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Thursday, 30 April 2009

Antigenic shift

The Soil of Bali Island and Potentials for Farming

Soil texture is relative comparison of three major particle groupings in a soil mass. Singular grains are called soil particle whereas combinations of particles are called soil fractions. Clay fractions are soil fractions with very fine particles measuring (less than) < 0.002 mm. Silt fractions have a diameter of 0.002 – 0.05 mm while the biggest from is sand fractions with particle diameter of 0.05 – 2.0 mm. Soil mass particles can be made up of all three of these types of particles. Soil is considered having a rough texture where the mixture of particles is mainly sand and the proportion of the other particle types is negligible and can be ignored. In soil with medium texture the soil is dominated by silt particles and soil with a dominance of clay particles is classified as fine soil. These are the three simple soil texture classifications and these textures rarely vary. Because these characteristics are permanent these textures have become the basis for soil classification.

The soil of Bali Island is dominated by soil of medium texture and that only minor areas have fine or rough texture. Soils with fine texture can be found at Nusa Dua while soil with rough texture can be found on the island of Nusa Penida which is still a part of Klungkung Regency.

The Latosol soil type covers 44.59% of the total area of Bali and is found in Denpasar City and the Regencies of Badung, Tabanan, Jembrana, part of Karangasem, Buleleng and Klungkung. Latosol soil is soil that has undergone intensive breakdown and development of advanced soil. Specifications: this soil is shades of red raging from red to a reddish yellow or to reddish brown with a pH of $.5 – 6.5, with a fine to medium texture and a structure which is crumbly to slightly sticky, with deep permeability and soil fertility which is low to medium.

Regosol soil which covers 39.92% of the area of Bali Island is divided into volcanic ash regosol (found around volcanoes), regosol sand hills (along the beaches) and regosol sedimentary rock (found around folded hill topography). Generally, regosol soil type is rich in phosphorous and kalium but poor in nitrogen. However the phosphor and kalium are in form which is not ready to be absorbed by plants because they have not yet broken down so that this soil needs organic fertilizer in the form of animal droppings or compost to speed up its breakdown. The acidic level or pH of regosol is around 6 – 7. As it ages the structure and consistency become increasingly solid and even sometimes forms a layer with a porosity and drainage capacity that is restricted or in other words, difficult for water to pass through. Generally this regosol soil type has not yet formed an aggregate so that it is sensitive to erosion. In Bali regosol can be found in the regencies of Gianyar, Bangli, most of Karangasem, part of Klungkung, Boleleng and Denpasar.

Mediterranean soil is classified as red soil type that has undergone soil formation for a long period. This soil has an alkaline character with a pH of 5.5 – 8.0. This soil type contains hardened calcium and iron, has deep permeability and sticky structure but in spite of this has medium to high fertility. This kind of soil can be found at Nusa Penida and Nusa Dua.

Aluvial soil is land which has often or recently undergone a food so that it can be considered young and has not yet undergone horizontal differentiation. Because it has been formed by flooding the characteristic of the soil is depend on the level, origins and material types carried by the flood so that its level of fertility really depend on the material’s origins. Soil of this type only covers 4.87% of the land area of Bali and is mostly found in the western coastal areas.

The Andosol soil found around Lakes Buyan, Tamblingan and Brittan is of a type of Black soil. The word ando comes from the Japanese language and means dark or black. Andosol contains of high level of organic material with high carbon and nitrogen levels but a low level of phosphorous. Andosol has a high water absorption capacity so that it is always saturated if covered by vegetation. This soil type breaks up very easily but has resilient structure so that it is easy to handle. The high permeability is caused by the fact that it contains abundant micropores.

The interaction of soil and agroclimate

When it comes to growing things soil can become the sole factor in determining the suitability of an area for certain commodities. The interaction of soil and agroclimate which include the factor of air, humidity, light intensity and rainfall in the area become interacting factors that influence plant metabolism in order to produce the organs of a plant such as leaves, flowers and fruit. It’s the result of this metabolism which makes the final effect on the quality of a commodity and the taste of its fruit or vegetable.

