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Changes in Biodiversity

Aug 30, 2022
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Key Concepts

  • Medicines
  • Water purification
  • Water purification methods

Medicines  

Conserving biodiversity is in our self-interest. The preservation of biodiversity provides a vital link to critically expanding the molecular diversity necessary for successful medicine discovery efforts in the future. Medicine discovery from wild species has always been and will continue to be one of the most critical for all aspects of health care, disease prevention, and fitness. Resources and knowledge (both traditional and current scientific) about the ecology, taxonomy, and application of medicinally important organisms are too precious.  

Traditional medicine 
Scientific medicine 

Biodiversity plays a vital role in maintaining human and animal health. A wide variety of plants, animals, and fungi are used as medicine, essential vitamins, analgesics (painkillers), etc. Natural products have been recognized and used as medicines by ancient societies around the world. Numerous organisms self-medicate using plants and other materials available to them. More than 60% of the world population depends on plant-based medicine for primary health care.  

About 119 pure chemicals are extracted from less than 90 species and are used as medicines throughout the world.  

Antibiotics  

Streptomycin, neomycin, and erythromycin are obtained from tropical soil fungi.  

 Tropical soil fungi 

Plant medicines  

A lot of plant species are used in present studies and have been studied completely for their implicit value as sources of medicine. Some plant species may be a source of medicines against high blood pressure, AIDS, or heart troubles.  

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 Plant medicines 

Zoo pharmacognosy  

It is the study of how animals use plants, insects, and other inorganic materials in self-medication.  

Zoo pharmacognosy 

Water purification 

Water purification suggests the method of removing undesirable chemicals, biological contaminants, suspended solids, and gases from water. Most water is refined and disinfected for human consumption (drinking water). Water purification could reduce the concentration of particulate together with suspended particles, parasites, bacteria, algae, viruses, and fungi. 
Visual examinations cannot verify if the water meets its quality standards. Easy procedures like boiling or the employment of a household activated carbon filter do not seem to be sufficient for treating all potential contaminants that may be present in water from an unknown supply. Even the water we consume is thought to be safe for consumption and should be tested and given treatment if needed.  

Water purification process

Water purification methods 

1. Boiling 

The simplest approach to purifying water is to boil it. High temperature around 1000C kills the bacteria and virus to clear out, removing all contaminations from the water. For effective boiling, the water should be boiled for at least 20 minutes. 

Boiling 

2. Water Purifier  

An electric water cleaner is the most trusted form of water purification that can be found in most houses now. A water cleaner uses a multi-stage process that involves UV and UF filtration, carbon block, and current water filtration technology that eliminates a majority of the chemicals and contaminations making it the purest drinking water.  

Water purifier 

3. Reverse Osmosis  

An RO (Reverse Osmosis) Purifier proves to be one of the best methods of cleansing water. Reverse Osmosis forces water through a semi-permeable membrane and removes pollutants.  

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Reverse osmosis 

4. Water Chlorination  

This is an older method used generally during an emergency, where mild bleach with chlorine is added to the water. This mixture works as an oxidant and rapidly kills microorganisms, making water safe for consumption.  

Water chlorination 

5. Distillation  

Distillation is a water purification process that involves collecting condensed water after evaporation, which ensures that water is free of pollutants. Still, this is not as effective as an RO filter because it is time-consuming and eliminates minerals as easily.  

Distillation 

6. Iodine Addition  

Iodine is a red-brown chemical that is freely available as a tablet or a liquid. It is extremely powerful as it kills bacteria and viruses. Still, it adds a bad taste and can be fatal if taken in high dosages. Thus, it should only be used if you do not have access to a better approach of purification like an electric water purifier.  

Iodine  

7. Solar Purification  

An alternate method to UV filtration is solar purification which requires treating water with the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. The procedure includes filling a plastic bottle with water, shaking it to trigger the oxygen, and putting it horizontally in the sunlight. This kills bacteria and viruses present in the water, making it safe for drinking. 

Solar purification 

8. Clay Vessel Filtration  

Way before people had access to an RO or UV Purifier; they used clay pots that purify muddy water by blocking out the mud and allowing pure, drinkable water to pass through. This approach is still used in some rural regions.  

Clay filter 

9. UV Radiation  

Water is exposed to UV light, which kills microorganisms and prevents them from reproducing. However, UV radiation alone cannot remove impurities and heavy metals if not combined with a RO Filter. 

UV radiation 

10. Desalination  

This method is used when water with a certain amount of salinity needs to be filtered. Here fresh water is obtained by condensation of seawater. 

Desalination 

Summary

  • Medicine discovery from wild species has always been and will continue to be one of the most critical for all aspects of health care, disease prevention, and fitness.
  • Biodiversity plays vital places in maintaining human and animal health.
  • A wide variety of plants, animals, and fungi are used as medicine, essential vitamins, analgesics (painkillers), etc.
  • Zoo pharmacognosy is the study of how animals use plants, insects, and other inorganic materials in self-medication.
  • Water purification could reduce the concentration of particulate together with suspended particles, parasites, bacteria, algae, viruses, and fungi.
  • Boiling is the simplest approach to purifying water.
  • Distillation can remove both the temporary and permanent hardness of the water.

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