29 research outputs found

    The Social and Political Dimensions of the Ebola Response: Global Inequality, Climate Change, and Infectious Disease

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    The 2014 Ebola crisis has highlighted public-health vulnerabilities in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea – countries ravaged by extreme poverty, deforestation and mining-related disruption of livelihoods and ecosystems, and bloody civil wars in the cases of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ebola’s emergence and impact are grounded in the legacy of colonialism and its creation of enduring inequalities within African nations and globally, via neoliberalism and the Washington Consensus. Recent experiences with new and emerging diseases such as SARS and various strains of HN influenzas have demonstrated the effectiveness of a coordinated local and global public health and education-oriented response to contain epidemics. To what extent is international assistance to fight Ebola strengthening local public health and medical capacity in a sustainable way, so that other emerging disease threats, which are accelerating with climate change, may be met successfully? This chapter considers the wide-ranging socio-political, medical, legal and environmental factors that have contributed to the rapid spread of Ebola, with particular emphasis on the politics of the global and public health response and the role of gender, social inequality, colonialism and racism as they relate to the mobilization and establishment of the public health infrastructure required to combat Ebola and other emerging diseases in times of climate change

    Anticancer Gene Transfer for Cancer Gene Therapy

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    Gene therapy vectors are among the treatments currently used to treat malignant tumors. Gene therapy vectors use a specific therapeutic transgene that causes death in cancer cells. In early attempts at gene therapy, therapeutic transgenes were driven by non-specific vectors which induced toxicity to normal cells in addition to the cancer cells. Recently, novel cancer specific viral vectors have been developed that target cancer cells leaving normal cells unharmed. Here we review such cancer specific gene therapy systems currently used in the treatment of cancer and discuss the major challenges and future directions in this field

    Species Delimitation in Taxonomically Difficult Fungi: The Case of Hymenogaster

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    False truffles are ecologically important as mycorrhizal partners of trees and evolutionarily highly interesting as the result of a shift from epigeous mushroom-like to underground fruiting bodies. Since its first description by Vittadini in 1831, inappropriate species concepts in the highly diverse false truffle genus Hymenogaster has led to continued confusion, caused by a large variety of prevailing taxonomical opinions.In this study, we reconsidered the species delimitations in Hymenogaster based on a comprehensive collection of Central European taxa comprising more than 140 fruiting bodies from 20 years of field work. The ITS rDNA sequence dataset was subjected to phylogenetic analysis as well as clustering optimization using OPTSIL software.Among distinct species concepts from the literature used to create reference partitions for clustering optimization, the broadest concept resulted in the highest agreement with the ITS data. Our results indicate a highly variable morphology of H. citrinus and H. griseus, most likely linked to environmental influences on the phenology (maturity, habitat, soil type and growing season). In particular, taxa described in the 19(th) century frequently appear as conspecific. Conversely, H. niveus appears as species complex comprising seven cryptic species with almost identical macro- and micromorphology. H. intermedius and H. huthii are described as novel species, each of which with a distinct morphology intermediate between two species complexes. A revised taxonomy for one of the most taxonomically difficult genera of Basidiomycetes is proposed, including an updated identification key. The (semi-)automated selection among species concepts used here is of importance for the revision of taxonomically problematic organism groups in general

    The Rotterdam Study: 2012 objectives and design update

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    The Rotterdam Study is a prospective cohort study ongoing since 1990 in the city of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. The study targets cardiovascular, endocrine, hepatic, neurological, ophthalmic, psychiatric, dermatological, oncological, and respiratory diseases. As of 2008, 14,926 subjects aged 45 years or over comprise the Rotterdam Study cohort. The findings of the Rotterdam Study have been presented in over a 1,000 research articles and reports (see www.erasmus-epidemiology.nl/rotterdamstudy). This article gives the rationale of the study and its design. It also presents a summary of the major findings and an update of the objectives and methods

    Climate change impacts and adaptation in forest management: a review

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    SheddomeDB: the ectodomain shedding database for membrane-bound shed markers

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    of West Nile virus infection in birds, Tamaulipas State, Mexico. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2003;3:209–13.

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    BJ. Epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for detection of West Nile virus antibodies in domestic mammals. J Clin Microbiol. 2003;41:2676–9