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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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Bill Gates Warns Tens of Millions Could be Killed by Bio-Terrorism

           

Bio-terrorism could kill 30 million people in a year, says Bill Gates

Microsoft founder and philanthropist tells Munich security conference genetic engineering could be terrorist weapon

theguardian.com - Bill Gates / Ewen MacAskill - February 18, 2017

A chilling warning that tens of millions of people could be killed by bio-terrorism was delivered at the Munich security conference by the world’s richest man, Bill Gates

Gates, who has spent much of the last 20 years funding a global health campaign, said: “We ignore the link between health security and international security at our peril.”

Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft who has spent billions in a philanthropic drive to improve health worldwide, said: “The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus ... or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu.”

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CLICK HERE - Munich Security Conference

 

 

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The Mission to Stop Ebola: Lessons for UN Crisis Response

CLICK HERE - International Peace Institute - The Mission to Stop Ebola: Lessons for UN Crisis Response (28 page .PDF report)

reliefweb.int - February 15, 2017
ADAM LUPEL AND MICHAEL SNYDER

Executive Summary

The Ebola epidemic of 2014–2016 was a fastmoving, multidimensional emergency that pre - sented unprecedented challenges for the multi - lateral system. In response to the outbreak, which was spreading exponentially in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established the UN’s first-ever emergency health mission, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). UNMEER was mandated by the UN General Assembly in September 2014 to scale up and coordinate the activities of the UN presence on the ground working to stop the outbreak, which eventually claimed over 11,000 lives.

This report asks: Was UNMEER needed? Was it properly structured? Did it deliver? And what broader lessons can be learned from the experience of UNMEER for UN crisis response?

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Hard to Detect, China Bird Flu Virus May Be More Widespread

           

A quarantine researcher checks on a chicken at a poultry farm in Xiangyang, Hubei province, China, February 3, 2017. Picture taken February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

reuters.com - by Dominique Patton - February 17, 2017

Bird flu infection rates on Chinese poultry farms may be far higher than previously thought, because the strain of the deadly virus that has killed more than 100 people this winter is hard to detect in chickens and geese, animal health experts say.

Poultry that have contracted the H7N9 strain of the avian flu virus show little or no sign of symptoms. That means any infection is only likely to be detected if farmers or health authorities carry out random tests on a flock, the experts said.

But in humans, it can be deadly.

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Ebola 'Super-Spreaders' Cause Most Cases

           

Getty Images

CLICK HERE - PNAS - Spatial and temporal dynamics of superspreading events in the 2014–2015 West Africa Ebola epidemic

bbc.com - by James Gallagher - February 14, 2017

The majority of cases in the world's largest outbreak of Ebola were caused by a tiny handful of patients, research suggests.

The analysis, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows nearly two thirds of cases (61%) were caused by 3% of infected people.

The young and old were more likely to have been "super-spreaders".

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

CLICK HERE - Disease “superspreaders” were driving cause of 2014 Ebola epidemic

CLICK HERE - Superspreaders Drove Ebola Epidemic, Study Finds

 

 

 

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Why Killer Viruses Are On The Rise

       

Once called the "Dutchmen" because of their large noses and large bellies, proboscis monkeys live only in Borneo. Ecosystems that have a lot of diverse animals, like this monkey, also tend to have a lot of diverse viruses.  Charles Ryan

npr.org - by Michaeleen Doucleff and Jane Greenhalgh - February 14, 2017

The next troubling outbreak could come from a rain forest . . . And a big reason why: all the crazy animals that live here.

. . . Wild animals are now refugees. They have no home. So they come live in our backyards. They pee on our crops. Share our parks and playgrounds. Giving their viruses a chance to jump into us and make us sick.

"So it's really the human impact on the environment that's causing these viruses to jump into people," Olival says.

And cause an outbreak? I ask. Or a pandemic, says Olival.

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Greater Transparency Called for in Global Health Security

huffingtonpost.com - by Jonathan D. Quick - February 7, 2017

No More Epidemics is calling on all countries to publish their completed assessments of national capacities to prevent, detect and respond to epidemic threats, known as the Joint External Evaluation (JEE). Ethiopia, Liberia, Peru, Uganda, UK, and the US have openly shared theirs.

Data transparency and accountability are vital to address global health threats. Unless these documents are made public it will be impossible for civil society to either hold governments accountable for their obligations under the International Health Regulations (IHR), or to support governments in their compliance efforts.

More than 55 nations have joined the effort to combat highly infectious disease by signing on to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), and a number of participating countries have undergone the multi-sectoral JEE and developed five-year national country roadmaps to address gaps in health infrastructure and capabilities.

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CLICK HERE - No More Epidemics

CLICK HERE - Global Health Security Agenda - Assessments and JEE

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Grenada's Pledged Greenhouse Gas Reductions to UNFCCC

Grenada's Pledged Greenhouse Gas Reductions to UNFCCC
http://www4.unfccc.int/Submissions/INDC/Published%20Documents/Grenada/1/Grenada%20INDC.pdf

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) as Communicated by Parties
http://resiliencesystem.org/intended-nationally-determined-contributions-indcs-communicated-parties

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Flamanville reactor blast: No nuclear risk, say officials

The two reactors at Flamanville will eventually be joined by a third.

Image: The two reactors at Flamanville will eventually be joined by a third.

bbc.com - February 9th 2017

An explosion and fire have occurred at the Flamanville nuclear plant on France's northern coast but there was no nuclear risk, officials say.

"It is a significant technical event but it is not a nuclear accident," senior local official Olivier Marmion told AFP news agency.

Five people reported feeling unwell but none was seriously injured.

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U.N. Needs $2.1 Billion to Avert Famine in Yemen

           

Girls stand at the entrance to their tent at a camp for internally displaced people in the northwestern city of Saada, Yemen January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Naif Rahma

reuters.com - by Stephanie Nebehay - February 8, 2017

The United Nations said on Wednesday that 12 million people in Yemen faced the threat of famine brought on by two years of civil war and the situation was rapidly deteriorating.

It appealed for $2.1 billion to provide food and other life-saving aid, saying that Yemen's economy and institutions are collapsing and its infrastructure has been devastated.

"If there is no immediate action, and despite the ongoing humanitarian efforts, famine is now a real possibility for 2017. Malnutrition is rife and rising at an alarming rate," U.N. emergency relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien told a news briefing.

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