Billion People (billion + people)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The importance of mangrove forest in tsunami disaster mitigation

DISASTERS, Issue 2 2009
Rabindra Osti
Tsunamis and storm surges have killed more than one million people and some three billion people currently live with a high risk of these disasters, which are becoming more frequent and devastating worldwide. Effective mitigation of such disasters is possible via healthy coastal forests, which can reduce the energy of tsunamis. In recent years, these natural barriers have declined due to adverse human and natural activities. In the past 20 years, the world has lost almost 50 per cent of its mangrove forests, making them one of the most endangered landscapes. It is essential to recover them and to use them as a shield against a tsunami and as a resource to secure optimal socio-economic, ecological and environmental benefits. This paper examines the emerging scenario facing mangrove forests, discusses protection from tsunamis, and proposes a way to improve the current situation. We hope that practical tips will help communities and agencies to work collectively to achieve a common goal. [source]

Insecurity, Conflict and the New Global Disorder

IDS BULLETIN, Issue 2 2001
Susan Willett
Summaries The current neoliberal preoccupation with the benefits of globalisation, which have been hailed as the great panacea for all the world's economic problems, has done little for the 1.3 billion people whose economic circumstances have stagnated or deteriorated in poverty over the last ten years. The neoliberal idea that somehow the benefits of global economic growth will ,trickle down' to the world's poor, has been challenged by the stark reality of the experience in the world's poorest societies. Deep polarisation of wealth that has become a structural feature of the global economy has been identified as one of the major threats to future peace and security in the coming millennium. Conflict theorists have for some time been at pains to point out that the unequal distribution of wealth and the failure to meet basic human needs constitute a source of structural violence that lies at the heart of the many conflicts. Endemic poverty is a basic factor that undermines human security. It not only leaves basic needs unmet, but creates the conditions for conflict and violence, as groups compete for access to scarce and often diminishing resources. Facing extremes of economic deprivation and threats to basic human security (life, food, shelter, income), the widespread resort to arms within a growing number of least developed economies can be understood as a Darwinian bid for survival. [source]

Hepatitis B virus infection in dentistry: a forgotten topic

N. Mahboobi
Summary., More than two billion people have been infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV). Globally, 350,400 million suffer from chronic HBV infection. It is postulated that dentists and dental staff are infected and transmit the virus to their patients more than any other occupation. The aim of this article is to review the HBV incidence in dental society, the points of view of dentists and their patients regarding transmission of the virus during dental procedures, the occurrence of HBV outbreaks in dental clinics and the importance of methods of preventing HBV infection in dentistry. [source]

Is Contemporary Interest Rate in Conflict with Islamic Ethics?

Erhun Kula
SUMMARY This paper considers whether the modern interest rate theory is in conflict with Islamic values. Unfortunately, the issue is not sufficiently debated in economic and cognate literature and thus a mist surrounds the Islamic concept of interest (riba) and its use in the Moslem world that contains about 1.3 billion people and hundreds of billions of dollars of surplus funds. A substantial part of this money has not been made available to the commercial banking system as Islamists in particular keep their savings in the form of gold, precious stones or durable foreign currency, in residential or other safe places, believing that earning interest on savings is against the principles of Islam. This attitude by creating a shortage of funds for investment projects is hampering the economic development of many Moslem countries where standards of living are generally low. The finding of the paper is that only one component part of the time preference rate, namely pure time discount, may be objectionable from the Islamic as well as from secular viewpoints; the rest does not appear to be against Muslim ethics. However, a truly competitive financial market structure is likely to wipe away the excessive pure time discount rate leaving the market interest rate free from any objectionable parameter. [source]

Securing water for people, crops, and ecosystems: New mindset and new priorities

Sandra L Postel
A fundamentally new approach to water and human development will be needed during this new century if we are to secure sufficient freshwater to meet the needs of some 9 billion people while at the same time protecting the critical ecosystem services upon which the human economy depends. Signs of unsustainable water use , including falling water tables, shrinking lakes, and the drying up of rivers and streams , are widespread and spreading. In many regions, greater modification and appropriation of freshwater systems for human purposes will yield greater costs than benefits and create the risk of irreversible losses of species and ecosystem services. A new mindset is needed to guide water use and management in this new century, one that views the human water economy as a subset of nature's water economy. Living within nature's limits will require that societies satisfy the basic needs of people and ecosystems before non-essential water demands are met. It will require on the order of a doubling of water productivity. And it will require stronger institutions to encourage equitable sharing of water to alleviate tensions within and between countries. [source]

Antigen selection for future anti- Trichuris vaccines: a comparison of cytokine and antibody responses to larval and adult antigen in a primary infection

SUMMARY Trichuriasis, caused by the whipworm Trichuris trichiura, is endemic in tropical and subtropical areas, affecting approximately 1 billion people. Child anthelminthic treatment programmes are being implemented but repeated treatments are costly, may prevent the development of acquired immunity and can lead to the development of drug resistant parasites. Thus, the development of a vaccine which would lead to the acquisition of immunity at an earlier age and reduce community faecal egg output would be beneficial. Development of subunit vaccines requires the identification of protective antigens and their formulation in a suitable adjuvant. Trichuris muris is an antigenically similar laboratory model for T. trichiura. Subcutaneous vaccination with adult excretory,secretory products (ES) protects susceptible mouse strains from T. muris. Larval stages may contain novel and more relevant antigens which when incorporated in a vaccine induce worm expulsion earlier in infection than the adult worm products. This study finds negligible difference in the cellular and humoral immune response to T. muris adult and third stage larva(e) (L3) ES during a primary T. muris infection, but identifies high molecular weight proteins in both adult and L3 ES as potential vaccine candidates. [source]

