Hawaii issues alert for brain-invading parasite transmitted by snails

April 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Hawaii issues alert for brain-invading parasite transmitted by snails

The Hawaiian island of Maui is experiencing an uptick in infections stemming from a parasitic roundworm that invades the human brain. Or, in less scientific parlance, brain slugs . In the past three months alone, health officials have confirmed six cases of the picturesquely named rat lungworm disease, with three additional cases still pending investigation. The trend is worrisome beyond the obvious: Maui has encountered only two cases of the disease over the past decade. Of the 10 or so cases that are reported each year in Hawaii, nearly all are restricted to the Big Island . The grownup version of the Angiostrongylus cantonensis , the offending nematode, is carried by rats, which drop a load of the larvae in their poop. The junior versions can thereafter hitch a ride on other hosts, including snails, slugs, freshwater shrimp, crabs, and frogs. People can get infected by eating raw or undercooked snails or slugs that have been infected by the parasite, or by handling contaminated fruits and vegetables. The infection can trigger a rare form of meningitis characterized by severe headaches, stiffness of the neck, tingling or painful feelings in the skin, a low-grade fever, nausea, and vomiting, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Hawaii’s Department of Health Disease Investigation Branch cautions that temporary paralysis of the face and light sensitivity may also occur. Related: Rare brain-eating amoeba found in Louisiana tap water “If you could imagine, it’s like having a slow-moving bullet go through your brain and there’s no rhyme or reason why it’s going to hang out in this part of the brain or that part of the brain,”Sarah Park, a state epidemiologist, told the Associated Press . Although there is no treatment for rat lungworm disease, residents can reduce the risk of contracting it by scrupulously washing their produce before consumption, officials say. Tricia Mynar, a Maui woman who said she contracted the parasite on the Big Island, has one piece of advice . “Take your time and wash your veggies,” she said. Via ScienceAlert Photos by Unsplash

Original post: 
Hawaii issues alert for brain-invading parasite transmitted by snails

Incredible farming skyscraper could fight poverty and feed the world

April 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Incredible farming skyscraper could fight poverty and feed the world

This incredible skyscraper is more than just eye candy—its modular and farm-integrated design was created to fight world hunger and poverty. Designers Pawel Lipi?ski and Mateusz Frankowski proposed the Mashambas Skyscraper for rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa as a means to bring a “green revolution” to impoverished small farmers. The modular Mashambas is movable and functions as an educational center for growing crops, hosting markets, and training on agricultural techniques. Although absolute poverty around the world has fallen over 20 percent in the last thirty years, poverty levels in many African countries have stayed high and stagnant. Today, over 40 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa lives in absolute poverty. Designers Pawel Lipi?ski and Mateusz Frankowski examined the obstacles holding the populace back, most of whom are subsistence farmers, and found that “poor infrastructure, limited markets, weak governments, and fratricidal civil wars” were among the biggest challenges. In hopes of bringing a “green revolution to the poorest people,” Lipi?ski and Frankowski designed the Mashambas Skyscraper, a modular and multipurpose building that just placed first in the renowned 2017 eVolo Skyscraper Competition . The Mashambas Skyscraper, which derives its name from the Swahili word for cultivated land, features a simple modular design that can be easily assembled, disassembled, and transported. The arched modules are stacked together to form a scalable high-rise and its flexible design allows for multiple uses including a ground floor marketplace, warehouses, drone services, classrooms, and farming areas on the upper levels. Drones would be employed to help bring supplies, whether for building construction or for agriculture , to the Mashambas Skyscraper and would also be used to deliver surplus food to the most needy and hard-to-reach areas. By concentrating a market at its base, the building will help facilitate growth and encourage farming plots to pop up around the site. The building can be enlarged as the participants increase and once the local community becomes self-sufficient , the building can be transported to other places. Related: This massive wind-powered skyscraper would cool the entire planet “Mashambas is a movable educational center, which emerges in the poorest areas of the continent,” write the designers. “It provides education, training on agricultural techniques, cheap fertilizers, and modern tools; it also creates a local trading area, which maximizes profits from harvest sales. Today hunger and poverty may be only African matter, but the world’s population will likely reach nine billion by 2050, scientists warn that this would result in global food shortage. Africa’s fertile farmland could not only feed its own growing population, it could also feed the whole world.” + Mashambas

Read the original post:
Incredible farming skyscraper could fight poverty and feed the world

Solar-powered skin could help prosthetics imbue sense of touch

March 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Solar-powered skin could help prosthetics imbue sense of touch

