Health

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The Challenges of the Sub-Saharan Urban Explosion

Sub-Saharan African cities are presently growing at a size and speed unprecedented in human history. This region of the continent, which was always very rural up to now, is becoming predominantly urban. Small, medium-sized and large cities are doubling in size year on year, with some growing by 1...
Marilyne Bonnet, souriante, sur un fond végétal, posant à côté d'un panneau indiquant "Epicentre"

Maryline Bonnet: from humanitarian medicine to clinical research

Distinguished scientists do not always follow a traditional academic path. That is certainly true for Maryline Bonnet who just received the Christophe Mérieux Prize for her work fighting tuberculosis and HIV. She began her career as a practising pulmonologist travelling the globe to care for people...

Cesarean deliveries in India: too many and yet too few

Had India fallen prey to the epidemic of cesarean currently affecting many countries in the world? Thanks to the data issued from the latest National Family and Health Survey, Christophe Z. Guilmoto and Alexandre Dumont, both IRD researchers, have been able to chart some of the main trends and...

Verbal autopsies: a public health tool

Months after the burial a questionnaire to people close to the deceased allow to establish cause of death when it hadn’t been certified by a professional.
Vignette

Spitting to stop paludism

The effects of gold mining in rivers in French Guiana

A study conducted in the French Guiana basin where artisanal gold mining in occurs has shown there is mercury in the environment from these activities. It is even found in the piscivorous fish and indigenous communities that eat food from the rivers affected. These are important and innovative...
digue-d-atar

Malaria: P. vivax detected in the oasis of Atar

For the first time, the presence of the Plasmodium vivax parasite has been confirmed in Atar, northern Mauritania: it is responsible for most cases of malaria. It is therefore crucial to take every step to avoid an epidemic, not just in Mauritania but also in North Africa, or even beyond, notably in...
test-arsenic

The Uros of Bolivia, adept at neutralising arsenic

A study of women from various Bolivian communities shows that these peoples drink water containing elevated levels of arsenic on a daily basis. While the toxic effects of the regular ingestion of this substance are well known, these women’s bodies seem particularly adept at “neutralising” the poison...
ecole-nyamsong-cameroun

Onchocerciasis and epilepsy: a strong temporal link

There is a long-running debate within the scientific community as to whether onchocerciasis causes epilepsy. For the first time, a cohort study clearly shows a temporal connection between the two.
chimpanze-reserve-de-la-lekedi

Malaria: cracking the genome of P. vivax-like

Research by experts in primates, mosquitoes and malaria parasites sheds light on the emergence of a form of the disease which affects human populations throughout the tropical world. It opens up new avenues for combating this scourge.
mfa-mosquito-feeding

Protecting mosquitoes to protect humans from malaria

Scientists are researching a vaccine intended to interrupt the life cycle of Plasmodium, the malaria parasite. This original approach, designed to reduce the pressure of the disease on exposed populations, has just been tested in the natural environment of the parasite.
Cowpea roots bear nodules which contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Lipids that boost symbiosis

Certain legumes form a symbiotic relationship with bacteria! Tucked into their roots, these bacteria increase the crop yield of these plants. These bacteria, capable of producing lipid molecules known as hopanoids, therefore seem to provide a distinct advantage.
aedes-albopictus

The Asian tiger mosquito enjoys car journeys

Original research shows the role of car journeys in the spread of the Asian tiger mosquito in Europe. Accustomed to freight transportation, this invasive species also uses passenger vehicles to propagate. It is seemingly found in 5 out of 1,000 cars.