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'Wi-fi Refugees' Shelter in West Virginia Mountains

BBC News - September 12, 2011


Nichols Fox lives alone in a home powered primarily by gas just outside the Quiet Zone

Dozens of Americans who claim to have been made ill by wi-fi and mobile phones have flocked to the town of Green Bank, West Virginia

There are five billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide and advances in wireless technology make it increasingly difficult to escape the influence of mobile devices. But while most Americans seem to embrace continuous connectivity, some believe it's making them physically ill.

Diane Schou is unable to hold back the tears as she describes how she once lived in a shielded cage to protect her from the electromagnetic radiation caused by waves from wireless communication.

"It's a horrible thing to have to be a prisoner," she says. "You become a technological leper because you can't be around people.

"It's not that you would be contagious to them - it's what they're carrying that is harmful to you."

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Explosion at French Nuclear Waste Plant

The Guardian - September 12, 2011


Rescue workers and medics land by helicopter at the Marcoule nuclear site, in France. Photograph: Claude Paris/AP

An explosion at a French nuclear waste processing plant that killed one person and injured four others sparked fears of a radioactive leak on Monday.

An emergency safety cordon was thrown around the Marcoule nuclear site near Nimes in the south of France immediately after a furnace used to melt nuclear waste exploded and caused a fire. It was lifted later in the day after France's nuclear safety agency, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), said there was no danger to the public.

Reports said the body of one male worker at the plant had been "found carbonised", but there was no evidence that the explosion had caused any radioactive leak, though the ASN admitted there was the "possibility of a leak of low-level radioactivity, but no shooting of radioactivity in the air". There was no information as to the cause of the explosion.

The accident came just a week after the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, bucked the anti-nuclear trend following Japan's Fukushima disaster and pledged €1bn (£860m) of new investment in atomic power.

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When Capitalism Converges With Resilience

It is hard to argue against that fact that the U.S. and even "Communist" China, for that matter, have great influence in global markets and on health and human security -- for their own people as well as human populations world-wide. The power of capital within global, regional, national, and local markets has been transforming the world since the growth of the industrial revolution, which has only accelerated since the broad introduction of global communication and computing in the 20th century. That said, there has been growing criticism of the destructive nature of market fundamentalism and laissez faire economics in the face of a growing awareness of ecosystem carrying capacities, and the problems inherent in growth economies in decline.  So what happens when capitalists become aware of the destructive nature of growth economies, where populations are exceeding the carrying capacities of ecosystems and mass consumption economies begin to collapse?

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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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Anti-Infectives and Antimicrobials Review and Outlook 2011

submitted by Albert Gomez - July 2011

Steady Growth Anticipated

The global market for anti-infective drugs is anticipated to exceed $100 billion by 2015, driven by significant unmet needs, growing patient populations, better diagnostics, and innovative new drugs. Because viruses mutate rapidly and acquire drug resistance, the antiviral pipeline needs to be continuously replenished with better treatments. 

Six infectious diseases account for half of all premature deaths worldwide: pneumonia, tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, malaria, measles, and HIV/AIDS. Antimicrobials have been the standard for treating infectious diseases for more than 70 years and have greatly reduced illness and death from such diseases.

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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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Video - Somalia is 'World's Worst Humanitarian Disaster'

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Fears of 'Death on an Epic Scale' in Somalia Crisis - July 14, 2011

An aid worker in Somalia, the centre of the East Africa drought crisis which has hit 12m people, tells Channel 4 News he fears "death on an epic, unimaginable scale" if more is not done.

Jens Opperman, the head of charity Action Against Hunger in Somalia, said the situation is deterioriating and will continue to do so unless there is a significant increase in international support.

"We are witnessing unimaginable human suffering," he told Channel 4 News.

The Horn of Africa's worst drought in 60 years has hit people across Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. It has caused perhaps the most serious emergency in Somalia, where hundreds of thousands have become displaced as they desperately seek food and water.

Mr Opperman estimated that 2.8m people in Somalia are in urgent need of life-saving humanitarian assistance. He estimated that one in three children is currently on the brink of starvation.

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Traces of Radiation Found in 2 Whales Off Japan

submitted by Luis Kun

by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press - June 15, 2011

In this Monday, June 13, 2011 photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co., a machine collects radioactive substances in the air for sampling at the Unit 3 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese whalers caught two animals along the northern coast that had traces of radiation, presumably from leaks at a damaged nuclear power plant, officials said Wednesday.

Two of 17 minke whales caught off the Pacific coast of Hokkaido showed traces of radioactive cesium, both about one-twentieth of the legal limit, fisheries officials said.

They are the first whales thought to have been affected by radiation leaked from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant since it was hit by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

"The levels are far below the limit, and the meat from the catch is safe for consumption," Fisheries Agency official Kosei Takekoshi said.

Infographic - We Can End Malaria

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