Health

Shampoo in the water supply triggers growth of deadly drug-resistant bugs
March 29, 2009 12:29 PM - Robin McKie, Guardian, UK

Fabric softeners, disinfectants, shampoos and other household products are spreading drug-resistant bacteria around Britain, scientists have warned. Detergents used in factories and mills are also increasing the odds that some medicines will no longer be able to combat dangerous diseases.

Fireflies and jellyfish help illuminate quest for cause of infertility
March 27, 2009 09:36 AM - University of Edinburgh

Genes taken from fireflies and jellyfish are literally shedding light on possible causes of infertility and autoimmune diseases in humans. Scientists are using the luminescent and florescent genes to illuminate cells that produce a hormone linked to conditions, which include rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

What Might the So-called "Monsanto Bill" Really Do?
March 27, 2009 05:45 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

You may have seen that the internet and blog sites are awash with news about a US bill, Bill HR 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, that some are claiming will outlaw organic farming in the USA.

Networking out of natural disasters
March 26, 2009 11:27 AM - Declan Butler, Nature

Open-source software could transform response to disease outbreaks and natural disasters. "8 cases suspect avian influenza." "3 in second village." "Suspect AI outbreak in Stung Treng." "Close access to village." "Is school open?" "Does anyone have a car?" This stream of text messages was sent by health officials, field scientists, police and local villagers. They were testing a social-networking approach to tackling an outbreak during an influenza pandemic planning exercise in Stung Treng Province, Cambodia, last October

EU pesticide ban 'will harm malaria control'
March 26, 2009 11:13 AM - Sharon Davis, SciDevNet

Hopes of overturning a European Union (EU) pesticides ban that scientists believe could hamper malaria control in developing countries have been dashed. The United Kingdom said last week that it had failed to get support from other EU countries for an assessment of the impact of removing a range of pesticides from use.

Pharmaceuticals found in fish across U.S.
March 25, 2009 11:41 AM - Associated Press

Fish caught near wastewater treatment plants serving five major U.S. cities had residues of pharmaceuticals in them, including medicines used to treat high cholesterol, allergies, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder and depression, researchers reported Wednesday.

EPA finds greenhouse gases endanger health
March 24, 2009 10:21 AM - Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that climate-warming greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, pose a danger to human health and welfare, a White House website showed on Monday.

The Hidden Link Between Factory Farms and Human Illness
February 18, 2009 09:41 AM - Organic Consumers Association

You may be familiar with many of the problems associated with concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. These "factory farm" operations are often criticized for the smell and water pollution caused by all that concentrated manure; the unnatural, grain-heavy diets the animals consume; and the stressful, unhealthy conditions in which the animals live. You may not be aware, however, of the threat such facilities hold for you and your family’s health — even if you never buy any of the meat produced in this manner.

Climate Change May Alter Malaria Patterns
February 17, 2009 08:51 AM - Penn State

Temperature is an important factor in the spread of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases, but researchers who look at average monthly or annual temperatures are not seeing the whole picture. Global climate change will affect daily temperature variations, which can have a more pronounced effect on parasite development, according to a Penn State entomologist. "We need higher resolution environmental and biological data to understand how climate change will affect the spread of the malaria parasite," says Matthew Thomas, professor of entomology. "We need to understand temperature from the point of view of the mosquito."

Farming Chemicals Cause Kidney Failure for Workers in Nicaragua
February 16, 2009 08:53 AM - Organic Consumers Association

More than 3,000 workers at a sugar plant owned by Nicaragua's most powerful company have died from chronic renal failure since 1990 and a victims' group says another 5,000 workers have since developed the condition for the company´s use of agrochemicals. The San Antonio Refinery is owned by the Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited, a part of Grupo Pellas, which produces Flor de Caña rum as well as ethanol and runs an electricity generator in Chichigalpa in the northern León department.

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