Microbiology and genetic diagnostics.
Our first project is making microbiological media for conducting research in microbiology using local agricultural produce. The media project will enable us provide high schools with media and introduce the students to bacterial genetic screening at an early age. We are also pioneering ethanol production from local agricultural produce for aseptic use in the laboratories. This effort will reduce contamination of experiments in the laboratory and ensure confidence in their work. Our laboratories will benefit immensely from the easy accessibility of these reagents and reduce our laboratory operational cost. We will be able to grow, screen and test compounds to kill bacteria, perform genetic tests and develop assays for diagnosing infections.

 

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Drug discovery:
This project is designed to test the efficacy of local herbal medicine which is widely used in the country. We will survey and follow patients undergoing herbal treatment from admission by the herbalist to recovery. We will start with a pilot project of ten herbalists and their patients. The findings from this initial assessment will inform phase 2 of the project, which will include extracting the active ingredients in the herbal formulations. With this approach we can detect potential global epidemic such as Ebola and Zika virus; provide disease surveillance; and in a timely manner provide possible remedies to these diseases.

 

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 E-Herbarium database:
In this global era, many farmers are substituting local crops cultivation with foreign crops that have been well characterized. As a result local food crops are fast vanishing and food diversity is gradually shrinking. It is our goal to reverse the trend by creating an electronic database of local food as we strive to ensure food security and diversity. We will work with farmers through workshops and focus group discussions on sustainable farming practices as well as better characterization of local crops and plants. As a pilot project we have created a database like this one shown below. This is a joint effort of SIT staff and the community as a means of preserving local crops.

 

 

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