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Exploring the dynamic relationship between health and environment
Date:3/23/2009

After clearing a swath of Amazonian rainforest, local residents experience an increase in the number of mosquito bites and a spike in malaria. Veterinarians keep their cattle healthy with doses of anti-parasiticsmedication that can harm populations of local invertebrates like dung beetles. Conservation of local biodiversity can contribute to increased food security and provide sources of medicine that can be incorporated into mainstream health care systems. And new advances in genomics are helping scientists map the evolution of a pathogen and understand its ecology.

These and other stories will be part of Exploring the Dynamic Relationship between Health and the Environment, the 14th spring symposium. In recognition of very generous leadership support from the Paul and Irma Milstein Family, this year's symposium is named the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Milstein Science Symposium. On April 2 and 3, biologists, environmental scientists, policy makers, and public health specialists will gather for a two-day exploration of the deep reach of human endeavors into the health of environments and people.

"This is about human health and the health of the planet," says Eleanor Sterling, Director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC) at the American Museum of Natural History. The CBC organized the symposium in conjunction with the Museum's Sackler Laboratory for Comparative Genomics. "Changes to our landscapes and ecosystems are inextricably linked to the health of species and that of the ecosystems themselves."

"Disease emergence and spread are usually due to a complex interaction of social, ecological, and environmental factors," explains CBC post-doctoral fellow Andrs Gmez. "Globally, environmental changedeforestation, dam building, urbanization, and irrigation projectshas had an influence on the epidemiology of many infectious and non-infectious diseases. But with new partnerships between city planners,
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Contact: Kristin Elise Phillips
kphillips@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History
Source:Eurekalert

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