Escherichia coli

Escherichia coli known as E. coli, is a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, rod-shaped, coliform bacterium of the genus Escherichia, found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some serotypes can cause serious food poisoning in their hosts, are responsible for product recalls due to food contamination. The harmless strains are part of the normal microbiota of the gut, can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K2, preventing colonisation of the intestine with pathogenic bacteria, having a symbiotic relationship. E. coli is expelled into the environment within fecal matter. The bacterium grows massively in fresh fecal matter under aerobic conditions for 3 days, but its numbers decline afterwards. E. Coli and other facultative anaerobes constitute about 0.1% of gut microbiota, fecal–oral transmission is the major route through which pathogenic strains of the bacterium cause disease. Cells are able to survive outside the body for a limited amount of time, which makes them potential indicator organisms to test environmental samples for fecal contamination.

A growing body of research, has examined environmentally persistent E. coli which can survive for and grow outside a host. The bacterium can be grown and cultured and inexpensively in a laboratory setting, has been intensively investigated for over 60 years. E. coli is a chemoheterotroph whose chemically defined medium must include a source of carbon and energy. E. coli is the most studied prokaryotic model organism, an important species in the fields of biotechnology and microbiology, where it has served as the host organism for the majority of work with recombinant DNA. Under favorable conditions, it takes as little as 20 minutes to reproduce. E. coli is a facultative anaerobe and nonsporulating bacterium. Cells are rod-shaped, are about 2.0 μm long and 0.25–1.0 μm in diameter, with a cell volume of 0.6–0.7 μm3. E. coli stains Gram-negative because its cell wall is composed of a thin peptidoglycan layer and an outer membrane. During the staining process, E. coli picks up the color of the counterstain safranin and stains pink.

The outer membrane surrounding the cell wall provides a barrier to certain antibiotics such that E. coli is not damaged by penicillin. Strains that possess flagella are motile; the flagella have a peritrichous arrangement. It attaches and effaces to the microvilli of the intestines via an adhesion molecule known as intimin. E. coli can live on a wide variety of substrates and uses mixed acid fermentation in anaerobic conditions, producing lactate, ethanol and carbon dioxide. Since many pathways in mixed-acid fermentation produce hydrogen gas, these pathways require the levels of hydrogen to be low, as is the case when E. coli lives together with hydrogen-consuming organisms, such as methanogens or sulphate-reducing bacteria. In addition, E. coli's metabolism can be rewired to use CO2 as the source of carbon for biomass production. In other words, this obligate heterotroph's metabolism can be altered to display autotrophic capabilities by heterologously expressing carbon fixation genes as well as formate dehydrogenase and conducting laboratory evolution experiments.

This may be done by using formate to reduce electron carriers and supply the ATP required in anabolic pathways inside of these synthetic autotrophs. Optimum growth of E. coli occurs at 37 °C, but some laboratory strains can multiply at temperatures up to 49 °C. E. coli grows in a variety of defined laboratory media, such as lysogeny broth, or any medium that contains glucose, ammonium phosphate monobasic, sodium chloride, magnesium sulfate, potassium phosphate dibasic, water. Growth can be driven by aerobic or anaerobic respiration, using a large variety of redox pairs, including the oxidation of pyruvic acid, formic acid and amino acids, the reduction of substrates such as oxygen, fumarate, dimethyl sulfoxide, trimethylamine N-oxide. E. coli is classified as a facultative anaerobe. It uses oxygen when it is available, it can, continue to grow in the absence of oxygen using fermentation or anaerobic respiration. The ability to continue growing in the absence of oxygen is an advantage to bacteria because their survival is increased in environments where water predominates.

The bacterial cell cycle is divided into three stages. The B period occurs between the beginning of DNA replication; the C period encompasses the time it takes to replicate the chromosomal DNA. The D period refers to the stage between the conclusion of DNA replication and the end of cell division; the doubling rate of E. coli is higher. However, the length of the C and D periods do not change when the doubling time becomes less than the sum of the C and D periods. At the fastest growth rates, replication begins before the previous round of replication has completed, resulting in multiple replication forks along the DNA and overlapping cell cycles. E. coli and related bacteria possess the ability to transfer DNA via bacterial conjugation or transduction, which allows genetic material to spread horizontally through an existing population. The process of transduction, which uses the bacterial virus called a bacteriophage, is where the spread of the gene encoding for the Shiga toxin from the Shigella bacteria to E. coli helped produce E. coli O157:H7, the Shiga toxin-producing strain of E. coli.

E. coli encompasses an enormous population of bact

Georgian sea blockade of Abkhazia

The Georgian sea blockade of Abkhazia has been in force since 2004, when it was ordered to be imposed by Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili. As a response to the 2008 South Ossetia war, Georgia moved to intensify Abkhazia and South Ossetia's isolation, declaring both entities as Russian-occupied territories outlawing economic activity in the regions without Tbilisi's permission. Several cargo ships in Georgian waters have been detained by the Georgian coast guard in 2009 on the grounds of violating of Georgia's law on occupied territories, which bans economic activities in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia without Georgia's consent. Twenty-three cargo ships have been detained in the Black Sea by the Georgian Navy in 2009. Abkhaz authorities have called the Georgian actions "piracy." In mid-August, Georgia seized a Turkish tanker delivering diesel to Abkhazia. The ship was taken into Georgian government ownership, may be auctioned by the Georgian ministry of finance. A Georgian court sentenced the captain of the ship to 24 years in prison for smuggling and violating the ban on unauthorized economic activity with Abkhazia.

