Thursday, February 23, 2017
5-year-old girl attacked by dogs is dead . Aliyah, the 5-year-old girl attacked on Monday by 3 dogs in Lagos has died. She passed on at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Wednesday evening. She had been transferred from the Ikorodu General Hospital, where she was first admitted. Punch had reported that Aliyah was sleeping at home on Alhaji Abdul Hakeem Bin Sulaimon Avenue, off Ewuren Road, Ikorodu, when an Alsatian dog broke loose. The dog, named Rover, was one of the15 other dogs owned by the landlord who is based in London, United Kingdom. It dragged Aliyah to the back of the house where two other Alsatian dogs joined it in attacking her. They inflicted multiple injuries on her body in an attack residents said lasted for about two hours. The father, Wasiu, who was responsible for the care of the dogs, had reportedly gone to buy the dogs’ feed when the incident happened. Around 11pm of that day, some residents reportedly invaded the house and killed Rover. more
Radioactive boars found in Czech forests 31yrs after Chernobyl disaster. Radioactive wild boars have been detected in Czech forests, some 31 years after the Chernobyl disaster, a veterinary administration official said, adding that they are eating mushrooms that can absorb high levels of radioactive isotopes. The animals became radioactive due to false truffles, the underground mushrooms they feed on, Jiri Drapal at the Czech State Veterinary Administration told Reuters. The mushroom is found in the Sumava mountain region in the Czech Republic, which borders Austria and Germany. It can absorb high levels of radioactive isotopes, including Caesium 137, which was released in great quantities after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Caesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years, which means it loses half of its radioactivity within that period. When boars eat radioactive mushrooms, they become radioactive themselves. Boar meat is highly popular in the Czech Republic, so there’s danger of radioactive meat ending up on one’s table.more
The Challenges for Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture. A group of maize farmers stands huddled around an agronomist and his computer on the side of an irrigation pivot in central South Africa. The agronomist has just flown over the pivot with a hybrid UAV that takes off and lands using propellers yet maintains distance and speed for scanning vast hectares of land through the use of its fixed wings. The UAV is fitted with a four spectral band precision sensor that conducts onboard processing immediately after the flight, allowing farmers and field staff to address, almost immediately, any crop anomalies that the sensor may have recorded, making the data collection truly real-time. In this instance, the farmers and agronomist are looking to specialized software to give them an accurate plant population count. It’s been 10 days since the maize emerged and the farmer wants to determine if there are any parts of the field that require replanting due to a lack of emergence or wind damage, which can be severe in the early stages of the summer rainy season. At this growth stage of the plant’s development, the farmer has another 10 days to conduct any replanting before the majority of his fertilizer and chemical applications need to occur. Once these have been applied, it becomes economically unviable to take corrective action, making any further collected data historical and useful only to inform future practices for the season to come.more
Techie who extols benefits of organic milk.Techie sets up farm not just to supply milk, but also to breed the best bovines. Just like his love for IT profession, his passion for organic milk is unadulterated. He doesn’t want to milk profits from his supply, but purely believes in maintaining the purity of nature’s gift to mankind. No wonder this IT professional with a comfortable job in the United States has set up an organic farm not just for supplying healthy and unadulterated milk but also to breed the best bovine in the country. “To maintain purity we grow fodder on the 9 acres farm on the outskirts of the city for the 150 animals consisting of 70 cows and 80 buffaloes,” says Kotesh Mukkamala, an IT professional in the USA. On the eight acres of the 9 acres land, he cultivates green fodder recommended by NG Ranga University to feed the animals year round. The remaining acre is used for housing cattle, staff and other infrastructure. As the grass grown in the cities is produced in the drainage segregation area and is infested with synthetics and human waste here only ground and rain water is used. Cultivation is pesticide and chemical fertiliser-free. Diet of the animals is balanced with the right quantities of protein and fodder. more
Teenager who 'died' after being bitten by stray dog WOKE UP on way to his funeral.A teenager believed to have died after being bitten by a stray dog WOKE UP on the way to his funeral. Kumar Marewad, 17, left family, friends and locals in complete shock with his sudden revival. The boy had come down with a high fever after the dog bite and his condition deteriorated after being brought to hospital in the Dharwad area of India. Doctors had told relatives to expect the worse as an infection had spread throughout his body. After hours on a life support machine, Kumar's family decided to take him home for his final moments, the Times of India reports . According to Kumar's family, including parents Ningappa and Manjula, he eventually stopped moving or breathing for some time and they presumed he was dead.They had asked villagers to prepare for his funeral and had carried Kumar two kilometres when he suddenly opened his eyes, started breathing and moved his hands and legs. The teenager was rushed to hospital where he remains on a ventilator. Dr Mahesh Neelakhantannavar said: "We suspect he suffers from meningoencephalitis, an infection caused due to dog bite." Kumar's parents expressed relief at his apparent recovery and told how he had given up school to support his family. more
China orders drivers to fit GPS trackers to their cars so Muslims can be monitored using central computer.
A region of China is ordering every motorist to install a GPS tracking device so authorities can monitor the movements of Muslims. The "police state" policy is designed so officials can keep a closer eye on the Uighurs, a minority Muslim group the Government says is being radicalised by foreign jihadists. Anyone who fails to comply with the GPS rule will be refused access to petrol stations and will be unable to sell their vehicle. The draconian rule was imposed in the Bayingolin Mongol, a self-governing region of north-west China in the province of Xinjiang. Drivers have until the end of June to install the Beidou navigation system in their cars at a cost of £25 a year. more
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
A farmer in north Co. Clare was left dumbfounded after a cow gave birth to four identical heifer calves over the weekend. Tom Clair from Ennistymon found the calves early on Sunday morning, February 19. He spoke about the excitement surrounding the now famous calves on Clare FM this morning.more
Bird flu affecting half of China: ‘controllable’ but may spread further.National health commission puts provincial authorities on alert as the country grapples with its worst outbreak of the deadly bird flu strain. Chinese health authorities have issued stern warnings over the H7N9 bird flu outbreak in the last two days, admitting the situation had already affected half of the country and could lead to even more fatalities. Since January, human deaths and infections from H7N9 have been reported in 16 provinces and municipalities, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.While the situation was still “preventable and controllable”, the COMMISSION WARNED in a statement on Tuesday that if the situation was not tightly controlled the virus could spread further. The virus had killed at least 87 people by February 12, including 79 in January. It is the highest death toll since the first known human infection in 2013, and most of the cases have been in the Pearl and Yangtze River delta areas. In the previous three years, January’s death toll had ranged between 20 and 31. The commission’s statement came one day after it warned provincial health authorities across the country, including Xinjiang and Tibet, of the risks of the latest H7N9 outbreak. Local authorities were ordered to make “utmost effort” to contain the disease and minimise deaths. The World Health Organisation said there were no signs of sustained human-to-human transmission in bird flu cases this year, but it would remain “vigilant” over the puzzling outbreak in which affected poultry did not show any symptoms more
Veterinarians have issued a warning about a serious bacteria outbreak that could kill your dog. The bacteria is called "Lepto-spirosis" or "Lepto" for short. It infects dogs by burrowing into their skin. Then, it spreads throughout the dog's body. The bacteria can also be transmitted to humans.More cases of the bacterial infection are being found in Chicago, especially in the Lake View area. Leptospirosis is spread through rats and if left unfound, can be deadly for dogs. “While we're all super excited about 70 degree weather, it is sort of the perfect storm for Leptospirosis exposure,” said Dr. Natalie Marks of Blum Animal Hospital. Doctor Marks says there's been an uptick of dogs being tested for and contracting Leptospirosis – a bacterial infection spread by the urine of rodents.more
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
A GROUNDBREAKING new Irish technology which could be the greatest breakthrough in agriculture since the plough is set to change the face of modern farming forever. SHARE The technology – radio wave energised water which massively increases the output of vegetables and fruits by up to 30 per cent. Not only are the plants much bigger but they are largely disease-resistant, meaning huge savings in expensive fertilizers and harmful pesticides. Extensively tested in Ireland and several other countries, the inexpensive water treatment technology is now being rolled out across the world. The technology makes GM obsolete and also addresses the whole global warming fear that there is too much carbon dioxide in the air, by simply converting excess CO2 into edible plant mass. Developed by Professor Austin Darragh and Dr JJ Leahy of Limerick University's Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science, the hardy eco-friendly technology uses nothing but the natural elements of sunlight, water, carbon dioxide in the air and the minerals in the soil. The compact biscuit-tin-sized technology, which is called Vi-Aqua – meaning 'life water' – converts 24 volts of electricity into a radio signal, which charges up the water via an antennae. Once the device is attached to a hose, thousands of gallons of water can be charged up in less than 10 minutes at a cost of pennies. Speaking about the new technology, Professor Austin Darragh says: Vi-Aqua makes water wetter and introduces atmospheric nitrogen into the water in the form of nitrates – so it is free fertilizer. It also produces the miracle of rejuvenating the soil by invigorating soil-based micro-organisms. more
