malaria!

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Here’s a foreboding Forensic Story.

The “Malaria Kills” flyer is in a cabinet which presumably contained quinine at some point. Now there are only a few vials left, and they’re all empty.

I imagine malaria-stricken skippers gulping down quinine without refilling the vials; the jungle equivalent of putting an empty milk jug back in the fridge.

There’s a mosquito net maker in Africa. He manufactures around 500 nets a week. He employs ten people, who (as with many African countries) each have to support upwards of fifteen relatives. However hard they work, they can’t make enough nets to combat malaria-carrying mosquito.
Enter vociferous Hollywood movie star who rallies the masses, and goads Western governments to collect and send 100,000 mosquito nets to the afflicted region, at a cost of a million dollars. The nets arrive, the nets are distributed, and the ‘good deed’ is done.
With the market flooded with foreign nets, however, our mosquito net maker is promptly put out of business. His ten workers can no longer support their 150 dependents (who are now forced to depend on handouts), and one mustn’t forget that in a maximum of five years the majority of the imported nets will be torn, damaged and of no further use.
This is the micro-marco paradox…
—  Dambisa Moyo, and excerpt from Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa

Tu Youyou (1930 - ): Malaria’s Nemesis

In the 60s and 70s, China found itself in a precarious position: at war with Vietnam and the US, going through massive societal upheaval due to the Cultural Revolution, and, on top of that, ravaged by malaria.

To combat the spread of malaria, Mao Zedong formed a secret military group, nicknamed 523 for its starting date of May 23, to scour through tomes of ancient Chinese remedies in search of a cure for malaria. The task largely fell to Tu Youyou, a medical researcher in an era where scientists were unpopular at large. She labored over 2,000 potential remedies before, in 1977, finally hitting on an effective one: artemisinin, derived from sweet wormwood. After some false starts, the remedy was found to be effective in rats and monkeys. In need of an initial human subject, Tu volunteered herself.

“As head of this research group, I had the responsibility,” she said. “It is scientists’ responsibility to continue fighting for the healthcare of all humans.”

To date, this remedy remains humanity’s most effective weapon against malaria.

Unfortunately, Tu remained in obscurity, despite her herculean efforts. Her findings were published anonymously, and it was not until 2005, when a visiting researcher asked who had actually discovered artemisinin, that her name came to light – and even that required no small amount of research on the part of the medical community. A 2007 interview showed her living in poor conditions, working out of an old apartment building with intermittent heating problems. She only owned two electronic appliances: a telephone and a refrigerator (which she used to store herb samples).

She was recognized with the prestigious Lasker prize in 2011 for her efforts in fighting malaria. Upon receiving it, she remarked that she was grateful, but “I feel more reward when I see so many patients cured.”

Sources: Wikipedia, Lasker Foundation, New Scientist

(thanks to vickadididididi for sending this in!)

Scientists have made a malaria vaccine that is 100% effective

A new study has raised cautious optimism that an effective vaccine might finally become available… The vaccine — called PfSPZ because it is made from sporozoites (SPZ), a stage in the life cycle of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) — uses a weakened form of the whole parasite to invoke an immune response… The trial now needs to be repeated and extended in regions where malaria is rampant to test whether it provides protection against different strains of the parasite.

vimeo

THIS IS THE. RADDEST. FUCKING. WAY. TO EVER PRESENT A COMIC.

MALARIA tells the story of Fabiano, a young Mercenary who is hired to kill Death.
This short film combines Origami, Kirigami, Time lapse, nankin illustration, Comic Books and Western Cinema.
My first intention was to submit this project to Django Unchained Emerging Artist contest, but 6 months later we finally finished Malaria. We hope you enjoy it!

Edson Oda, you are my hero. 

Approval sought for world’s 1st malaria vaccine

BBC News: GlaxoSmithKline is seeking regulatory approval for the world’s first vaccine against malaria, after promising trial data showed that it cut cases of the often-fatal disease in African children.

The company has been developing the vaccine for 3 decades and plans to submit a regulatory application to the European Medicines Agency.

Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Photo: Malaria infected mosquitoes (AFP)

Directioners, I ask you to take one moment from your scrolling and please read this. We have the opportunity to change several lives.

I’ll try to make this short and sweet. I, as well as many others of you, have been impacted by these 5 boys. They showed that ONE is significant. Without any single one of them, the band would not be where they are today. They would not be One Direction. Without all the millions of “ONE”s voting for them on the X Factor, tweeting, and buying their songs, they would not be where they are today and all the wonderful effects of their music would not have taken place.

They taught us that when ONEs come together, anything can happen. They taught me to dream big because ONE is important.

And so I have. I’m dreaming big and putting this before you: PROJECT ONE.

What are we gonna do?

Raise $1.7 million dollars.

A few nights ago it occurred to me how much potential comes together under the roof of a concert. Several thousands of people all under one roof. Anything could happen even if each person just gave one dollar.

 At my show alone, there will be 80,000 people in the crowds. So I got curious and did the math at what the seating capacity for all the stadiums/dates on the North America leg of the WWA tour would be. The results? 1,709,269. Not including unaccounted for floor seating. THAT IS ALMOST TWO MILLION PEOPLE

How are we gonna do that?!

Giving $1.

Let’s say each of these 1.7 million people scrounged up $1. Simple math, we’d have $1.7 MILLION DOLLARS. It seems like a lot of money, but all it would take is all of us going to the Where We Are Tour to just give ONE dollar. 

What’s the money for?

Mosquito nets.

