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First Commercial Zika Virus Test Gets FDA Approval

CLICK HERE - Quest Diagnostics - Zika Virus Infection - Important Testing Information and Helpful Resources

nbcnews.com - by Maggie Fox - April 28, 2016

The first commercial U.S. test to diagnose Zika virus won emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration Thursday.

It's a rare piece of good news as states and the federal government struggle to get out ahead of the Zika virus epidemic as it makes its way north to the U.S.

Quest Diagnostics says it should be able to handle any demand for the test, which uses the same method that government labs use to look for Zika virus in a patient's blood.

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World Bank: 'Technical and engineering solutions not a silver bullet' for growing waste problems

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  • The World Bank reports that the following five countries generate the most waste in the world:
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COP21 - The Paris Agreement - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

       

unfccc.int - April 22, 2016

CLICK HERE - COP21 - The Paris Agreement - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

CLICK HERE - The Paris Agreement (16 page .PDF document)

CLICK HERE - Paris Agreement - Status of Ratification

CLICK HERE - Paris Agreement - information on signatories to the Agreement, ratification and entry into force

At COP 21 in Paris, Parties to the UNFCCC reached a historic agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.

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CDC Confirms Zika Virus Does Cause Microcephaly

CLICK HERE - CDC Concludes Zika Causes Microcephaly and Other Birth Defects

CLICK HERE - NEJM - Zika Virus and Birth Defects — Reviewing the Evidence for Causality

It’s the first time US researchers have confirmed the link

theverge.com - by Loren Grush - April 13, 2016

For the first time, US disease experts have agreed that the mosquito-borne Zika virus does indeed cause babies to be born with abnormally small heads — a condition known as microcephaly. Until now, the two conditions were linked — but experts didn’t know for sure if Zika caused the brain-damaged condition. After reviewing existing data about Zika, researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have declared in the New England Journal of Medicine that the relationship was, as suspected, causal.

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ZIKA VIRUS 'SCARIER THAN WE FIRST THOUGHT,' WARN U.S. HEALTH OFFICIALS

Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, and Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director for Centers of Disease Control Prevention, speak about the Zika virus at the White House, Washington, April 11, 2016.KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS

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White House to transfer Ebola funds to combat Zika virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is to announce Wednesday it will transfer leftover money from the largely successful fight against Ebola to combat the growing threat of the Zika virus, congressional officials say.

Roughly 75 percent of the $600 million or so would be devoted to the Centers for Disease Control, which is focused on research and development of anti-Zika vaccines, treating those infected with the virus and combating the mosquitoes that spread it. The rest would go to foreign aid accounts to fight the virus overseas.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter before the White House announcement.

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The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment

submitted by Albert Gomez 

CLICK HERE - The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment

Climate change is a significant threat to the health of the American people. This scientific assessment examines how climate change is already affecting human health and the changes that may occur in the future.

USGCRP, 2016: The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. Crimmins, A., J. Balbus, J.L. Gamble, C.B. Beard, J.E. Bell, D. Dodgen, R.J. Eisen, N. Fann, M.D. Hawkins, S.C. Herring, L. Jantarasami, D.M. Mills, S. Saha, M.C. Sarofim, J. Trtanj, and L. Ziska, Eds. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, 312 pp. http://dx.doi.org/10.7930/J0R49NQX

https://health2016.globalchange.gov

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A Renewable Energy Boom

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016

nytimes.com - by The Editorial Board - April 4, 2016

Some world leaders, especially in developing countries like India, have long said it’s hard to reduce the emissions that are warming the planet because they need to use relatively inexpensive — but highly carbon-intensive — fuels like coal to keep energy affordable. That argument is losing its salience as the cost of renewable energy sources like wind and solar continues to fall.

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The economy is growing, but carbon emissions aren’t. That’s a really big deal

A general view on the chimneys of the Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung, northern Taiwan, 17 November 2015. EPA/DAVID CHANG

Image: A general view on the chimneys of the Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung, northern Taiwan, 17 November 2015. EPA/DAVID CHANG

washingtonpost.com - March 16, 2016 - Chris Mooney

Roughly a year ago, the International Energy Agency announced a wonky yet nonetheless significant development. Looking at data for the year 2014, the agency found that although the global economy grew — by 3.4 percent that year — greenhouse gas emissions from the use of energy (their largest source) had not. They had stalled at about 32.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, just as in 2013.

The agency called this a “decoupling” of growth from carbon dioxide emissions, and noted that it was the “the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.” For decades prior to 2014, economic growth had pretty much always meant more pollution of the atmosphere, and a worsening climate problem.

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