nutrition, health, and education is essential to achieving the MDGs. Provide farmers with access to and information about improved seeds for basic food crops, livestock, grain legumes, root and tuber crops, vegetable, tree, and fodder crops, as well as developing, where appropriate, the capacity of community members to produce their own seed or planting materials using seed multiplication plots, seed orchards, and nurseries.

Train farmers and other groups in techniques such as rainwater harvesting and storage, gravity, and low-pressure irrigation systems, and improving existing irrigation systems; provide access to equipment required for these techniques. Minimize post-harvest losses and store food beyond subsistence needs by training farmers and farmer groups in the construction of household and community grain storage structures.

Creation of cereal banks by communities to store surplus for later sales at better prices. Promotion of crops that help improve household nutrition. Crops include vegetables, fruits, grain legumes, livestock, and dairy. Focusing on the individual level, food utilization also takes into consideration the biological utilization of food. Biological utilization refers to the ability of the human body to take food and convert it into energy, either used to undertake daily activities, or stored.

Utilization requires not only an adequate diet, but also a healthy physical environment, including safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene, decreased burden of infectious disease, and the knowledge and understanding of proper care for oneself, for food preparation and safety. The challenge is to provide the adequate amount and diversity of nutrients required for a complete human diet.

This urges a multidimensional approach. In Figure 2. The blue line represents one cup of white corn g , the green line one cup of black beans g and the orange line one cup of pumpkin g. Important differences among and between food products are the concentrations of proteins and the essential amino acids they contain. Eight amino acids are generally regarded as essential for humans: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

In addition, arginine, cysteine, histidine and tyrosine are required by infants and growing children. Diets rich in cereals and of vegetable origin do not contain all the essential amino acids necessary for daily consumption and requirements. Instead, nearcomplete proteins are found in plant sources.

Often in the developing 2. Peanut B. Corn B. Cottonseed Type IV A. Soy Protein B.

Periodic Table Explained: Name Origin

Beef Protein A. This often leads to children with protein energy malnutrition and faltering growth, particularly among children aged 6 to 24 months [51]. Yet, despite this challenge, it is not necessary to consume animal sources containing complete proteins as long as a reasonably varied diet is maintained and other sources rich in proteins, such as legumes which contain essential amino acids, provide adequate full complementation of the essential amino acids and protein quality for adequate health and nutrition. By consuming a wide variety of plant foods, a full set of essential amino acids will be supplied and the human body can convert the amino acids into proteins.

This is at the core of the chemical composition of diets. To consume a varied diet made up mainly of plant sources, it is important to think about chemical composition and combinations of food. When two dietary proteins are combined, different types of responses result [50]. Type I indicates when no protein complementary effects occur. This is obviously not an optimal combination to provide protein needs for the day. Type II is when two sources of food such as corn and cottonseed have a limiting amino acid, in this case lysine.

Some of the essential amino acids are met, but not completely. Type III demonstrates a true complementary effect working synergistically to meet the needs with corn and soybean. The sum of both meets the protein needs. Soy is considered a high quality protein source. Phytic acid or phytates, one of the greater concerns, are often found in whole legumes, and cereal grains — the staples of the diets in resource-poor communities.

Several traditional food processing and preparation methods, that work on the basics of chemistry, are often used at the household level to enhance the bioavailability of micronutrients, including mechanical processing, soaking, fermentation and germination or malting [53]. For example, boiling of tubers can induce moderate losses of phytic acid [54]. Fermentation can also induce phytate hydrolysis via the action of microbial phytase enzymes which hydrolyze phytate to lower inositol phosphates [55].

This has been done in maize, soy beans, sorghum, cassava, cocoyam, cowpeas and lima beans, all common foods in the developing world. Low-molecular weight organic acids such as citric acid can increase fermentation and enhance the absorption of zinc and iron [56]. Cassava is an important tropical root crop providing energy to approximately million people Figure 2. The presence of the two cyanogenic glycosides, linamarin and lotaustralin, in cassava is a major factor limiting its use as food and can be toxic. Traditional processing techniques practiced in cassava production are known to reduce the cyanide chemical in tubers and leaves.

These including sun drying, soaking followed by boiling and fermentation, as used for traditional African cassava end products such as gari and fufu. The best processing method for the use of cassava leaves as human food is pounding the leaves and cooking the mash in water [57]. It is considered one of the most costeffective means of overcoming micronutrient malnutrition [18a].

