• Stricter gun control could prevent violent men from killing their partners and themselves

    Researchers draw on ten years of data on intimate partner homicide to determine the role guns play in murder-suicides. The researchers say that men who use guns to kill their partner are also likely to commit suicide. Those planning to commit suicide are not deterred by severe penalties, and therefore the most successful way of preventing such homicides is to restrict gun access to batterers.

  • Climate change not the key driver of conflict, displacement in East Africa

    Over the last fifty years, climate change has not been the key driver of the human displacement or conflict in East Africa, rather it is politics and poverty, according to new research. “Terms such as climate migrants and climate wars have increasingly been used to describe displacement and conflict, however these terms imply that climate change is the main cause. Our research suggests that socio-political factors are the primary cause while climate change is a threat multiplier,” said one researcher.

  • Attacks on healthcare in Syria are likely undercounted

    Attacks on health facilities and health workers in Syria are likely more common than previously reported, and local data collectors can help researchers more accurately to measure the extent and frequency of these attacks, according to a new study. The researchers found that in 2016 alone, there were more than 200 attacks on healthcare-related targets in four northern governorates of Syria, with 176 of the attacks targeting hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

  • Low-levels of antibiotics can produce high-levels of resistance

    A new study indicates that bacteria exposed to small concentrations of antibiotics over time can become highly resistant, a finding that provides an example of how low levels of antibiotics present in many environments may potentially contribute to antibiotic resistance.

  • Gaza now has a toxic ‘biosphere of war’ that no one can escape

    The water of Gaza highlights a toxic situation that is spiraling out of control. A combination of repeated Israeli attacks and the sealing of its borders by Israel and Egypt, have left the territory unable to process its water or waste. Every drop of water swallowed in Gaza, like every toilet flushed or antibiotic imbibed, returns to the environment in a degraded state. The result is what has been termed a toxic ecology or “biosphere of war,” of which the noxious water cycle is just one part. People may evade bombs or sniper fire, but there is no escape from the biosphere.

  • Most Americans favor more funding for biosecurity capabilities

    A new nationwide survey of the American electorate reveals that the vast majority of Americans support increased funding to address biosecurity threats. Additionally, most Americans support their elected officials actively engaging to promote and support biosecurity.

  • Future of testing and treating chlorine gas attacks

    As experts sort through questions around recent chemical attacks in Syria, future answers to quickly testing and treating those who may have been exposed to chlorine gas may lie in chlorinated lipids, says a scientist.

  • “Mad camel” disease? New prion infection raises alarm

    Italian and Algerian researchers released new evidence of prion disease in three dromedary camels found in an Algerian slaughterhouse. Prion diseases can affect both humans and animals, and though inter-species transmission is rare, it can happen, as it did most famously during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow”) epidemic, which started in the late 1980s in the United Kingdom.

  • U.S. health security preparedness improved, but some regions lagging

    A national snapshot used to gauge the health of the nation’s health security and emergency preparedness found that readiness has improved significantly over the past five years, but earlier identified gaps remain, with some parts of the country lagging.

  • The 100th meridian, where the Great Plains begin, shifting eastward

    In 1878, the American geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell drew an invisible line in the dirt—the 100th meridian west, the longitude he identified as the boundary between the humid eastern United States and the arid Western plains. Now, 140 years later, scientists that the line appears to be slowly moving eastward, due to climate change. They say it will almost certainly continue shifting in coming decades, expanding the arid climate of the western plains into what we think of as the Midwest. The implications for farming and other pursuits could be huge.

  • New technology removes phosphorus from manure

    Excess phosphorus, primarily in runoff from land application of manure, accounts for about 66 percent of impaired conditions of U.S. rivers and has created large areas of eutrophication — dead zones — in the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, where aquatic life cannot survive. Nutrient pollution is one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems. Researchers have developed an innovation that could have a huge impact on water quality problems in the United States, a system capable of removing almost all phosphorus from stored livestock manure.

  • Anti-immigrant prejudice linked to mortality risk

    One of the defining elements of the 2016 election cycle was its focus on immigration. One aspect of immigration did not figure in the discussion: When it comes to mortality, U.S.-born individuals of immigrant descent fare much worse than their foreign-born counterparts — but why?

  • Mimicking the human immune system to detect outbreaks faster

    Our immune systems are made up of billions of white blood cells searching for signs of infections and foreign invaders, ready to raise the alarm. Sandia National Laboratories computer scientists have been working to improve the U.S. biosurveillance system that alerts authorities to disease outbreaks by mimicking the human immune system.

  • A new class of antibiotics to fight drug resistance

    According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic resistant is one of the biggest threats to global health today and a significant contributor to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality. An international research team has reported the discovery of a new class of antibiotics.

  • CDC measures have limited spread of “nightmare” bacteria

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported yesterday (3 April) that public health laboratories identified more than 220 samples of “nightmare” bacteria containing unusual resistance genes in 2017, a finding that officials say illustrates the importance of the agency’s efforts to identify emerging drug-resistant pathogens quickly and contain them before they can spread.