A new device that uses similar infrared light to TV remotes can accurately detect fake antimalarial drugs, according to a scientific paper published on Monday. The researchers revealed how they were able to use an optical scanner purchased online for $250 to distinguish perfectly between life-saving malaria drugs and deadly counterfeits. Dozens of public health scientists declared in 2015 that a global crisis of fake drugs was undermining the fight against malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids, particularly in the developing world. The World Health Organization estimates that falsified medicines represent more than 50% of the pharmaceutical market in several African countries. Ineffective antimalarial drugs alone killed over 120,000 preschool children in Africa in 2013, according to research from the Center for Disease Dynamics. Wilson’s team, together with researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), set out to design an easy-to-use, portable scanner that almost any charity or rural pharmacy could afford. Many fake drugs are almost indistinguishable from the genuine products, even down to convincing anti-counterfeiting holograms on their packaging. Testing the drugs currently requires laboratory tests with machines costing many thousands of dollars, operated by skilled technicians. continue
The National Institutes of Health is recruiting volunteers for a safety study of the experimental vaccine, being developed by two London companies. They need 60 people willing to be bitten by mosquitoes to test a new kind of vaccine, one that acts against the bugs’ saliva. Rather than separate vaccines against Zika or other mosquito-borne diseases, this new approach aims to protect against multiple infections by triggering the immune system to act in response to the bite itself. Researchers at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will give volunteers either vaccine or dummy shots. The volunteers must return later to NIH’s Bethesda, Maryland, hospital to be bitten by mosquitoes through a special netted device. The mosquitoes are infection-free; researchers will track the volunteers’ immune responses.more
Africa’s economy is inherently dependent on agriculture. More than 32% of the continent’s gross domestic product comes from the sector. Agricultural productivity still remains far from developed world standards, as over 90% of agriculture depends on rainfall, with no artificial irrigation aid. The techniques used to cultivate the soil are still far behind from what has been adopted in Asia and Americas, lacking not only irrigation, but also fertilizers, pesticides and access to high-yield seeds. Agriculture in Africa also experiences basic infrastructural problems such as access to markets and financing. A broader economic transformation is necessary to shift the current paradigm facing agriculture in Africa. In most of the cases, urbanization and economic growth have resulted in new opportunities for local agricultural producers. However, in Africa, this share of the market mainly belongs to foreign companies. Imports of food staples have been rising sharply, and domestic agriculture has so far failed to increase supply in response. Raising productivity in agriculture is vital to transformative growth, not just because it has the potential to expand markets by displacing imports, but also because agricultural growth is twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in non-agricultural sectors. Singapore is proving to be an engaged ally in the process of changing this reality. Some big players in the agricultural sector with their headquarters in Singapore, are investing heavily in Africa. Technology and skills are being transferred to smallholder farmers and the large-scale producers are cooperating, playing a fair game that will help develop the sector and make it more sustainable.more
Monday, February 20, 2017
The Pod3 modular GPS tracking device can be attached to anything, allowing you to keep tabs on its whereabouts using your smartphone. One of the biggest fears of any pet owner is having their animal escape and get lost outdoors, potentially never to be seen again. But two years ago, a small start-up out of Sydney, Australia, created a device called the Pod to protect against just such an occurrence. The Pod is a GPS tracking device that can be attached to your pet’s collar, allowing you to track their location right from your smartphone. Pod Trackers, the company behind the Pod 3, has managed to pack a lot of technology inside this tiny device. Not only does it come with GPS capabilities, but it is also equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 2G/3G cellular networking features too. This gives the user the ability to track the gadget in real time, both indoors and outdoors, across 175 countries worldwide, using an app for both iOS and Android. what sets the Pod 3 apart not only from the company’s previous generation of Pod trackers, but from the competition as well, is its modular capabilities. The gadget has been designed to accept a number of special modules that snap into place along one end. These modules add functionality to the device beyond its tracking capabilities. For instance, one module converts the tracker into a light and location strobe, while another is an extended-life battery that allows the Pod 3 to continue functioning for up to two weeks between charges. Other modules include a USB dock to keep the GPS working at all times and an ultrasonic speaker that emits a “discreet, high frequency noise” designed to keep birds away. Those last two modules are made to be used on a boat, car, or other vehicle. continue
Western Australian scientists have developed what is believed to be a world-first clear, energy harvesting glass which, if used in greenhouses, could produce crops in any climate or season. The glass is embedded with nanoparticles which work to draw out 90 per cent of the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared rays from the sun, and transfer those rays to solar cells embedded on the edge of the glass panels. The rays are converted into energy, while allowing 70 per cent of visible light to pass through. The energy harvested is used to power the structure, for example providing lighting, heating, cooling, or water desalination and irrigation. The technology has been developed at Edith Cowan University's Electron Science Research Institute (ESRI) in Perth. Director of the institute, Professor Kamal Alameh, said being able to convert unwanted radiation into electricity could be a huge cost-saver in greenhouses. "In a closed environment you don't need a lot of water, so you don't need a lot of energy to filter the water if you have underground water.You also don't need a lot of cooling and heating because we use these thin-film coatings to actually block the unwanted radiation so that we can save on the energy used for cooling and heating. Professor Kamal said due to its designed self-sufficiency, there are no limitations to where such a greenhouse could be built, which could see agricultural production in areas currently too hot or dry to produce crops. "If you have underground water that's all we need to basically produce a crop," he said. The technology has been developed in collaboration with ClearVue technologies. continue
It is a crime evoking bushrangers and cattle duffers of old, but stock theft has become a modern crime and researchers are hoping to find a technological solution. A team from Central Queensland University (CQU) in Rockhampton believes a motion-sensing GPS device may hold the clue.The device detects mustering activity and sends a message to a grazier's phone. Researchers hope it might hold the answer to reducing livestock theft which, according to the 2001/2002 National Farm Crime Survey, affected 6 per cent of farms at an estimated annual cost of $16 million. Project leader Associate Professor Mark Trotter said preliminary trials had been promising."The core technology already exists so things like GPS tracking and motion-sensing tracking [are] a little bit like a fitbit that you see people wearing," Dr Trotter said. continue
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Mechanization is an essential tool for success of agribusiness as it improves productivity and profits farmers. Farmers need to embrace the role of farm machinery if they are to be successful,but many smallscale farmers are yet to imbibe the emerging farming technologies and machinery. Factors, such as the high cost of machines and farmers’ lack of access to finance, make the machinery unaffordable for resource-poor farmers. Farmers are calling for a change, one of them is Debo Thomas, a large scale farmer in Ogbomosho, Oyo State. His community has a strong agricultural tradition – nearly two-thirds of its population are farmers. Though he uses agricultural machinery to plant and harvest crops, he is among those canvassing the introduction of cheap, easy-to-operate and easy-to-maintain tractors that can be fitted to a various innovative auxiliary equipment for planting, threshing and irrigation.continue
This highlights the great potential of the agribusiness sector in Africa by drawing on experience in Africa as well as other regions. The evidence demonstrates that good policies, a conducive business environment, and strategic support from governments can help agribusiness reach its potential. Africa is now at a crossroads, from which it can take concrete steps to realize its potential or continue to lose competitiveness, missing a major opportunity for increased growth, employment, and food security. The report pursues several lines of analysis. First, it synthesizes the large body of work on agriculture and agribusiness in Africa. Second, it builds on a diagnosis of specific value chains. As part of this effort, the value chain for Africa's largest and fastest-growing food import, rice, is benchmarked in Senegal and Ghana against Thailand's rice value chain. 170 agribusiness investments by the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) in Africa and Southeast Asia are analyzed to gain perspective on the elements of success and failure. Fourth, the report synthesizes perspectives from the private sector through interviews with 23 leading agribusiness investors and a number of other key informants. more
