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Testing for Zika Virus: There's an App for That

           

Sandia National Laboratories chemical engineer and lead paper author Aashish Priye offers a view into the Zika box prototype, along with co-authors Sara Bird, a virologist, center, and a biomedical engineer.  Credit: Randy Wong

CLICK HERE - Scientific Reports - A smartphone-based diagnostic platform for rapid detection of Zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses

sciencedaily.com - DOE/Sandia National Laboratories - March 20, 2017 - 

Prototype dramatically cuts cost, time for detection of mosquito-borne illness

Add rapid, mobile testing for Zika and other viruses to the list of things that smartphone technology is making possible. Researchers have developed a smartphone-controlled, battery-operated diagnostic device that weighs under a pound, costs as little as $100 and can detect Zika, dengue and chikungunya within 30 minutes.

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African Strain of Zika Kills Placenta Cells in Days

futurity.org - University of Missouri - posted by Jeff Sossamon - March 9, 2017

CLICK HERE - STUDY - PNAS - Vulnerability of primitive human placental trophoblast to Zika virus

Infection of pregnant women by the Asian strain of Zika virus has been linked to brain abnormalities such as microcephaly in their infants. It’s not clear, however, at what stage of pregnancy the human fetus is most susceptible to the disease.

A new study shows the human fetus may be most vulnerable to Zika infection very early in pregnancy. In addition, the lesser-known African strain of Zika might possibly cause nearly immediate death of the placenta.

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Why Global Warming Could Lead to a Rise of 100,000 Diabetes Cases a Year in the U.S.

           

Global warming could result in more cases of diabetes around the world, a new study suggests. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care - Diabetes incidence and glucose intolerance prevalence increase with higher outdoor temperature

latimes.com - by Karen Kaplan - March 20, 2017

If the average temperature rises by 1 degree Celsius, sea levels will rise, crop yields will fall and vulnerable species will see their habitat shrink or disappear.

And, a new study suggests, the number of American adults suffering from diabetes would rise by more than 100,000 a year.

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CLICK HERE - Is there a link between climate change and diabetes?

CLICK HERE - Rise in diabetes and NCDs linked to climate change

 

 

 

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A Warming Climate Will Make It Harder to Stay Healthy

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Climate Change is Making Us Sick, Top U.S. Doctors Say

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Medical Alert - Climate Change Is Harming Our Health (26 page .PDF report)

usatoday.com - by Doyle Rice - March 15, 2017

From increases in deadly diseases to choking air pollution and onslaughts of violent weather, man-made climate change is making Americans sicker, according to a report released Wednesday by 11 of the nation's top medical societies.

The report was prepared by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, a new group that represents more than 400,000 doctors, who make up more than half of all U.S. physicians.

“Doctors in every part of our country see that climate change is making Americans sicker,” said Mona Sarfaty, the director of the new consortium and a professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

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ALSO SEE IMPORTANT RELATED INFORMATION WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

CLICK HERE - Press Release - Nation's physicians act against climate change; it's making patients sick

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What Happens If a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off in Manhattan?

Manhatten skyline. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Image: Manhatten skyline. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

theatlantic.com - March 15th 2017 - Kaveh Waddell

On a quiet afternoon, two medium-sized nuclear blasts level portions of Manhattan.

If this were a movie, hordes of panicked New Yorkers would pour out into the streets, running around and calling out for their loved ones. But reality doesn’t usually line up with Hollywood’s vision of a disaster scene, says William Kennedy, a professor in the Center for Social Complexity at George Mason University. 

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As Solar Booms, Utilities Look to Build New Business Models With Strategic Investments

           

Image credit: Flickr user 10 10

utilitydive.com - by Herman K. Trabish - March 14, 2017

Beyond simply contracting for solar, utilities are increasingly investing in the sector to ‘position themselves to be the utility of the future'

Solar energy is becoming a generation resource so ubiquitous that utilities are looking beyond simply contracting for new capacity and are increasingly moving into the sector themselves.

Solar added a record-breaking 14,762 MW of capacity in 2016, nearly doubling its 2015 growth. The resource added 39% of all new U.S. generation capacity in the year, making it the leader among all resources for the first time.

Growth was dominated by utility investment in 2016, a trend that’s expected to continue, according to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research.

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Sperm Donated in Florida May Contain Zika, CDC Says

CLICK HERE - CDC identifies potential risk of Zika virus transmission since June 15, 2016, in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties

cnn.com - by Debra Goldschmidt - March 13, 2017

Sperm donated in three Florida counties since June 15 may be infected with the Zika virus, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned Monday.

"When semen is donated it can be stored frozen for periods of time. It does not necessarily inactivate Zika, so it could be stored in tissue banks, used subsequently and people should be made aware," said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the US Food and Drug Administration. He went on to say having this information can help individuals make informed decisions and they "might want to use these donations from other sources."

Sources other than the 12 sperm banks in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties of Florida, that is.

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UN: World Facing Greatest Humanitarian Crisis Since 1945

           

The world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, the United Nations says, issuing a plea for help to avoid "a catastrophe", BBC News reports.

CLICK HERE - UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR, STEPHEN O’BRIEN - STATEMENT TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON MISSIONS TO YEMEN, SOUTH SUDAN, SOMALIA AND KENYA AND AN UPDATE ON THE OSLO CONFERENCE ON NIGERIA AND THE LAKE CHAD REGION - March 10, 2017 (6 page .PDF file)

bbc.com - March 11, 2017

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said that more than 20 million people faced the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria.

Unicef has already warned 1.4m children could starve to death this year.

Mr O'Brien said $4.4bn (£3.6bn) was needed by July to avert disaster.

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Shell Sells Oil Sands Assets as Boss Warns on Clean Energy Challenge

           

An excavator at the Athabasca project near Fort McMurray in Alberta. Shell has cut its interest in the project as part of a retreat from tar sands. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Carbon-heavy assets offloaded for $8.5bn as company ties 10% of directors’ bonuses to how well it manages emissions

theguardian.com - March 9, 2017

Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell most of its carbon-heavy Canadian oil sands assets for $8.5bn (£7bn) as the chief executive warned that the industry risked losing public support without progress towards cleaner energy.

The world’s second largest publicly-traded oil company plans to increase its investment in renewable energy to $1bn (£800m) a year by the end of the decade, Ben van Beurden said on Thursday, although it is still a small part of its total annual spending of $25bn (£20.5bn). 

Shell also said that 10% of directors’ bonuses would be tied to how well it manages greenhouse gas emissions in refining, chemical and upstream operations.

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