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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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