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Using less than a drop of blood, a new test can reveal nearly every virus a person has ever been exposed to, scientists reported on Thursday.

The test, which is still experimental, can be performed for as little as $25 and could become an important research tool for tracking patterns of disease in various populations, helping scientists compare the old and the young, or people in different parts of the world.

It could also be used to try to find out whether viruses, or the body’s immune response to them, contribute to chronic diseases and cancer, the researchers said.

“I’m sure there’ll be lots of applications we haven’t even dreamed of,” said Stephen J. Elledge, the senior author of the report, published in the journal Science, and a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Read more

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Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first Prime Minister, died on 23 March 2015; and on 29 March 2015, the Straits Times published an article titled “The Singapore That Lee Kuan Yew Built” which stated that he “…foretold the transformation of the country from a tiny slum-ridden trading post ...” back in 1959.

On 1 April 2015, another article in the Straits Times, titled “Interactive Map: How Twittersphere Reacted to News of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s Death”, stated that over 1.2 million related tweets were sent in the week preceding his death. Unwittingly, I may have contributed to this statistic.

A Trinidadian Information Technology professional had posted one of my articles “Singapore: Example to the Caribbean in Doing Business” with the comment “Caribbean leaders think they can cut and paste Singapore success story here, they need (sic) address productivity and innovation first”. Read more

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New York City’s melting pot has been boiling over in the larger metropolitan area.

Long Island, the lower Hudson Valley and northern New Jersey, home to thousands of recently arrived unaccompanied minors and older immigrants, have nearly as many people eligible for legal services as does the city. But outside the city, there has been a shortage of lawyers to serve those potential clients. Read more

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The new machine that could one day replace anesthesiologists sat quietly next to a hospital gurney occupied by Nancy Youssef-Ringle. She was nervous. In a few minutes, a machine — not a doctor — would sedate the 59-year-old for a colon cancer screening called a colonoscopy.

But she had done her research. She had even asked a family friend, an anesthesiologist, what he thought of the device. He was blunt: “That’s going to replace me.” Read more

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The Internet has changed a lot about people’s lives in the past couple decades. Web and mobile applications let us search for information, buy products, and communicate frictionlessly, from anywhere — at speeds and in ways never before possible. We get movie recommendations on the dashboards of our cars, produce and publish videos on our phones, and buy thermostats that predict when we will be at work so they can turn down the heat.

While these advances might seem like magic to the outside world, the people building these applications understand just how much has gone into making them work. However, with each passing day, it’s increasingly important for everyone in the business world to understand this, too. Read more

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The search giant unveils a new service that switches between cellular and Wi-Fi signals and lets customers pay for only what data they use.  Google wants to be your wireless carrier.

The search giant on Wednesday announced its long-anticipated wireless service in the United States, called Project Fi.

Google hopes to stand out by changing the way it charges customers. Typically, smartphone owners pay wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon a bulk rate for a certain amount of data. Google says it will let customers pay for only what data they use on their phones, from doing things like making calls, listening to music and using apps, potentially saving them significant amounts of money. Read more

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On July 1, the payment-services company will start offering buyer protections for services, e-books, software downloads, digital music and much more.

A lot of the stuff you buy these days isn’t stuff at all.

With consumers spending more money on digital goods, PayPal decided it was time to start offering buyer protections for those digital songs, books, travel tickets and software downloads. Read more

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JAMA

Achieving Health Equity by Design

April 14, 2015

Disparities in health outcomes by race and ethnicity and by income status are persistent and difficult to reduce. For more than a decade, infant mortality rates have been 2 to 3 times higher among African American populations, rates of potentially preventable hospitalization have been substantially higher among African American and Latino populations, and the complications of diabetes have disproportionately afflicted African American and Latino populations.1 These and other disparities have persisted despite recognition that inequity costs the economy an estimated $300 billion per year.2 In addition, health disparities threaten the ability of health care organizations to compete fiscally as insurers increasingly base payments on quality and outcomes, such as reducing preventable admissions and readmissions.

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JAMA

April 14, 2015

The Health of Young African American Men

Deaths in Ferguson, Missouri; New York City; Sanford, Florida; and other areas have focused international attention on young African American men. In a recent campaign, young African American men draw attention to key overlooked facts that describe their demographic: 1 of 3 goes to college, 3 of 4 are drug free, 5 of 9 have jobs, 7 of 8 are not teenaged fathers, and 11 of 12 finish high school.1 How can clinicians help address existing health disparities and add to these positive outcomes?

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