October 28, 2011
Development: Shades of Grey

This is a story of Africa’s forgotten war — one of the most deadly conflicts on the continent. It is a complex and thoroughly modern story worthy of not only of our attention but our contemplation. As The trace minerals essential to building every electronic thing you own are found in few parts of the world. Ravenous Western demand has helped fuel a 15 year conflict in the DRC congo killing over 5 million people and subjugating more to the mine. 

The Frank-Dodd Act now treats these ill-gotten minerals as harshly as blood diamonds. The World picks up the story telling the complex interaction between economics and development.  Enter the players: China, our best intentions, and the African miner out of a job.

Goma

http://www.theworld.org/2011/10/chinese-conflict-minerals-congo/

February 25, 2011
Fungus Used to Kill Malaria

Scientists have come up with a new approach to controlling malaria. Instead of killing the mosquito that transmits the malaria parasite, the researchers have found a way to let the mosquito live, while killing the parasite inside it. The technique involves a fungus called Metarhizium anisopliae. It’s a fungus that can penetrate directly into a mosquito. - NPR

February 11, 2011
The Miami Beach Hookworm Patrol

Miami Beach has a feral cat problem.  Miami Beach also has hookworm problem.  If the ol’ equation of cat poo + humans = hookworm is true, then either the humans or the cats have to go.   Sammy Mack reports that cat trapping (and spaying and neutering and releasing) is easier than getting beach goers to wear sandals. It is Miami Beach after all.

Hookworm lifecycle

How to Trap a Cat from HealthyState.org on Vimeo.

February 8, 2011
This is NOT medicine.

Homeopathic medicine is not medicine.  Period.

Over the weekend, hundreds of skeptics in more than 25 countries took megadoses of the [homeopathic] remedies to demonstrate they do nothing. It was the second annual event organized by the 10:23 Campaign. One bunch in West Virginia took 1 million times the recommended dose of a homeopathic sleep remedy and didn’t die — or even fall asleep.

Now, there’s a $1 million challenge on the table to makers of homeopathic remedies from magician and professional skeptic James Randi. If a rigorous double-blind, controlled study finds the remedies work better than plain water, Randi’s educational foundation will fork over the money. Check out the video for details and the other part of his challenge to retailers to label the remedies accurately.  -  NPR Shots blog

February 3, 2011
The End of Polio? Bill Gates thinks so.

Polio is already history in much of the world — including here in the United States. But travel to pockets of West Africa and Central Asia, for example, and you’ll still see the victims of polio, crippled by the disease. 


February 3, 2011
Did you know: There are more refugees in South Africa than in any other country?

From MSF’s (Doctors Without Borders) comes this Frontline podcast about refugees in South Africa.  Many of the refugees have escaped a hell in their home country to find themselves in just as poor conditions in the slums of South Africa.

Soweto Slums

January 16, 2011
More Bad News For Haiti

The former Haitian dictator, Baby Doc Duvalier, returns to Haiti.  

January 13, 2011

Pop Culture Correspondent Joey presents the future of medical television.

January 12, 2011
I stumbled onto this wonderful typographic piece in a vaccine lecture today.  It’s a series of “sample” headlines developed this for the New York Times with numbers from the WHO.  It’s a few years old (thus, the now defunct SARS) but its quite a powerful graphic.  AIDS is dwarfed by scale and scope of all the epidemics with TB topping the chart at 1/3rd of the entire world population infected with TB.  The graphic was developed by Stephen Doyle who’s design studio creates products ranging the iconic logo for Martha Stewart to the cover art for the Pat Metheny Group albums.

I stumbled onto this wonderful typographic piece in a vaccine lecture today.  It’s a series of “sample” headlines developed this for the New York Times with numbers from the WHO.  It’s a few years old (thus, the now defunct SARS) but its quite a powerful graphic.  AIDS is dwarfed by scale and scope of all the epidemics with TB topping the chart at 1/3rd of the entire world population infected with TB.  The graphic was developed by Stephen Doyle who’s design studio creates products ranging the iconic logo for Martha Stewart to the cover art for the Pat Metheny Group albums.

January 9, 2011
Review of Protozoa and Human Disease

Protozoa and Human Disease

Mark Wiser’s text “Protozoa and Human Disease” is a well crafted and easy to read introduction to infectious protozooa. Dr. Wiser covers all of the classical parasitological topics in a high-yield format and expertly connects the basic sciences with clinical and public health interventions. In addition (and more importantly), he has fully integratedthe latest modern parasitological topics into this traditional framework. The text includes sectionson molecular epidemiology, parasite genetics, and immunoparasitology. Each chapter follows the same basic layout (akin to the WHO Control of Communicable Diseases Manual) organized along a taxonomic scheme. The book is a bit pricey for a trichrome paperback (black and white with blue). But, to its credit, it sets a new standard. 

"Protozoa and Human Disease" represents the latest text from the faculty of tropical medicine at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The school has a venerable history of crafting the some of the finest texts on parasitology beginning in the 1930’s with Faust’s Human Helminthology. If one was interested in the traditional paring of a textbook with an atlas then I would fully recommend the indispensable Atlas of Human Parasitology

Happy hunting.

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