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Mobile Phone Keeps Tabs on Malaria

submitted by Albert Gomez - July 28, 2011

A Gates Foundation grant will help an Israeli scientist further develop his cell-phone imaging system for diagnosing and staging the serious African disease.


Mosquitoes carry Malaria, a disease that is now the second-leading cause of death in Africa.

A simple mobile-phone imaging system developed in Israel for diagnosing and monitoring malaria has won its developers a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The grant is shared by biomedical engineer Dr. Alberto Bilenca of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and his research partner, Dr. Linnie Golightly of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

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Software Uses Twitter To Track Dengue Outbreaks In Brazil

submitted by Mary Suzanne Kivlighan

Kaiser Family Foundation - July 19, 2011

The New Scientist reports on a software program that is being used "to identify a high correlation between the time and place where people tweet they have dengue and the official statistics for where the disease appears each season."

Researchers at two Brazilian National Institutes of Science and Technology worked together to create the software, which filters tweets containing the word "dengue" and user location details. "Dengue outbreaks occur every year in Brazil, but exactly where varies every season. It can take weeks for medical notifications to be centrally analyzed, creating a headache for health authorities planning where to concentrate resources," the publication notes. Using Twitter could speed up response time, according to Wagner Meira, a computer scientist at the Federal University of Minus Gerais who led the study (Corbyn, 7/18).

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UN: 3.5 Million Pakistani Children at Risk for Waterborne Diseases

The United Nations says 3.5 million children in Pakistan are at risk from waterborne diseases, warning of a "second wave of death" from the country's devastating floods. U.N. humanitarian spokesman Maurizio Giuliano said Monday as many as six million people face the risk of contracting diarrhea and dysentery if donors do not provide more aid. Sluggish response The U.N. has launched an appeal for $460 million, but charities say the response has been sluggish, with only about 27 percent of the goal being met so far. Hundreds of angry flood victims blocked a highway outside Sukkur in southern Sindh province Monday, demanding government assistance. The protesters held up traffic as they called for food and shelter. Three weeks of monsoon rains have triggered Pakistan's worst flooding, with an estimated 1,600 people killed and 20 million affected in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces. More flooding likely On Monday, authorities said a new wave of flooding was likely along the Indus River in Punjab and Sindh. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to Pakistan on Sunday and said the flooding was the worst natural disaster he has ever seen. He urged international donors to speed up aid. Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Monday called the international response to the disaster lamentable.


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