This is the story of how a graduate grows 10 million heads of lettuce without water. In the University of Arizona, Jenn Frymark helped develop a greenhouse for extreme weather and then spent six months at the South Pole growing food for scientific researchers. Now she grows 10 million heads of lettuce and other greens year-round, without soil, in considerably more benign conditions inside greenhouses in New York and Chicago. She said her business, Gotham Greens, has been a success since she joined partners Eric Haley and Viraj Puri in growing greens hydroponically on a rooftop in Brooklyn in 2011. She’s certainly one of the most successful graduates as it relates to business development. The center, known as CEAC, is training the next generation of farmers for an urban agriculture revolution, researching ways to improve efficiency, taste and freshness in everything from lettuce to mushrooms. Giacomelli is planning to extend it to wine grapes. Frymark said the skills she learned there are key to her business success and she still calls the center for technical advice.more
Lokesh Makam is a pharmacist with more than 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector. Over the years, he has held leadership roles in marketing, regulatory compliance, R&D and contract manufacturing. Makam initially manufactured and sold anti-cancer products, but upon realising that chemical pesticides in crops and food were a cause for cancer, he set to researching alternatives to control pests. This effort led to identifying, developing and converting the alternatives, called pheromones into products to control these pests. In India alone there are over 6,369 known insect species that destroy crops, resulting in a near 23.3-percent loss, at an estimated loss of $17.28 billion. Eradication of chemical pesticides requires education at the grassroot level with farmers on the harmful effects on farmers who administer the chemical pesticides, the residue of which finds its way to our plates. The use of pesticides has widespread side effect on the environment and surroundings, most critically on the farmers using them. With no efficient, sustainable and economical solution, the farmers have been treating chemical pesticides as the go-to solution for decades, ever since the industry was started.continue
An Arizona man who has published thousands of animal welfare documents on his website since the government purged the once-public information is pledging to keep digging up data until federal officials reverse course. Russ Kick, a 47-year-old writer and anthologist, said he immediately sprang into action last week when the U.S. Department of Agriculture suddenly pulled from its website a slew of papers regarding animal welfare at thousands of facilities across the country. Since then, he has made public again more than 10,000 documents, and thousands more are set to hit the web soon. For nearly a year, Kick has been running a website called thememoryhole2.org, where he has re-published information wiped from several agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. His only goal, he said, is to increase transparency and make important government documents more easily available.continue
Beans are nutritional powerhouses packed with protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and are low in fat.Beans contain a wide range of cancer-fighting plant chemicals, specifically, isoflavones and phytosterols which are associated with reduced cancer risk. Beans provide the body with soluble fiber, which plays an important role in controlling blood cholesterol levels. Beans will fill you up more quickly, because the rich fiber content fills your stomach and causes a slower rise in blood sugar. This will keep off hunger pangs longer and give you a steady supply of energy. Beans are diabetics super-food,because the balance of complex carbohydrates and protein provides a slow, steady source of glucose instead of the sudden surge that can occur after eating simple carbohydrates. Eat beans to stay fit,healthy and keep off excess weight.
Cucumbers belong to the same plant family as squash, pumpkin, and watermelon and like watermelon, cucumbers are made up of 95% water, which means eating them help you stay hydrated. Cucumbers contain vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese,they also contain polyphenols and other compounds that may help reduce your risk of chronic diseases especially for cancer treatment. Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that play an important role in brain health. In addition to improving your memory and protecting your nerve cells from age-related decline, fisetin has been found to prevent progressive memory and learning impairments in mice with Alzheimer's disease. Cucumbers may help the inflammatory response in your body, and animal studies suggest that cucumber extract helps reduce unwanted inflammation, in part by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes (including cyclo-oxygenase 2, or COX-2). Cucumbers contain numerous antioxidants, including the well-known vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids, such as quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol,6 which provide additional health benefits. quercetin is an antioxidant that prevents histamine release,thus making quercetin-rich foods "natural antihistamines." Kaempferol, may help fight cancer and lower risk of chronic diseases including heart disease. Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin). B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress. Cucumbers contain potassium, which is associated with lower blood pressure levels. A proper balance of potassium both inside and outside your cells is crucial for your body to function properly. Cucumbers are very low in calories, yet they make a filling snack. The soluble fiber in cucumbers dissolves into a gel-like texture in the gut, slowing down digestion, this making you feel full longer and help with weight control. Cucumbers contain polyphenols called lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol), which help to lower the risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers. They also contain phytonutrients called cucurbitacins, which also have anti-cancer properties.
Dr. Maduike Ezeibe, a Nigerian professor of Veterinary Medicine, recently announced that he has discovered a drug that treats and cures HIV/AIDS.A researcher in veterinary medicine at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in southeast Nigeria, Professor Ezeibe developed the drug after years of dogged scientific research,reports Bellanaija. Professor Ezeibe told a press conference at the university’s campus that the drug was produced using the minerals aluminum silicate and magnesium silicate (synthetic aluminum-magnesium silicate).Ezeibe said the two minerals “are already in use as medicines for the treatment of various animal and human diseases” and that 10 volunteers were treated daily with the medicinal synthetic aluminum-magnesium silicate (50mg/kg),” adding that the volunteers undergo periodic testing to ascertain their viral loads and CD4-lymphocyte counts. With the antiviral effects of the medicine — its ability to reach all cells (as nanoparticles) and the lymphocytes — there is no more hiding place (sanctuary) for HIV,” Dr. Ezeibe said. Dr. Ezeibe says he presented his research findings to the World Virology Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2015 and Antonio, Texas, in 2016, and his research work has been published in several international scientific journals, including the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research. more
Climate change is poised to affect the world's food supply in three key ways. There will be impacts on the quantity, quality and location of the food produced, according to Dr. Sam Myers, a medical doctor and senior research scientist studying environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Researchers studying climate change are looking at how the biological and physical changes happening on Earth due to climate change will transform food production, Myers said at a talk today (Feb. 16), here at the Climate & Health Meeting, a gathering of experts from public health organizations, universities and advocacy groups that focused on the health impacts of climate change.more
Friday, February 17, 2017
Priscilla and Kimberly Addison, two Ghanaian sisters, have launched a start-up that offers tasty, artisanal, made-in-Africa chocolate products.Even though Ghana is the world’s second largest exporter of cocoa, the West African nation — along with the rest of the major cocoa producers from Africa — only gets to enjoy a measly 2 percent of the world’s $100 billion chocolate market. This, economic experts say, is due to the fact that African countries have remained at the bottom of the product’s value chain, exporting cocoa mainly as a raw material without adding value to the final product. According to the Addisons, though, that old narrative is about to change with their ’57 Chocolate. As young entrepreneurs, they say they are determined to use widely available home grown resources to create delightful and whimsical treats and bring manufacturing back to Ghana. continue
African organization ReFab Dar are hoping to use 3D printing to create vital medical supplies in Africa and other developing countries. In order to do so they are working on a number of initiatives including a design competition for 3D printed medical tools. The program’s main aim is exploring, “how plastic waste can power entrepreneurship using 3D printers in Tanzania.” ReFab Dar are currently recycling waste and turning it into 3D printable plastic filament. From this, they intend to create medical supplies, farming equipment and even research tools like microscopes. In this ‘Hack 4 Health’ challenge they are focused initially on the creation of HIV prevention and birthing equipment.continue
The muscle wasting disease arises from a mutation in genes that normally make a protein, called myotubularin, essential for proper muscle function. Puppies with this naturally occurring mutation exhibit several features of babies with the same defective gene. The rare disorder, called myotubular myopathy, or MTM, affects only males. Puppies with this naturally occurring, fatal genetic mutation and babies with the same defective gene have several similar symptoms. Four collaborating research groups in the United States and France found a way to safely replace the disease-causing MTM gene with a healthy gene throughout the entire musculature of affected dogs. The findings published online in Molecular Therapy ,reports that diseased dogs treated with a single infusion of the corrective therapy were indistinguishable from normal animals one year later. Gene therapy holds the promise to treat many inherited diseases. To date, this approach has not been widely translated into treatment of skeletal muscle disorders.