Potential vehicles have a pyramid-type priority Figure 2. Its advantages include uniformity of consumption, universal coverage, acceptability, simple technology and low cost [18a]. Results presented show that zinc has an impact on growth, especially in severely growth retarded and underweight children, and reduces morbidity. It has been shown to eliminate goiter, rickets, beriberi and pellagra from the western world [58] however, the focus should next be on the developing world where many remain hungry and undernourished.

Improving child feeding practices for young children is also a huge determinant of food utilization and child growth. This starts right at birth with exclusive breastfeeding and complementation of milk with food rich in energy and nutrients. Lastly, a robust primary health care systems approach must be in place to improve the nutritional situation and food utilization. Infectious diseases impede dietary intake and utilization, resulting in malnutrition.

Consequently, one of the most important premises to improve nutrition is to control and prevent most common childhood infectious diseases by expanding immunization programs, providing diarrhea and malaria control and treatment programs, and decreasing parasitic 2. The backbone of some of these programs is water supply improvements and improving sanitation and hygiene in the home and schools.

One of the greatest contributions of chemistry to treating disease is through medicine. The Global Burden of Disease caused by the three major intestinal nematodes is an estimated 22 million disability-adjusted life-years DALYs lost for hookworm, 10 million for Ascaris lumbricoides, 6 million for Trichuris trichiura, and 39 million for the three infections combined as compared with malaria at 36 million [63b].

Anorexia and perpetuated hunger, which can decrease intake of all nutrients in tropical populations on marginal diets, is likely to be the most important means by which intestinal nematodes inhibit growth and development. By treating preschool-age children and girls and women of childbearing age with these essential inexpensive medicines, morbidity and mortality can be prevented and the vicious intergenerational cycle of growth failure that entraps infants, children and girls and women of reproductive age in developing areas can be decreased [66].

Chemistry has been pivotal to food production from soil to seed, from pest control to human nutrition. Although food access is largely dependent on socioeconomic status, chemistry plays a role in improving the access to healthy foods through improved post-harvest storage loss. Chemistry has contributed much to the food security agenda Figure 2.

Evidence from the examples in this chapter suggests that food and nutrition security is complex, and requires efforts across a spectrum that includes enhancing food production while simultaneously increasing access and utilization with substantive political commitment to address the most vulnerable populations with an equitable, basic human rights approach. Chemistry plays a critical role in this spectrum and, in the future, requires a cross-sectoral approach. Thus, there is a great need to gear chemistry contribution to mitigation of these problems to the chemistry of the past.

In those times, agriculture was invigorated through the use of sensible chemistry and the development of the connections between chemistry, other disciplines, the environment, and daily life in such a way that interdisciplinary thinking and the relation of chemical concepts to societal issues became a way of life. Recent calls for greater attention to hunger and undernutrition highlight the importance of integrating technical interventions with broader approaches to address underlying causes of food insecurity — incorporating perspectives from agriculture, health, water and sanitation, infrastructure, gender and education — many rooted in the core science of chemistry.

Such an approach would inherently build on the knowledge and capacities of local communities to transform and improve the quality of diets for better health and nutrition. The role of the chemical science and chemists will be challenged to work interdisciplinarily to address the global challenges that the world faces, and the hunger mandate calls for better tools and technologies to move forward.

In just 10 years from now, we envision that chemistry will become more and more important in all aspects of food security and nutrition Figure 2. Although the numbers of those hungry and undernourished are staggering, the sciences such as chemistry can make huge strides to improve the situation. By , much of the innovation and technology within chemistry can be earmarked and in motion to ensure that food security is achieved for all.

References 1 Carpenter, K. References 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Public Health, 83 8 , —; b Ruel, M. J Nutr, 11 Suppl. Lancet, , —; author reply Breathing life into chemists: Resuscitating chemistry with insights from 19th century textbooks Journal of Chemical Education. From lead solder to kiwi fruit reshaping introductory chemistry labs with investigative team projects Journal of Chemical Education. Chemistry in context: How is chemistry portrayed in the introductory curriculum?

Journol of Chemical Education. Gas-phase reaction between oxygen 3P atoms and hexafluorobutyne Journal of Organic Chemistry. The design of laboratory experiments in the 's: A case study on the oxidation of alcohols with household bleach Journal of Chemical Education. An electron diffraction study of 1,1-dimethylsilaethylene [12] Journal of the American Chemical Society. An electron diffraction study of p-xylylene [10] Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Mahaffy PG. Mahaffy P. Pearson GS, Mahaffy P. Show low-probability matches.

The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future
The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future
The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future
The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future
The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future
The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future
The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future The Chemical Element: Chemistrys Contribution to Our Global Future

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