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Home> U.S. Major Pension Funds Ask for Climate Change Study

abcnews.go.com - October 24th, 2013 - Kevin Begos

Some of the largest pension funds in the U.S. and the world are worried that major fossil fuel companies may not be as profitable in the future because of efforts to limit climate change, and they want details on how the firms will manage a long-term shift to cleaner energy sources.

In a statement released Thursday, leaders of 70 funds said they're asking 45 of the world's top oil, gas, coal and electric power companies to do detailed assessments of how efforts to control climate change could impact their businesses.

"Institutional investors must think over the long term, which means that we must take environmental risks into consideration when we make investments," New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli told The Associated Press in a statement.

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Malaria in United States Is at a 40-Year High

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Gut Bacteria May Exacerbate Depression

Scientific American, October 23,2013

The digestive tract and the brain are crucially linked, according to mounting evidence showing that diet and gut bacteria are able to influence our behavior, thoughts and mood. Now researchers have found evidence of bacterial translocation, or “leaky gut,” among people with depression.

Normally the digestive system is surrounded by an impermeable wall of cells. Certain behaviors and medical conditions can compromise this wall, allowing toxic substances and bacteria to enter the bloodstream... 

FULL ARTICLE HERE

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Extension of the Haiti Cholera Disaster to Mexico

Operational Biosurveillance - biosurveillance.typepad.com - October 1, 2013

Mexico is reporting upwards of 44 cases of cholera now with one fatality involving Hidalgo State and Mexico City.  The appearance of cholera in Mexico City is deeply concerning from the standpoint of the "tip of the iceberg": we only know of the recognized cases.  There are likely others out there.

 

A couple of points about this:

1. Totally expected to see expansion of the Nepalese cholera from Haiti to the DR, to Cuba, and now to Mexico. It is likely to include many other countries in that region before all is said and done.

2. It is likely to spread in Mexico in 'fits and starts' due to lack of indigenous immunity and will cause disruption.

3. It will likely spread along trade and migrant labor routes to the US and other countries doing business with Mexico.

4. Communities in the US may be caught unawareness due to basic expectation of border communities in Texas serving as "canaries in a coal mine" for the rest of the country. We propose the migrant labor routes penetrate deep into the US and far from these border communities.

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Smartphone attachment detects viruses and bacteria

theengineer.co.uk - The Engineer - September 18, 2013

Researchers at UCLA have developed a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform field testing to detect viruses and bacteria.

This cellphone-based imaging platform could be used for specific and sensitive detection of sub-wavelength objects, including bacteria and viruses and therefore could enable the practice of nanotechnology and biomedical testing in field settings and even in remote and resource-limited environments,’ Aydogan Ozcan, professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, said in a statement.

Using this device, which attaches directly to the camera module on a smartphone, Ozcan’s team was able to detect single human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) particles.

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Whooping Cough Vaccine Loses Effectiveness Faster Than Thought, Study Finds

huffingtonpost.com - by Mike Stobbe - September 12, 2012

NEW YORK — As the U.S. wrestles with its biggest whooping cough outbreak in decades, researchers appear to have zeroed in on the main cause: The safer vaccine that was introduced in the 1990s loses effectiveness much faster than previously thought.

A study published in Wednesday's New England Journal of Medicine found that the protective effect weakens dramatically soon after a youngster gets the last of the five recommended shots around age 6.

The protection rate falls from about 95 percent to 71 percent within five years, said researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Research Center in Oakland, Calif.

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Study - NEJM - Waning Protection after Fifth Dose of Acellular Pertussis Vaccine in Children
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200850?query=featured_home

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Analysis of Warning Process: Swine-Origin Triple Reassortant Influenza A(H3N2) Virus In USA

by James Wilson, M.D. - Biosurveillance - December 21, 2011

We have been monitoring the situation with swine-origin triple reassortant influenza A(H3N2) virus (S-OtrH3N2) inside the United State for some time now.  Recent reports of likely human-human transmission sparked debate, discussed here in this post.

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Rare 'Survivor' Dolphin Gives Hope for Finding Cause of Deaths Since BP Spill

by Kaija Wilkinson - gulflive.com - November 27, 2011

Institute Director Moby Solangi watches a sickly dolphin make circles in its pool at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. (The Mississippi Press/Kaija Wilkinson)

GULFPORT, Mississippi -- A sickly, stranded dolphin that was found in Alabama and transported to Gulfport to convalesce and be studied could provide clues to a spike in dolphin deaths that has occurred over the past year.

The 2-year-old male is the first to be found alive since the BP oil spill last spring, according to Moby Solangi, director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, where the dolphin is being held.

The spike coincided with the spill, but to date no definitive link has been made between the spill and the deaths, which in south Mississippi and Alabama are three to four times what they are in a normal year.

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IT and Information Sharing Environments for Community Health Resilience

Information Technology (IT) and Information Sharing Environments (ISEs) are crucial to the evolution of community health resilience.  Most people working to improve community health resilience do not understand the nuances of Information Sharing Environments, and how the rapid shifts in IT, mobile devices, social media, cloud computing, peer to peer parallel processing, smart grids, and the linking of millions of people, mobile devices, computers, and sensors are creating a societal mind, which is transforming community health resilience and the health and human security of Americans.

If you have thoughts on these topics, please comment within this collaboratory thread.

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National Community Health Resilience Workshop

Near Final Version 

 

2011 Community Health Resilience Workshop AGENDA

 

DAY 1

 

8:30-8:50 - Welcome, Introductions and Opening Remarks

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