A family has been criticized after they took their dog for plastic surgery because they didn’t like the shape of its ears. Vets were asked to lower the Jack Russell’s ears because they wanted it to look more like the dog from The Mask. Marina Esmat, 37, from Russia, bought the puppy for her son but they noticed that his ears were growing upwards. The family used weights and glue to try and keep them down, but when that failed they opted for plastic surgery instead. more
Girl, 7, born with heart outside her chest hoping for operation.A seven-year-old girl who was born with her heart outside her chest is heading to the US in hope of having a life changing operation. Virsaviya Borun-Goncharova suffers from thoraco-abdominal syndrome or Pantalogy of Cantrell, which affects just five in a million people.Her parents were told when she was born to prepare for the worst but the Russian has defied the odds. Now she is moving to the US where she will take medication to lower her blood pressure that, if successful, will allow to have a life changing operation.more
According to a study at Michigan Technological University, a RepRap 3D printer pays for itself within the first 5 years after purchase. 3D Printing Industry asked one of the academics behind the research a few questions. The average consumer can also make up to 1000% return of investment with a 3D printer by using it to print household goods instead of buying them outright.continue
11 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep,,=passive income.Is your money making money while you sleep? Does it sound too good to be true? Since we still live in the age of the internet, it’s not that difficult to earn extra money on the side. Sell your own information product. If you’re knowledgeable in a certain area, then you can start creating products, such as eBooks or videos, and selling them on your blog. It may take a lot of work to create and market your products, but once all the leg work is over, you can just set back and collect the proceeds. Earn royalties. If you’re a talented musician, actor, or author, then you could earn royalties from your work. In other words people will pay you for using your work or creative assets.If you aren’t talented enough, but still interested in earning royalties, then check out Royalty Exchange. It’s a marketplace where you can buy and sell royalties. Another common online business model is using autoresponders to sell services, products or memberships. This is where people leave their email address on your site and then they’ll receive an automated email containing the link to download products or quality information you have to offer, as well as follow-up with a series of emails. continue Y
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
A young Belgian Malinois from Detroit already had an incredible story when he went from homeless pup to service dog. But just months after his rescue, a misunderstanding threatened his new life. It would take a test usually reserved for humans to prove his innocence. Jeb was barely a year old when he was found chained inside a shed last January. His owner had passed away and no one else in the family wanted him. When Jeb was taken in by a local dog rescue, volunteer Kandie Morrison thought he’d make the perfect service dog for her father, Kenneth Job. Kenneth, a 79-year old Air Force veteran struggling with a neurodegenerative disease, took an instant liking to Jeb. So neighbor and veterinarian Dr. Karen Pidick trained Jeb to help Kenneth stay steady and assist in helping him get up if he fell. Kenneth and Jeb came to rely on each other, but eight months later everything changed in an instant. One August morning, the Jobs’ neighbor of 30 years, Christopher Sawa, looked out his kitchen window and saw Jeb standing over the lifeless body of his Pomeranian, Vlad. Christopher ran outside and tried to give Vlad mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but it was too late. With 90-pound Jeb towering over 14-pound Sawa, you can see why Christopher might blame Kenneth’s dog. Animal control took Jeb into custody and the case went to trial. The Jobs were horrified. Jeb lived peacefully with their three other dogs, seven cats, and a coopful of chickens. "We've never had any children," Kenneth would later testify. "The dog was like a child to us." Kenneth had been outside with his dogs that morning when all four pups ran off toward a favorite swimming hole. Despite the fact there was a lack of physical evidence linking Jeb to Vlad’s death, and there were reports of other possible culprits, the judge ruled that Jeb met the legal definition of a dangerous animal. Jeb would have to be euthanized. The Jobs were desperate and came up with the idea to have testing done to compare the DNA in Vlad’s wound with Jeb’s DNA. Samples were taken and sent to the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida. They determined that the DNA did not match, proving Jeb wasn’t the dog that killed Vlad. After the test, Jeb was allowed to go home, but nine weeks in animal control turned him in a different dog. Jeb lost 15 pounds and his social skills. He was also afraid to go outside. Nonetheless, the family was relieved to have Jeb back home. However, the Jobs wondered why they had to come up with the idea of DNA analysis. Why didn’t the court do it before sentencing Jeb to death? The test was under $500, but canine cases are handled differently in our judicial system. "In a criminal prosecution, where you're putting a person in jail, we have the highest level of protection," explains law professor David Favre. "Dogs have no rights. They're property.” I don’t think courts will make DNA analysis automatic anytime soon, but the Jobs hope their story will make more people aware that this tool can save lives. source
IN the last two decades, reports of human infections due to Salmonella enterica serovar Napoli have notably increased especially in France, Italy and Switzerland (Fisher and others, 2009; Graziani and others, 2013). Although relatively uncommon in Europe, S Napoli is the 15th most prevalent serovar isolated from human salmonellosis with 333 confirmed cases in 2014 (EFSA and ECDC, 2015). In Italy this serotype seems to be endemic, in the Northern Regions especially. It is among the five main serovars isolated from human infections in the last years (Fisher and others, 2009; Graziani and others, 2013). Although several epidemiological studies have been carried out on human cases and on the correlate isolates, no common point-source of infections has been recognised to date. While foodborne transmission is the most common route for Salmonella infections, this does not appear to be the case for the increase of this serovar. Recent studies showed that exposure to surface water such as swimming and other recreational activities seems to be a risk factor for S Napoli infection (Oggioni and others 2010). These findings, together with the recent detection of S Napoli in wild boars and wild birds hunted or captured in Northern and Central Italy and in fresh vegetables produced in the same Country, suggest a common environmental source of this serovar (Graziani and others 2011; Zottola continue
Augmented reality and virtual reality with devices such as Google’s digital contact lenses or Oculus Rift give us a new view of the world through digital information. If you have ever had a chance to use a virtual reality device, you can compare the attractiveness of information on a website with seeing how a drug works in 3D and realize the potential that virtual reality holds for pharma. The experience is to strong you will surely not forget it anytime soon. And isn’t that what we need to do to keep on top in a world overloaded with information? The 3D printing revolution that can manufacture medical prostheses, equipment, and pharmaceuticals. A Scottish group has been working on printing out drugs in 3D with a printer. The first drug printed out with a 3D printer was approved by the FDA in 2015. Imagine getting a blueprint of a customized drug in a customized dosage related to your genomic background and that a local pharmacy could print it out for you, all without the participation of big pharma. Nanorobots in blood could make early diagnoses by constantly measuring any health parameters. If the technology of transporting drugs to the actual cellular targets in nanocages becomes viable, the pharma industry will have to start producing different end products to make sure they are compatible with nanotechnology. This requires a new approach to medication, without which the transformation of pharma could be a hard and rocky one. This is the most futuristic example, but it’s never early enough to start preparing for a new revolution. more
Dogs are special. Every dog owner knows that. And most dog owners feel their dog understands every word they say and every move they make. Research over the last two decades shows dogs really can understand human communication in ways no other species can. But a new study confirms that if you want to train your new puppy, you should be speaking to it in a certain way to maximise the chances that it follows what you’re saying. There is already quite a lot of research evidence showing that the way we communicate to dogs is different from the way we communicate to other humans. When we talk to dogs, we use what is called “dog directed speech”. This means we change the structure of our sentences, shortening and simplifying them. We also tend to speak with a higher pitch in our voices. We also do this when we are not sure we are understood or when talking to very young infants. A new study has shown we use an even higher pitch when talking to puppies, and that this tactic really does help the animals to pay attention more. The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, showed that talking to puppies using dog-directed speech makes them react and attend more to their human instructor than regular speech. continue
Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida(IBB) University, Lapai in Niger State has commenced production of Cashew Juice. The university ventured into production because of the abundance of fruit there and during the harvest season about 60 percent of the fruit gets rotten and waste away. The university decided to curb waste by production which is handled by the Department of Food Science and Technology. Prof. Mohammed Yakubu, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the institution,added that the university plans to commercialize the cashew juice through markets in Abuja, Minna, Kano, Kogi and Nasarawa. The deputy vice chancellor believed that the initiative would raise the university’s revenue, and help engage youths in the juice processing. see Enter the millionaire league with cashew nut see
According to the National Demographic Health Survey, 2008, Ondo state had a maternal mortality ratio of 742 per 100,000 live births with worse indices at the facility level. Nigeria records one of the world’s highest rates of maternal deaths, with the country being the largest contributor of maternal deaths globally and second largest of under – five deaths with India being the first. Most families especially those in rural communities – characteristically uneducated and economically disadvantaged - are at the mercies of spiritualists, and unskilled traditional birth attendants that they consult to deliver their babies. “We trust the outcome will be divine, we never trusted government hospitals” explains 60 year- old Taye Idowu in Yoruba. Taye is part of a corp of maternal health evangelists, mostly reformed traditional birth healers under the Ondo state government's 'Agbebiye' programme – an incentive based referral programme. The TBAs are encouraged to refer their ‘patients’ to the orthodox clinics and earn money. She and others in the 18 local governments of Ondo State are part of the Agbebiye Initiative – a community – based approach and a primary health care model aimed to further improve community ownership to reduce maternal health to zero. Taye and her colleagues were part of the trade of traditional birth healers they use broken bottles to cut the umbilical cord immediately the women deliver their babies, some get home and die from infection. more
