Bioethics in India: Proceedings of the International Bioethics Workshop in Madras: Biomanagement of Biogeoresources, 16-19 Jan. 1997, University of Madras; Editors: Jayapaul Azariah, Hilda Azariah, & Darryl R.J. Macer, Copyright Eubios Ethics Institute 1997.
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70. An environmentally compatible biopesticide for pest management in red gram

V. Padmaja, Gurvinder Kaur & K. Ramesh*.
Department of Botany, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam - 530 003
*Navaneetha Evergreens, Tarluwada


The negative effects of chemical pesticides emphasizes the need for alternative strategies for combating pest menace in crop plants. Red gram (Cajanus cajan) is one of the important protein rich pulse crops and is prone to a number of foliage pests as well as the borers, resulting in substantial yield losses. The pod borer, Helicoverpa armigera is a notorious pest and is of particular concern to the growers in view of its acquired resistance to a number of chemical pesticides like endosulfon, carboryl and monocrotophos.

A mycopesticide preparation from Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) vuillerin. (Moniliales, Denteramycetes) was used in the form of liquid spray comprising of spore suspension at a concentration of 2 - 4 x 1013 spores/hectare for field application. The operation was found to bring about significant reduction in the population of the leaf webber (Graphiolita critica Mery) semi looper (Chrysodixis chalsites Esper), aplids (Aphis coccivora Koch) and the pod borer (Helicoverpa armigera). Repeated applications of the inoculum at regular intervals is necessary for effective pest management.


71. Chromosomal aberrations in fish inhabiting polluted ecosystem

D. Sudarsanam & A. Ouseph.
Department of Zoology, Loyola College, Chennai - 600 034


Chapter Content Contribution
Introduction Population explosion and industrialization pollute the aquatic ecosystem by releasing toxic chemicals. River Cooum, a major river of Madras is polluted by sewage and effluents from domestic and industrial sources Toxic chemicals interfere with physical, metabolic and genetic pathways. Sewage and effluents alter the physical and chemical properties of the aquatic ecosystem causing degradation and assault
Objectivity Paucity of Information on the `impact of toxic pollutants on fish genetics' rendered the present attempt As fish are indicators of aquatic pollution, their genome must be conserved; otherwise the fish will be susceptible to genotoxicity of the pollutants
Methodology Site: Polluted river Cooum Madras, India. Sample: collected & analysed-APHA,1989

Sample fish: O. mossambicus, M. vittatus, A. testudineus, M. cephalus. Karyology: Rapid Chromosome preparations from solid tissues of fish Kligerman & Bloom. 1977 method. SCE: BrdU incorporate method of Kligerman, 1979. NOR: Silver staining technique of Howell, 1982; Histology: Conventional microtechnique procedure

The conventional procedure has been modified to suit the samples of polluted ecosystem.
Result & Discussion Pollutants show high affinity towards cytogenetics of fish, evidently in the gill and kidney cells Chemical pollutants are genotoxic and interfere with the cytogenetic properties which in fish cause chromosomal aberration; enhanced SCE and NORs; and cellular/tissue damage with corresponding malfunctioning
Significance Role of man in aquatic pollution Role of man in pollution abatement and restoring the fish species from genotoxicants; pollution-treatment and recycling procedure in Cooum river would turn out to be an ideal project/ecosystem for fish culture

72. Environmental Conflicts with economic values

N. Rajalakshmi.
Department of Economics, University of Madras, Chennai - 600 005


Inter-relationship between economic values and ecological values is not new. The real `dichotomy' focuses by mankind today is the ever-increasing degradation of the natural environment as a result of development, which however must be also recognised as a major instrument of progress and an intrinsic element of our civilization. Though environmental quality is a luxury which the rich can well afford, development is a necessity which the poor cannot do without. It has now been demonstrated that `environment' and `development' are compatible and that to ensure lasting improvement in the quality of life, development must be environmentally sound and sustainable. Building environmentally secured world one in which human needs and wants are met without destroying natural systems, requires a wholly new economic order.

Economic values comes in contradiction with Ecological values. Environment management policies stress the need to incur pollution abatement cost, as a strategy for sustainable development.

In theory, the private market leads to an efficient allocation of resources in the absence of pollution. It also leads to a particular distribution of income within the society. People are paid according to the Value Society, through the market, places on the output of their work. The purpose of Government action to control pollution is not a redistribution of income, but such Government actions do in fact affect the distribution of income.

Benefit/Cost analysis applies the same logic to public decisions as is applied by the market to private decisions. Benefits, which represent demand, are compared with cost, which represents supply. In this paper is discussed the use of benefits/cost analysis to determine the efficient level of environmental quality.

This simple idea of opportunity cost is central to the environmental problem and its solution. Attempts by Government to solve the environmental problem without reference to opportunity costs cannot succeed.