The soil factor can be modified with soil treatment, fertilizing, applying lime and irrigation but the factor of climate can only be modified by building glass and plastics houses or shade houses to create a micro-climate around the plants. For the small farmer with limited capital these houses are of course not economical. The following is an explanation of how the interaction of soil and agroclimate in the regencies that makes them suitable for the planting of specific commodities.

Farming potentials of the Balinese soil and problems

A. Buleleng Regency

Buleleng Regency’s soils are dominated by Latosol and Regosol, and the area has a rainfall of 2.431 mm / year with an average temperature of 27 C making it an area that is potential for farming. Around 1975 Buleleng was making great headway with keprok Tejakula oranges (Tejakula being the name of the district in which they were grown). This condition was spurred on by the attack of the CVPD virus which destroyed orange trees in Java so that the numbers of trees in Buleleng reached 6 million trees. But in 1983/1984 the CVPD virus also attacked trees in Bali wiping them out completely. From then on there has been the development of grapes has spread in Buleleng so that until now Buleleng has become the centre for grape production in Bali.

Grapevines are suitable and grow well in areas from a height of 0 – 300 m above sea level, with temperatures of 25 – 31 C; a humidity of 40 – 80 %; rainfall 800 mm / year and in a sandy soil with a pH 6.5 – 7.0. If we see from the specifications for growth Buleleng should be suitable for growing grapes and the districts of Grokgak, Seririt and Banjar have become centres for grape growing. The problem faced by growers is attacks funguses in the wet season which result in the fall of fruit quality so that they fail to be competitive with imported grapes in the market. Beside this there is a lack of technology for turning the fruit into grape juice, raisins and other products. Wineries are also limited in number and these are mostly owned by foreigners. Formerly Buleleng was known for its rice which had nice flavor and texture and the emergence of vineyards has lead to a drop in its production so that it is difficult to find Buleleng rice in the market.

The village of Pancasari in Sukasada District of Buleleng Regency is a highland area on the shores of Lake Buyan and is most widely known for its strawberry production but this area also produces high quality, highland vegetables such as cauliflowers, cabbages, carrots, potatoes, and others. Strawberries (Fragaia veesca L) attain optimal growth in areas at a height of 1000 – 1500 m above sea level (asl), with a noon temperature of 22 – 25 C and overnight temperature of 14 – 18 C and with a humidity of 85 – 95 %. These condition need to be supported by porous soil with a high organic content and a pH of 5.8 – 6.5.

The soil around Lake Buyan is black, porous Andosol soil with high organic content and in combination with the height of Pancasari at 1.100 asl, a noon temperature of 23 – 26 C and night time temperature of 18 C it is in fact ideal for growing strawberries and it is not surprising that the strawberries in the supermarkets of Denpasar generally come from here. As well as this Chrysanthemums and orchids are also grown here. The orchid Phaphiopedilum and Cymbidium which cannot be grown in the low lands is brought to flower here sent to markets all over Bali, especially to Denpasar.

Buleleng Regency is also known for its production of Mangoes (Mangifera indica L.) The interaction of soil and agro climate make Buleleng very suitable for their growth and when the harvest time comes from October to June with its peak from November to December the mangoes of Buleleng dominate the supermarkets and traditional markets of Denpasar. It’s a pity that the farmer’s knowledge about the techniques for growing of commodities is not good because if the government were to provide impetus for the mango agribusiness Buleleng could become a major world producer of mangoes with suitable qualities and quantities.

B. Tabanan Regency

Tabanan Regency has medium textured Latosol soil, a rainfall of 2,723.5 mm / year an average temperature of 27 C and is the rice production centre of Bali as it produces 90% of Bali’s rice. Even though the area of rice fields in Bali has been reduced in the last 5 years, this area with its organized subak is still very productive especially in the Guama Subak in Marga District and the ‘Rejasa’nya subak in Penebel District which are both lowland areas and very suitable for rice production.