Engineers from the University of Glasgow have developed a synthetic skin that could help amputees regain their sense of touch. Clad in graphene, a form of graphite just one atom thick yet tougher than steel, the “electronic skin” even uses photovoltaic cells to harvest power from the sun. “This could allow the creation of an entirely energy-autonomous prosthetic limb,” said Ravinder Dahiya , head of the School of Engineering’s Bendable Electronics and Sensing Technologies group and the author of a paper on the subject in the current issue of Advanced Functional Materials . Graphene and solar cells are ideal bedfellows because of the former’s unique physical properties, Dahiya said. The material’s optical transparency, for instance, allows 98 percent of the light that hits its surface to pass through. Graphene is also electrically conductive, which means it can channel power to sensors that measure attributes like temperature, pressure, and texture. “Those measurements mean the prosthetic hand is capable of performing challenging tasks like properly gripping soft materials, which other prosthetics can struggle with,” Dahiya said. Related: Thought-controlled robotic arm returns the sense of touch to amputees Because the new skin requires only 20 nanowatts of power per square centimeter, even the lowest-rated photovoltaic cell on the market will suffice. The energy generated by the skin’s cells cannot be stored at present, but the researchers are exploring ways of diverting any unused energy into batteries that can be drawn from at a later time. Beyond prosthetics, the breakthrough could fuel further advances in robotics—a boon for an increasingly automated world. “Skin capable of touch sensitivity also opens the possibility of creating robots capable of making better decisions about human safety,” Dahiya said. “A robot working on a construction line, for example, is much less likely to accidentally injure a human if it can feel that a person has unexpectedly entered their area of movement and stop before an injury can occur.” + University of Glasgow

Read the original here:
Solar-powered skin could help prosthetics imbue sense of touch

New details of feathered dinosaur could elucidate the origins of flight

March 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on New details of feathered dinosaur could elucidate the origins of flight

A small red-crested dinosaur from the Late Jurassic era could help us unlock the origins of flight, now that we have a better idea of what it looked like. Using high-powered lasers, scientists from the University of Hong Kong have illuminated previously invisible soft tissues of the foot-tall Anchiornis , providing, for the first time, a detailed outline of the avian-like creature. The quantitative reconstruction of Anchiornis , which was first discovered in northeastern China in 2009, show that the animal possessed drumstick-shaped legs, long forearms connected by wing-like membranes, foot scales, and a slender tail. “The detail was so well lit that we could see the texture of the skin,” said paleontologist Michael Pittman, who described the discovery in a paper published in Nature Communications this week. These traits, Pittman added, could help us understand how dinosaurs eventually took to the skies as birds. As a field of science, paleontology is riddled with mysteries. The skeletons scientists dig up from the ground are seldom complete, and soft tissues like organs, muscle, or skin almost never survive into the present. On the rare occasion that tissues have endured the test of time, they’re unobservable with the naked eye. Related: Scientist finds dinosaur tail trapped in amber and it is covered with feathers That’s where a technique known as laser-stimulated fluorescence comes in. By bouncing wavelengths of light aimed a fossil sample in a dark room, Pittman and his team were able to manifest high-fidelity features that offer clues to how Anchiornis attempted, or even achieved, aerodynamic flight 160 million years ago. Anchiornis didn’t necessarily fly, of course. Even modern birds with wing folds, like the weka of New Zealand , never escape the pull of gravity. Nevertheless, the research remains vital to our understanding of where birds came from, since they appeared around the same time, Pittman said. “What our work does underscore,” Pittman told National Geographic , “is the broad extent to which bird-like dinosaurs were experimenting with their anatomy and functional capabilities before we had the first unequivocal gliding and flying birds.” + Nature Communications + University of Hong Kong Via National Geographic

See the original post here: 
New details of feathered dinosaur could elucidate the origins of flight

Researchers identify antibody that kills 98% of HIV strains

November 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Researchers identify antibody that kills 98% of HIV strains

Scientists may be getting closer to finding an effective way to prevent transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). After decades of research, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced a “remarkable” breakthrough in prevention and treatment of the highly contagious disease . They successfully isolated an antibody from an HIV-infected patient that, in lab tests, neutralized 98 percent of HIV strains, including up to 20 that were resistant to other antibodies of the same class. The antibody, named N6, could someday unlock the key to future treatments or prevention methods. The federal health agency’s announcement came last week , and although the discovery is the result of extensive research, it also marks a new beginning. Led by Mark Connors, M.D., the research team is already tracking the evolution of the N6 antibody over time in order to better understand how it developed its strain-neutralizing powers. By understanding its past, scientists hope to pave a quicker path to the design of vaccines that could potentially protect people from acquiring the virus in the first place. Related: 44-year-old British man could be first to receive HIV cure Despite this early stage of discovery, researchers are optimistic that N6 can provide a level of protection that existing treatments cannot. Compared to other treatments, N6’s increased potency may translate into more durable prevention and treatment benefits. It may also be suitable for administering subcutaneously (into the fatty layer beneath the skin) rather than intravenously like VRC01, the current frontrunner in the race for HIV prevention . Because N6 has demonstrated its ability to wipe out 98 percent of HIV strains, it makes for a more aggressive treatment as well. Via NIAID/NIH Images via NIAID and UNICEF/Flickr

Read the original here:
Researchers identify antibody that kills 98% of HIV strains

Beautiful bamboo pavilion in Bali translates the flexibility of yoga into architecture

November 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Beautiful bamboo pavilion in Bali translates the flexibility of yoga into architecture

