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New push for public health, AIDS spending at African Union summit

Activists hope this weekend's African Union (AU) summit will net commitments to boost government spending on public health, helping to curb the spread of AIDS, which killed 2.3 million Africans in 2004. .. .. . ."Now they have to deli...

A comprehensive response to HIV could prevent 10 million AIDS deaths in Africa by 2020

Based on successful animal studies, a novel.vaccine that uses immune cells as factories to produce Her2/neu protein.may offer a way to treat some human breast cancers, say researchers at.The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. [Ed : ].Their study, published in the online journal, Breast Cancer Research,.on Nov. 29, 2004, showed that the vaccine protected 86 percent of.experimental...

Scientists discuss improved biopesticides for locust control in West Africa

Two Virginia Tech scientists contributed by invitation to an international scientific meeting called by Abdoulaye Wade, president of Senegal, to identify strategies for the control of the ongoing locust outbreak in West Africa. Last year, locusts stripped fields of crops and trees of foliage across several countries, causing severe income and food supply loss. .. Larry Vaughan, associate program...

Reducing malarial transmission in Africa

There are 300 million cases of malaria each year worldwide, causing one million deaths. Around 90% of these deaths occur in Africa, mostly in young children. One of the greatest challenges facing Africa in the fight against malaria is drug resistance; resistance to chloroquine (CQ), the cheapest and most widely used antimalarial, is common throughout Africa, and resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimeth...

Scientists journey to southern Africa to unravel the secret world of elephant communication

It's a cloudless July afternoon in Etosha National Park in northern Namibia, and ecologist Caitlin O'Connell-Rodwell is scanning the horizon for elephants. "It's so fantastic here," she says. "We're constantly seeing elephants, rhinos, zebras, ostriches--it's the Garden of Eden." .. A research associate in the Stanford University School of Medicine, O'Connell-Rodwell has come to one of Africa's p...

Africa to take it on chin again with climate change

A new analysis of Africa's past and future climate shows that the Sahel region, which experienced catastrophic drought until rains returned in the 1990s, could experience wetter monsoons for decades to come. However, drought across southern Africa is projected to intensify further. Oceanic warming consistent with an increase in greenhouse gases appears to be a factor in these expected 21st-centur...

Study reveals dramatic difference between breast cancers in US and Africa

A study comparing, for the first time, breast cancers from Nigeria, Senegal and North America has found that women of African ancestry are more likely to be diagnosed with a more virulent form of the disease than women of European ancestry. .. Researchers from the University of Chicago, working with colleagues at the University of Calabar in Nigeria and the University of North Carolina, found tha...

South African Tribunal Asks For Damages Estimates in GSK AIDS Drug Case

A landmark South African legal complaint against British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) over its AIDS drug pricing and policies in that country will proceed following an order late last week by South Africa's Competition Tribunal that will allow the complaint to go forward. GSK has sought outright dismissal of the case; however, the Competition Tribunal issued an order last week giving the comp...

Researchers find new giant amphibian fossils in Africa

Two new 250 million year-old species of large, meat-eating amphibians have been discovered by researchers, including investigators from McGill University. Their findings published in today's issue of Nature, describe the first and oldest amphibious carnivores from the Republic of Niger in West Africa. . "This the first evidence of carnivores in this area," says McGill paleontologist, and co-autho...

A New Species of Monkey is Discovered in Tanzania: The First in Africa for More Than 20 Years

. .Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society, working in conjunction with other partners, have discovered Africa’s first new species of monkey in over 20 years, marking the third monkey WCS scientists have found in the last six months. The new species is described in the current issue of Science. .. The latest find is named the “Highland Mangabey?(Lophocebus kipunji), a long-haire...

Six million Africans face famine because of locusts, drought

With locusts and drought having destroyed crops and stripped grazing land for six million people across West Africa, small farmers have started selling livestock cheaply and eating the seed corn they should plant during next month's expected rains, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today. . .. "The people in these...

Study of energy and health in Africa focuses spotlight on charcoal and forest management

A new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Harvard School of Public Health finds that promoting cleaner, more efficient technologies for producing charcoal in Africa can save millions of lives and have significant climate change and development benefits. . The African continent, as well as many developing nations in Asia and Latin America, is dependent on both w...

