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USAID Releases New Issue Of Frontlines

The June/July issue of USAID’s Frontlines focuses on climate change, including an article on how Kenyan farmers are adapting to environmental changes. The issue also includes articles on how the search for an HIV vaccine has boosted African research and on the introduction of the GeneXpert tuberculosis test in Central…

WHO To Warn Against Use Of TB Blood Test

The WHO on Sunday said it will release a guidance later this week on widely used blood tests for tuberculosis (TB), warning “against using such tests for the infectious lung disease that affects some 14 million people worldwide” because they can produce incorrect results, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports.

Device That Collects Water Quality Data Introduced At TEDGlobal Conference

Researchers at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, this week described a device that collects water quality data to “chec[k] supplies in real-time, alerting users to possible infections,” and “upload[s] the data, allowing scientists to monitor the location and movement of outbreaks,” BBC News reports. The researchers said the device, called the Water Canary, “could prove invaluable for governments around the world keen to contain disease and environmental disasters,” according to the news service (Wakefield, 7/13).

Type-3 Poliovirus Case In Pakistan Raises Concerns Disease May Spread, WHO Says

Pakistan has reported the first case of the type-3 wild poliovirus in six months, raising concerns that the disease may spread to other parts of Asia and beyond, the WHO said on Thursday, Bloomberg/San Francisco Chronicle reports. “Confirmation of continuation of WPV3 transmission in tribal areas of Pakistan has significant implications for the global effort to eradicate WPV3, particularly as Asia is on the verge of eliminating circulation of this strain,” the WHO said on its website.

Scientists Isolate New Gonorrhea Strain Resistant To All Antibiotics

Scientists have isolated a new strain of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea that is resistant to all known antibiotic treatments in biological samples from a Japan woman, according to Magnus Unemo of the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria, Reuters reports. Unemo is set to present his findings at a conference of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research in Quebec on Monday.

Computer Scientists Use Twitter To Identify Public Health Trends

Two Johns Hopkins University computer scientists have found a way to use Twitter to track public health trends, according to a Johns Hopkins University press release. Mark Dredze, a researcher at the university’s Human Language Technology Center of Excellence, and Michael Paul, a doctoral student, “fed 2 billion public tweets posted between…

Review Identifies RDTs As Effective Tool To Fight Malaria

“A new Cochrane Systematic Review [.pdf] examines the accuracy of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs), which are designed to detect malaria based on the presence of parasite antigens, using a quick and easy to use format,” according to a press release. “After reviewing available data in 74 different studies, we can…