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Category archives for Health

How Nature Is Nurturing Cities

Harini Nagendra has spent more than a decade studying the growth and functioning of cities in South Asia, supported in part by grants from the National Geographic Society in 2006 and 2011. In her new book, Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future she focuses in on the booming modern city of…

Diving In… to the World of Food Waste

The phone call came as a surprise. I didn’t expect anyone to have my phone number, let alone call me. It was my eighth day in Taiwan, sixth day with a SIM card, and second time at a Louisa Coffee. I didn’t even have my cell memorized – something with a 0935… 74? The order…

Fighting tuberculosis with faster, more accurate diagnostics

By Harshini Mukundan Around the world, tuberculosis is making a comeback, owing to the increased incidence of HIV/AIDS and several other factors. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 1900 and 2015, the incidence of new TB cases increased nearly 40 percent—from an estimated 7.5 million to 10.4 million. Furthermore, the untreatable drug-resistant strains…

Fall Color In-Depth: Maple Trees Offer New Answers to Diabetes, Alzheimer’s

In the 1992 film Medicine Man, biochemist Robert Campbell, played by actor Sean Connery, searches for new drugs in the Amazon’s vast rainforests. There Campbell finds a cure for cancer not in the rainforest’s rare flowers – which don’t have “juju,” or the power to heal – but in an indigenous ant species. All is looking…

Imagining a Future Without Wildlife in Madagascar

It is difficult to reconcile the need for food with the long-term need for wildlife conservation. It is clear that hunting at current rates drives certain wildlife species’ populations down to unsustainable sizes. Habitat destruction and fragmentation add to the problem. Not only is this harmful in terms of destabilizing food security, it also creates a cascade of harmful environmental impacts.

I met the tribe on the front line in the battle to save Indonesia’s forests

By Sophie Grig, Survival International campaigner  “We’re proud that we still have the forest,” Temenggung Grip says, standing tall, waving at the vast expanse of trees. “We feel proud to be Orang Rimba, everything we have talked about still exists, people ask about tigers, how big are they, what are they like, and we know…

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”

Entrepreneurs Shine a Light on Seafood Origins

Consumers who would never buy something generically labeled meat or cheese are often stuck at almost that level of information when it comes to seafood. The opaque origins and processing of many seafood products can hide a host of problems, including species fraud, illegal fishing, human rights abuses in the labor force, and pollution—as well…

Searching for Water in the World’s Biggest Refugee Crisis

The story behind a short documentary on the lives of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Can Africa’s greatest river provide relief to the world’s biggest refugee crisis? I went to northern Uganda to find out, and encountered a story of desperation and perseverance that opened my eyes and broke my heart. I’ll never look at a glass of water…

Storytelling in a Slum’s Silicon Valley

“We have a different kind of Silicon Valley here,” Nawneet Ranjan explains. Founder of the Dharavi Diary: Slum and Rural Innovation Project, Ranjan tells how his students use storytelling, technology, and the power of their diversity to raise awareness and develop solutions for issues facing the Dharavi slum community in Mumbai, India.

Help Me Define (Bio)Diversity

What does diversity mean to you? Is it important?

Innovating to Fight Epidemics: Latest Ideas from TEDMED

At a time where emerging and rapidly spreading infections such as the Ebola and Zika viruses have been dominating conversations in global health, this is a defining moment for innovators – and new and exciting thinking in healthcare is always the hallmark of the annual TEDMED event. In this installment of Digital Diversity, Layla McCay – a member…

Forests Are Worthless Until Cut Down

Dasho Neten remembers a time when “people simply acted on their values informally,” while now the general sense of citizenship wanes. As a farmer and prominent activist in Bhutan, Dasho Neten challenges us not to depend on the government to build our societies. “We need to wake up! There is an inconvenient truth lingering, and we need to ask: are we really moving towards self-reliance? Sometimes we need reminders, no matter how uncomfortable they may be.”

A Flaw in the Plan

What happens when progressive laws confront an industrial reality? This is a story of a small community coming to grips with an steel giant.

Establishing Yourself: Foodways in Ayurveda

I met Saha at Bija Vidyapeeth, the educational farm managed by the agricultural and activism nonprofit, Navdanya. Saha teaches Ayurveda around the world, from basic workshops to more complex courses. She spent most of her life in the air and space industry, but during a period of personal, physical crisis, Saha found herself in and out of hospitals until her mother took her to an Ayurvedic doctor. “Something that had been bothering me for four or five years was within two weeks under control, and within six months was gone.”