Mohammed Shahid

  • This book provides a critical review of recent advances in the development of fluorescent organic nanoparticles as materials of choice for the design and fabrication of sensors, bioimaging agents and drug delivery systems. The properties and functions of nanoparticles differ significantly from those of their parent entities or their bulk phases. Two of their most important features are their increased surface-to volume ratio, and the formation of surface structures differing from those in their bulk phases. 
    In addition, the book discusses the synthesis of fluorescent conjugated polymers, self-assembled fluorescent nanoparticles, polydopamine nanoparticles, and aggregation-induced-emission or aggregation-induced-emission enhancement nanomaterials. In closing, the book provides an outlook on future research and development in fluorescent organic nanoparticles as smart materials with an impressive range of potential applications.

  • Fungi are eukaryotic microorganisms that are closely related to humans at cellular level. Human fungal pathogens belong to various classes of fungi, mainly zygo- cetes, ascomycetes, basidiomycetes, and deuteromycetes. In recent years, fungal infections have dramatically increased as a result of improved diagnosis, high frequency of catheterization, instrumentation, etc. However, the main cause remains the increasing number of immunosuppressed patients, mostly because of HIV infection and indiscriminate usage of antineoplastic and immunosuppressive agents, broad-spectrum antibiotics and prosthetic devices, and grafts in clinical settings. Presently available means of combating fungal infections are still weak and clumsy compared to control of bacterial infection. The present scenario of antifungal therapy is still based on two classes of antifungal drugs (polyenes and azoles). These drugs are effective in many cases, but display toxicity and limited spectrum of ef?cacy. The recent trend towards emergence of drug-resistant isolates in the clinic is an additional problem. In recent years, a few new antifungal drugs have entered the clinics, but they are expected to undergo same fate as the older antifungal drugs. The application of fungal genomics offers an unparalleled opportunity to develop novel antifungal drugs. However, it is too early to expect any novel drugs, as the antifungal drug discovery program is in the stage of infancy. Interestingly, several novel antifungal drug targets have been identi?ed and validated.

  • This book arises from a 2011 international conference entitled Climate Change, Agri-Food, Fisheries and Ecosystems: Reinventing Research, Innovation, and Policy Agendas for an Environmentally and Socially-Balanced Growth (ICCAFFE2011), organized by the North-South Center for Social Sciences (NRCS) in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Germany and the Institute for Research and Development (IRD), France. Coverage focuses on the agricultural sector and helps improve understanding of the relationships between agriculture and the environment and between human communities and nature, so as to sustainably manage agricultural development. The contributors analyze the interdependence between sustainable agricultural development and environmental, economic and social dynamics; assess the impacts of soil degradation on agricultural productivity; present ways to enhance livestock production and recommend mechanisms for managing links between agro-biodiversity, climate change and livelihoods. Part I examines sustainable agriculture development and environmental, economic and social dynamics, addressing topics such as global climate change, agriculture and challenges including socio-economic factors, adaptation, poverty reduction and water management. Part II covers the impacts of soil degradation on agricultural productivity and discusses the use of expert systems to assess and manage degraded lands, agricultural productivity, land suitability and rehabilitation. Part III focuses on livestock production enhancements, such as feed resources and supplemental feeds for animals and capacity building for women in dairy management. Part IV shares the outcomes of research in agro-biodiversity, climate change and livelihoods, addressing topics such as co-management of forests, carbon consumption models, biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration and scarce mangrove forests. Current environmental and agro-ecological research focuses on understanding the cause-consequence relationships between specific agricultural practices and land use and the responses at different levels of ecosystems. This book is intended to contribute to this discussion.

  • The (Dis)information Age challenges prevailing notions about the impact of new information and media technologies. The widespread acceptance of ideas about the socially transformative power of these technologies demands a close and critical interrogation. The technologies of the information revolution, often perceived as harbingers of social transformation, may more appropriately be viewed as tools, capable of positive and negative uses. This book encourages a more rational and even skeptical approach to the claims of the information revolution and demonstrates that, despite a wealth of information, ignorance persists and even thrives. As the volume of information available to us increases, our ability to process and evaluate that information diminishes, rendering us, at times, less informed. Despite the assumed globalization potential of new information technologies, users of global media such as the World Wide Web and Facebook tend to cluster locally around their own communities of interest and even around traditional communities of geography, nationalism, and heritage. Thus new media technologies may contribute to ignorance about various «others» and, in this and many other ways, contribute to the persistence of ignorance.

  • Due to many challenges (i.e. climate change, energy, water and land shortage, high demands on food, land grabbing, etc.), agriculture production potential is expected to be seriously affected; thus, increasing food insecurity and hunger in many already affected regions (especially in Africa).  In this context, sustainable agriculture is highly recommended as an eco-system approach where soil, water, plants, environment and living organisms live in harmony.  Innovative technologies and research should be developed to ensure sustainable agriculture and productivity using modern irrigation systems, improved varieties, improved soil quality, etc.   In the meantime, the preservation of natural environment should be based on resource conservation technologies and best management practices.  Sustainable Agricultural Development, not only raises the serious ethical and social issues underlying these huge environmental problems, but also aims at presenting successful experiences from all over the world in relation with sustainable farming, sustainable management of water and land resources, and innovative processes in livestock production.  It also aims at providing inputs to decision making processes and encouraging the transfer of relevant know-how, technologies and expertise to different countries where similar agro-climatic conditions may exist; thus saving precious resources and promoting sustainable agricultural development as a relevant approach to tackle the food security challenge.  Finally, this book focuses on the paradigmatic and policy dimensions and call for an innovative approach by analyzing the key themes in a complex and interrelated manner.