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Thousands Of Bacteria-Infected Mosquitoes Released To Fight Zika & Other Viruses

           

miami.cbslocal.com - April 18, 2017

On Tuesday, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District released 20,000 male mosquitoes infected by the Kentucky-based company MosquitoMate with naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria.

The offspring produced when the lab-bred mosquitoes mate with wild female mosquitoes won’t survive to adulthood. Male mosquitoes don’t bite, and Wolbachia is not harmful to humans.

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New CRISPR Tool Can Detect Tiny Amounts of Viruses

The Cas13a enzyme causes collateral RNA damage that is the heart of a new diagnostic system, SHERLOCK, that can detect minute quantities of virus and much more.  Broad Institute

CLICK HERE - Nucleic acid detection with CRISPR-Cas13a/C2c2

sciencemag.org - by Jon Cohen - April 13, 2017

 . . . That’s the realm of SHERLOCK, a new diagnostic system that can detect attomolar levels of viruses in a sample and also distinguish Zika from its close relative, dengue. This exquisitely sensitive and specific tool promises to help detect diseases that other diagnostics miss, and it’s simple and cheap to use. Sexier still, it exploits a variation of CRISPR, the genome-editing method that has become the rage in biology.

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Compassion and Resilience in Haiti

Southern Haiti after Hurricane Matthew–October, 2016
(Photo by John Carroll)

blogs.pjstar.com - by John Carroll, MD - March 31, 2017

The Gallup Poll recently reported that “even before Hurricane Matthew ravaged Southern Haiti in late 2016, the small Caribbean nation was already in deep distress, with more than four in 10 Haitians (43%) rating their lives poorly enough to be considered suffering”. The only country suffering more than Haiti in the world is South Sudan where famine already has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, and 1 million people there are on the brink of dying from a lack of food. Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti last October; according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the storm left nearly 140,000 Haitians homeless . . .

 . . . The hurricane took the people’s lives, homes, chickens, goats, crops, trees, schools, and churches. They had little food and water. They had no money. What was left? . . . 

 . . . a plea for us to find humanity again.  With compassion, followed by action, we would create resilient societies which care for one another.

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Rising Humanitarian Needs Call for a New Way of Working

           

portland-communications.com - by Stephen O'Brien - March 14, 2017

Today, a record 135 million people across 35 countries need humanitarian aid to survive. The scale of humanitarian suffering continues to grow exponentially as complex, inter-connected conflicts last for years without resolution, and protracted natural disasters, compounded by climate change, throw vulnerable people into a state of perpetual crisis.

This year a complex combination of human-made and environmental factors has put a staggering 20 million people in four countries alone – Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen – at risk of famine.  To provide sustainable solutions to saving lives and building resilience in these countries and globally, the international community needs to shift its approach by putting vulnerability reduction at the centre of our collaboration.

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Coastal Resilience - Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines

coastalresilience.org

Nature holds some of the world’s best and most practical solutions to climate change, solutions that keep nature and people healthy, safe, and secure.

The goal of this project is to work alongside the governments and communities of small island states to enhance their resilience to climate change by protecting, restoring, and managing marine and coastal ecosystems and strengthening local capacity for adaptation.

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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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Will a New Glass Battery Accelerate the End of Oil?

John Goodenough, coinventor of the lithium-ion battery, heads a team of researchers developing the technology that could one day supplant it.  Photo: Cockrell School of Engineering

spectrum.ieee.org - by Mark Anderson - March 3, 2017

Electric car purchases have been on the rise lately, posting an estimated 60 percent growth rate last year. They’re poised for rapid adoption by 2022, when EVs are projected to cost the same as internal combustion cars. However, these estimates all presume the incumbent lithium-ion battery remains the go-to EV power source. So, when researchers this week at the University of Texas at Austin unveiled a new, promising lithium- or sodium-glass battery technology, it threatened to accelerate even rosy projections for battery-powered cars.

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Evaptainers - Evaporative Cooling - Refrigeration Solutions for Developing Markets

Evaptainers are electricity-free mobile refrigeration units which run at low-cost. Utilizing the phenomenon of evaporative cooling, rather than more energy-intensive vapor compression refrigeration, they are ideal for use in off-grid rural areas with low relative humidity.

Evaporative cooling has been employed successfully for centuries in products like the Zeer Pot. Proven to be effective for agricultural use, these products have been known to triple or quadruple the shelf-life of most produce. The company has taken these inventions and upgraded them for modern and commercial use. Using state-of-the art materials and improved design, they have created more effective, more durable, easier to use, mass-producible units. The units reach the same thermal efficiency as the Zeer Pot and have extended storage times of fresh food from days to weeks in pilot program tests.

The Evaptainer has a wide range of applicability and potential markets given the current post-harvest food spoilage levels in developing markets.

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FarmBot Genesis - Humanity’s First Open-Source CNC Farming Machine

FarmBot Genesis is humanity's first open-source CNC farming machine designed for at-home automated food production.

CLICK HERE - FarmBot Genesis

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Scientists Develop New Antibiotic in Fight Against MRSA

           

Researchers have created a new antibiotic from bacteria found on a Kenyan plant-ant that shows promise in combating antibiotic resistance. Pictured, a Kenyan whistling thorn tree, where the ant species is found. Photo by Chr. Kooyman/Wikimedia Commons

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Chemical Science - Formicamycins, antibacterial polyketides produced by Streptomyces formicae isolated from African Tetraponera plant-ants

Bacteria found on Kenyan ant used to create new antibiotic strong enough to combat antibiotic resistance.

upi.com - by Amy Wallace - February 15, 2017

Researchers at the University of East Anglia in England have developed a new antibiotic from a bacterium found on a species of African ant that shows potential in fighting MRSA.

UEA scientists, along with researchers from the John Innes Center, have identified a new member of the Streptomyces bacteria family from the African fungus-growing plant-ant Tetraponera penzigi. The new bacterium was named Streptomyces formicae and the antibiotic is formicamycins.

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