jtotheizzoe

jtotheizzoe:

Let This Awesome Science Infect Your Mind

Ed Yong is one of the finest science writers in the world. His National Geographic blog is chock full of the weird, wild, and WTF-inducing stories that make our living world so darn interesting. So I was overjoyed when I heard he would be speaking at this year’s TED.

He didn’t disappoint. In his talk above, he unlocks the under-appreciated and often cringe-worthy world of mind-controlling parasites. They get no respect, I tell ya, no respect at all. Yet they are cornerstones of countless ecosystems, determining food availability and managing population sizes like armies of freaky fauna, each deployed in a Trojan Horse of evolution’s design. Every parasite’s life is a story, by definition, an elaborate chain that extends from host to host, and I think they’ve found their minstrel in Ed. I mean that as a compliment, of course.

Listen to him weave a tapestry of tapeworms, explain what makes flamingos munch on zombie shrimp, show you how a cricket is like a TARDIS, how a wasp turns a cockroach into a cocker spaniel, and how a brain-controlling protozoan reminds him of an Elizabeth Gilbert novel. My favorite part of this? The idea that ideas themselves may be parasites.

I haven’t loved a TED talk this much in a long time. Or maybe that’s just the parasite talking. 

nprglobalhealth

txchnologist:

Origami Makes 50-Cent Paper Microscope That Magnifies 2,000 Times

Stanford University bioengineer Manu Prakash has developed a microscope made of paper that costs 50 cents to make. Using the magic of origami, the Foldscope device can focus through a sample mounted on a standard slide in micron-length steps. It can magnify objects 2,000 times with sub-micron resolution without needing any external power.

The instrument is part of Frugal Science for Public Health, an effort by Prakash’s team to democratize science. Healthcare workers can use it to diagnose infectious diseases like malaria and those caused by pathogenic bacteria, and it can also be used as a teaching aid.

See the ted talk below from which these gifs are made.

Read More

scientificthought
scienceyoucanlove:

Super close-up of a wound containing red blood cells, neutrophils, macrophages and mast cells.When a wound occurs in a blood vessel, several interconnected steps occur to staunch the flow of blood:Vasoconstriction constricts the blood vessel, minimizing vessel diameter and slowing bleeding.Primary hemostasis occurs, wherein platelets, one of the formed elements of the blood, bind to collagen in the exposed walls of the blood vessel to form a hemostatic plug within seconds after an injury.Secondary hemostasis or coagulation occurs. This is a complex cascade of coagulation factors ultimately resulting in the transformation of fibrinogen, a blood protein, into polymerized fibrin, making a clot. This process takes several minutes. The clot attracts and stimulates the growth of fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells within the vessel wall, and begins the repair process which ultimately results in the dissolution of the clot (clot lysis). Disorders of hemostasis can be roughly divided into platelet disorders, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, and disorders of coagulation, such as hemophilia. Image found on publications.nigms.nih.gov/findings/sept07/dipietro_files/textmostly/slide5.html
from neurons want food 

Ah, so cool!

scienceyoucanlove:

Super close-up of a wound containing red blood cells, neutrophils, macrophages and mast cells.

When a wound occurs in a blood vessel, several interconnected steps occur to staunch the flow of blood:

Vasoconstriction constricts the blood vessel, minimizing vessel diameter and slowing bleeding.

Primary hemostasis occurs, wherein platelets, one of the formed elements of the blood, bind to collagen in the exposed walls of the blood vessel to form a hemostatic plug within seconds after an injury.

Secondary hemostasis or coagulation occurs. This is a complex cascade of coagulation factors ultimately resulting in the transformation of fibrinogen, a blood protein, into polymerized fibrin, making a clot. 

This process takes several minutes. The clot attracts and stimulates the growth of fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells within the vessel wall, and begins the repair process which ultimately results in the dissolution of the clot (clot lysis). 

Disorders of hemostasis can be roughly divided into platelet disorders, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, and disorders of coagulation, such as hemophilia. 

Image found on publications.nigms.nih.gov/findings/sept07/dipietro_files/textmostly/slide5.html

from neurons want food 

Ah, so cool!

united-nations
united-nations:

To mark Saturday’s International Women’s Day, men leaders are standing up for women’s empowerment and changing the concept of masculinity to achieve gender equality. “I have a message for my fellow men and boys – play your part. All benefit when women and girls can reach their full potential,” said Ban Ki-moon. Share this image to show you believe that equality for women is progress for all! Find out more at heforshe.org.