73. Effect of industrial pollution at Chembur on the Chlorophyll content of some deciduous trees

S.A. Salgare and Mohd. Anis
Department of Botany, Institute of Science, Mumbai - 400 032


The effect of industrial pollution at Chembur was studied on the chlorophyll content of following 6 deciduous trees. Ceiba pentandra (Linn.) Gaertn., Delonyx regia Rafin., Erythrina indica Lam., Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Walp., Pithecellobium dulce Benth. and Pongamia pinnata Pierre. For the study, the leaves were collected from the polluted sites of Chembur such as Collector Colony, Maravali Church and Chembur Colony as well as other clean area of Mumbai, Colaba which is treated as control. From either sites, the collections were made in the months of April and May. Chlorophyll was estimated from the fixed leaves. The method of chlorophyll estimation was that of Arnon (1949). The total chlorophyll was calculated according to the formula given by Arnon (1949). Chlorophyll `a' and Chlorophyll `b' amount were calculated by using the formulae of Maclachlan and Zalik (1963) which is a modification of original equation of Arnon (1949). The data was statistically analyzed applying `t' test. The content of chlorophyll was presented in mg/g fresh weight. Percentage inhibition was also determined.

Industrial pollution at Chembur inhibited the content of chlorophyll `a', chlorophyll `b', total chlorophyll in all the 6 plant species investigated. Maximum inhibition in the content of chlorophyll `b' and total chlorophyll i.e. 16.58% and 12.20% respectively was caused in Ceiba petandra, while maximum inhibition in the content of chlorophyll `a' i.e. 9.59% was found in Erythrina indica. 0.49060.03 mg/g fresh weight was the highest content of chlorophyll `a' in Delonyx regia among all the 6 species studied. while it was 0.42780.03 and 0.94280.06 mg/g fresh wt. of chlorophyll `b' and total chlorophyll respectively in the same species.


75. Health care reforms in radiation workers:

a cytogenetic approach

N. Gajendiran, Mary N. Mohankumar and R.K. Jeevanram
Safety Research and Health Physics Group, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam - 603 102


Life evolved on this planet amidst incessant radiation and the incurred damage was nullified by repair mechanisms acting as buffer system during the course of evolution. The existence of radiation at natural level or slightly high above is considered to be beneficial for growth. However, the damaging effect is felt only when populations experience abnormally high levels of radiation. With the application of radioisotopes and ionizing radiation becoming part of our life-style, the possibility of population being exposed to such high dose deliberately or accidentally, becomes inevitable. The finger print of ionizing radiation left in such exposed biological systems can be traced as structural alterations in genomes. Our laboratory follows a non-invasive approach of studying suspected human population for radiation exposure which can invoke only a minimum bioethical concern.

The analysis involves sampling of about 0.5 ml of blood from the sub-cutaneous vein without causing much discomfort to the donor. The blood sample is cultured and observed under light microscope for cytogenetic analysis by following standard protocol. Genomic structural changes is noticed in the form of dicentrics, rings, fragments, translocations, deletions, and minutes and compared with that of unexposed population. Generally, the frequency of dicentric chromosomes is considered in determining the adsorbed dose, as it prevails under low frequency (0.0016%) in control population. A standard dose response curve obtained after in vitro study can be used for deducing the absorbed dose of an unknown. Similarly, micronuclei formation in cytochalasin arrested cells is taken into account for calculating the absorbed dose. Work is also in progress involving premature chromosome condensation, Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), unscheduled DNA synthesis, sister chromatid exchange and comet assay to derive more useful information on radiation exposure.

Cytogenetic information will find use for safety aspects of workers in nuclear installations and radiographers. Also for those under diagnosis and treatment of various cancers and genetic disorders. The direct and reliable approach enables one's right to claim for compensation. Cytogenetic studies in natural population at high background radiation can provide information on the advantages and disadvantages of low-level radiation in long run. Such information may be useful in preparing our astronauts for longer stay in space.


77. Energy and Environment

P. Maruthamuthu
Department of Energy (Chemistry-Interdisciplinary), University of Madras, Guindy campus, Chennai - 600 025


Energy is an integral part of human civilization. The most rudimentary and primitive form of energy consumed by humans ever since we appeared in this planet was the food we ate for our survival. From that beginning, human thirst for energy has grown both in quality and quantity through successive stages of discovery of fire to generate heat, animal power to plough the field and for transportation, invention of mechanical devices, vehicles, internal combustion engines, automobiles and aeroplanes powered by fossil fuels and the distribution of electrical power to household appliances and industries. With the result, the average per capita energy consumption has zoomed to 1 x 106 kJ/day in a modern technological society.

The present population of the world is ~6000 million and the gross energy consumption rate is ~ 3 x 1020 kJ/year. More than 90% of this energy is derived from the conventional sources such as oil, natural gas, coal and uranium. The developed nations want to become much more advanced countries; developing countries want to become developed nations and the under-developed countries want to become developing nations. It is imperative that for all these developments the energy demand is increasing day by day enormously. More and more fossil fuels are burnt. The demand for fuel wood for cooking and wood for other purposes is more and consequently deforestation is continuously taking place.

Man-made chemicals, industrial growth, indiscriminate use of all forms of energy, deforestation etc. have generated a lot of pollution and ecological imbalance. It is true that energy is the key-stone for the advancement and prosperity of any nation. But at the same time, the energy consumption is a major contributor to the environment pollution. The environment must, at any cost be protected for the longevity of living beings on the earth.

Hence, it is essential that we have to look for alternate fuels which are less polluting and environmentally friendly and renewable. For this purpose, "Hydrogen Fuel" alone is found to be highly suitable and could be the future fuel of the world.


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