On 2 September 2009, President of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh warned that the Abkhazian naval forces will destroy any Georgian ships engaged in future "pirate actions". Georgia's deputy prime minister Temur Yakobashvili shrugged off the Abkhazian threat, saying that Abkhazia has no technical means to destroy ships. "Moreover," Yakobashvili said, "it is not his business. It looks more like a pre-election bluff."The Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, said Bagapsh was a criminal and it was up to Georgian law enforcement agencies to respond to his threats. The Georgian authorities said. Andrei Nesterenko, a spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry said, on September 3, 2009, further seizure of cargo ships en route to Abkhazia by Georgian coast guard may cause “serious armed incidents” and blamed Georgia for possible escalation. Earlier, Deputy head of Russian Federal Security Service border guard department, Yevgeny Inchin, said on August 28, 2009 that a unit of the Russian border guards in Abkhazia would be dispatched to provide security for ships entering Abkhazia.

This statement was denounced by Georgia as a violation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia said on September 2, 2009 that it was concerned about the statements by the Georgian and Russian sides on the matter and the issue was to be included in the agenda of the meeting under the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism scheme between the sides planned for September 8 in Gali

Congo Basin Forest Partnership

The Congo Basin Forest Partnership is a non-profit initiative to promote the conservation and responsible management of the Congo Basin's tropical forests. The project aims to improve the techniques and information sharing of involved organizations, it is led by the United States and sponsored by more than 40 international governments and investors. The CBFP was launched in September 2002 at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development by U. S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and African government leaders, it was built on the same framework as the Yaounde Declaration, whose stated aim is "to protect forests through the harmonization of forest policies, protected areas, regulations against poaching, the adoption of practices for sustainable forest use". The first meeting of the CBFP took place in Paris, France, in January 2003, agreed on basic organizational principles, named a facilitator, recognized the Conference of Ministers of Forests of Central Africa as its central political, technical and decision-making guide, recognized that Conference's "Plan de Convergence" as the framework for future actions of the CBFP.

In October 2003, the CBFP held a meeting, open to the public in Yaounde, Cameroon, to discuss the policies and activities of the Conference of Ministers of Forests of Central Africa, which named a co-facilitator for the CBFP at the meeting. On November 11 and 12, 2003, the Partnership met again in Yaounde to bring together the Central African Forest Commission, development partners, NGO's, international organizations, private sector representatives. On February 12, 2004, U. S. President George W. Bush approved The Congo Basin Forest Partnership Act; the CBFP met in Douala, Republic of Cameroon on March 1 and 2, 2011. This was followed by a conference on September 13–16, 2011, in Douala on the theme "How can Community Control over Woodlands be Obtained and Maintained?" Meanwhile, on September 14, 2011, the Partnership met in Yaounde to discuss the implementation status of a road map, to examine major challenges in scientific research, to update the facilitation working plan. On November 15, 2011, delegates from eight central African countries met to create a new action plan to strengthen the enforcement of national wildlife laws.

The Congo Basin Forest Partnership was facilitated by the United States from 2003 to 2004, France from 2005 to 2007, Germany from 2008 to 2009. It will continue to operate as long as it receives enough funding; the stated goal of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership is "to promote the sustainable management of the Congo Basin's forests and wildlife by improving communication and collaboration among all the partners". Its objectives include the preservation of the ecology and biodiversity of the wildlife and forests, making their use and protection sustainable for the long-term benefit of both the region and its inhabitants. In pursuit of this mission, the Partnership promotes economic development, the alleviation of poverty, effective governance by the conservation and sustained management of natural resources, including wildlife and forests, the sharing of information between partners and associates; the CBFP works with the Central African Forest Commission, the regional body in charge of forests and environmental policy and harmonization, with the objective of promoting conservation and sustained management of the Congo Basin's ecosystem.

The CBFP's primary focuses are the protection and management of the natural resources required for economic and social development, poverty eradication, biodiversity, an institutional framework for sustainable development, changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. Its secondary focuses are sustainable development for Africa, water, rural development, tourism and climate change. Monte Alen – Mont de Cristal Inselbergs Forest Landscape Gamba – Conkouati Forest Landscape & Lope – Chaillu – Louesse Forest Landscape Dja – Minkebe – Odzala Tri-national Forest Landscape Sangha Tri-national Forest Landscape Lac Tele – Lac Tumba Swamp Forest Landscape Bateke Plateau Forest Savanna Landscape Maringa/Lopori – Wamba Forest Landscape Salonga – LukenieSankuru Forest Landscape Maiko – Lulunguru Tanya – Kahuzi Biega Forest Landscape IturiEpulu – Aru Forest Landscape Virunga Forest Landscape The CBFP is an international association comprising more than 40 governments and private sector organizations, representatives of civil society.

It is a non-binding partnership based on voluntary agreements between governments, the private sector, civil society and developmental organizations. The Partnership covers the geographical region of sub-regional Central Africa around the Congo Basin, is implemented in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon; the CBFP works in accordance with COMIFAC's strategic plan, the "Plan de Convergence". Unlike most traditional partnerships, it does not create new institutions, but instead helps its partners and their associates to be more efficient; the CBFP is set to receive $230 million U. S. dollars of funding over the course of several years. US$53 million from the United States €151.9 million from various European countries €65 million from ECOFAC €15 million from France €20 million from Germany €4 mill