This is not so much infectious disease or vaccine related but it is important to have as many champions and colleagues in the fight for public health and health equality.

united-nations:

To mark Saturday’s International Women’s Day, men leaders are standing up for women’s empowerment and changing the concept of masculinity to achieve gender equality. 

“I have a message for my fellow men and boys – play your part. All benefit when women and girls can reach their full potential,” said Ban Ki-moon. 

Share this image to show you believe that equality for women is progress for all! 

Find out more at heforshe.org.

This is not so much infectious disease or vaccine related but it is important to have as many champions and colleagues in the fight for public health and health equality.

nprglobalhealth
nprglobalhealth:

Overlooked Virus May Be Cause Of Paralyzing Disease In Californa
Doctors in California are puzzled by an illness that has paralyzed at least five children and may have affected about 20 others.
Sick children had symptoms similar to polio. They lose muscle function in an arm or a leg over a few days.
So far, the children haven’t responded to any treatments and the paralysis has been permanent, doctors from Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, said in statement Sunday.
The doctors suspect the culprit is a virus related to one that causes hand, foot and mouth disease. It’s called enterovirus-68, and it was first detected in California more than 50 years ago.
There have been about 50 cases of the enterovirus-68 reported in the U.S. since 2000. It sickened at least 21 children in the Philippines between 2008 and 2009.
Two of the children in California tested positive for the enteroviruses-68. Tests for many of the other cases are still pending.
The report may sound scary. But it’s worth pointing out that the illness is quite rare. There’s little threat the disease will spread, Dr. Jane Seward with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Scientific American.
Many viruses, including West Nile, echovirus and adenoviruses, can cause paralysis of the limbs, Seward said. So she would expect California to report about 80 paralysis cases each year, if the CDC was looking out for this type of symptom.
"These researchers only report on five cases in the abstract," Seward said. "We are not unduly alarmed," she added.
Read more.
Sophia Jarvis, 4, of Berkeley, Calif., is one of the few children diagnosed with the polio-like disease, which left her arm paralyzed. She attended a press conference Monday at Stanford University with family and the doctors investigating the disease. (Stanford’s Childern/Twitter)

nprglobalhealth:

Overlooked Virus May Be Cause Of Paralyzing Disease In Californa

Doctors in California are puzzled by an illness that has paralyzed at least five children and may have affected about 20 others.

Sick children had symptoms similar to polio. They lose muscle function in an arm or a leg over a few days.

So far, the children haven’t responded to any treatments and the paralysis has been permanent, doctors from Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, said in statement Sunday.

The doctors suspect the culprit is a virus related to one that causes hand, foot and mouth disease. It’s called enterovirus-68, and it was first detected in California more than 50 years ago.

There have been about 50 cases of the enterovirus-68 reported in the U.S. since 2000. It sickened at least 21 children in the Philippines between 2008 and 2009.

Two of the children in California tested positive for the enteroviruses-68. Tests for many of the other cases are still pending.

The report may sound scary. But it’s worth pointing out that the illness is quite rare. There’s little threat the disease will spread, Dr. Jane Seward with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Scientific American.

Many viruses, including West Nile, echovirus and adenoviruses, can cause paralysis of the limbs, Seward said. So she would expect California to report about 80 paralysis cases each year, if the CDC was looking out for this type of symptom.

"These researchers only report on five cases in the abstract," Seward said. "We are not unduly alarmed," she added.

Read more.

Sophia Jarvis, 4, of Berkeley, Calif., is one of the few children diagnosed with the polio-like disease, which left her arm paralyzed. She attended a press conference Monday at Stanford University with family and the doctors investigating the disease. (Stanford’s Childern/Twitter)

pubhealth

unicef:

UNICEF LAUNCHES 2014 STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN REPORT

Thirty years have passed since The State of the World’s Children began to publish tables of standardized global and national statistics aimed at providing a detailed picture of children’s circumstances.

Much has changed in the decades since the first indicators of child well-being were presented. But the basic idea has not: Credible data about children’s situations are critical to the improvement of their lives – and indispensable to realizing the rights of every child.

Data continue to support advocacy and action on behalf of the world’ 2.2 billion children, providing governments with facts on which to base decisions and actions to improve children’s lives. And new ways of collecting and using data will help target investments and interventions to reach the most vulnerable children. 

Data do not, of themselves, change the world. They make change possible – by identifying needs, supporting advocacy, and gauging progress. What matters most is that decision-makers use the data to make positive change, and that the data are available for children and communities to use in holding duty-bearers to account.

Visit the 2014 State of the World’s Children site here

Read the report in English, French and Spanish