The Fadama lll additional financing project in Yobe has distributed goats, sheep's and assorted food items to 40 households affected by Boko haram insurgency in Malam Mattari village, Yobe State. The state Fadama lll coordinator, Musa A. Garba, said after launching the distribution that every household received a set of three sheep and a ram or three female goats and a male goat to improve their economic status. The 40 benefiting households were provided with an option goats and sheep for animal husbandry, while assorted grains, oil and condiments are for food support .The coordinator said that a total of 5,320 households in 20 communities from 14 local government areas in the state would benefit from the programme. Alhaji Mustapha Gajerema, Yobe commissioner for agriculture who flagged off the distribution described as a way of supporting the insurgency victims to improve their livelihoods He said the state government was quick to settled its N20 million counterpart fund to benefit from the N274 million World Bank grant, so as improve the livelihoods of the beneficiaries. see
The FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello has asked the National Implementation Committee for the Curtailment of Cattle Rustling in Nigeria to evolve mechanism to track all cattle coming from neighbouring countries. The Minister stated this while receiving members of the committee led by its chairman, AIG Charles Ugomuoh yesterday in Abuja. Bello said all such cattle could be tracked from the border thereby reducing friction often generated by their activities in the hinterland, which can also be used for statistical purposes. He said: "It would be a good idea for your committee to set up a robust mechanism to track all those coming across the border even for statistical purposes." continue
Felines have a greater need for taurine in the diet than other animals and deficiencies take a long time to be obvious and thus cause significant damage to a cat’s health. Cats fed a nutritionally balanced, fresh meat-based diet won’t need supplemental taurine,hence make sure balanced diets are presented. Home made cat diets should be supplemented with taurine, and all commercial cat foods should be checked and ensure it contains supplemental taurine. carnivores (cats) aren't able to synthesize all the taurine their bodies need from the dietary amino acids methionine and cysteine,unlike herbivores and omnivores that can synthesize all they need. Kitties can only conjugate bile acids with taurine thus they need taurine supplement with every meal. A low rate of taurine synthesis plus a loss of taurine in bile means kitties have an increased dietary requirement for taurine. Deficiencies will cause central retinal degeneration, disturbed reproduction and fetal development and heart cardiomyopathy. Taurine is an amino acid found primarily in muscle meat, especially dark meat, and organs like the heart, kidneys and liver, as well as seafood, including shellfish. It's also found in small amounts in dairy products, including eggs. Plants contain little to no detectable amounts of taurine. The way the meal is presented affects concentration of taurine available for the cats in the finished product. The highest concentrations are found in raw meat, then frying with juices retained, frying without retaining the juices, baking and finally, boiling. Home cooking for cats should consider this, cook the meat lightly, and retain all the liquids from the meat. The higher the temperature, the more taurine lost, so make sure to keep cooking temperatures low.
Agri-tech company kicks off poultry waste to energy project: Irish agri-tech company BHSL has launched a $3m pilot project in the US state of Maryland, aimed at reducing the environmental challenges of the region’s poultry industry.
Some people with disabilities rely on trained service animals to assist them in everyday life. The roles of the service animal include but not limited to the following. A service animal is usually a dog that is specifically trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Service animals perform some of the things that the individual with a disability cannot perform for himself or herself. The most familiar type of service animal is a dog who assists some people who are blind, diabetic patients, sick children, depressed and people struggling with PTSD. Service animals are trained to assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Service animals can help people with a variety of needs. Dogs may be trained to:I)Alert someone with diabetes when blood sugar reaches high or low levels. 2)Remind someone to take his or her medication. 3)Detect the onset of a seizure and help the person remain safe. 4) Alert people with hearing impairments to sounds such as doorbells. 5) pick up items for people with mobility impairments. 6) cleaning up in the home.
Scientists want to be able to genetically engineer humans so that they don't get diseases. That is the conclusion of a new report from two of the world's most elite scientific institutions, which calls for people to be allowed to make modifications to inherited human DNA so that diseases are edited out or treatments are edited in. Such controversial changes could allow scientists to stop diseases from being passed on to future generations. Gene editing, which effectively allows the precise "cutting and pasting" of DNA, is already used in basic research and clinical studies that involve non-heritable "somatic" cells. continue
A new study reveals that India will soon outpace its Asian neighbor, China in the context of increasing air pollution levels. U.S.-based Heath Effects Institute, along with the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation released a report , which indicates that 1.1 million premature deaths were encountered in 2015 due to increasing air pollution in India. The same statistic applies for China as well, but the country has taken numerous measures to keep a check on carbon emissions and also to stabilize the level of air particulates in the atmosphere. Michael Brauer, a professor at the University of British Columbia and the lead author of the study, states that this situation is the "perfect storm" for India. Factors Contributing To The Pollution The report states that the amount of a fine dust particulate matter known as PM2.5 has risen sharply and is largely responsible for the 1.1 million premature deaths in India. Brauer believes that the country's growing industrialization, along with the rapid growth in population, are behind the rise of PM2.5 in India. continue
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, has launched two new mental wellness initiatives to protect the health and welfare of its members. Joined by their insurance trusts, AVMA LIFE and AVMA PLIT, the AVMA initiated a pilot programme to train individuals to identify and assist those who might be considering suicide. The programme is free of charge to 4,000 veterinarians and 1,000 veterinary students. Cost considerations restrict the number of participants at this time, but the program may be expanded in the future. In addition to the training, a new LinkedIn community offers all veterinarians the opportunity to connect with thought leaders in the mental health profession and discuss a wide range of topics related to wellness and well-being. “AVMA is very much a family,” said AVMA President Dr. Tom Meyer. “When a recent study reported that one in six US veterinarians has contemplated suicide, we needed to act. As veterinarians we are saving the lives of our patients every day. We need to empower our member veterinarians with knowledge that might save a colleague’s life." Training for veterinarians: Called QPR – an acronym that stands for “Question, Persuade, Refer” – gatekeeper training teaches people without professional mental health backgrounds to: Recognize the signs that someone may be considering suicide; Establish a dialogue with the person; Guide the person to seek professional help. continue
The idea of establishing a modern abattoir in Akure by the Ondo State Government was first conceived in 1983 with the acquisition of 18 hectares of land for both the abattoir and cattle market project on the outskirts of Akure metropolis along Ado road. The cattle market project took off in 1985 but the abattoir project could not take off due to paucity of fund. In 2001, contract for the construction of the semi-mechanised abattoir was awarded but the contract was terminated in 2004 due to the contractor’s incompetence. In 2011, the contract was rewarded with the main abattoir project ,the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh who was the Guest of Honour at the event commended the resolve of the Ondo State Government to build an abattoir of World Health Organisation (WHO) standard. Speaking on the health benefits of the facility, Ogbeh who was represented by the State Director of Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Funke Omagbemi said it holds the key in the provision of hygienically processed meat which will enhance good and healthy eating habit. The process through which the animal is slaughtered contributes a great deal to the hygiene of the meat. The animal will first be kept in the lairage i.e shelf to rest for at least 24hours where it can not be fed but can be given water. This will prevent it from the harsh weather, reduce glycogen and make the meat fresh. visit
Footballers who repeatedly head the ball can end up suffering from dementia, new findings have suggested, prompting calls for more research into a long-suspected issue in the sport. A potential cause of dementia thought to arise from blows to the head has, for the first time, been confirmed in a group of retired footballers following a small study. The results provide a platform for a “pressing research question” on whether dementia is more common in footballers than the general population, the authors said. Dawn Astle, daughter of former England and West Brom striker Jeff Astle, who died of a degenerative brain disease in 2002 aged 59, said such findings are no surprise. The brains of six of the 14 retired players involved in the research — none of whom have been identified — underwent post-mortem examinations and four were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) pathology, while all six had signs of Alzheimer’s disease. CTE can cause dementia and, like Alzheimer’s, is characterised by a buildup of abnormal tau protein in the brain. The rate of CTE detected in the footballers’ brains was greater than the 12 percent average found in a previous study which looked at 268 brains from the general population. The results show more research is urgently needed in the area, Professor Huw Morris of UCL Institute of Neurology said, but he cautioned the risk for people who enjoy playing football in their spare time is likely to be low. source
A farm operation manager is needed; The person required must be highly skilled in sheep management and handling, The person must have good numerical skills, be competent with data handling and computing, and be able to manage both permanent and contract farm workers. There is a requirement that the person must be able to carry out the normal range of farming duties such as spraying, fencing, tractor work, welding and mechanical repairs. , apply.