Tabanan Regency also has a highland area in Baturiti District which borders on Pancasari village in Sukasada District at a height of 1,100 m asl. This area is a centre for the production of highland vegetables of the Brassicaceae varieties such cauliflower, sawi, broccoli, cabbages and others. These highland vegetables, whether grown in Pancasari or Baturiti are facing the same problem of a reduction in quality caused by plant diseases and there is also a problem with the supply of seedlings. Only carrot seedlings can be produced locally and other seedlings must be bought at high prices from other countries. The problem of seeding production, especially for Brassicaceae varieties is a general problem in Bali as it is only possible to produce them with quality in areas with a high temperature fluctuation between night and day temperatures.

With soil and agroclimate conditions of Tabanan Regency it is also possible to plant mangostein (Garcinia mangostana L.). This flavored fruit with its unique shape is very popular everywhere making it an excellent prospect for export as a Balinese tropical fresh fruit.

C. Jembrana Regency

Jembrana Regency is an area dominated by medium textured Lasotol soil with an average annual rainfall 2,585 mm, a mean temperature of 28.4 C but until now it has not become known for the production of any specific commodity. In spite of this if we see the soil conditions and agro climate of the area are suitable for mixed cropping of corn and beans.

D. Karangasem Regency

Karangasem Regency is renown throughout Indonesia and the world as the area for the production of Salak Bali. This dry area having a rainfall of only 197 mm / year and average daily temperature of 27 – 50 C, and predominantly medium textured regosol soil has an agroclimate that is in fact highly suitable for the production of salak, especially the Salacca edulis salak which falls into the category of Palmae plant type.

As with other Palmae species the salak does not require intensive fertilizing as the salak only requires small amounts of organic fertilizers such as animal droppings. With prices for chemical fertilizers such as nitrogen, phosphate, and kalium being expensive this factor makes the salak really worthwhile for farmers. From the point of view of the environmentally friendly and prevents damage to the soil that would come from their use.

There are three salak producing areas in Karangasem including Duda, Manggis and Sibetan villages although Sibetan village is actually located in the District of Sidemen. It was from these villages that the Balinese salak first originated and which has now spread to other places in Bali. The interaction of agro climate and soil of an area are a specific factor in the production of commodity and it is for this reason that the Sibetan salak had a different flavor and was not as nice when it was tried in Pekutatan in Tabanan Regency.

Source: The Soil of Bali Island and Potentials for Farming by Rindang Dwiyani in Indonesian Geographical Expedition 2007, National Coordinating Agency for Survey and Mapping.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Proses terjadinya keganasan flu babi

Pada umumnya zat kebal tubuh (antibodi) yang ditimbulkan karena imunisasi atau infeksi virus influenza secara alami dapat menangkal serangan infeksi virus yang kedua dan seterusnya. Prinsip serangan sistem kekebalan pada penyakit influenza tertuju pada hemagglutinin virus. Gen virus influenza ini mudah mengalami mutasi yang dapat membuat perubahan karakter virus. Sebagai hasil mutasi gen terjadilah perubahan komposisi asam amino hemaglutinin virus ini secara konstan, sehingga perlindungan penderita yang terinfeksi virus influenza menurun secara perlahan-lahan. Keadaan ini disebut antigenic drift. Perubahan yang perlahan-lahan ini tidak merubah kedudukan ikatan antibodi dengan antigen. Mutasi asam amino individual semacam itu tidak menimbulkan wabah. Sehingga hanya kehilangan kekebalan sebagian pada suatu populasi dan beberapa infeksi yang terjadi hanya menimimbulkan gejala ringan.

Tetapi jika seluruh bagian hemaglutinin baru terdapat di dalam virus, akan dapat menimbulkan wabah yang meluas ke seluruh dunia. Hal ini terjadi karena tidak ada lagi perlindungan kekebalan yang tersisa untuk melawan infeksi virus baru tersebut. Keadaan ini disebut antigenic shift. Pada suatu keadaan tertentu dapat terjadi dua strain virus influenza menginfeksi sebuah sel. Pertukaran segmen gen antara virus asal manusia dan virus asal unggas dapat terjadi dan akan menghasilkan virus reassortant baru.

