Friday, July 31, 2015

Preston to head Worldfish - FishfarmingXpert

Preston to head Worldfish - FishfarmingXpert: "Dr Preston, formerly of Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, will begin his new role in November, when he replace Stephen Hall, who has served as DG since 2004.
Dr Preston brings more than 25 years of experience in coral reef ecology, fisheries ecology, sustainable aquaculture and the development and application of advanced genetics and nutritional technologies to enhance the productivity, sustainability and market quality of aquaculture.
In accepting his appointment he said: “WorldFish has an established and respected position in unlocking the potential in aquaculture and fisheries to address global food security and reduce poverty. I look forward to being able to build on the work of the excellent team of world class scientists to lead WorldFish and deliver impact and transformational improvements in developing countries.”
Outgoing Director General, Stephen Hall, added: “In a time of change for WorldFish, Nigel brings solid credibility in the areas of fisheries and aquaculture combined with a sharp instinct for management and fundraising. With a strong field of candidates I believe that the board has chosen with great foresight and I wish Nigel every success in his new role.”"

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Why the Social Sector Needs the Scientific Method | Stanford Social Innovation Review

Why the Social Sector Needs the Scientific Method | Stanford Social Innovation Review: "A third safeguard in the scientific method is repeating the analysis. In other words, checking the math.
The three papers, now available, used the scientific method to great effect. The Cochrane Collaboration is a global network of medical researchers who do “systematic reviews” and “meta-analyses” (it may well have saved your life at some point). In 2012, the Cochrane Collaboration wrote: “It is probably misleading to justify contemporary deworming programmes based on evidence of consistent benefit on nutrition, haemoglobin, school attendance or school performance.” Recent correspondence with the authors implies that they’ve not changed their minds. And today, the Cochrane Collaboration publishes its fourth systematic review of deworming. The group looked at all 45 studies within its scope and concluded that: “There is now substantial evidence that this [mass deworming treatment] does not improve nutritional status, haemoglobin, cognition, or school performance.”"

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The Myth of the Ethical Shopper - The Huffington Post

The Myth of the Ethical Shopper - The Huffington Post: "Asian companies investing in Burma aren’t run by worse or greedier people than ours are. They’re just operating under a different risk calculus. American firms putting more than $500,000 into the country are required to publicly report their land acquisitions, payments to local officials, and security arrangements. If they get busted doing something heinous, they’ll end up on front pages. Developing-country multinationals don’t have these pressures."

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In quirky Hong Kong voting system, fishermen play key role - Yahoo News

In quirky Hong Kong voting system, fishermen play key role - Yahoo News: "Less known outside Hong Kong, however, is the political role of fishermen and farmers, remnant industries in Hong Kong that form a large slice of the 1,200-member committee that selects the southern Chinese city's pro-Beijing leader. They also have their own representative in the territory's legislature.

Fishing and farming make up less than 1 percent of Hong Kong's $274 billion economy but command 60 votes in the leadership committee, far more than groups or industries with much greater economic or social significance.

Their outsized role is a source of discontent in a city that was rocked by pro-democracy protests over the past year as many Hong Kongers chafed against a rising tide of mainland Chinese influence."

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Special report - West Africa's alarming growth industry: meth

Special report - West Africa's alarming growth industry: meth: "DAKAR (Reuters) - When customs officers in the sleepy Senegalese town of Koumpentoum discovered a stash of pills hidden in a bus from Mali in late February, they initially thought it was counterfeit medicine.

They stored the haul, poorly concealed in blue plastic bags and a yellow jerry can, in the back of the customs office. Its owner escaped, slipping away into the sprawl of shacks and hawkers.

Days later, according to two officials involved in the seizure, a top officer from regional headquarters took a closer look at the trove and identified it as the drug methamphetamine. The 81 kg (179 pounds) stash was worth an estimated $12 million or more based on the street price for the drug in Tokyo, where much of it ends up.  

The seizure was one of three in Senegal so far this year. It highlights the new and fast-growing role West Africa is playing in the global drug trade, not just as a transit point for drugs but also as a producer of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS).

Smugglers of Moroccan hashish have long crossed West Africa on their way to Europe or Asia. Over the past decade, the region has also become a major transit point for Latin American cocaine headed to Europe. But local and international officials say West African criminal groups are now producing and exporting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine - or meth - every year, most of it shipped to Asia."

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Friday, July 24, 2015

How Giant Prawns Could Fight Tropical Disease and Poverty – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science

How Giant Prawns Could Fight Tropical Disease and Poverty – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science: "But help is at hand. A team of scientists led by Susanne Sokolow from Stanford University has been working on a way of stopping the outbreak by bringing the snails—and their parasites—under control. Their plan? Add prawns.

The lower Senegal River used to be home to a hand-sized, long-clawed prawn called Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, that would devour the parasite-carrying snails. Every year, the female prawns would walk downstream to the estuary to lay their eggs; later, the larvae would swim back upstream. The Diama Dam cut off both routes and exterminated the prawns. By reintroducing them, Sokolow hopes to control the rampant snails and bring schistosomiasis to heel."

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World's first malaria vaccination approved - Al Jazeera English

World's first malaria vaccination approved - Al Jazeera English: "The world's first malaria vaccine has received a green light from European drugs regulators who recommended it should be licensed for use in babies in Africa who are at risk of the mosquito-borne disease.

The shot, called RTS,S or Mosquirix, would be the first licensed human vaccine against a parasitic disease and could help prevent millions of cases of malaria in countries that use it.

The vaccine was developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative,"

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