Researchers at Washington State University have developed a low-cost, portable device that works with a smartphone to detect common viral and bacterial infections nearly as well as clinical laboratories. Such a system could lead to faster and lower-cost lab results for fast-moving epidemics, especially in rural or lower-resource regions where laboratory equipment and medical personnel are not readily available.
A group of scientists and engineers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, has developed a new technology that could replace traditional “best before” dates on food and beverages with a definitive indication of the safety of the product.
Tsetse flies are widespread in Africa. They feed on blood and are the source of the dreaded sleeping sickness, an infection that can be lethal, damages the nervous system and, in its final stage, causes a dozy state, which gave the disease its name. Sleeping sickness is a real danger for people in tropical Africa, but tsetse flies can also transfer the disease to cattle. This leads to huge losses in milk, meat and manpower. The damage caused by the flies in Africa is estimated to be nearly $5 billion a year.
A group of more than 200 scientists and medical professionals has issued a consensus statement in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives urging that antimicrobial chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban should not be used in consumer products. The experts say that these substances offer no health benefits and are actually causing health and environmental harm.