Fungus-farming termites descend from an African rain forest Eve

Agriculture is not unique to humans: some insect groups have also evolved this way of life. One such group is the fungus-farming termites, which cultivate fungi as food inside their nests. Such termites can be found in both rain forest and savannah habitats in the Old World tropics, from Africa to Asia. But as researchers report this week, a combination of DNA sequence analysis and computer model...

Poaching, logging, and outbreaks of Ebola threaten central African gorillas and chimpanzees

Experts call for $30 million action plan to save mankind's closest relatives .. . An action plan drafted by more than 70 primatologists and other experts who met in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, in May designates 12 areas for emergency programs intended to increase security against illegal hunting, protect great apes and tropical forests from logging, and slow t...

Compound might defeat African sleeping sickness, clinical trial beginning this month

One of the most devastating diseases in sub-Saharan Africa almost disappeared in the late 1950s. That disease, African sleeping sickness, or trypanosomiasis, largely succumbed to heroic public health efforts -- including relocating entire villages. But in the past several decades, because of post-colonial turmoil, the catastrophic illness has come back to ravage parts of Angola, the Democratic Re...

President Bush's cut to AIDS prevention in Africa would be devastating

Twenty-eight years after intense selective logging stopped in the region now known as Uganda's Kibale National Park, the red-tailed guenon (Cercophithecus ascanius) is a primate still in decline. The logging practice, scientists report in a new study, changed the ecological balance for these monkeys, leading to behavioral changes and opening the door for multiple parasitic infections. . The resea...

Crisis in African fish supplies looms, experts warn Africa leaders

32% increase of African fish supply needed by 2020 just to maintain consumption levels .. . Experts and political leaders from 26 African countries are convening for the NEPAD-Fish for All S...

Few clues about African ancestry to be found in mitochondrial DNA

Mitochondrial DNA may not hold the key to your origins after all. A study published today in the open access journal BMC Biology reveals that fewer than 10% of African American mitochondrial DNA sequences analysed can be matched to mitochondrial DNA from one single African ethnic group. There has been a growing interest in the use of mitochondrial DNA to trace maternal ancestries, and several com...

Laboratory professionals in Africa receive training under AIDS Relief Plan

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) announced that the Society will receive approximately $1.5 million in federal funds to continue to provide laboratory training and quality improvement programs in African countries severely affected by AIDS. The training programs are for medical laboratory professionals in Africa and will continue in 2006 through the President's Emergency Plan f...

South Africa still debating how to tackle HIV/AIDS when 5 million are infected

A national conference in South Africa was dominated this week by the continuing debate over HIV/AIDS drugs. Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang repeated yet again that drugs were not the only way to fight HIV/AIDS, and that eating habits were also important. .. . The minister in the past has been nicknamed Dr. Garlic because of some of her...

York scientists warn of dramatic impact of climate change on Africa

Scientists at the University of York are warning that dramatic changes may soon occur in Africa's vegetation in response to global warming. .. . .. Dr Jon Lovett, who led the research, said: "The results were extraordinary...

New partnership to clear landmines for African Elephants

A region made impassable by civil war in recent decades will be cleared of landmines to allow huge elephant herds to resume their normal spread in southern Africa, Roots of Peace (RoP) and Conservation International (CI) announced today. . .. The...

US/African project deciphers deadly parasite genome

An innovative North-South research collaboration has culminated in a study published in this week's Science that provides molecular clues to help develop new ways to treat or prevent East Coast fever. .. . The study results from an unusual five-year rese...

Oldest dated evidence of cattle in southern Africa found

A team of researchers working with colleagues from the Botswana National Museum shed new light on the questions of when cattle were brought to southern Africa and from where. A domestic cow bone, dated to about 2000 years ago was excavated from a site at Toteng, located in the Kalahari Desert of northern Botswana. This bone, dated by the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon technique,...

Ancient anthropoid origins discovered in Africa

The fossil teeth and jawbones of two new species of tiny monkey-like creatures that lived 37 million years ago have been sifted from ancient sediments in the Egyptian desert, researchers have reported. . .. The researchers published their dis...

Tropical Atlantic cooling and African deforestation correlate to drought, report scientists

Against the backdrop of the Montreal Summit on global climate being held this week, an article on African droughts and monsoons, by a University of California, Santa Barbara scientist and others, which appears in the December issue of the journal Geology, underlines concern about the effects of global climate change. . Tropical ocean temperatures and land vegetation have an important effect on A...

