Tag Archives: africa

Joanna Radin on the ‘phenomenon’ of biobanking

When HIV/AIDS became a pandemic, epidemiologists wanted to know where it began. In the 1980s, they found their answer in a freezer filled with blood. This blood had been collected in the 1950s from members of indigenous communities in Africa as part of anthropological research on human variation. To this day, that sample is the oldest trace of HIV known to biomedicine. It is what launched Joanna Radin’s interest in the field of biobanking, a means of preserving blood and other tissues for future research. It is also what led her to write her recently published book, “Life on Ice: A History of New Uses for Cold Blood.” (more…)

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Political pitfalls in handling Ebola may carry over to Zika

ANN ARBOR — If the United States responds to Zika the way it did to Ebola—and early indications are that in many ways it is—the country can expect missteps brought about by a lack of health care coordination and a lot of political finger pointing, according to an analysis by the University of Michigan. (more…)

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Little known about children living with HIV-infected adults in Africa

Despite the focus in recent decades on fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa, a new study reveals that little is known about one of the area’s most vulnerable populations: children living in households with HIV-infected adults.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Sub-Saharan Africa has long been known to have the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the world. But a new study published in PLOS One reveals that despite the focus on the region, few estimates exist of one of its most vulnerable populations: children living in households with HIV-infected adults. (more…)

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The heartbeat of progress

WinSenga expands access to prenatal care in Africa with smartphone-based ultrasound alternative

Wubwub. Wubwub. Wubwub.

It’s immense, the moment an ultrasound lets an expectant mother hear her unborn child’s heartbeat. But many pregnant women around the world never get to experience it. (more…)

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Africa’s poison ‘apple’ provides common ground for saving elephants, raising livestock

While African wildlife often run afoul of ranchers and pastoralists securing food and water resources for their animals, the interests of fauna and farmer might finally be unified by the “Sodom apple,” a toxic invasive plant that has overrun vast swaths of East African savanna and pastureland.

Should the ominous reference to the smitten biblical city be unclear, the Sodom apple, or Solanum campylacanthum, is a wicked plant. Not a true apple, this relative of the eggplant smothers native grasses with its thorny stalks, while its striking yellow fruit provides a deadly temptation to sheep and cattle. (more…)

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IBM Brings Watson to Africa

$100M “Project Lucy” Initiative Heralds New Era of Data-Driven Development

LAGOS and NAIROBI – 06 Feb 2014: IBM has launched a 10-year initiative to bring Watson and other cognitive systems to Africa in a bid to fuel development and spur business opportunities across the world’s fastest growing continent. Dubbed “Project Lucy” after the earliest known human ancestor, IBM will invest US$100 million in the initiative, giving scientists and partners access to the world’s most advanced cognitive computing technologies. (more…)

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Artificially cooling planet would cause climate chaos, new research shows

Plans to reverse the effects of global warming by mimicking big volcanic eruptions would have a catastrophic impact on some of the most fragile ecosystems on earth, new research has shown.

Geo-engineering – the intentional manipulation of the climate to counter the effect of global warming – is being proposed as a last-ditch way to deal with the problems of climate change.

However, new research co-authored by University of Exeter expert Angus Ferraro suggests geo-engineering could cause massive changes to rainfall patterns around the equator, drying the tropical rainforests in South America and Asia and intensifying periods of drought in Africa. (more…)

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