Investment opportunities in agriculture to smile to the bank.Agriculture contributes 6.5% to global GDP and in Nigeria, it contributes over 25% of our GDP. During the recession of 2016, Agriculture was one of the sectors or industries that experienced growth. There are numerous opportunities to invest in agriculture,but it’s advisable to pick an agribusiness idea to invest in which is a reflection of your passion so that you can give it all it takes to make it profitable .The Federal Government of Nigeria plans to inject $3.2 billion to the Bank of Agriculture in 2017 who in turn should give out loans to farmers and food processors,this is a jump-start for any agripreneur. Business unusual in agribusiness to cash in are as follows 1) Provision of information, farmers need information all the time. They need to know where to get the best seeds, where to buy the best feed ingredients,cost of various inputs and also groups and forum where information can be exchanged. Farmers need an information portal for all their farming and agribusiness needs. 2) sales of new technology, the world is now enlightened on nutrition with many people turning to organic farming to stay healthy. The introduction and provision of tools for organic farming will be a money spinner. The introduction of liquid organic fertilizer is a key component of this strive for foodsecurity and foodsafety. 3) Starting an HR farm for farmers. Staffing your farm can be a herculean task if you dont know who and where to turn to,but an agency that can provide farm hands,helps and drivers will be well rewarded. 4) Setting up a biogas plant. The waste generated from farms can be harnessed and converted to electricity alongside fertilizer and waste water which are nutrient laden that can be used to wet crops. This area is still green now because of lack of an organized sector,but if tapped into its a goldmine that will change the financial situation.Farmers need their farm waste to be removed,so if farmers are grouped according to different livestock ventures and zoned according to districts then waste generated per zone can be sent to a biogas plant and the area powered up by electricity. explore more
A new study , recently published in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), by Harvard Medical School shows that software developed by Israeli startup MedAware helps reduce prescription errors, potentially saving the lives of patients. Ra’anana-based MedAware has developed software that uses algorithms and machine learning based on data and patterns gathered from thousands of physicians who treat millions of patients. The data are used to identify and give alerts about prescription errors in real time. The company says its self-learning, self-adaptive system is proven to dramatically reduce healthcare costs while improving patient safety.The Harvard study analyzed records from almost 800,000 patients to assess the efficacy of MedAware’s software. The report found that MedAware’s technology identifies errors otherwise undetected by current systems in use, minimizes the risks arising from fatigued doctors who are used to getting false alerts from current systems, and reduces prescription errors with high accuracy. The study showed that MedAware’s technology sets a new standard for prescription alerts and patient safety vis-à-vis traditional safety systems, which only detect a fraction of actual errors, and are not geared up to identify random or complex errors, like prescribing a medication used only in pregnant women for an elderly person. adapted
The future is here. The ability to create a three-dimensional object using a simple printer is a reality in today’s world. Merely three decades after 3D printing was invented, Israel is already the manufacturer of roughly 40 percent of all 3D printers worldwide,the prices of these printers vary depending on their intended use and the quality, but many of them can now be purchased by anyone for use at home. A consumer 3D printer costs a few hundred dollars, a professional printer – up to $1 million, but beyond their prices, the applications of 3D printing are very broad, used today to create anything from objects like toys and clothes, to sophisticated medical equipment. Physicians are already using these printers to create anatomy mock-ups, so they can get the clearest view possible and know exactly where to cut once in surgery. They also use them to create medical devices that can match the exact need of any patient at a fraction of the price in a fraction of the time. Medical professionals are even looking for ways to create live tissue on 3D printers, which could one day, hopefully, eradicate the need for donors. The Israeli company, Syqe Medical, is using 3D printing for medical marijuana purposes. Its Syqe Inhaler is a 3D-printed device used to inhale medical cannabis. In addition to being healthier for your lungs, the Syqe Inhaler can distribute the dosage of medical marijuana with a higher accuracy than a standard medical marijuana cigarette, according to the company. Marijuana cigarettes make it difficult for doctors to accurately measure how much marijuana to distribute. explore
The San Joaquin Valley has become America’s breadbasket over the past few decades. Products including pistachios, almonds, citrus, stone fruit, cotton, and grapes are grown here and distributed all over the United States and are exported around the world. The agricultural waste creates a solid biofuels pipeline and eliminating these waste, especially cow manure, is becoming expensive and of course, problematic for the local environment.The recent launch of the Calgren Ethanol Plant is a step in helping California meet its clean energy goals while addressing the San Joaquin Valley’s terrible air pollution. The plant, according to the coalition of companies that built the facility, will churn cow manure into bio-ethanol which can then be blended with conventional gasoline. The process starts with a nearby dairy, Four J Farms. Cow manure from the 1,800 milk-producing cattle will flow down a pipeline to the Calgren plant. The manure is then deposited into the DVO-designed digester that is 16 feet deep and insulated with concrete to prevent any leakage from entering local groundwater. Bacteria that naturally occur within cows’ digestive tracts are added to the manure, when is then stored and churned there while it is kept at a consistent warmth of 101.5°F (38°C). The three-plus weeks the manure is kept at that temperature is to guarantee any pathogens would be killed off, including E. coli. The result is a system that works almost exactly like a cow’s digestive system. When the clean fuel is culled from the manure, moisture is also extracted and then recycled so local farmers can use it to water their crops. The by-product that remains at the end of the process, which emits almost no smell and has a consistency of moss, is then trucked back to Four J Farms, where employees then scatter it to use as animal bedding. Steve Dvorak, President of DVO, said that one cow alone creates about 100 to 130 cubic feet of biogas a day, or the equivalent of 65,000 BTUs or 6 kilowatt-hours daily,thus there is enough organic waste (in California) to power 2 to 3 million homes or to generate 2.5 billion gallons of clean, ultra-low carbon transportation fuels. source
Billionaire Elon Musk is known for his futuristic ideas and his latest suggestion might just save us from being irrelevant as artificial intelligence (AI) grows more prominent. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said on Monday that humans need to merge with machines to become a sort of cyborg. "Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence," Musk told an audience at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where he also launched Tesla in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). "It's mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output." Musk explained what he meant by saying that computers can communicate at "a trillion bits per second", while humans, whose main communication method is typing with their fingers via a mobile device, can do about 10 bits per second. In an age when AI threatens to become widespread, humans would be useless, so there's a need to merge with machines, according to Musk.continue
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The exotic animal trade is a multi-billion dollar industry, and the US is the world’s leading importer. While the US government is on the alert for well known animal-transmitted diseases, there is no mandatory health surveillance for most animals coming though US ports for commercial distribution. Live animal imports could bring new diseases into the US and infect endemic wildlife, with devastating consequences as, for example, was seen with the worldwide exposure of amphibians to Chytrid fungus which resulted in the decline of more than 200 species. The legal commercial exotic animal trade is a booming enterprise that ships ornamental fish, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians around the world. These pets, livestock and other animals can carry unexpected infectious diseases from their homelands. If these non-native species escape or are released to the wild, they can create epidemics among susceptible endemic wildlife. Four US agencies oversee live animal imports, but there is currently no systematic screening for disease in most live animal imports. The majority of animals processed through American ports for the pet industry fall under the aegis of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which has no authority to conduct health inspections. Livestock imports are regulated by the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), with oversight by the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection. Species known to carry certain diseases (rabies in dogs, or tuberculosis in monkeys, for example) are monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to a 2010 report from the US Government Accountability Office, a lack of interagency collaboration creates gaps in health surveillance that could leave native wildlife and people exposed to disease. These risks could potentially be enormous. A single fungal disease, Chytrid, for example, devastated more than 200 amphibian species worldwide. A related pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, originating with the Asian salamander trade, wreaked similar havoc on native populations in the Netherlands and Belgium. If this fungus gains a foothold in the US — a salamander biodiversity hotspot — experts fear entire species could be wiped out. continue
