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Our ode to commodes on World Toilet Day

No matter where you go Toilets around the world have a few things in common: they’re rarely uniform and they’re often customized. And those, gentle reader, are but two reasons why they make great subjects for photos. This marks the second year a toilet-shaped, loo-themed calendar has been published … Continue reading » ; ; ; ;Related StoriesA novel contraceptive makes life easier in Uganda and beyondFriday Think: you can bank on this breast milk appWhat is “frugal science?” A visit to the home of the $1 folding paper microscope ;

Cynthia GoldsmithThis colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. See PHIL 1832 for a black and white version of this image.Where is Ebola virus found in nature?The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the "natural reservoir") of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent. A similar host is probably associated with Ebola-Reston which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys that were imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. The virus is not known to be native to other continents, such as North America.

Doctor Dies Of Ebola In U.S.; Importance of Early Treatment

Washington Post: Death of second Ebola patient in U.S. shows need for early, accurate tests, experts say “…[Ebola doctor Martin] Salia’s death highlights what experts say is a critical need in the ongoing fight against the worst Ebola outbreak in history: the ability to quickly and accurately diagnose the disease in order to halt its…More


Malaria Eradication Requires Targeting Mosquitoes

Washington Times: Money alone, public or private, won’t eradicate malaria Editorial Board “…Earlier this month, [Bill Gates] wrote a check for $500 million to eradicate malaria. … His goal is to eradicate the mosquito-borne disease that kills an estimated 627,000 annually, mostly in Africa, by distributing mosquito nets and developing a ‘next-generation vaccine.’ It’s a…More


Opinion Pieces Discuss U.S. Federal Ebola Efforts, Plight Of Physicians In Sierra Leone

Washington Post: Federal employees are heavily involved in the fight against Ebola Joe Davidson, columnist “…Though [Ebola] is centered 4,500 miles away and has affected very few in the United States, federal employees, both civilian and military, are in the forefront of the battle against the deadly disease. … One of them is Anthony S.…More

The Long Road to Quewein: Ebola in an Isolated Village

Samwar Fallah walked the long road to Quewein in Liberia’s Grand Bassa county with reporters including Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michel Du Cille, who was on assignment for the Washington Post. They found a village devastated by Ebola and cut off from health services. Du Cille collapsed and died on the walk back, killed by an apparent heart attack.

South Sudan’s Leaders Must Choose Peace To Prevent Further Food Insecurity, Humanitarian…

Washington Post: John Kerry and Susan Rice: South Sudan’s leaders need to set aside their dispute John Kerry, U.S. secretary of state, and Susan Rice, U.S. national security adviser “In 2011, the world’s newest nation was born amid joyous celebrations. … The hope and promise of that day are now at grave risk of being…More


I mean, you have to wonder what UNICEF was thinking. For those so far out in the field that they have poor internet, and/or are otherwise simply too busy to click the link, here’s summary, courtesy of Al Jazeera: In an attempt to raise awareness of the conflict in South Sudan, UNICEF traveled to a […]

WASH Improvements In Developing Countries Would Reduce Maternal, Newborn Mortality, Report Says

News outlets discuss a report on water, sanitation, and hygiene and maternal and newborn mortality published in PLOS Medicine. BBC News: Poor water and hygiene ‘kills mothers and newborns’ “Many mothers and newborns are dying because of a lack of sanitation, safe water, and hygiene while giving birth, leading health experts have warned…” (Mundasad, 12/13).…More

Reproductive Rights Groups’ Rally Asks Policymakers To Clarify Application Of Helms Amendment

The Guardian: Rally outside White House calls on U.S. to aid abortion services abroad “Dozens of reproductive rights groups braved piercing rain in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to denounce a controversial law that prevents the U.S. from providing aid for abortion services in foreign countries…” (Holpuch, 12/9). Inter Press Service: Groups Push Obama to Clarify…More

USAID’s Shah Might Leave Position, Washington Post Reports

Washington Post: USAID head Raj Shah may step down “Rajiv ‘Raj’ Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development who coordinated the United States’ international response to the Ebola crisis, is said to be leaving his post, and chatter has it that the announcement could come this week. … ‘These are nothing but…More

Washington Post Highlights Stories Of 5 Ebola Survivors

Washington Post: Surviving Ebola “Recovering from one of the most fearsome infections known to humankind should provide a time of unsurpassed joy. But it doesn’t always work out that way. More than 3,100 Liberians have died of Ebola. But against long odds, some fortunate people have overcome the virus. They have been granted one precious…More

Linking Human Rights To HIV/AIDS Efforts Critical To Achieving AIDS-Free Generation, Shah Says

Washington Blade: Rajiv Shah: Human rights essential to fight against HIV/AIDS “The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development on Thursday said protecting human rights is essential to the fight against HIV/AIDS. … Shah made his remarks during a day-long World AIDS Day forum [at FHI 360 in Washington, D.C.,] that highlighted a USAID-backed…More

U.S. Officials To Discuss Options For Increased Ebola Response Role In Sierra Leone

Washington Post: U.S. is weighing more aid to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone “The United States is weighing an increase in aid, including a possible military component, to help fight the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, the country in West Africa where the deadly virus is spreading the fastest, officials said Thursday. … Top officials…More

Sierra Leone’s Ebola Workers Face Challenges In Persuading People To Trust Health System

Washington Post: Stricken with Ebola, a family runs away from treatment — and into the jungle “…Six months after the world’s largest Ebola outbreak began, experts say one of their biggest challenges is persuading people to trust the medical system. Families still hide suspected Ebola victims or refuse to take them to health facilities. The…More

Devex Interviews Incoming Head Of USAID’s Global Development Lab

Devex: Ann Mei Chang’s vision for USAID’s Global Development Lab “…Devex spoke with [Anne Mei] Chang in Washington, D.C., to learn more about the vision she is bringing to a USAID initiative that is supposed to produce ‘transformative development solutions,’ but within the confines of a government bureaucracy that is not always considered the most…More

USAID Aims To Employ Innovation, Technology To Contain Ebola Epidemic

Washington Post: USAID seeks help from ‘maker movement’ in Ebola outbreak “…About 25 teams were pitching their ideas to a panel of judges from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Defense Department as part of USAID’s ‘Ebola Grand Challenge’ — a request for technology that could…More

U.N. Needs Fewer, Smarter Development Targets

Washington Post: The United Nations needs a shorter, stronger game plan for humanity Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center “… In 2000, the United Nations set targets for the world to meet by 2015. … These targets worked because they were few and sharp — just 374 words that changed the world. This…More

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