Category Archives: environment

Congo Ebola outbreak at ‘critical point’ after attack on Red Cross staff | Global development | The Guardian

Two health workers seriously wounded while carrying out safe burials of Ebola victims in north-eastern city of Butembo

Source: Congo Ebola outbreak at ‘critical point’ after attack on Red Cross staff | Global development | The Guardian

Heroism and tragedy of 1918 Spanish flu remembered in N.L. | CBC News

Many Inuit communities, like Hebron and Nutak, lost a great number of residents, but no community suffered a deeper blow than Okak.  It’s reported that before the flu arrived, 263 people lived in Okak — after the pandemic hit, fewer than 60 people were left.

Source: Heroism and tragedy of 1918 Spanish flu remembered in N.L. | CBC News

‘Utterly stupid’: Samoan PM hits out at climate change sceptics in fiery Sydney speech

Samoa’s Prime Minister urges Australia to make deeper cuts to carbon emissions to help save Pacific Island nations from the disaster of climate change.

Source: ‘Utterly stupid’: Samoan PM hits out at climate change sceptics in fiery Sydney speech

Cargill Meat Solutions Recalls Ground Beef Products due to Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination

Cargill Meat Solutions, a Fort Morgan, Colo. establishment, is recalling approximately 25,288 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

Source: Cargill Meat Solutions Recalls Ground Beef Products due to Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination

DRC Ebola outbreak climbs to 43 cases in 6 health zones | CIDRAP

Earlier conventional lab tests highly suggest that the Ebola Zaire species is the cause of the latest outbreak, but the WHO said genetic sequencing is needed to confirm the finding. Ebola Zaire is the species most deadly to humans. Genetic characterization will help guide the use of vaccines and drugs; VSV-EBOV, the candidate vaccine furthest along in clinical trials, targets the Ebola Zaire species and could be used if the new outbreak strain matches the vaccine strain. Ebola Zaire caused both the earlier DRC outbreak that was declared over on Jul 24 and the devastating 2014-16 outbreak in West Africa.

Source: DRC Ebola outbreak climbs to 43 cases in 6 health zones | CIDRAP

A Dow alum nominated to USDA. Again. | Pesticide Action Network

Source: A Dow alum nominated to USDA. Again. | Pesticide Action Network

Earlier this week, a new appointment for chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was announced, and it’s a 30-year veteran of Dow Agrosciences. Really?

Administration officials are touting the fact that Scott Hutchins is actually a scientist — unlike their last pick. The nomination of Sam Clovis, an openly racist radio talk-show host and Trump campaign team alum, was withdrawn last November, after it generated outrage across the political spectrum.

Any old scientist?

So yes, Hutchins is a scientist. Does that qualify him to guide USDA’s $2.9 billion research budget? Um, no.

Clues in forest food web help predict Lyme risk | CIDRAP

Source: Clues in forest food web help predict Lyme risk | CIDRAP

To see if small mammalian predators influence tick infection rates, researchers placed camera traps at dozens of sites throughout Dutchess County in the summers of 2012 and 2013. Trap visitors included coyote, fox, bobcat, fisher, raccoon, and opossum. Then the investigators surveyed and tested ticks at the camera trap sites.

Locations with high predator diversity had lower infection prevalence of nymphal ticks than sites dominated by coyotes. Numbers of nymphal ticks were lowest where forest cover was higher, and bobcats, foxes, and opossums were associated with a reduction in tick infection.