Newly identified mechanism helps explain why people of African descent are more vulnerable to TB

A team of scientists has identified a cellular mechanism that may help explain the puzzle of why people of African descent are more susceptible to tuberculosis infection and why, once infected, they develop more severe states of the disease than whites. The team includes researchers from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The paper will appea...

Hantavirus found in African wood mouse

Researchers have discovered the first African hantavirus, a type of rodent-borne virus that can cause life-threatening infections in humans when it is inhaled through aerosolized rodent urine or droppings. . A team led by Jan ter Meulen while he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholar at the University of Conakry in the Republic of Guinea, identified the new v...

New analysis shows three human migrations out of Africa

A new, more robust analysis of recently derived human gene trees by Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D, of Washington University in St Louis, shows three distinct major waves of human migration out of Africa instead of just two, and statistically refutes –strongly ?the 'Out of Africa' replacement theory. . .. "The 'Out of Africa' replacement theory ha...

African amphibians make extreme parental sacrifice: The skin off their backs

Just as baby mammals depend on their mothers' milk, the young of the African amphibian Boulengerula taitanus nourish themselves by stripping off and eating the fat-rich outer layer of their mothers' skin, according to an international team of researchers that includes University of Michigan biologist Ronald Nussbaum. . .. Hatchlings of B. taitanus---a legless amphibian that looks something like a...

Report lists top 20 most-vulnerable African carnivores

Scientists have determined the detailed structure of an essential piece of the telomerase enzyme, an important contributor to the vast majority of human cancers. Understanding the physical shape of the protein has led to a better understanding of how it acts to immortalize cells ?and should help scientists design broadly effective cancer drugs. . Nature Structural & Mo...

Gene variation increases SIDS risk in African Americans

About five percent of deaths from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) in African Americans can be traced to defects in one gene and half of those deaths result from a common genetic variation that increases an infant's risk of developing an abnormal heart rhythm during times of environmental stress, a research team based at the University of Chicago reports in the February 2006 issue of the Journ...

A large step forward in the fight against African sleeping sickness

Each year, over 300,000 people die of African sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis). Researchers from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) connected to the Free University of Brussels are making strides in the battle against this disease. . They have coupled the human protein ApoL-1 with a nanobody in order to very specifically eliminate the infection caused by the pathog...

Super-sized cassava plants may help fight hunger in Africa

In a recent study, genetically modified cassava plants produced roots that were more than two-and-a-half times the size of normal cassava roots. . .. The researchers used a gene from the bacterium E. coli to genetically modify cassava plants. The plants, which were grown in a greenhouse, produced roots that were an...

African parasite makes component of fat differently from all other organisms

Studying the parasite that causes African sleeping sickness, scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered a previously unknown way of making fatty acids, a component of fat and the outer layer of all cells. The find unveils more about the biology of this hard-to-kill parasite and could lead to a target for designing new drugs to fight the illness that infects a half-million people and kills 50,000...

Elephants, large mammals recover from poaching in Africa's oldest national park

A recent wildlife census conducted in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) revealed that several species of large mammal are now recovering from a decade of civil war and rampant poaching, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN). Specifically, elephants and other species in the park have in...

Scientists describe new African monkey genus ?first in 83 years

For the first time in 83 years, scientists have identified a new genus of a living primate from Africa, according to research to be published by Science May 11 in the online Science Express. . .. "Finding a new genus of the best-studied group of living mammals is a sobering reminder of how...

Electric fish in Africa could be example of evolution in action

Avoiding quicksand along the banks of the Ivindo River in Gabon, Cornell neurobiologists armed with oscilloscopes search for shapes and patterns of electricity created by fish in the water. . .. .. "We t...

African wetland managers armed with new technology

Earth's wetlands are vital to the water cycle and havens for wildlife, but they are under threat. GlobWetland, an ESA-led initiative in collaboration with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, has been addressing this issue by using satellite imagery to provide detailed wide-area views of individual wetlands to aid national and local conservation efforts. . Because the success of wetland conservatio...

New HIV statistics indicate increasing toll of AIDS on African American community

The country's leading African-American lawmakers, civil rights leaders and medical experts today called on the federal government to adopt and implement a new blueprint to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in the African-American community. The plan is outlined in a new report, African-Americans, Health Disparities and HIV/AIDS: Recommendations for Confronting the Epidemic in Black America, written by...
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