Pertukaran partikel RNA terjadi pada proses pembentukan nucleocapsid virus baru. Sehingga diperoleh virus dengan selubung luar protein berasal dari suatu virus dengan partikel RNA baru yang berbeda dengan induknya. Virus ini bisa sangat berbahaya. Salah satu pandemik yang diyakini sebagai hasil reassortment antara influenza manusia dan burung adalah terjadi pada tahun 1918 dan menelan korban 20 juta orang meninggal.

Babi dinilai oleh para ahli sebagai tempat reassortment gen virus flu burung. Oleh karena itu memberikan hewan mati terinfeksi flu burung kepada babi dapat menimbulkan virus flu burung baru yang ganas. Untuk mencegah keadaan seperti ini maka dianjurkan agar ayam yang terinfeksi atau mati karena terinfeksi flu burung harus dimusnahkan dengan cara dikubur atau dibakar.

Virus flu dari manusia dapat menular ke babi dan virus flu burung dari unggas juga dapat menular ke babi. Pada tubuh babi kedua virus tersebut dapat bermutasi atau saling bertukar gen dan menjadi subtipe virus baru.

Pembentukan subtipe virus baru itu memungkinkan terjadinya penularan virus dari hewan ke manusia. Penularan dengan cara itu sangat mungkin terjadi apabila lokasi peternakan ayam, babi dan permukinan manusia berdekatan. Maka dari itu perlu diatur agar peternakan ayam harus terletak jauh dari peternakan babi untuk mencegah terjadinya reassortment gen virus flu burung dan flu manusia pada babi.

Infovet edisi 116, tahun 2004: Penanganan Flu Burung oleh Drh. Pudjiatmoko, Ph.D. Ilmuwan dari Masyarakat Ilmuwan dan Tekhnolog Indonesia (MITI)

Six phases of swine flu pandemic

The WHO has six phases of pandemic alert to access the potential for new global flu outbreak.

Phase 1:
There are no viruses circulating in animals that have been reported to cause infections in humans.

Phase 2:
An animal flu virus has caused infections in human in the past and is considered to be a potential pandemic threat.

Phase 3:
An animal or mixed animal-human virus has caused occasional cases or small clusters of disease, but the virus does not spread easily.

Phase 4:
The new virus can cause sustained outbreaks and is adapting itself to human spread (April 28, 2009).

Phase 5:
The virus has spread into at least two countries and is causing even bigger outbreaks (April 30, 2009)

Phase 6:
Outbreaks in at least two regions of the world; the pandemic is under way.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

From fossil fuel to bioenergy

Biomass power from waste wood

MES group works comprehensively on biomass power plant from construction, operation and maintenance of the plant to supply control of fuel

Biomass power generation

This plant is to generate electricity firing fuel made from demolished house wood and house organic waste, etc. In Japan about 330 biomass generation plants are in operation at the end of October 2008.

Green Power Ichihara Co. Ltd. An MES’s subsidiary company, constructed biomass power plant in the premises of Chiba Works of MES aiming to mainly use demolished house wood together with refuse paper and plastic fuel (RPF) gathered from Tokyo metropolitan and its surrounding prefectures.

Power generation capacity of the plant is 49,900 kW and power transmission capacity is 43,800 kW, which are the largest scale in Japan as the biomass generation plant. The wood chip fuel and RPF are supplied by recycle Sources Company, established by MES and New Energy Supply Company, under supply control where temporary storage as necessary and timely supply of the fuel are made.

Approx. 350 thousand tons of CO2 (equivalent to about 100 thousand kl of crude oil) can be decreased in a year by this power plant.

The fuels for the biomass power plant

As mentioned above the fuels are recycled wood chips and RPF. The wood chips are made from demolished houses and wood remainder materials after lumbering by refining removing impurities. Other fuel used is RPF. It is the high-calorie solid fuel made from waste paper and plastics, which are difficult to be recycled to paper and plastic.

Biogas, electricity, heat source, liquid manure, etc. from human excreta, garbage, etc.

