Posts tagged “crude”
September 16, 2013
Sonia Shah’s, author of Crude, Ted Talk on TEDGlobal titled, “Sonia Shah: 3 reasons we still haven’t gotten rid of malaria” had over 80,000 views when it aired this September.
“We’ve known how to cure malaria since the 1600s, so why does the disease still kill hundreds of thousands every year? It’s more than just a problem of medicine, says journalist Sonia Shah. A look into the history of malaria reveals three big-picture challenges to its eradication.
Science historian Sonia Shah explores the surprisingly fascinating story behind an ancient scourge: malaria.
Why you should listen to her
Aided by economics, culture, its own resilience and that of the insect that carries it (the mosquito), the malaria parasite has determined for thousands of years the health and course not only of human lives, but also of whole civilizations. In her book The Fever, author Sonia Shah outlines the epic and devastating history of malaria and shows how it still infects 500 million people every year, and kills half a million, in a context where economic inequality collides with science and biology.” -TED Talk
Listen to Shah’s thought provoking talk as she goes in depth into the disease, its effects, and the carriers of the disease.
November 9, 2011"The problem is that the companies most active in global health projects today hail from a narrow range of industries, many of which are under fire for their negative impact on public health. These private firms are playing a double game: disrupting local communities with one hand and writing big checks to ostensibly help them with the other. Often, their core financial interests are directly at odds with the business of improving the health of the poor, in ways that are distorting the global health agenda."
September 21, 2011"Mr. Perry, Time magazine's Africa bureau chief, is a wonderful observer of the uneasy interactions between Westerners and Africans: In one scene, the director-general of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, wipes angry tears from her face while berating Ugandan health officials for failing to meet anti-malaria targets."
February 23, 2011Historically and in the modern popular imagination, cholera has been considered a disease of filth carried in sewage. And yet, over the past decade, research on cholera’s natural habitat and links to the climate have revealed a revolutionary new understanding of the disease as one shaped just as much by environment, hydrology, and weather patterns as by poor sanitation. And as temperatures continue to rise this century, cholera outbreaks may become increasingly common, with the bacteria growing more rapidly in warmer waters.
February 16, 2011The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years is only the latest of the many books and articles Shah has written on the interactions of science and policy in an unequal world. Her exposé of the drug industry, The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World’s Poorest Patients (New Press: 2006), was described as “a tautly argued study… meticulously researched and packed with documentary evidence” by Publisher’s Weekly, while her book Crude: the Story of Oil (Seven Stories Press: 2004) was praised as “brilliant… beautifully written” by The Guardian, and described by The Nation as “required reading.”
March 9, 2010From Sonia Shah's article at Ms. about Nathan Myhrvold and the idea of using lasers to eliminate malaria in Africa: ... At the annual techno-hip TED conference in February, Myhrvold decided to up the ante, tapping into the misery of millions of rural African women and their families to wrap his business in a cloak of moral urgency. “Every 43 seconds a child dies of malaria,” he told the crowd. And current anti-malaria interventions, many of which target the rural African women and children who are malaria’s main victims, don’t work that well, he said. Insecticides can be environmentally dangerous and some people use anti-mosquito bednets to catch fish instead. That’s why Myhrvold came up with his latest invention: A mini-”Star Wars” weapons system that tracks mosquitoes in the air and shoots them down mid-flight–with lasers, of course. Like a Death Ray. All you need to make one is a Blu-ray player and a laser printer, plus a few months of processing time on a supercomputer, and voila!: you’re on your way to eradicating malaria in Africa for good. Oh. My.
January 8, 2010From Sonia Shah's article at Yale Environment 360 on low-level pesticide exposure: Neonicotinoids came into wide use in the early 2000s. Unlike older pesticides that evaporate or disperse shortly after application, neonicotinoids are systemic poisons. Applied to the soil or doused on seeds, neonicotinoid insecticides incorporate themselves into the plant’s tissues, turning the plant itself into a tiny poison factory emitting toxin from its roots, leaves, stems, pollen, and nectar. In Germany, France, Italy, and Slovenia, beekeepers’ concerns about neonicotinoids’ effect on bee colonies have resulted in a series of bans on the chemicals. In the United States, regulators have approved their use, despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard method of protecting bees from insecticides — by requiring farmers to refrain from applying them during blooming times when bees are most exposed — does little to protect bees from systemic pesticides. “The companies believe this stuff is safe,” says U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist Jeff Pettis.