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Why odds are against a large Zika outbreak in the US

Is the United States at risk for a large-scale outbreak of Zika or other mosquito-borne disease? While climate conditions in the U.S. are increasingly favorable to mosquitos, socioeconomic factors such as access to clean water and air conditioning make large-scale outbreaks unlikely, according to new analysis of existing research—but small-scale, localized outbreaks are an ongoing concern. In their forthcoming paper …

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Nadia Prupis – You Cannot Explain it by Chance’: Climate Crises Can Fuel Armed Conflict

Climate-related disasters heighten the risk of conflict around the world, according to new research. Armed violence is likely to rise amid drought, heatwaves, and other crises, particularly in countries that are already fractured along ethnic lines, finds anew report from Germany’s Potsdam Institute, published Monday in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Analyzing data on armed conflict from 1980-2010, …

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jim robbins – How Forest Loss Is Leading To a Rise in Human Disease

In Borneo, an island shared by Indonesia and Malaysia, some of the world’s oldest tropical forests are being cut down and replaced with oil palm plantations at a breakneck pace. Wiping forests high in biodiversity off the land for monoculture plantations causes numerous environmental problems, from the destruction of wildlife habitat to the rapid release of stored carbon, which contributes …

Meet the New GMO Mosquito: Millions Carrying the “Kill Switch Gene” Already Released By Emerson Urry

Key West, Florida – Mosquitoes can be one helluva a nuisance – and with those pesky little critters comes myriad illnesses, but two in particular have been present in South Florida in recent years – Chikungunya and Dengue Fever. Both are vector-borne diseases, and both are transmitted by Aedes aegypti – the scientific name for a bothersome little bug, also …

gm mosquitoes

GM Mosquitoes: Bad for Business in the Keys – Wenonah Hauter and Barry Wray

This week, local officials in the Florida Keys will decide whether to approve the first ever release of genetically engineered (GMO) mosquitoes in the United States. Yes, you read that right: lab-engineered mosquitoes could be released in one of America’s favorite tourist destinations very soon, even though it’s unclear if any government agency has evaluated the full array of health …