/R E P E A T -- Leading Speakers at the Montréal Space for Life - Chimpanzee Diets Hold Promise for Human Health/

MONTREAL, Aug. 29, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - On September 12 at 7:30 p.m., the Montréal Space for Life will be very pleased to host Sabrina Krief, veterinarian and Associate Professor at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, in France. She will be giving a talk for the general public in the amphitheatre at the Montréal Biodôme on how chimpanzee diets may hold promising secrets for human health. Her innovative work focuses on the surprising pharmacological properties of plants eaten by wild chimpanzees in Africa and the possible impact of this discovery on human health.

Averting malaria

Sabrina Krief has been actively involved in field studies in Kibale National Park, in Uganda, and has observed wild chimpanzees' behaviour close up. She has been studying their habits, diet and health for 15 years now. In that time she has seen how chimps regularly consume parts of plants with pharmacological properties that protect them against intestinal parasites or those responsible for malaria, and against cancer cells. Remarkably enough, her meticulous observations have shown that these chimpanzees, even when they are carrying several malaria-causing parasites, exhibit almost none of the symptoms associated with the disease. Given that the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that over 216 million human beings suffered from malaria in 2010, the potential benefits of this kind of discovery on human health are clear. Her research is opening up new and fascinating avenues for treating a disease that afflicts huge numbers of people, including children, in the intertropical zones of the Americas and Asia and in much of Africa.

Committed to saving chimpanzees

A veterinarian by profession, Sabrina Krief completed a PhD in phytochemistry at the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles and the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, a publicly funded research and teaching establishment in France, and then went on to do postdoctoral work. In 2004, she joined the eco-anthropology and ethnobiology team at the Muséum. She is currently actively engaged in research work on chimpanzees in Uganda, as part of a research and conservation project launched in 2009 with her husband, Jean-Michel Krief. Together they founded an association aimed at alerting local African communities and the international community to the serious risks now threatening the survival of the great apes of Africa. In partnership with the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, UNESCO and Coopération française, they have developed teaching materials to spread their message. According to Sabrina Krief, "we are responsible for the threats facing the great apes, but we are the only ones who can act to save them."

Sabrina Krief's lecture is being supported by the Service de Coopération et d'Action Culturelle of the Consulate General of France in Quebec City and the Association des communicateurs scientifiques (ACS).

Lecture: Dans les pas des chimpanzés… vers de nouvelles pistes pour la santé humaine

Where: Montréal Biodôme, 4777, avenue Pierre-De Coubertin
When: September 12, 2012, at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets available through lavitrine.com
Seating is limited.
Parking: 3000, rue Viau (pay parking)
Viau metro station (logo)
(The lecture will be in French)

 

SOURCE: Espace pour la vie

For further information:

Nadine Fortin, Communications Co-ordinator
514 868-3053/ 514 250-7753
nadine.fortin@ville.montreal.qc.ca

François Ouellet, Communications Assistant
514 872-3232
fouellet_2@ville.montreal.qc.ca

Mathieu Paquette
Association des communicateurs scientifiques du Québec (ACS)
Communications Co-ordinator and Project Manager
mpaquette@acs.qc.ca
514-508-5544 ext. 222


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