Flesh-eating bacteria in Australia might be spread by mosquitoes

September 25, 2017 by  
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Cases of infections from a flesh-eating bacteria seem to be increasing in Australia . The bacteria Mycobacterium ulcerans can bring about Buruli ulcers, non-healing sores that slowly grow bigger. The ulcers are already a huge health issue in West Africa , and now Australia seems to be experiencing more cases. Scientists aren’t quite sure how humans get infected – though they suspect either possums or mosquitoes . Victoria, Australia saw 89 reported cases of Buruli ulcers in 2014. In 2015, that number increased to 107, and in 2016 it was 182. Already, as of this month in 2017, there have been 159 reported cases, according to Allen Cheng, professor in infectious diseases epidemiology at Monash University , who wrote an article on the flesh-eating bacteria for The Conversation. Related: This billboard imitates human sweat to snare mosquitoes 32 countries in West Africa have seen cases of Buruli ulcers, which grow larger usually on arms or legs for weeks or months. Advanced infections sometimes result in amputation, and in the past people thought surgery was necessary to treat the ulcers. Now, most cases in Australia can be cured with antibiotics , and there’s a trial in Africa testing treatment with antibiotics. It’s not clear how people get infected, although Cheng said circumstantial evidence seems to point towards mosquitoes. The bacteria can be found in the insects, and infections often occur on exposed areas of the body where mosquitoes bite. But researchers also discovered possums, and their feces, seemed to be infected where there have been human cases. Cheng also pointed out that infections happen in areas of the world with different animal and mosquito species. He said early diagnosis is key; the infection is easier to treat before it spreads, but does grow slowly. He recommended asking a doctor about unexplained sores or lumps, especially if they persist for a long time. And even though we can’t say for sure if mosquito bites do spread the bacteria, Cheng recommended mosquito repellents and covering up skin as a way to try and prevent infection. Via The Conversation Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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Flesh-eating bacteria in Australia might be spread by mosquitoes

New Japanese turbines harvest wave energy and protect coastlines from erosion

September 25, 2017 by  
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Surf’s up! Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in Japan are working to create special turbines that harvest the renewable energy of waves while simultaneously protecting coastlines from erosion. To accomplish this, turbines would be anchored to the sea floor with mooring cables and placed nearby tetrapods, star-shaped concrete structures designed to reduce erosion, or natural barriers such as coral reefs. These structures have enormous potential to work together to both dampen the impact of powerful waves on shorelines and capture the seemingly endless oceanic energy. The wave turbine’s pairing with a solid, anchored structure could take advantage of preexisting infrastructure in Japan. “Surprisingly, 30% of the seashore in mainland Japan is covered with tetrapods and wave breakers,” said Professor Tsumoru Shintake, the lead researcher on the project. “Using just 1% of the seashore of mainland Japan can [generate] about 10 gigawats [of energy], which is equivalent to 10 nuclear power plants. That’s huge.” Each turbine would feature spinning blades attached to a permanent magnet electric generator, protected by a ceramic layer to keep seawater out. The energy captured from the waves would then be sent through a cable down the structure and back to shore for grid usage. Related: This carbon nanotube yarn generates power when pulled The turbines are designed with safety in mind. In order to avoid harming wildlife , the speed of the blades is calibrated so that any animal caught into them are able to harm. Similarly, the blades are flexible, like dolphin fins, to avoid cracking under powerful storms and swells. The support structure is also bendable. Each turbine is estimated to last for ten years before needing to be replaced, but its creators are thinking even further into the future. “I’m imagining the planet two hundred years later,” said Shintake. “I hope these [turbines] will be working hard quietly, and nicely, on each beach on which they have been installed.” Via New Atlas Images via  OIST

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New Japanese turbines harvest wave energy and protect coastlines from erosion

Zika virus can remain in sperm for twice as long as previously thought

August 20, 2016 by  
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Recently, the Zika virus was found in the sperm of a man six months after he originally showed symptoms from the infection. That’s twice as long as the virus was previously thought to survive in sperm. This is particularly concerning because it means that the virus may actually able to replicate and reproduce itself inside the male genitalia.