I’m sure we’ve all seen the boys videos that were in partner with Comic Relief where they went to Africa and first hand saw the effects Malaria can cause. Thanks to Red Nose Day, the boys were able to help raise tons of money thanks to us donating and texting in. But I want to keep on going. I want everyone to be involved. 

After doing some research, I discovered that there is a simple prevention method to Malaria. Mosquito nets. Each Mosquito Net costs $10 to purchase and deliver to Africa.

How many mosquito nets can we buy?

Assuming the minimum funds we get is $1 per concert attendee we are back at $1.7 million. Divided by 10, that’s 170,926! That’s more than enough to cover not just one, but SEVERAL communities in Africa!

THAT’S THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF LIVES SAVED. 

All because WE, (every ONE) of us, decided to make this tour make an impact and show those boys they taught us to make a difference and follow your dreams.

HOW CAN I HELP?

This project needs to be talked about. Tumblr’d about. Tweeted about. Let’s get the boys to know what we are trying to do! Practically, we will need booths and donation set ups at each of the tour dates and we would have to work with the tour agency to get this to happen. 

They may not listen to one of my phone calls. But they WILL listen to every single ONE of us working together to make this happen. 

Let’s SIGNAL BOOST this like CRAZY! We still have several months before the North America leg of the tour. Let’s use them to our advantage!

The official hashtag is #ProjectOneWWA

Send this link to your friends. REBLOG THIS POST. SPREAD THE WORD!!

I know that if any fandom can do this, it’s ours. We helped the boys get where they are because of social media, let’s help them go even further!! Please, please, please help this project see the light of day. I know we can make a change.

Even if you aren’t a Directioner, let’s help make a difference in this world because it’s the right thing to do. Lives are at stake.

Thanks for your time!!

Bill Gates: We Need Mosquito Week More Than Shark Week

This week over at my blog, TheGatesNotes, we’re hosting Mosquito Week. It’s modeled on the Discovery Channel’s annual fear-fest, Shark Week. But compared to mosquitoes, sharks are wimps. 


In fact, when it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close.”

Read more from Bill Gates at mashable.

In London, An Underground Home For The World’s Mosquitoes

You can’t hear it over the noise of London’s traffic. But it’s there. That faint, whining hum. Right under my feet, thousands of mosquitoes are dining on human blood.

To visit them, you have to go through a sliding glass door into the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This school started as a hospital on the Thames River, where doctors treated sailors returning from faraway places with strange parasites.

Today, the building holds countless exotic diseases that you hope you’ll never catch. The mosquitoes carry just a few of them, and their keeper is an entomologist named Dr. James Logan.

To get to them, you have to go underground, then through two sets of doors and a net, and into the restricted access room.

“We don’t want any mosquitoes to escape onto the streets of London, obviously, because we’ve got tropical mosquitoes here,” says Logan.

On the side of the net with the mosquitoes, it feels like the worst kind of August afternoon. Humid, hot and still — just the way mosquitoes like it. We’re in low caverns that were built almost 100 years ago, and we have to duck so we don’t hit our heads.

“Luckily we have quite short people who work in our insectaries,” Logan says. “But these rooms are part of the vaults of the building. At one time during [World War II], for example, they were used as shelters.”

Clear plastic boxes line the walls, each one holding hundreds of mosquitoes. Some are from Pakistan, others from Tanzania. There are mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus and dengue fever.

The really dangerous ones live in a different room, though. When you jostle a box, the mosquitoes go crazy, hungry for blood.

Continue reading.

Photo: Dr. James Logan, an entomologist, studies mosquitoes from around the world in an effort to make them less dangerous. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine keeps them in a cavern beneath the streets of London. The bowls contain mosquito larvae in water, while the boxes are where the adults live. (Ari Shapiro/NPR)

Watch on npr.tumblr.com

A Patch Designed To Make You Invisible To Mosquitoes

A small, square patch that’s not yet available in the U.S. is promising to work as a force field against pesky mosquitoes. It’s called the Kite Patch, and it’s a sticker that emits chemical compounds that essentially make you invisible to the bloodsuckers — they block a mosquito’s ability to sense humans.

If this is as effective as promised, the Kite Patch could be a game changer in preventing mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and West Nile virus. It’s been developed by a venture capital group called ieCrowd and scientists at Olfactor Laboratories, a research facility in California. 

The scientists behind the patch are raising money on Indiegogo to do rapid field testing in parts of the world that are more affected by mosquito-borne illnesses.

This story is part of NPR’s “Weekly Innovation” blog series. Read the rest on NPR’s All Tech Considered blog.

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The Unsettling Beauty of Lethal Viruses

To create a body of work he calls “Glass Microbiology,” [Luke] Jerram has enlisted the help of virologist Andrew Davidson from the University of Bristol and the expertise of professional glassblowers Kim George, Brian George and Norman Veitch. Together, the cross-disciplinary team brings hazardous pathogens, such as the H1N1 virus or HIV, to light in translucent glass forms.

The artist  insists that his sculptures be colorless, in contrast to the images scientists sometimes disseminate that are enhanced with bright hues. “Viruses have no color as they are smaller than the wavelength of light,” says Jerram, in an email. “So the artworks are created as alternative representations of viruses to the artificially colored imagery we receive through the media.” Jerram and Davidson create sketches, which they then take to the glassblowers, to see whether the intricate structures of the diseases can be replicated in glass, at approximately one million times their original size. - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.

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Over 755,000 people have died from Malaria in the last 12 months. Super Enzyme Justice League (SEJL) talks about the disease and the heroic work being done by Malaria No More.  

Watch videos and vote for your faves: projectforawesome.com