The essence behind what Angela has to say is backed by some research. In June 2008, a report was released by the National Academy of Engineering, called “Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering,” on the best way to convince young people to go into engineering. The message? Tell them that they will make a difference. The four most effective statements they tested were:
–Engineers make a world of difference.
–Engineers are creative problem-solvers.
–Engineers help shape the future.
–Engineering is essential to our health, happiness, and safety.
3 years ago • Blog, Engineering, Science, STEM, Video, Women in STEM • Tags: CERN, documentary, Google Hangout on Air, interview, Joanne Manaster, LHC, Monica Dunford, movie, Particle Fever, particle physics, physics, STEM, video, Women in STEM
This article was originally published by Scientific American
Unless you’ve been distanced from the news and the internet, you have heard that tuberculosis has become increasingly drug resistant and is resurging in many areas of the world and this is much more than a minor inconvenience.
Kari Stoever, the Vice President of External Affairs at Aeras – a global nonprofit biotech advancing TB vaccines for the world, has put together a team to create an educational series of videos, which are available in its entirety for screenings, to raise awareness about the re-emerging infectiousness and virulence of pulmonary TB across the world.
4 years ago • Blog, Health, Science, Travel • Tags: Aeras, child survival, DOT center, EXPOSED, India, International Reporting Project, Kari Stoever, mHealth, Molecules : The Elements and the Architecture of Everything, Mumbai, Scientific American, STEM, tuberculosis
This was originally published at Scientific American
Just a few weeks ago, I flew into India to join other new media specialists and journalists with the International Reporting Project to examine issues of child survival and health. (Before I continue, I simply must extend thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for providing a portion of the IRP funding to make this trip possible, the School of Integrative Biology at UIUC for supporting my participation in the project and GoPro Cameras for outfitting me with a Hero3 for documentation purposes.)
I have talked to many many people who have experienced India, I’ve read numerous books (fiction and non-fiction), and watched many documentaries, TV shows, and fictional movies about India, but knew that the experience of visiting would be something valuable. I was warned of the approximately “five people per square foot” population density in Mumbai, of the smell–a persistent sewer/trash odor, the pollution, the noise, the dogs, cattle, and goats, and the widespread extreme poverty. I discovered that the southern port city of India in Maharashtra State where we first landed, formerly known as Bombay, to be all that and even more. It was humid and warm during our visit, but actually in a relatively cool and dry streak, at least for India. The city, as I was exaggeratively informed by John Schidlovsky, founder and director of the IRP, “was built on mold” and with my allergy to mold so severe that I carry an epipen, I found myself taking more than the recommended dose of allergy meds just to breathe, each day grateful it wasn’t the rainy season. Thankfully, we eventually traveled north to cooler, drier, and less moldy climes to a rural area outside Nagpur and later to New Delhi.
Throughout most of India, I found myself delighted at the fact that women still wear colorful sarees on a daily basis, not yet succumbing to western trends, and impressed that men and boys generally wear button-down shirts, slacks, and nice shoes everyday, no matter their income level or age (try convincing a young boy to do that in America day to day–no way!)
If you have seen the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”, it begins in Mumbai, in one of the largest slums located near the airport and situated right at the largest dumping ground in India. This area was our first stop in order to visit the Niramaya project drop-in health center. We toured the slums and received an overview of healthcare and educational awareness work Niramaya does in the community.
4 years ago • Blog, Health, STEM, Travel • Tags: CDC, environmental enteropathy, India, International Reporting Project, Mumbai, open defecation, Rose George, sanitation, Scott Huler, slums, United Nations Children's Fund, WHO
I am writing this to you from New Delhi, India as I am here with the International Reporting Project as a New Media Specialist! We have been in the crowded, bustling, port city of Mumbai, the central city of Nagpur (home of several tiger refuges), the rural village area of Gadchiroli, and finally to the modern city of New Delhi in order toexamine issues of child survival. I have several blog posts written in the run up to this project, with many more to come over the next month or so.
Did you know India has a National Science Day? National Science Day is celebrated in India on February 28 each year to mark the discovery of the Raman effect (the scattering of photons from an atom or molecule) by Indian physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman on February 28, 1928. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in 1930.