Bioengineered ,golden' indica rice cultivars with ,-carotene metabolism in the endosperm with hygromycin and mannose selection systems

Karabi Datta
Summary Vitamin-A deficiency (VAD) is a major malnutrition problem in South Asia, where indica rice is the staple food. Indica-type rice varieties feed more than 2 billion people. Hence, we introduced a combination of transgenes using the biolistic system of transformation enabling biosynthesis of provitamin A in the endosperm of several indica rice cultivars adapted to diverse ecosystems of different countries. The rice seed-specific glutelin promoter (Gt-1 P) was used to drive the expression of phytoene synthase (psy), while lycopene ,-cyclase (lcy) and phytoene desaturase (crtI), fused to the transit peptide sequence of the pea-Rubisco small subunit, were driven by the constitutive cauliflower mosaic virus promoter (CaMV35S P). Transgenic plants were recovered through selection with either CaMV35S P driven hph (hygromycin phosphotransferase) gene or cestrum yellow leaf curling virus promoter (CMP) driven pmi (phophomannose isomerase) gene. Molecular and biochemical analyses demonstrated stable integration and expression of the transgenes. The yellow colour of the polished rice grain evidenced the carotenoid accumulation in the endosperm. The colour intensity correlated with the estimated carotenoid content by spectrophotometric and HPLC analysis. Carotenoid level in cooked polished seeds was comparable (with minor loss of xanthophylls) to that in non-cooked seeds of the same transgenic line. The variable segregation pattern in T1 selfing generation indicated single to multiple loci insertion of the transgenes in the genome. This is the first report of using nonantibiotic pmi driven by a novel promoter in generating transgenic indica rice for possible future use in human nutrition. [source]

Front and Back Covers, Volume 26, Number 3.

June 2010
Front cover caption, volume 26 issue 3 Front cover A Greenpeace activist dressed as Justice protests in front of the Japanese embassy in Buenos Aires. She draws attention to the trial of Toru Suzuki and Junichi Sato, two Greenpeace activists seeking to expose corruption in the Japanese whale meat industry, who are being prosecuted in the Japanese courts for theft and trespass, in a trial that has continued since 2008. Back in 1993, Arne Kalland analyzed the notable success of the Western environmental movement, Greenpeace in particular, in mobilizing public opinion against continued whaling in the northern hemisphere. The key to this success, Kalland argued, lay in the environmentalists' construction of the ,superwhale', an imaginary, mythic creation which displayed numerous positive qualities with which people could closely identify. Environmentalist thinking has now become intertwined with the discourse of animal rights, including the claim that whales are special to the extent that they are entitled to legal rights on a somewhat similar basis to human beings. In this image, the script on the dress, the Japanese emblem of the rising sun, the blindfold and the scales of justice unbalanced by Japanese-caught whale meat all work to signify that the Japanese are entirely out of step with such progressive ideas. In this issue, Adrian Peace argues that the conflicting attitudes of Japan and Australia to whales and on the practice of whaling stem from diverging cultural and historical factors , the most basic among which is that, whilst Australians construe whales as awesome mammals, the Japanese perceive them as mere fish. Back cover FOOTBALL IN AFRICA On 11 June 2010, all eyes will turn to Johannesburg, South Africa, for the start of the 19th FIFA World Cup. The month-long tournament is one of the world's biggest sporting events, and this year will involve 32 teams from all over the world, attracting a worldwide audience of over 3 billion people and involving commercial agreements worth more than US $21 billion. Significantly, this is also the first time the competition has been held on the African continent. On the eve of the tournament, Richard Vokes reflects on the history and meaning of ,the beautiful game' in Africa, on the basis of a case study from southwestern Uganda. Football was introduced to Uganda by early European missionaries, and later gained in popularity as a result of the patronage it received from first colonial, and later post-colonial, state enterprises. However, the game's current mass appeal is a more recent phenomenon, due in large part to the media reforms introduced in Uganda after 1986, and the advent of satellite broadcasting technology. Vokes examines the nature of this new fandom, and of the media environments which have generated it. He argues that whilst certain features of the current craze , in particular, its peculiar fascination for specifically English football , can be seen as an outcome of spectatorship, this does not mean that the phenomenon is superficial. On the contrary, the new interest in football in Uganda has frequently produced unexpected, and in some ways quite profound, social effects. In his editorial Keith Hart uses the occasion of the World Cup to reflect on South Africa's significance for the world, as both the most developed African nation and the chief victim of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. [source]

Interaction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with the host: consequences for vaccine development

APMIS, Issue 5-6 2009
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), remains a major worldwide health problem that causes more than 2 million deaths annually. In addition, an estimated 2 billion people are latently infected with M. tuberculosis. The bacterium is one of the oldest human pathogens and has evolved complex strategies for survival. Therefore, to be successful in the high endemic regions, any future TB vaccine strategy will have to be tailored in accordance with the resulting complexity of the TB infection and anti-mycobacterial immune response. In this review, we will discuss what is presently known about the interaction of M. tuberculosis with the immune system, and how this knowledge is used in new and more advanced vaccine strategies. [source]