September 17, 2012 | The Editors

In the news: noncommunicable diseases and poverty

Here are some of the stories we’ve been thinking about recently.

Why noncommunicable diseases must be part of any new development goals

The Guardian, September 11, 2012

In 2000, world leaders drafting the millennium development goals addressed many of the great development challenges, but they made one serious mistake: they omitted any mention of noncommunicable diseases, which together cause nearly two out of three deaths in the world (80% of those in developing countries). Read the article.

A human-powered refrigeration system to save lives in developing countries

Scientific American, September 10, 2012

Icepacks and coolers stacked among cardboard boxes.
Vaccine carriers, coolers, and ice packs keep vaccines cold in India. Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki.

It’s a big enough feat to ship much-needed vaccines to rural areas of the developing world. Finding a way to keep those vaccines refrigerated in places that have spotty access to electricity? An even bigger accomplishment. Rogers Feng, a mechanical engineering student at Northwestern University, has come up with a way to make the latter issue a bit easier to deal with. Read the article.

Easier than taking vitamins

The New York Times, September 5, 2012

When a great invention comes along, it often becomes part of our lives so fast that we barely even notice it. We take it for granted. Who remembers life before television, the Internet, or GPS? But what if there was a great invention that barely got picked up, even after a decade?…That’s the story with Sprinkles, an innovative treatment for one of the most pervasive problems affecting the world’s children, and one that goes largely unaddressed. Read the article.

Cave bacteria could help develop future antibiotics

BBC News, September 9, 2012

When you think about caves, your first thoughts might not include microbes and antibiotics, but these isolated and starved environments may hold the key to better understanding our long battle with drug-resistant bacteria. Read the article.

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