4 years ago • Blog, Engineering, Science, STEM, Travel • Tags: Angela Saini, child survival, Geek Nation, Genome Valley, India, International Reporting Project, Jantar Mantar, National Science Day, Raman effect, Scientific American, STEM, V.V. Raman
Malnutrition and Sanitation
What if children seem to have enough of the appropriate nutritive food, yet still exhibit signs of malnutrition? Could there be something else going on here? Indeed. In the past few years, scientist have discovered a phenomenon called ENVIRONMENTAL ENTEROPATHY which is caused by prolonged exposure to food and water contaminated with feces.
Environmental enteropathy, (EE) also known as gut dysfunction, affects up to 50% of children in the developing world, and causes no overt symptoms or signs in children.
4 years ago • Blog, Engineering, Health, Science, STEM, Travel • Tags: Engineering, environmental enteropathy, golden rice, India, International Reporting Project, Joanne Manaster, Malnutrition, NPR, sanitation, science, wiseGEEK
Part 1: The Science of Nutrition and Malnutrition.
Today’s post is number three in the run-up to my International Reporting Project trip to India where I will be part of a team of 10 journalists covering the topic of child survival. First, I addressed Infectious Diseases, then Vaccinations. Today, we will look at Malnutrition. What is the state of malnutrition in India? How has scientific understanding of what good nourishment means helped us work on the malnourishment issue particularly in developing nations? Can science put an end to world hunger? How are sanitation and hygiene related to malnutrition?
Before we go on, let’s define a few terms so there is no confusion:
- Malnutrition is the condition that occurs when your body does not get enough nutrients.
- Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy, nutrient, and vitamin intake.
- Famine is a widespread scarcity of food, usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality.
- Emaciation is abnormal thinness caused by lack of nutrition or by disease.
- Marasmus is chronic wasting of body tissues, especially in young children, commonly due to prolonged dietary deficiency of protein and calories.
- Kwashiorkor is a syndrome occurring in infants and young children soon after weaning. It is due to severe protein deficiency, and the symptoms include edema, pigmentation changes of skin and hair, impaired growth and development, distention of the abdomen, and pathologic liver changes.
4 years ago • Blog, Health, Travel • Tags: child survival, diarrheal diseases, environmental enteropathy, India, International Reporting Project, Malnutrition, Nobel Prize, nutrients, nutrition, research, science, STEM, UNICEF, WHO
Part 2: Vaccination Challenges in Developing Countries
Developing countries generally wait an average of 20 years between when a vaccine is licensed in industrialized countries and when it is available for their own populations. Economic, infrastructural and scientific hurdles all contribute to this long delay. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) is a partnership between many public and private organization, including UNICEF, WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, members of the vaccine industry and NGOs. GAVI was formed in 1999 to address the long delay between vaccine availability in industrialized countries and developing countries. Scientific advances that would help make more vaccines available in developing countries include the development of temperature stable vaccines, development of vaccines that required less than three doses to immunize and the development of needle free methods to administer vaccines.
4 years ago • Blog, Health, STEM, Travel • Tags: bioengineers, CDC, cold chain system, Gates Foundation, HIV, India, International Reporting Project, malaria, The History of Vaccines, tuberculosis, UNICEF, Vaccine Viral Monitors, vaccines, WHO
Part 1: How vaccines are made and how they work
In 2008, WHO estimated that 1.5 million of deaths among children under 5 years were due to diseases that could have been prevented by routine vaccination. This represents 17% of global total mortality in children under 5 years of age.
Hygiene, proper nourishment and sanitary conditions make for a healthy community, with lowered incidence of infectious disease, but since much of this is lacking in developing countries, vaccination is very helpful to giving the immune system a boost.
We can thank scientists, physicians and engineers for their work in understanding the immune system and how to make it work for us against disease by using vaccinations.
4 years ago • Blog, Health, Science, STEM, Travel • Tags: attenuated vaccine, child survival, diphtheria, effective vaccines, hepatitis, inactivated vaccine, India, International Reporting Project, pertussis, Polio, STEM, tetanus, The History of Vaccines, typhus, vaccine types, vaccines, WHO