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Zika virus can remain in sperm for twice as long as previously thought

The number of pregnant women with Zika in the US just tripled

May 23, 2016 by  
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on May 20th that the number of pregnant women in the US with Zika virus is now three times higher than previously thought. The cases have jumped from 48 to 157, although the agency claims that it’s aware of less than a dozen babies or fetuses who’ve actually suffered from birth defects due to the infection. However, since most of the pregnancies are ongoing, that number will likely climb. An additional 122 cases in pregnant women have also…

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The number of pregnant women with Zika in the US just tripled

Saving Children’s Lives in Bangladesh with Simple Concrete Floors

August 27, 2014 by  
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  Most of us take for granted the fact that we can walk barefoot across our living room floor and not end up with a life-threatening disease, but that’s far from the case in many regions of the world. Every year, over 6 million children die from diarrheal, skin, and respiratory diseases that they contracted from the parasites, viruses, and bacteria living in the dirt floor of their homes. In Bangladesh alone, 100,000 children under the age of five die from these diseases every year… but there’s a NYC-based non-profit group working to change that. A rchitecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments (ARCHIVE) just launched its “High Fives” initiative to replace dirt floors with concrete in that region in order to reduce disease-causing pathogens from infiltrating homes. The initiative is so named because of its goal to help at-risk children reach their fifth birthdays. Read the rest of Saving Children’s Lives in Bangladesh with Simple Concrete Floors Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments , archive , Archive high five , Bangladesh , children under five , concrete floor , concrete flooring , concrete floors , diarrhea , dirt floor , High Five , High Five Initiative , hygiene , infection , NGO ADESH , parasites , substandard housing

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Saving Children’s Lives in Bangladesh with Simple Concrete Floors

Can Flying Cars Save Lives in Disaster Zones?

August 27, 2014 by  
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Flying cars belong more in a Jetson’s episode than in real life, right? Wrong, flying cars are here, but will they take off? The Indigenous People’s Technology and Education Center (I-TEC) , an organization in Ecuador started by missionary Steven Saint, has invented The Maverick , a lightweight flying vehicle equipped with a propeller at the back and a deployable parachute. The Maverick was developed specifically for missionary purposes and humanitarian applications such as transporting medics and teachers to remote areas. Read the rest of Can Flying Cars Save Lives in Disaster Zones? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: flying car , flying cars , humanitarian aid , humanitarian innovation project , indigenous people’s technology and education center , jim tingler , louise bloom , refugee studies center , remote areas , steven saint , the maverick , transporting medics , transporting teachers , university of oxford

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Can Flying Cars Save Lives in Disaster Zones?

3rdSpace’s Flat-Pack Library Can Pop Up in Any Backyard!

August 27, 2014 by  
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Now anyone can have their very own backyard library ! 3rdSpace ‘s prefab rooms have been popping up all over as extra bedrooms and offices – and the amazing prefab structures can even make a bibliophile’s dreams come true. One creative customer had one of the flat packed kits transformed into a private backyard library outside his Oxfordshire, England home. Read the rest of 3rdSpace’s Flat-Pack Library Can Pop Up in Any Backyard! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3rdSpace , eco design , flat packed library , green design , pop up library , prefab library , sustainable design

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3rdSpace’s Flat-Pack Library Can Pop Up in Any Backyard!

Monarch Butterfly Populations Crash 90% in 20 Years – Why Are They Not Considered Endangered?

August 27, 2014 by  
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Shocking statistics show that Monarch butterfly populations in the U.S. have fallen roughly 90 percent since 1995. In response, a new petition is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the butterflies under the Endangered Species Act . The petitioners cite a loss of 165 million acres of the monarchs’ habitat and the loss of their chief food source , milkweed, due to herbicide-resistant farming practices (yes, Monsanto , we’re talking about you again) as the primary reasons for the dramatic decline of this iconic and formerly common species. Read the rest of Monarch Butterfly Populations Crash 90% in 20 Years – Why Are They Not Considered Endangered? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Butterflies , center for biological diversity , Center for Food Safety , Dr Lincoln Brower , endangered species , habitat loss , herbicides , insects , migratory animals , milkweed , monarch butterfly , monoculture , Monsanto , pesticides , pollinators , population crash , population decine , Xerces Society

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Monarch Butterfly Populations Crash 90% in 20 Years – Why Are They Not Considered Endangered?

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