MES had been tackling the development of disposal plant for human excreta, sludge from the waste water treatment facility, household garbage, etc. for several decades, and has constructed many plants in the past. In the recent years in line with the enhancement of social consciousness for preservation of environment, such treatment facilities to be newly constructed are changing from mere treatment facility to the facility to the recycle such waste to valuable things as biogas, electricity, heat resource, fertilizer, etc.

One of such facility is recently constructed in Oki Town, Fukuoka Prefecture in western part of Japan. The facility named “Oki Recycling Center Kururun” was born as a Framework for Biomass Town, availing subsidy of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In this facility human excreta, sludge from waste water treatment and household garbage are mixed and fermented to make liquid manure, which is recycled to farmland. Further, biogas made in the process of fermentation is utilized to generate power to be used for the electricity required for operation of the facility.

Biogas, electricity, heat source, manure from garbage

Another plant MES would like to introduce is the waste treatment facility named “Recyclean” constructed in Nakasorachi, Hokkaido, located in the northern part of Japan. This plant is largest class garbage disposal facility in Japan and can treat 55 tons (nominal capacity) of garbage gathered from 40 thousand households and offices in the Nakasorachi area in a day. The garbage is fermented to biogas to be used for power generation and as boiler fuel. The electricity made is used for operation of the facility and the surplus electricity is sold to electricity Company. Further, heat produced by generator and boiler is used to heat methane fermentation tank and road heating. In addition, sludge after methane fermentation can be utilized as the high quality farmyard manure, since the gathered garbage in collecting bags is made to pure garbage by removing the collecting bags and metal materials in the preliminary treatment process.

Source: MES Bulletin 64, 2009

Basic questions and answers about swine flu

The swine-avian-human flu outbreak in Mexico has killed more than 100 people and sparked a worldwide panic. Around 20 people in the United State, others in Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Israel are also suspected of being infected with the new strain.

Although no infections have been reported in Japan, according to the Health, Labor and welfare Ministry, there is concern that the country is unprepared, having instead braced for new type of seasonal influenza and bird flu. Following are basic questions and answers about swine flu:

What is swine flu?

According to World Health Organization (WHO), swine flu is an acute respiratory disease caused by a strain of influenza virus A type. Many countries regularly vaccinate pigs, which suffer outbreaks throughout the year. Normally, only pigs are infected by the virus; however, humans have been infected in some countries before, including the United State and Spain.

How do people become infected?

The influenza can be passed to people by direct contact with infected pigs. Human- to-human transmission cases are limited to close contact and closed groups of people, according to the WHO.

The health ministry reported that, just as with seasonal influenza, direct contact with infected people, including exposure to their airborne cough or sneeze discharges, can lead to infection.

Can people get infected by eating pork and pork products?

According to the WHO, swine flu is not transmitted to human trough eating pork that is properly handled and well cooked, or other processed food derived from pigs. The virus is killed by a cooking temperature of 70 degree C.

What are human symptoms of swine flu?

As with other types of flu, symptoms can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea and respiratory tract inflammation. According to the WHO, symptoms can vary widely and in some cases lead to pneumonia resulting in death.

Is there vaccine can protect people from swine flu?

There are no known vaccines to prevent infection. According to the WHO, it is not known if the current seasonal human vaccines can provide protection.

What drugs are recommended for treatment?

According to the WHO, Tamiflu and Zanamivir are recommended for treatment in the United States and Mexico. But no particular antiviral drugs are recommended to prevent infection.

What protective steps should be taken?

The health ministry advises people who travel to Mexico to wear a mask to prevent infection through coughs and sneezes. They should also wash their hands often and gargle, and consult a local doctor when flu symptoms such as a fever or cough occur.

Has travel to Mexico been banned?

The Foreign Ministry has not banned trips to Mexico or issued travel warnings to people planning to visit the country. However ministry urges people to consider putting off going until the epidemic has abated.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday (April 27, 2009) raised the pandemic swine flu alert level from phase 3 to 4, two levels below the declaration of a full pandemic. The elevated alert means there has been sustained human-to-human transmission of the new A/H1N1 swine flu virus and that scientists now believe government efforts should focus on slowing the spread of the virus rather than containing it at its source.

