Classifieds

Science, Health news and Classifieds


CDC Chief Announces Agency Shake-Up Aimed at Improving Speed

The head of the top U.S. public health agency on Wednesday announced a shake-up of the organization, intended to make it more nimble. The planned changes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — CDC leaders call it a “reset”— come amid ongoing criticism of the agency’s response to COVID-19, monkeypox and other public health threats. The changes include internal staffing moves and steps to speed up data releases. The CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, told the agency’s staff about the changes on Wednesday. It’s a CDC initiative, and …


Malawi Cholera Cases Rise Despite Vaccination Campaign

Despite a nationwide vaccination campaign that started in May, Malawi is struggling to contain a cholera outbreak that has infected more than 1,073 people and caused 44 deaths.  The figures from the Malawi Ministry of Health, updated as of Aug. 16, 2022, are triple the numbers recorded when the vaccination campaign was launched three months ago.    The report also says the outbreak has spread to 10 districts from eight in May. The hardest hit districts include Blantyre with 489 cases, Neno with 128 cases, and Nsanje with 289 cases. …


NASA to Roll Out Giant US Moon Rocket for Debut Launch

NASA’s gigantic Space Launch System moon rocket, topped with an uncrewed astronaut capsule, is set to begin an hourslong crawl to its launchpad Tuesday night ahead of the behemoth’s debut test flight later this month.  The 98-meter-tall rocket is scheduled to embark on its first mission to space — without any humans — on August 29. It will be a crucial, long-delayed demonstration trip to the moon in NASA’s Artemis program, the United States’ multibillion-dollar effort to return humans to the lunar surface as practice for future missions to Mars.  …


What Is a ‘Vaccine-Derived’ Poliovirus?

New York health officials announced in July that an unvaccinated adult man from Rockland County had been diagnosed with polio—the first case of the life-threatening disease in the United States since 2013. The virus that causes polio was later detected in New York City wastewater, and city and state health officials now say the virus is probably circulating in the city. The virus identified in New York is a vaccine-derived poliovirus. Wild polioviruses were eliminated from most of the world and now circulate only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But vaccine-derived …


Century-Old TB Vaccine Boosts Babies’ Front-Line Immune Defenses

The widely used tuberculosis vaccine also fends off a slew of unrelated infectious diseases, and its immune boost can protect newborns for more than a year, researchers in Australia have found. The bacillus calmette-guérin (BCG) vaccine for tuberculosis causes front-line immune cells to make long-lasting biological “marks” on their DNA, changing how they read genetic instructions for fighting off viruses, the researchers say. “The DNA is like the manual for the cell. It tells you what it can and can’t do,” study author and molecular immunologist Boris Novakovic of the …


Deadline Looms for Western States to Cut Colorado River Use

Banks along parts of the Colorado River where water once streamed are now just caked mud and rock as climate change makes the Western U.S. hotter and drier.  More than two decades of drought have done little to deter the region from diverting more water than flows through it, depleting key reservoirs to levels that now jeopardize water delivery and hydropower production.  Cities and farms in seven U.S. states are bracing for cuts this week as officials stare down a deadline to propose unprecedented reductions to their use of the …


US Defense Chief Tests Positive for COVID

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday he tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time this year and is experiencing mild symptoms. The Pentagon chief said in a statement that he will continue to work a normal schedule but do so virtually from home. Austin said he would quarantine for the next five days in accordance with CDC guidelines and “retain all authorities.” In January, Austin, 69, also contracted COVID-19. “Now, as in January, my doctor told me that my fully vaccinated status, including two booster shots, is why …


New Study Reveals Britain’s Health Inequalities

People who live in the poorest regions of England are diagnosed with serious illnesses earlier and die sooner than their counterparts in more affluent regions, according to a new study. The Health Foundation study, published Monday, found that “A 60-year-old woman in the poorest areas of England has a level of ‘diagnosed illness’ equivalent to that of a 76-year-old woman in the wealthiest areas . . . While a 60-year-old man in the poorest areas of England will on average have a level of diagnosed illness equivalent to that of …


NASA-Funded Researchers Head to Western Australia for Clues on Extra Terrestrial Life 

NASA researchers are studying “Mars-like” salt lakes in Western Australia in their hunt for extra-terrestrial life. Experts from the United States say the region, with its pink-hued water and distinctive trees, is more like Mars than almost any other location on Earth. The Yilgarn Craton is a vast mineral-rich region about 400 kilometers east of Perth in Western Australia. Yilgarn is a word used by the area’s indigenous people to describe quartz. The region has been the focus of exploration and mining, but scientists believe it could harbor clues about …


Zimbabwe Blames Measles Surge on Sect Gatherings After 80 Children Die

A measles outbreak has killed 80 children in Zimbabwe since April, the ministry of health said, blaming church sect gatherings for the surge. In a statement seen by Reuters Sunday, the ministry said the outbreak had now spread nationwide, with a case fatality rate of 6.9%. Health Secretary Jasper Chimedza said that as of Thursday, 1,036 suspected cases and 125 confirmed cases had been reported since the outbreak, with Manicaland in eastern Zimbabwe accounting for most of the infections. “The ministry of health and childcare wishes to inform the public …