It was a chilly spring day in Washington when Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler made a historic announcement. “The probable cause of AIDS has been found,” she began, “a variant of a known human cancer virus.” It was 1984, and she confidently declared that a vaccine would be available within two years. It was a statement of hope rather than science.
good:

Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

Good Infographic on smoking and its effects on the body.

good:

Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

Good Infographic on smoking and its effects on the body.

Thousands walk to help those with HIV, AIDS

This is from today’s Orlando Sentinel. AIDS Walk is one of Hope and Help of Central Florida (metro Orlando’s largest HIV/AIDS service agency)’s largest annual fundraising events, raising approximately $150,000 for case management and prevention programs for those living with and affected by the disease. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that brings this community together and does great work helping those in need in Central Florida!

nprglobalhealth:

To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick
Removing all the dangerous bacteria from drinking water would have enormous health benefits for people around the world.
The technologies exist for doing that, but there’s a problem: cost.
Now MIT’s Rohit Karnik thinks he’s on to a much less expensive way to clean up water: Use the xylem of a plant.
Now if you remember your high school biology, you’ll know that xylem is the stuff in plants that transports water in the form of sap from the roots to the leaves.
"And the way the water is moved is by evaporation from the leaves," says Karnik.
It’s somewhat like what happens when you put a straw into a glass of liquid. Evaporation from the leaves has the same effect as sucking on the straw.
Pulling water up to the leaves this way creates a problem for the plant, but also an opportunity for an inventor.
The plant’s problem is something called cavitation, or the growth of air bubbles, which makes it harder for water to reach the leaves. But Karnik says xylem has a way of getting rid of these bubbles.
"The xylem has membranes with pores and other mechanisms by which bubbles are prevented from easily spreading and flowing in the xylem tissue," he says.
And it turns out these same pores that are so good at filtering out air bubbles are just the right size for filtering out nasty bacteria.
To prove it worked, he created a simple setup in his lab. He peeled the bark off a pine branch and took the sapwood underneath containing the xylem into a tube. He then sent a stream of water containing tiny particles through the tube and showed that the wood filter removed them.
"We also flowed in bacteria and showed we could filter out bacteria using the xylem," he says. Karnik estimates the xylem removed 99.9 percent of the bacteria.





The results were published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.
Continue reading.
Image: Making a xylem water filter is easy: Just peel back the bark and stick inside a tube. (PLOS ONE)

Interesting, simple way to filter bacteria from water. :-)

nprglobalhealth:

To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick

Removing all the dangerous bacteria from drinking water would have enormous health benefits for people around the world.

The technologies exist for doing that, but there’s a problem: cost.

Now MIT’s Rohit Karnik thinks he’s on to a much less expensive way to clean up water: Use the xylem of a plant.

Now if you remember your high school biology, you’ll know that xylem is the stuff in plants that transports water in the form of sap from the roots to the leaves.

"And the way the water is moved is by evaporation from the leaves," says Karnik.

It’s somewhat like what happens when you put a straw into a glass of liquid. Evaporation from the leaves has the same effect as sucking on the straw.

Pulling water up to the leaves this way creates a problem for the plant, but also an opportunity for an inventor.

The plant’s problem is something called cavitation, or the growth of air bubbles, which makes it harder for water to reach the leaves. But Karnik says xylem has a way of getting rid of these bubbles.

"The xylem has membranes with pores and other mechanisms by which bubbles are prevented from easily spreading and flowing in the xylem tissue," he says.

And it turns out these same pores that are so good at filtering out air bubbles are just the right size for filtering out nasty bacteria.

To prove it worked, he created a simple setup in his lab. He peeled the bark off a pine branch and took the sapwood underneath containing the xylem into a tube. He then sent a stream of water containing tiny particles through the tube and showed that the wood filter removed them.

"We also flowed in bacteria and showed we could filter out bacteria using the xylem," he says. Karnik estimates the xylem removed 99.9 percent of the bacteria.

The results were published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.

Continue reading.

Image: Making a xylem water filter is easy: Just peel back the bark and stick inside a tube. (PLOS ONE)

Interesting, simple way to filter bacteria from water. :-)

Smoking is even worse for you than previously thought

This article is a great reminder why I quit smoking over two years ago. If I can do it, anyone can!

Orlando Health, Florida Blue ink deal to reduce medical costs - Orlando Business Journal
HIV/AIDS Manual Published For Social Workers

I know this isn’t in the Sunshine State, but I’m in Charlotte visiting the family and saw this in the paper. In recognition of World AIDS Day I’m reposting this article discussing a publication that will help case managers, social workers and peer mentors who work with those living with HIV/AIDS nationwide.

The State Where Obamacare Is Working

I see that Florida’s Governor Scott is open to the idea of using federal Medicaid funds to provide private insurance to our poorest citizens, a strategy that’s working in Arkansas. Hey, that’s something. And something is better than nothing, I suppose. Enjoy! —Jon