Source: Japan Times, April 28, 2009

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Vaksinasi Rabies Secara Serempak di Meguro, Tokyo

Populasi anjing kesayangan di Jepang pada tahun 2008 sekitar 9.650.000 (www.mapsoftworld). Dalam satu keluarga Jepang tidak jarang yang memiliki anjing kesayangan lebih dari seekor. Mereka selain memelihara dengan menyiapkan tempat, peralatan dan makanan yang tidak sedikit biayanya, mereka juga terbiasa meluangkan waktunya disela-sela kesibukannya berjalan bersama anjing kesayangannya di pagi hari atau di petang hari.

Jepang salah satu Negara yang bebas penyakit Rabies, tetapi Jepang tetap melaksanakan program vaksinasi Rabies. Di Jepang terdapat peraturan yang mewajibkan setiap pemilik hewan kesayangan anjing mendaftarkan anjingnya sekali dalam seumur hidup anjing dan memvaksin anjingnya terhadap penyakit anjing gila (Rabies) antara bulan April dan Juni sekali dalam setahun. Jika penduduk memiliki anjing berumur lebih dari 90 hari, diwajibkan untuk memvaksinkan anjingnya tehadap penyakit rabies sekali dalam setahun dan menyimpan sertifikat vaksinasi yang diterima.

Untuk di kota Meguro, Tokyo akan diselenggarakan vaksinasi secara serempak yang akan dilakukan pada tanggal 13 – 17 April 2009 bertempat di 24 rumah sakit hewan yang tersebar di kota Meguro yang tergabung dalam asosiasi dokter hewan Meguro. Vaksinasi serempak terhadap rabies untuk anjing ini dilaksanakan oleh pemerintahan daerah kota Meguro, Tokyo. Selama lima hari tersebut penduduk Meguro dapat memperoleh pelayanan vaksinasi Rabies untuk anjingnya dan pada saat itu juga langsung memperoleh sertikat vaksinasi.

Bagi mereka yang telah mendaftarkan anjingnya pada bulan Pebruari,pada rumah sakit hewan ditempat lain diharapkan mendaftar ulang untuk memperoleh sertifikat lagi dengan membawa sertifikat vaksinasi rabies yang diterbitkan oleh rumah sakit hewan lain dan membayar biaya penerbitan sertifikat 550 yen. Pendaftaran dilakukan di Pusat Kesenahatan Masyarakat Himonya, atau di Tempat Pelayanan Chiku daerah masing-masing.

Sebelum anjing dibawa ke rumah sakit untuk divaksinasi, anjing disiapkan dalam keadaan bersih dan dibawakan tas untuk menyimpan kotoran apabila anjingnya buang kotoran diperjalanan. Bagi mereka yang dapat membawa anjingnya dengan mudah diharuskan membawa anjingnya ke rumah sakit hewan. Apabila anjingnya tempak sakit, dianjurkan untuk berkonsultasi dengan dokter hewan terlebih dahulu sebelum anjingnya divaksinasi.

Penduduk Meguro yang mengikuti vaksinasi serempak ini cukup mempersiapkan uang sebanyak 3.000 yen untuk biaya vaksinasi dan 550 yen untuk biaya penerbitan sertifikat vaksinasi.

Menurut salah satu dokter hewan Jepang senior Itoh Osamu, DVM., bahwa ada tiga program penting yang perlu tetap dilaksanakan untuk mempertahankan negara atau wilayah berstatus bebas terhadap penyakit Rabies yaitu : 1) terus melaksanakan pendaftaran / pendataan semua anjing kesayangan; 2) melaksanakan program vaksinasi Rabies secara rutin; dan 3) melaksanakan program pengendalian hewan kesayangan anjing yang tidak bertuan. Memang tampak sederhana tetapi hal ini merupakan tindakan yang sangat penting untuk dilaksanakan. Mari kita bersama-sama mempertahankan daerah bebas Rabies yang kita miliki untuk kesehatan dan kesejahteraan kita bersama.