infectious designer

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Smart Solution To Stop Needle Reuse Wins Design Impact Award

Healthcare providers reusing unsterilized syringes and needles cause more than 1.3 million infections around the world every year, according to the World Health Organization. Ignorance of the dangers and a lack of supplies means that the average syringe is reused four times in the developing world, says advocacy and education charity Safepoint

The problem, which spreads bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis and AIDS HIV (h/t and good catch to sexeducationforprudes), led healthcare designer David Swann and his team at the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom to come up with a simple and cheap visual aid. 

They created a syringe coated with a color-changing dye that turns red when exposed to carbon dioxide. The so-called A Behavior-Changing (ABC) syringe is stored in a nitrogen-filled pack and starts changing color only when the pack is punctured or the syringe is removed. Read more below and see the video.

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“It is a shame that we lose those exceptional female scientists that give up at junior levels way before achieving their full potential as a senior scientist. It is really exciting to see that there is this push to change attitudes and add the tokenistic female on a board or to mandate a minimum number of females to be recruited to senior ranks but I see these as very superficial solutions to archaic rigidity. I would restructure the entrenched patriarchal frameworks within academia and research to enable a fairer trajectory for females.”

Dr. Fatima El-Assaad is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UNSW Australia who focuses on infection and immunity.  She graduated with First Class Honours in Medical Science in 2013 for her research into brain injury in malaria.  Her work was the first demonstration that plasma microparticles previously thought to be inert are active contributors to microvascular lesions that cause brain injury in malaria.  Now at UNSW, she is developing biomarker tests for the early detection of infectious diseases and designing new-targeted treatments that could revolutionize personalized medicine.  She is also a mentor for the UNSW Science 50:50 initiative, working to inspire women to consider STEM careers.

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A Better Business Suit For Epidemics

by Michael Keller

Here’s an idea for a better business suit, if your business is fighting ebola or other deadly infectious disease outbreaks.

The suit’s designers, a team from Johns Hopkins University, say they built it to better protect healthcare workers from coming in contact with disease-carrying body fluids. It will also allow providers to work longer without needing to remove the garment by keeping them cooler and more comfortable.

Major problems have surfaced in emergency responders’ personal protective equipment since the world started mobilizing against the spread of ebola, which has so far infected more than 18,600 people and killed 6,900. According to the World Health Organization, 649 healthcare workers were known to have become infected with the virus as of Dec. 14. Of those, 365 have died.

Learn more and see a graphic showing the suit’s improvements below.

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Beyond Black Mesa

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A month ago Infectious Designer showed us a picture about Half-Life: Origins, a new independent short starring Gordon Freeman. Well today is the day and the film has been released! And it is… amazing