Resting on the edge of a lush tropical forest in Sayan, the new Yoga Pavilion at the Four Seasons Resort seems to defy gravity. Serene open spaces where guests can practice yoga offer views of terraced rice fields and a river. Bamboo personifies some of the core qualities of yoga – strength, flexibility and vulnerability. Related: Ibuku Constructs Three Bamboo Homes in Bali’s Gorgeous Green Village IBUKU builds their projects-true experiments in architectural acrobatics-using traditional Indonesian building techniques, treating the raw materials with a natural Boron salt solution that permanently protects against insects. Instead of heavy machinery, cranes and bulldozers, the team employs local builders and craftsmen to construct the buildings on-site. + IBUKU Photos via IBUKU and Four Seasons

View original here:
Beautiful bamboo pavilion in Bali translates the flexibility of yoga into architecture

3 simple life hacks to keep cool and save energy this summer

June 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on 3 simple life hacks to keep cool and save energy this summer

The weather for summer 2016 is forecast to be 3 percent higher than the last decade’s average. As temperatures start to soar, so do energy bills. Cranking up the air conditioner or blasting fans all hours of the day may help cool things down, but it isn’t very good for the environment, or your wallet. Air conditioner use results in the release of an estimated 100 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to Energy Saver. We’ve got 3 super simple tips to help you reduce your energy consumption that won’t make you completely change the way you live. When it comes to staying cool this summer, a few small changes can make a big difference in energy conservation .   Summer and ice cream go hand-in-hand. The average U.S. consumer eats nearly 22 pounds of ice cream every year with the demand for it rising with the temperature. It’s nice to think there’s no such thing as having too much and it turns out energy conservation analysts agree. The more that’s packed in the freezer, the better it is for energy costs. There’s now a good excuse to stock up on sweet treats or take time to meal plan for the week ahead. All for the sake of saving energy. Nothing feels better after a long run or a sweat-worthy workout than a cold shower to revitalize the body and feel refreshed. A cold shower is good for the skin, circulatory system, and overall wellness. Bonus: it helps cut energy costs. By giving the water heater a bit of break on hot, summer days and keeping shower time short, both a person’s body and energy budget can reap the benefits. Contrary to popular belief, laundry temperatures don’t have to be on the hottest setting to get clothes clean. Water heating makes up 18 percent of a home’s energy use, which translates to higher expenses month-over-month. Cold water is gentler on fabrics and works just as well to get stains out. Turn the dial to the cold setting to see savings on the energy bill. Simple life hacks are the perfect solution for people who want to reduce their energy spend without fully compromising their lifestyles. It’s best to identify a few areas which may be easier to cut back first before charging full-fledged into an energy-saving overhaul. It doesn’t take too much effort to practice conservation and reduce costs. Summer is a great time to implement changes that will have a positive impact on the months ahead. Saving energy in small ways adds up to permanently changing energy conservation for the better. Lead image via Shutterstock

The rest is here: 
3 simple life hacks to keep cool and save energy this summer

Many anti-aging products contain ingredients that can cause breast cancer

October 17, 2015 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Many anti-aging products contain ingredients that can cause breast cancer

Watch out, because those anti-aging products that seem to do wonders for your skin may be doing serious damage to your body. The Breast Cancer Fund tested anti-aging products and found that many of them contain PFOA, which is linked to breast cancer. And many of the most common and favorite brands out there have them. READ MORE >

View post: 
Many anti-aging products contain ingredients that can cause breast cancer

New ultra-green yoga mats are made from algae harvested from streams

September 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on New ultra-green yoga mats are made from algae harvested from streams

It’s hard not to wonder, when you’re sweating in Down Dog or kicking back in Savasana, exactly what toxic nasties may be leaching into your skin from your yoga mat. Two green-minded companies, Algix and Effekt , have created a new yoga mat made from an unlikely and earth-friendly source: algae. The companies have developed a flexible foam made from algae harvested from waste streams in the US and Asia. The algae is renewable, GMO-free, doesn’t require pesticides and is not useable as a food source. Read the rest of New ultra-green yoga mats are made from algae harvested from streams

Read more here: 
New ultra-green yoga mats are made from algae harvested from streams

This bindi delivers life-saving iodine supplements to India’s women

June 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This bindi delivers life-saving iodine supplements to India’s women

In rural India, many women suffer from a deficiency of iodine . Iodine is a necessary part of nutrition, as it helps cells metabolize food into energy. A deficiency can cause a host of health problems, ranging from breast cancer to pregnancy complications. Many people get adequate iodine from their diet, from sea vegetables, dairy products, and other legumes and vegetables, and it can also be easily absorbed into the body from supplements. For the iodine-deficient women in India , where a balanced diet may be challenging and supplements are too expensive, Grey Group Singapore, and the NGO Neelvasant Medical Foundation and Research Centre have created a unique solution : an iodine-dosing bindi. The bindi makes it easy for women to get an adequate iodine supplement, absorbed directly through the skin, without adding any new steps to their daily lives. Read on to learn more about how the bindi works to save women’s lives in India. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: grey group singapore , iodine deficiency india , iodine supplements india , iodine women health , Neelvasant Medical Foundation and Research Centre , rural india health , women in india , women’s health

See the original post:
This bindi delivers life-saving iodine supplements to India’s women

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1213 access attempts in the last 7 days.