Ebola has been responsible for many hundreds of deaths, for fear, for panic, for disbelief and anger.
And for a catchy dance song: “Ebola in Town.”
The producers behind this unlikely music are Samuel “Shadow” Morgan and Edwin “D-12” Tweh, who grew up in the shadow of war. They both spent time as kids in refugee camps in Ghana after fleeing the civil war back home in Liberia.
They made music together in the camp. Eventually they were able to move back to Monrovia, their country’s capital, where they regularly meet up with other musicians in each other’s home studios to make music together.
Back in May, Shadow, D-12 and their friend Kuzzy were hanging out at Shadow’s studio, thinking about what to do next. Someone threw out the idea of a song about Ebola. They’d heard about the disease but not many of their friends were taking it seriously. Most people, they say, thought it was a trick made up by the government as a way to make money.
Shadow and his collaborators have made music about social issues before – deadbeat dads, sanitation. And even though they weren’t sure exactly how bad Ebola was at the time, they did think that people should pay more attention to the disease.
Nursing in Public laws by State. Is it legal where you live?
The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering recently launched the “NIBIB Bionic Man,” an interactive Web tool that allows students and the public to learn about cutting-edge research in biotechnology.
The bionic man features 14 technologies currently being developed by NIBIB-supported researchers. Examples include a powered prosthetic leg that helps users achieve a more natural gait, a wireless brain-computer interface that lets people with paralyzed legs and arms control computer devices or robotic limbs using only their thoughts, and a micro-patch that delivers vaccines painlessly and doesn’t need refrigeration.
This slideshow is part of a multimedia package, published by Al Jazeera America. To view the article, video and slideshow together, visit Al Jazeera online. Below is an excerpt from the full article.
Tuberculosis, or TB, is the world’s second-deadliest infectious disease and kills 1.4 million people every year, according to the World Health Organization. While its bacteria are easily transmitted through the air, the disease can be readily treated and cured. Yet much of the world lacks sufficient treatment.
That’s the case in Vietnam. The country is successful at treating patients once diagnosed, but prevention and detection efforts are poor. Nearly half of TB cases go undetected, a main reason that the disease is responsible for some 18,000 deaths a year — nearly twice as many as automobile accidents.
(From The Pulitzer Center)
(From Food and Drug Administration, FDA)
When it comes to protecting themselves from HIV, women need more options.
About 84 percent of all women diagnosed with HIV contract the virus through heterosexual sex. And right now, the female condom is the only contraception available that stops HIV — and is controlled by the woman. These devices can be hard to find and tough to use.
Now engineers at the University of Washington in Seattle have come up with an experimental technologythat may one day make HIV protection for women as easy as using a tampon.
For years, scientists have been developing gels or creams that contain anti-HIV drugs known as microbicides. But these topical ointments can be problematic. They’re messy to apply. They can leak. And the medication absorbs slowly, so women have to use the gels or creams at least 20 minutes before sex.
A new delivery method could solve all these problems, say bioengineers Cameron Ball and Kim Woodrow. The secret? An electrically spun fabric.
Photo: Better than Egyptian cotton: This electrically spun fabric contains anti-HIV drugs and dissolves rapidly when it gets wet. (Courtesy of University of Washington)
It is easy to romanticize a life with limited connectivity: candles, campfires and conversations. And how creative of the Ugandans to keep their insulin floating in a ceramic pot buried in the dirt. But the reality is that the only difference between the boy in southwest Uganda and the boy in anytown, USA is one was born powerless, the other empowered at birth. The Oxford dictionary defines power as “the ability or capacity to do something.” It is how things get done.
"The future of humanity is increasingly African."
That’s the prediction in a new UNICEF report, which estimates that by the end of this century, 40 percent of the world’s people will be African – up from 15 percent now. The continent’s population currently sits at roughly 1.2 billion but will soar to more than 4 billion by 2100. Nearly a billion will live in Nigeria alone.
In a report released Wednesday, UNICEF projected the growth of Africa’s child population within the next century. And the numbers are staggering.
An estimated 1.8 billion births will take place in Africa in the next 35 years, the authors predict. By 2050, Africa will have almost a billion children under 18, making up nearly 40 percent of kids worldwide.
Lead author David Anthony tells NPR’s Melissa Block on All Things Considered that even the researchers were surprised by the findings. “[We] knew that the world’s population was swinging toward Africa,” he says. “But there have been new estimates released by the U.N. population division … that shows an even stronger swing than we have anticipated.”
Fertility rates have fallen in Africa but remain high compared to the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the number of women of reproductive age has grown enormously and is set to more than double in the next 35 years.
Image: With high fertility rates among woman and slowing child mortality, Africa’s population will swell to more than 4 billion by the end of this century. (Courtesy of UNICEF)