Malaria claims the life of a child every minute and causes 12 billion in damage annually. The World Health Organization aims to eradicate the disease by 2030. That goal has become a lot closer by the development of a new mosquito trap baited by human feromones. The trap, called the ‘Suna Trap’, was developed by scientists from the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, in collaboration with researchers from Switzerland and Kenya and published in the medical journal The Lancet. It was tested on the Kenyan island of Rusinga. Its 25,0000 inhabitants were all tested for malaria over a period of 2 years. After 18 months, there was a drop of 70% in the mosquito population and a drop of 50% in malaria cases. Modification of the trap for mosquitoes transmitting dengue fever and the ZIKA Virus is now under study.
This would come none too early, as mosquitoes carrying ZIKA, a disease causing serious birth defects, have now made their way into the US. Until recently, all US cases had incurred the infection abroad, but since late July, more than a dozen cases of people infected locally were reported in Florida.
A study by the 5Gyres Institute estimates that there are about 5 trillion piece of plastic floating about in the oceans, usually ending up in one of the 5 principal vortexes, or ‘gyres’, from which the institute take its name. Plastic desintegrates, but does not decay. The remains are ingested by fish and other sea animals to the detriment of their well-being. And to their palatibility.
Under the slogan “Don’t Eat Plastic, Eat With Plastic’, Yavez Anthonio, an Amsterdam art director and photographer, has come up with a novel approach to the problem: he turns plastic recovered from the sea into chopsticks, aptly named ‘Umi Hashi‘, meaning ‘Ocean Chopsticks’ in Japanese.
His intention is not to remove all the plastic in the ocean this way, but to market the chopsticks to sushi restaurants and increase awareness about the final destination of the water bottles we throw out in the trash.
After the record-breaking rains of the past weeks, the Prickly Pear is bursting with fruit and it is time to harvest! Although Prickley Pear juice is a bit bland to the palate, it is very healthy and may also boost resistence against regional allergies. The blandness can be remedied by adding a bit of citric acid to the juice. A tougher nut to crack is how to avoid the stickers, in particular those nasty glochids, the clusters of tiny hair spines which are nearly invisible and more often than not find their mark in a spot that is hard to reach. Some people painstakingly peel the fruits piecemeal, which is labor-intensive and carries the risk of spending a significant part of the day with a par of tweezers. Others burn off the spines with a torch, with is also laborious. The most efficient method appears to be to throw them in the blender hide and hair, boil the mush into a syrup and then strain the syrup repeatedly through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth or paper towel.
Once the syrup is clear, it can be diluted with water and, possibly with a tequila twist, made into a delicious drink.
KXCI MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
The KXCI Fall Membership drive starts this Friday, August 19th. Please support your local community radio and the Weeky Green by becoming a sustaining member. Go to KXCI.org or call 520-623-1000.