A ruthless killer may soon help brain cancer patients. The rabies virus, which kills tens of thousands of people a year, has a rare ability to enter nerve cells and use them as a conduit to infect brain tissue. Now, scientists are trying to mimic this strategy to ferry tumor-killing nanoparticles into brain tumors. So far the approach has been shown to work only in mice. If successful in people, these nanoparticles could one day help doctors send treatment directly to tumors without harming healthy cells. The rabies virus, transmitted largely through the bites of infected animals, has evolved over thousands of years to hijack nerve cells, which it uses to climb from infected muscle tissue into the brain. That allows it to bypass a major hurdle: the blood-brain barrier, a selective membrane that keeps out most pathogens that travel through the bloodstream. But the barrier also prevents treatments—like cancer drugs—from reaching infected cells, limiting options for patients. To get around this problem, scientists are looking to the virus for inspiration. Already, researchers have packaged cancer-fighting drugs into nanoparticles coated with part of a rabies surface protein that lets the virus slip into the central nervous system. continue
The World Health Organization recently declared that the Zika virus is no longer a global health emergency, other diseases are growing more threatening each day. Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease transmitted through infected animal urine claimed dozens of human lives in the Caribbean in 2016., or cysticercosis, a disease contracted from the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium, that causes hundreds of thousands of people to suffer seizures. It's no coincidence that these diseases are transmitted by animals as nearly 60 percent of all human diseases are and such illnesses kill over two million people each year. Today's veterinarians aren't merely tasked with giving Fido his shots as they're asked to serve as public-health warriors, leading the attack against diseases of zoonotic nature. The lives and livelihoods of millions of people depend on them receiving the proper training. Mosquitoes have caused deadly diseases for generations such as dengue fever that affects up to 400 million people annually while malaria strikes another 200 million. The blood-sucking pests aren't the only source of threats. Dogs transmit 99 percent of rabies which without prompt treatment, the disease is nearly always fatal for people. Animal-borne diseases can also infect local economies. Lets look at the Zika virus, which causes birth defects in babies. The latest outbreak hit over 61 countries and as the virus spread, tourism in affected areas dropped precipitously. Consider Miami's $24 billion tourism industry, because of Zika, the price of plane tickets to Miami dropped 17 percent in August, a sign of depressed demand. One local restaurant owner reported losing 70 percent of his customers. continue
The Municipal Health Department in San Antonio de los Baños will develop actions to increase vector control from February 13 to 18, as part of the fight against diseases transmitted by the mosquito Aedes Aegypti, including Chikungunya, Dengue, Yellow Fever and Zika. The strategy includes the student mobilization for the completion of the intensive focal, says María Eugenia Pérez Pérez, Integral Postgraduate Methodologist at the Municipal Public Health Department in Ariguanabo. The specialist adds that the Universities of Medical Sciences throughout the country join these actions in favor of health. She points out the necessary cooperation of the Ariguanabenses to help with the strategy. The students will be organized in duos, visit homes and exchange with the residents about preventive measures, such as destroying artificial deposits and the application of bactivec, among other indications. Maria Eugenia explains that health promotion and prevention actions include research on family members who have fever, rash or conjunctivitis, joint or muscle pain. Before these manifestations we should immediately go to the family doctor office. source
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a new ultrasound device that produces sharper images through 3-D printed lenses.With clearer images, doctors and surgeons can have greater control and precision when performing non-invasive diagnostic procedures and medical surgeries. The new device will allow for more accurate medical procedures that involve the use of ultrasound to kill tumours, loosen blood clots and deliver drugs into targeted cells. This innovative ultrasound device is equipped with superior resin lenses that have been 3-D printed. In current ultrasound machines, the lens which focuses the ultrasound waves are limited to cylindrical or spherical shapes, restricting the clarity of the imaging. With 3-D printing, complex lens shapes can be made which results in sharper images. The 3-D printed lenses allow ultrasound waves to be focused at multiple sites or shape the focus specially to a target, which current ultrasound machines are unable to do. more
When you work in the medical industry, much of your job involves education. This is obviously the case with those in the medical education field, but it’s also true for medical professionals. In today’s digital world, 3D medical model technology is an integral part of that educational process. Research is also an integral part of the medical world, especially for those in the fast-paced world of biotechnology. For firms large and small, 3D medical models help communicate research concepts, helping those firms acquire funding so that new treatments can be developed and approved in order to save lives. Here are just a few of the places you’ll find 3D medical model technology hard at work. 3D medical models bring the world of visual creativity and science together in order to help researchers actually see their theories in action. Sometimes, a device or treatment doesn’t work the same way on paper as it does in reality. 3D medical models help biotech firms understand how certain treatments could work in the real world. A 3D medical model can help demonstrate how a new medication could work systemically or even at the cellular level. So, when the biotech firm brings the drug to the market, the 3D medical model is a key tool in their advertising arsenal. more
A team of researchers and engineers has created a 3-D model that they say can improve the study and treatment of tuberculosis and other infections. The team at the University of Southampton and University College London, United Kingdom, has conducted studies on how the new model can be used to observe human cellular response to TB infection. Researchers say it will also compensate for shortcomings in traditional 2-D models. This model will help speed up the process of finding treatments and vaccines for human tuberculosis, an infection that kills 1.8 million people per year. The team used a 3-D model to integrate engineering and biological approaches with clinical specimens to create an entirely new system of studying infection. By way of electrostatic encapsulation, the team created microspheres containing human cells, which were then infected with TB bacteria. The 3-D approach creates conditions — including the presence of an extracellular matrix — that are more like those existing in the human lung compared with the 2-D cultures on plastic, researchers said. The new model also allows up to 3 weeks of experimentation, which is more than four times the window provided by the old method.
The global population is projected to rise more than 9 billion by 2050 and the demand for food expected to jump sharply, the need for addressing the challenges of food security assumes greater urgency now. There is also a growing need to adopt stronger measures to reduce the gender gap and more women should be included to bridge the gulf. Investing in Women in vaarious Agribusiness Value Chains, will increase productivity and efficiency in the agriculture sector by closing economic and social gaps between women and men throughout the value chain, from farm to retail and beyond. The solution to address two of the most pressing challenges of food security and gender disparity—isn’t difficult as it only involves women inclusion. Women comprise over 40 percent of the agricultural labor force worldwide and play a major role in agriculture but they face a variety of constraints, such as limited access to agricultural inputs, technologies, finance, and networks. There is an increasing number of companies now that recognizes that investing in women can help increase companies’ bottom lines—while helping improve the lives of people in rural areas. Agribusiness companies need support in identifying where and how they can close gender gaps in their value chain. In West African cocoa farms, for instance, women are responsible for drying cocoa beans, a crucial step in the processing of cocoa that determines the quality of the final product. To stabilize supply and formalize women’s contributions, chocolate producer Nestlé mapped the roles of women farmers in their supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire. Women are a strong consumer base as they are involved in buying and selling ,thus recognizing women as a customer base can result in market opportunities for agribusiness companies. Food-processing companies have already taken the lead in targeting the women’s market and building on consumers’ interest in gender-smart solutions. Successful gender programs, can be aimed at closing the gap between women and men, so both can benefit. Companies such as chocolate producer Mondelēz International partnered with IFC to identify the roles that women and men play in the cocoa sector and evaluate their contribution at various stages of the cocoa production process. Gender diagnostics can allow companies to evaluate gaps and define opportunities for women and men engaged in the agricultural production process and adjust companies’ gender programs accordingly. Gender-smart investments are part of the solution to address global challenges, as they can strengthen value chains, support global food supply, and improve livelihoods—with benefits accruing to both, farmers and companies.
Nigerian officials have announced that the country will remove its 20 percent import tax on Dutch greenhouse equipment to boost the domestic tomato production and attract more investment into the Nigerian tomato and horticultural industries. Nigeria wants to boost the use of greenhouse equipment to establish year round production schemes and provide a structural solution against the devastating tuta absoluta outbreaks. continue
Stanford researchers have developed a new way to estimate crop yields from space, using high-res photos snapped by a new wave of compact satellites. This approach is detailed in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could be used to estimate agricultural productivity and test intervention strategies in poor regions of the world where data are currently extremely scarce. Improved agricultural productivity is one of the main ways to reduce hunger and improve livelihoods in poor parts of the world and to improve agricultural productivity, measurement is important. The team focused on an area in Western Kenya where there are a lot of smallholder farmers that grow maize, or corn, on small, half-acre or one-acre lots. They combined the imagery with computer-based crop models to make accurate predictions, just based on the imagery alone they deduced the actual productivity on the field.
