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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

Print version ISSN 0001-3765

An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. vol.87 no.1 Rio de Janeiro Mar. 2015 

Editorial Note

Ethnic ancestry and smoking, farming of wine grapes in semiarid regions, and the potentials of Manihot multifida in medicine use

Alexander W.A. Kellner1 

1Laboratório de Sistemática e Tafonomia de Vertebrados Fósseis, Departamento de Geologia e Paleontologia do Museu Nacional/UFRJ, Quinta da Boa Vista, s/n, São Cristóvão, 20940-040 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil

Health Sciences is one of the areas that the Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (AABC) will be stimulating. The purpose is to get scientists in Brazil and from abroad to submit manuscripts in a greater variety of fields than what we have been currently publishing. In the last few years, it has been possible to find papers in the AABC which deal with studies on malignant peripheral nerve shear tumors (Cunha et al. 2013), the toxicity of Vancomycin (Bruniera et al. 2014), and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of essential oils (Boligon et al. 2014), to cite a few. In this issue of the AABC, we are publishing a contribution that is a little bit different from previous ones. Souza et al. (2015) have investigated the relation between ethnic ancestry and the habit of smoking.

As has been demonstrated in the past, several countries have established that ethnics and smoking can go side by side (e.g., Kahende et al. 2011). As pointed out in their paper (Souza et al. 2015), some studies indicate that white Americans are more likely to smoke than the black population (e.g., Ward et al 2002). In Brazil, however, the opposite has been shown: the tendency is that the white population smokes less than others (e.g., INCA 2011). Souza et al. (2015) addressed this issue from a genetic point of view, trying to establish potential associations between smoking habits with genetically defined ancestry.

Another interesting paper published in this issue of the AABC is an evaluation of organic farming of wine grapes on Ultisol in northeastern Brazil (Feitosa et al. 2015). Research on how to promote fertility in soils for the purpose of increasing productivity is a must in every country these days and there are different ways to do that (e.g., Doran 2002, Carvalho et al. 2014). Despite the fact that wine grapes are not traditionally farmed in the northeastern part of Brazil, in recent years such production is growing, particularly in the São Francisco Valley. Feitosa et al. (2015) have carried out a detailed soil analysis in an area of Pernambuco where viniculture has become an important economic factor. This is one of the first studies focusing on wine production in this area and more are needed in order to understand what can be done to assure a continuous production, consolidating this activity in this portion of the country.

Several plants are commonly used by local populations to treat a variety of diseases (e.g., Deharo et al. 2001, Agra et al. 2013, Florentino et al. 2013). This is also the case of Manihot multifida. This genus belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae and it is rather diverse with dozens of species being found in several continents. Quite commonly the species Manihot multifida(sometimes also referred to the genus Jatropha) is used in the treatment of several illnesses, ranging from gastrointestinal problems to skin infections (e.g., Kosasi et al. 1989). In order to test its effectiveness in medical treatment, Fabri et al. (2015) evaluated the in vitro antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of this plant.


Agra IKR, Pires LLS, Carvalho PSM, Silva-Filho EA, Smaniotto S and Barreto E. 2013. Evaluation of wound healing and antimicrobial properties of aqueous extract from Bowdichia virgilioides stem barks in mice. An Acad Bras Cienc 85: 945-954. [ Links ]

Boligon AA, Piana M, Brum TF, Froeder ALF, Belke BV, Schwanz TG, Mario DN, Alves SH and Athayde ML. 2014. Scutia buxifolia Reissek essential oil: in vitro antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. An Acad Bras Cienc 86: 1463-1469. [ Links ]

Bruniera FR et al. 2014. Endothelial, renal and hepatic variables in wistar rats treated with Vancomycin. An Acad Bras Cienc 86: 1963-1971. [ Links ]

Carvalho LA, Meurer I, Silva Junior CA, Santos CFB and Libardi PL. 2014. Spatial variability of soil potassium in sugarcane áreas subjected to the application of vinasse. An Acad Bras Cienc 86: 1999-2011. [ Links ]

Cunha KS, Caruso AC, Faria PA, Da Silva LE, Da Fonseca EC, Geller M, De Moura-Neto R and Lopes VS. 2013. Evaluation of Bel-2, Bel-x and cleaved caspase-3 in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors and neurofibromas. An Acad Bras Cienc 85: 1497-1511. [ Links ]

Deharo E, Bourdy G, Quenevo C, Munoz V, Ruiz G and Sauvain M. 2001. A search for natural bioactive compounds in Bolivia through a multidisciplinary approach. Part V. Evaluation of the antimalarial activity of plants used by the Tacana Indian. J Ethnopharmacol 77: 91-98. [ Links ]

Doran JW. 2002. Soil health and global sustainability: translating science into practice. Agric Ecosyst Environ 88: 119-127. [ Links ]

Fabri RL, Sá DS, Pereira APO, Scio E, Pimenta DS and Chedier LM. 2015. Antimicrobial, antioxidant and cytotoxicity potential of Manihot multifida (L.) Crantz (Euphorbiaceae). An Acad Bras Cienc 87: 303-311. [ Links ]

Feitosa JR, Mendes AMS, Olszevski N, Cunha TJF, Cortez JW and Giongo V. 2015. Physical attributes of ultisol of Brazil´s northeastern semiarid under organic farming of wine grapes. An Acad Bras Cienc 87: 483-493. [ Links ]

Florentino IF, Nascimento MVM, Galdino PM, Brito AF, Rocha FF, Tonussi CR, Lima TCM, Paula JR and Costa EA. 2013. Evaluation of analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Hydrocotyle umbellata L., Araliaceae (acariçoba) in mice. An Acad Bras Cienc 85: 945-954. [ Links ]

INCA - Instituto Nacional do Câncer. 2011. Organização Panamericana da Saúde (OPAS). Pesquisa Especial de Tabagismo. Relatório Brasil. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Ministério da Saúde, 199 p. [ Links ]

Kahende JW, Malarcher AM, Teplinskaya A and Asman KJ. 2011. Quit attempt correlates among smokers by race/ethnicity. Int J Environ Res Public Health 8: 3871-3888. [ Links ]

Kosasi S, Van Der Sluis WG, Boelens RT, Hart LA and Labadie RP. 1989. Labaditin: a novel cyclic decapeptide from the latex of Jatropha multifida L. (Euphorbiaceae): isolation and sequence determination by means of two-dimensional NMR. FEBS Lett 256: 91-96. [ Links ]

Souza EST, Araújo LF, Alencar DO, Santos SEB, Silva Jr WA, Ferreira CA and Baddini-Martinez J. 2015. Does ethnic play a role in smoking? An Acad Bras Cienc 87: 447-453. [ Links ]

Ward KD, Vander Weg MW, Kovach KW, Klesges RC, Debon MW, Haddock CK, Talcott GW and Lando HA. 2002. Ethnic and gender differences in smoking and smoking cessation in a population of young adult air force recruits. Am J Health Promot 16: 259-266. [ Links ]

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