Monthly Archives: January 2013

Well For Living

myworld

MY World is a global survey for citizens led by the United Nations and partners. It aims to capture people’s voices, priorities and views, so that global leaders can be informed as they begin the process of defining the new development agenda for the world.

Through creative on-line and offline methods, MY World asks individuals which six of sixteen possible issues they think would make the most difference to their lives. The sixteen issues have been built up from the priorities expressed by poor people in existing research and polling exercises and they cover the existing Millennium Development Goals, plus issues of sustainability, security, governance and transparency.

From now until 2015, they want as many people in as many countries as possible to be involved with MY World: citizens of all ages, genders and backgrounds, and particularly the world’s poor and marginalized communities.

Results will firstly be submitted to the Secretary…

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HIV research offers hope

Issue 89 - Scaling up treatment guidelines in resource limited settings

Immediate treatment of HIV can slow the progression of the virus, a study undertaken by researchers from the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and the Medical Research Council’s Clinical Trials Unit has shown.

Antiretroviral medication taken during the early stages of infection, over a 48-week period, delays damage to the immune system and can defer the need for long-term treatment.

An estimated 34 million people suffer from HIV worldwide. The virus weakens the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to infection. In its early stages it often goes unnoticed; left unchecked, it can result in individuals being in danger of life-threatening illnesses.

The study, which took place over five years, took the form of a randomised controlled trial of antiretroviral treatment on 366 adults from Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Uganda and the UK. It comprised mostly of heterosexual women and gay men and was funded by the Wellcome Trust.

At present, it is unusual for antiretroviral medication to be given to HIV patients in the early stages of infection. The trial randomly allocated the volunteers, who had been diagnosed with HIV no more than six months earlier, medication for 48 weeks, 12 weeks or not at all.

On average, the study found that those receiving no medication required a lifelong course of treatment 157 weeks after infection. Those receiving 12 weeks of antiretroviral medication took an average of 184 weeks before receiving lifelong treatment. Participants on the 48 week course began long-term treatment on average 222 weeks after infection.

Moreover, those receiving medication for 48 weeks had higher CD4 T-cell counts, which can reduce susceptibility to secondary infections such as tuberculosis. Adults on this course recorded lower levels of HIV in the blood, which could help reduce the risk of infection for sexual partners.

Dr Sarah Fidler, leader of the study from Imperial College London said: “These results are very promising and suggest that a year-long course of treatment for people recently infected with HIV may have some benefit on both the immune system as well as helping control the virus.”

Concerns over how cost-effective such treatment would be have been raised by some who do not deem the findings to be tremendously significant. Professor Gita Ramjee, who led the study in South Africa, commented: “We now need to weigh up whether the benefits offered by early intervention are outweighed by the strategic and financial challenges such a change in policy would incur, particularly in resource-poor settings such as Africa, although this may be where the most benefits are seen in terms of TB rates.”

Students at Oxford University have expressed interest in this new study. Fergus Chadwick, a Biologist, said: “It is really fascinating to see how theory that has been outlined in our lectures is being applied in the real world with such promising results.”

Original Article by Elizabeth Pugh at Oxfordstudent.com

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HIV, H1N1 and SARS viruses recreated in glass for Sleaford exhibition

HIVGLASS

If you’ve ever wondered what viruses and bacteria such as HIV or SARS looks like, a new exhibition at the National Centre for Craft & Design will reveal all.

The exhibition by Luke Jerram will open on Friday, February 1 and will showcase exquisite glass works relating to this very subject.

Mr Jerram’s ‘Glass Microbiology‘ is the exploration of clear glass rendering of viruses and bacteria such as HIV, H1N1 and SARS.

Made to contemplate the global impact of each disease, the artworks were created as alternative representations to the artificially coloured imagery we receive through the media. By extracting the colour from the imagery and creating jewel like beautiful sculptures in glass, a complex tension has arisen between the artworks’ beauty and what they represent.

Working alongside this section of the exhibition will be Lincoln University with their ‘pop up’ science lab giving visitors the opportunity to look down high resolution microscopes in order to see bacteria up close and in all its varied form.

Jerram’s Glass Microbiology sculptures are in museum collections around the world from The Corning Museum in New York to the Wellcome Collection in London.

In 2007 he was awarded the Institute for Medical Imaging Award’ and in 2010 the coveted “Rakow Glass Award” for his work. Jerram has recently completed a fellowship at the Museum of Glass, Washington, USA and in 2009 his sculptures were presented at The Mori Museum, Tokyo alongside work by Damien Hirst, Warhol and Leonardo da Vinci.

Check our his collection here: http://www.lukejerram.com/glass/gallery

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