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Insights from Past Millennia into Climatic Impacts on Human Health and Survival

submitted by Janine Rees

      

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - by A. J. McMichael - National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia.

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Exercise 24: Using Social Media for Crisis Response

submitted by Samuel Bendett

      

worldfinancialreview.com - By George H. Bressler, Murray E. Jennex & Eric G. Frost

“Can populations self-organize a crisis response? This is a field report on the first two efforts in a continuing series of exercises termed Exercise 24 or X24. These exercises attempted to demonstrate that self-organizing groups can form and respond to a crisis using low-cost social media and other emerging web technologies.”

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Firefly Technology Sheds New Light

The light-producing enzyme in the firefly is the key to rapid pathogen detection // Source: cri.cn

submitted by Luis Kun

Homeland Security News Wire - March 22, 2012

A new device, employing the same chemical which lights up fireflies, can easily detect food contamination; the researchers who developed the system hope it will soon be used to test for other diseases, including HIV-AIDS.

Food contamination can now be detected easily by a new device based on the chemical which lights up fireflies.

The Bioluminescent Assay in Real-Time (BART), jointly invented by Professor Jim Murray of the Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences and Dr. Laurence Tisi of Lumora, allows users to test rapidly and simply for food poisoning bacteria. Professor Murray and his partners at technology company Lumora Ltd. hope to develop the system to test for other diseases, including HIV-AIDS.

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Predicting Locations of Emergency & Damage During Disaster Using VGI Data

submitted by Alister Wm Macintyre

                                                     (CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW - TO ENLARGE)

      

ushahidi.com - by Prateek Budhwar

The VGI data obtained from the Ushahidi-Haiti platform during the first 72 hours of Earthquake in Haiti can be used for predicting the locations of ‘Emergency and damaged areas’ using Ushahidi Reports in Port-au-Prince. Two rapid and very successful VGI deployments helped coordinate disaster response after a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010.

OpenStreetMap (OSM) project volunteers working outside Haiti created a digital street map of Port-au-Prince and other places in Haiti very rapidly using fine-resolution imagery to trace vector maps of streets and other features.

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Mexico Quake Tweet Volume and Characteristics

submitted by Samuel Bendett

Sender: crisismappers
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2012 13:55:14 -0700
To: <crisismappers>
ReplyTo: crisismappers
Subject: [CrisisMappers] Mexico quake tweet volume and characteristics
Some relatively random data points...

We've saw about 10,000 English tweets in the first hour and 23,000 in the second. Third hour is down, will be about half the rate of the second hour if sustained.

Recurring themes include words like rattle, suffer, long slow roller, hard, saddened, worried, awful, hate, bad.

I'm seeing a fair bit of "help us report" tweets, which is coming from a tweet that said "earthquake preparedness helps us report none to minor damage and no victims so far," from Mexico City.

English-language tweets from Mexico are making up 8 percent of the total. 55 percent are from the U.S.

Spanish tweets - 488 in the first hour, 1,400 in the second and current rate will product about 1,000 in the third hour.

Most common words in the Spanish tweets are disfrutar and malo.

Spanish tweets are coming almost 50/50 from Mexico and the U.S.

Almost 75 percent of the Spanish tweets were from men, v. a close to 50/50 split for English.

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Startup Converts Plastic To Oil, And Finds A Niche

 submitted by Albert Gomez

      

Daniel Robison/WNED  After being delivered to JBI's Plastic2Oil facility, shredded plastic is melted down in a large tank before being vaporized and formed into fuel. John Bordynuik releases some of the substance to check for quality.

by Daniel Robison - npr.org - March 19, 2012

Only 7 percent of plastic waste in the United States is recycled each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A startup company in Niagara Falls says it can increase that amount and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil at the same time.

It all starts with a machine known as the Plastic-Eating Monster.

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Energyfolks

submitted by Albert Gomez

Energyfolks is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit entity based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

To meet new demand and lift billions out of poverty, global electricity generation must double to 9 terawatts by 2035. Meanwhile, global CO2 must drop from 390ppm to 350ppm to avoid catastrophic climate change, sensitive habitats must be protected to avoid environmental damage, and supplies must be affordable and accessible to maintain geo-political stability.

Energyfolks empowers and connects energy communities worldwide to help solve this great challenge. We reach out to both established and emerging organizations to help them keep their membership engaged and informed by feely providing these groups with customizable tools to manage their website, administer membership, facilitate online discussion, and share and promote events. The eneryfolks platform frees group resources, allowing them to focus their efforts on their core mission and constituency.

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Antimicrobial Resistance in the European Union and the World

Dr Margaret Chan
Director-General of the World Health Organization

The EU’s contributions to the solutions of the global antimicrobial resistance problem Keynote address at the conference on Combating antimicrobial resistance: time for action
Copenhagen, Denmark

14 March 2012

Your Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary, excellencies, distinguished delegates, experts, representatives of regulatory authorities, agencies for disease control, and civil society, ladies and gentlemen,

You are meeting to explore what EU Member States can do to solve what you rightly recognize as a serious, growing, and global threat to health.

Drug-resistant pathogens are notorious globe-trotters. They travel well in infected air passengers and through global trade in food. In addition, the growth of medical tourism has accelerated the international spread of hospital-acquired infections that are frequently resistant to multiple drugs.

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Dwindling Resources Trigger Global Land Rush

       

Caudalosa workers clean up mining tailings in Peru's Opamayo River. - Credit:Milagros Salazar/IPS

by Stephen Leahy - ipsnews.net

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Mar 1, 2012 (IPS) - A global scramble for land and mineral resources fuelled by billions of investment dollars is threatening the last remaining wilderness and critical ecosystems, destroying communities and contaminating huge volumes of fresh water, warned environmental groups in London Wednesday.

No national park, delicate ecosystem or community is off limits in the voracious hunt for valuable metals, minerals and fossil fuels, said the Gaia Foundation’s report, "Opening Pandora's Box". The intensity of the hunt and exploitation is building to a fever pitch despite the fact the Earth is already overheated and humanity is using more than can be sustained, the 56-page report warns.

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An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report: Climate Change and Human Health

Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society - March 15, 2012

Worldwide increases in the incidences of asthma, allergies, infectious and cardiovascular diseases will result from a variety of impacts of global climate change, including rising temperatures, worsening ozone levels in urban areas, the spread of desertification, and expansions of the ranges of communicable diseases as the planet heats up, the professional organization representing respiratory and airway physicians stated in a new position paper released today.

The paper is published online and in print in the Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-03/uoc--lde030912.php

An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report: Climate Change and Human Health

http://pats.atsjournals.org/content/9/1/3.abstract

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