Agribusiness is the business arm of your agricultural practice,but the way you play the role affects your profit. This is the key to making money in your agriventure,define who you are,what you represent and what you aim to achieve. Agribusiness person or farmer which label is yours? . Identify yourself as a businessperson, not a farmer. A farmer grows fruits, vegetables, and grains and tends cattle, goats, chickens, and bees with a short-term sales outlook while a businessperson is someone who understands that these productive assets are cultivated, reared, and turned into quality consumer products that generate regular income. The key words here are productive assets, quality products and regular income. Assess your strengths and build on them. Ask yourself are you flexible to change; how amenable you are to using new methods. Can you utilize the space you have in a more productive way? Are you using organic manure from your own cows to fertilise your crops? Are you diversifying your product lines to establish different revenue streams? There is strength in numbers, get out of your small space and join others who are building the future. Always associate with people who know more than you do and listen to what they say. Often your neighbours will know more about what is happening than you do. Ask others at church what is happening with irrigation systems, or disease prevention or crop rotation patterns; who is building processing plants that will ease the movement of raw materials into finished products. Always ask, how can I be involved in what is happening that will make a difference in my productive capacity? Understand the risks of farming and learn how to manage them. If unpredictable pricing is a risk, diversify into more stable product lines. If climate change is destabilising your seasonal production or reducing quality outputs, reach out to agribusiness specialists to learn how to manage these risks. Understand how research changes the dynamics of success in the field. This is the single largest issue confronting you now and everyone needs to be involved in finding solutions. Become your own brand manager. Does your farm have a name? Can the consumer differentiate your products from others? Can you get your story in the local newspaper? Manage your farm like a product and trust your instincts when doing anything. continue
Monday, February 13, 2017
Nigeria is the fourth largest producer of cashew in Africa and the sixth in the world with an output of 160,000 metric tons per year. A production which is expected to reach 500,000 metric tons by 2020. The main export destinations for the crop are Europe, India and the United States. Nigeria’s inability to process cashew nuts in significant quantities for export resulted in the loss of $1.4 billion in 2016. Data from the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) showed that the country exported a total of 160,000 metic tons of cashew valued at $300 million in 2016. The cashew industry is a massive industry that is waiting to be tapped,processing is where the money is but only a small fraction is processed for export. A ton of processed cashew, is sold for $12,000 while a ton of raw cashew is $1,200. Investment opportunities abound in the cashew processing.which will not only be a source of foreign exchange but also a point of creating jobs at various levels.The higher the quantity of cashew nuts processed,the higher the income/revenue generated. Processing can be on large scale or small scale,but the equipment required for production are the same. These are the necessary equipment: 1)Steam Boiler. 2) Cooking vats. 3)Semi-automated Peeling Machine. 4)Multi-color Cashew Kernel Sorting Machine. 5)Husk Winnowing Machine. 6)Steam Pipeline. 7)Hot oven 8) Hand Operated Cutting Machine. 9)Cashew Peeling Machine. 10) cashew filling machine. 11)Pieces separator. 12) Weighing scale. 13) Sealing Machine.14)plastic, buckets, crates, bowls 14) Generator Set.
The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has reported that the resurgence of Bird flu in Plateau state killed over 11,000 birds, last week. According to PAN’s chairman in the state, John Dasar, six farms had so far been affected and no fewer than 11,000 birds were gotten rid of. Dasar attributed the fast spread of the disease to failure by farmers to report the outbreak of the disease. “Farmers in Plateau state are really going through tough times because of the resurgence of bird flu in the last one week. In one week, six poultry farms were depopulated. The main concern here is that most farmers don’t report the outbreak, they prefer to sell their birds to marketers rather than wait for government’s compensation that will never come. So, all we do is when we get wind of an outbreak in any farm, we alert government’s officials to take immediate action,” he said. The chairman, however, urged poultry farmers to report any outbreak in their farms to the appropriate authorities so as to prevent any further spread of the disease in the state.Source
Modern medicine relies heavily on technology, like centrifuges, that are costly, bulky and require electricity. In many places around the world, especially developing countries this kind of equipment can be difficult to access. A new study published online in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, researchers described an inexpensive, hand-powered centrifuge that's based on an ancient toy and could help doctors working in developing countries. The centrifuge is the essential in modern medical laboratories,because this device spins samples at high speeds to separate particles or cells based on size and density, effectively concentrating specific components making disease diagnosis easy. The researchers found that a toy known most commonly as the whirligig had the greatest potential as a centrifuge. By altering the basic design, they were able to achieve speeds of up to 125,000 revolutions per minute (RPM), the fastest speeds reported for a hand-powered device. The researchers used a paper disk and fishing wire to modify the whirligig, turning it into a hand-powered centrifuge that costs about 20 cents to build. They called their device a "paperfuge" and tested it against modern centrifuges to measure red blood cell counts. To do so, Prakash and his team loaded a finger prick of blood into a capillary tube and placed that into a sealed plastic straw that was mounted onto the paper disk. The result was obtained in a minute and a half , without electricity and were similar in tests for malaria parasites.
Agriculture is the new currency and everybody is tapping into the market one way or the other. The current trend of back to agriculture has opened up an in-road to agribusiness such that more products are available as a source of income or as sustenance to ensure food security. Agriculture is broad but you can carve a niche for yourself and produce desirable products,there are very many opportunities to create wealth but i choose to write about these because they are simple, easy,can be home based and require minimal capital. 1) Egg sales and distribution; the demand for eggs are ever increasing and you can easily start this with as little as 10,000 naira ,which you can easily turn around and start making profit immediately. Egg sales and distribution is an instant cash cow,your personal money-making machine. start 2) Fruit sales; majority of people are concerned about health nowadays with many people turning to fruits and vegetables to stay fit and trim. The sale of fruits is simple and easy to start. The first step will be to visit fruit markets in your area or link up with fruit farmers and strike a deal. The fruits purchased can either be sold as whole fruits or cut in bits for sale to people who cant afford the full sized fruits. The dicing of the fruits will not only sell fast but it opens another avenue to cash in fast ,the diced/sliced fruits can be hygienically packed , chilled and sold as fruit box or packs that are handy packs for schools,hospitals,offices and of course superstores. Fruits can also be diced ,blended , chilled and sold as smoothies,this is the cream of the fruit business. Entrepreneurs can actually start a health store where various fruit smoothies are sold,the winning edge will be the basic knowledge of various fruits and the health benefits to the body so that you can make a perfect mix and offer your customers. E.g a customer that wants to lose weight can ask the fruit vendor for the best fruit combo to achieve this goal e.t.c. the ability to blend various fruit combo to fit different requirement will boost sales as many customers will troop in to try the mix. 3) snail farming,this is a hidden goldmine that its easy to start and manage. Snails are not noisy,nor pollute the environment with effluents thus its a super urban agribusiness venture to look into.see 4) Start an aquarium store; you can actually start from home and reach out to clients. The shop can be set up with various sizes of vats for the different fish types,an aquarium accessory shop will be an addition to the venture. The interior decoration in many organisations are now complimented with different types of aquarium,also you can generate more money if you open up a section of your store as exhibition ground or resort center,where schools,individuals can come in ,look around and pay for the visit. start and this 5) Feather processing; this is turning waste to wealth. Everybody loves fashion,and one or two pieces of accessories can make you stand out. Feathers of different poultry can be accessed in various live bird markets with processing facility. The feathers are collected according to breeds,color and size. The feathers are washed in warm water to get any dirt or debris off,then its disinfected ,rinsed and dried in the sun. The feathers can be further processed according to use,such as adding color,trimming to fit a pattern or using them plain. Feathers can be used as fans,earrings,hat clips,brooches ,set decor,home decor e.t.c .learn
Gut bacteria linked to development of Alzheimer’s disease: Mouse data: Intestinal bacteria can accelerate the development of Alzheimer's disease, say researchers who suggest their findings could open new opportunities for preventing and even reversing the disease through the gut.