Lifestyle

J-PAL course in Nigeria promotes science-based approach in poverty fight
November 11, 2007 10:37 PM -

MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is technically located in Building E60 on the edge of east campus. But J-PAL's real laboratory is a primary school in a sub-Saharan African town, a household kitchen in a home in rural India, an unemployment line in a suburb of Paris-anywhere antipoverty programs are necessary to improve a population's health and well-being.

J-PAL is dedicated to fighting poverty by ensuring that policy decisions are based on scientific evidence. As part of that effort, J-PAL undertakes, promotes the use of and disseminates the results of randomized evaluations of poverty-alleviating programs.

HIV Vaccine Target Could Solve Mutation Problem
November 11, 2007 10:17 PM - UC Newswire

Researchers at UCSF and the University of Toronto have identified a potential new way of fighting against HIV infection that relies on the remnants of ancient viruses, human endogenous retroviruses (HERV), which have become part of the genome of every human cell.

 

Mounting evidence suggests that HIV infection could enable HERV expression by disrupting the normal controls that keep HERV in check. In some HIV-infected individuals, infection fighting T-cells are able to target HERV expressing cells.

Researchers believe that their findings, published in the Nov. 9, 2007 issue of the journal PLoS Pathogens, could lead to a vaccine targeting HERV that kills HIV-infected cells.

 

 

 

 

Drug-resistant bacteria found to trick immune system
November 11, 2007 10:06 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Drug-resistant bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, may be able to first lure and then destroy immune system cells when they are the most vulnerable, researchers said on Sunday.

The study may help explain why MRSA spread outside of hospitals are harder to fight and seem to be spreading more easily.

But the findings may also lead to new and better antibiotics to fight the bacteria, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Medicine.

Rich urged to bear climate change costs
November 11, 2007 09:57 PM - By Jeremy Lovell, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - The rich caused the problem and must therefore pay the price of fixing the global climate change crisis, a new report said on Monday.

Christian Aid, an agency of British and Irish churches, said industrialized nations were historically responsible and therefore morally liable to foot the multi-billion dollar cost of tackling the problem of man-made emissions of carbon gases.

"Nations that have grown rich in part by polluting without facing the costs of doing so must now repay their carbon debt to the developing world," said Andrew Pendleton, author of "Truly Inconvenient - tackling poverty and climate change at once."

Remnant of Yellowstone volcano rising: study
November 10, 2007 06:49 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A big blob of molten rock appears to be pushing up remnants of an ancient volcano in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, scientists reported on Friday.

They say no volcanic explosion is imminent -- that already happened 642,000 years ago, creating the volcanic crater known as a caldera where part of Yellowstone Lake sits.

But satellite readings show just how volcanically active the area remains, the researchers reported in the journal Science.

Click a mouse, feed a mouth in U.N. campaign
November 10, 2007 06:14 PM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - A food-linked word game put on the Internet a month ago has proved a runaway success and has already generated enough rice to feed 50,000 people, the United Nations World Food Programme said on Friday.

FreeRice offers participants multiple choice definitions to the meaning of a word, with each correct click generating 10 grains of rice for the WFP.

The brainchild of American online fundraising pioneer John Breen, the Web site (www.freerice.com) relies on advertising revenue to underwrite its rice campaign.

AIDS vaccines experts confused and dismayed
November 10, 2007 06:04 PM - By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor - Analysis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AIDS vaccine researchers are worried about the future of their field after learning an experimental HIV vaccine not only does not work, but just might make recipients more susceptible to infection with the AIDS virus.

They are worried about their volunteers and the future of AIDS vaccines in general. And they are worried because they cannot understand how a vaccine would make a person more vulnerable.

Researchers from Merck & Co. (MRK.N: Quote, Profile, Research), which makes the vaccine, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is helping develop it, said on Wednesday they believe a type of common cold virus used as the basis of the vaccine may somehow have made their volunteers more susceptible to HIV.

U.N.'s Ban says global warming is "an emergency"
November 10, 2007 06:00 PM - Juan Jose Lagorio, Reuters

EDUARDO FREI BASE, Antarctica (Reuters) - With prehistoric Antarctic ice sheets melting beneath his feet, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for urgent political action to tackle global warming.

The Antarctic Peninsula has warmed faster than anywhere else on Earth in the last 50 years, making the continent a fitting destination for Ban, who has made climate change a priority since he took office earlier this year.

"I need a political answer. This is an emergency and for emergency situations we need emergency action," he said during a visit to three scientific bases on the barren continent, where temperatures are their highest in about 1,800 years.

Schwarzenegger declares Bay oil spill emergency
November 10, 2007 05:53 PM - Reuters

San Francisco, California - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared the oil spill in San Francisco Bay an emergency on Friday as workers intensified clean-up efforts and part of a popular weekend race was canceled.

Schwarzenegger visited the region and pledged all possible resources for cleaning up a container ship's fuel spill after it struck the Bay Bridge in thick fog on Wednesday.

More than 200 workers and officials were cleaning up the fuel that leaked after the Cosco Busan container ship hit a base of the Bay Bridge near Treasure Island. The Coast Guard expected the clean-up force to double on Saturday.

Dieting hardest for emotional eaters: study
November 9, 2007 12:51 PM - Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Emotional eaters -- people who eat when they are lonely or blue -- tend to lose the least amount of weight and have the hardest time keeping it off, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

They said the study may explain why so many people who lose weight gain it all back. "We found that the more people report eating in response to thoughts and feelings, the less weight they lost," Heather Niemeier, an obesity researcher at The Miriam Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, said in a statement.

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