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  • Deadliest E. coli outbreak ever

    The E. coli outbreak in Europe has sickened more than 1,800 people, according the World Health Organization. But that's just cases drawn from hospital records. More people could be sick. And 18 have died, making this the deadliest recorded E. coli outbreak. If that's not unnerving enough, only two antibiotics have a real chance at […]

  • Once and for all, do cell phones cause cancer?

    Maybe. The World Health Organization has released a report [PDF] on the connections between cell phone use and cancer. It concluded that cell phones are a "possible" carcinogen, and there was much out-freaking. But what does this really mean? It does not, it turns out, mean that cell phones definitely or even likely cause cancer. It […]

  • Why Bill Gates is right

    Bill Gates speaking at the TED conference.Photo: jurvetson via Flickr“If you gave me only one wish for the next 50 years,” declared the world’s wealthiest man during last week’s TED 2010 conference, “I can pick who is president, I can pick a vaccine … or I can pick that [an energy technology] at half the […]

  • Death, disease, and infection, thanks to our friend climate change

    Daniel J. Weiss and Robin Pam of the Center for American Progress have a new article on the health impacts of global warming. As they explain, "Some of the most severe health effects linked to global warming include the following":

    • More illness and death resulting from heat waves.
    • Worsening air pollution causes more respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
    • Vector-borne disease infections will rise.
    • Changing food production and security may cause hunger.
    • More severe and frequent wildfires will threaten more people.
    • Flooding linked to rising sea levels will displace millions.

    Already, "WHO now says that 150,000 deaths annually are attributable to the effects of climate change." And we've only warmed about 1.5 degrees F in the past century. We might warm 10 degrees F each century!

    The time to act is now.

  • Getting distracted

    There the World Health Organization goes again: Millions of Asians could face poverty, disease, and hunger as a result of rising temperatures and increased rainfall expected to hit hardest poor countries, the World Health Organization warned Monday. Malaria, diarrhea, malnutrition and floods cause an estimated 150,000 deaths annually, with Asia accounting for more than half, […]