New in the news

A few stories elsewhere on vaccines, zoonotic disease, a new Gates initiative, and the environment that deserve your attention:


Paul Howard on what we need to do about vaccines. Like Greta’s article, Howard notes the short memories of many vaccine opponents, and also discusses the effect litigation has had on the vaccine industry–and what needs to be done to repair it.

Bill Gates once again: now he’s funding $100 million worth of grants, up to $100K apiece, to include high-risk projects and non-traditional scientists:

Scientists, who need not have specific degrees or qualifications, will be asked to submit short applications that will be rapidly evaluated in the hope that it could lead to new vaccines, diagnostics, drugs and other technologies targeting diseases that claim millions of live every year.

“We understand that most of the projects that we end up supporting may not be successful, but we hope there will be some that will come up with transformative ideas,” Yamada said.

He said the Gates Foundation was especially keen to focus on complex areas such as HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, maternal health, malnutrition and infant mortality.

Finally, National Geographic has an excellent feature on zoonotic diseases, including a extensive article, many pictures, and much more.

Finally, today is Blog action day:

…bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

Look around Scienceblogs for posts on this topic today. I didn’t have time to compose something new, but I’ll instead point to a post I wrote on how environmental change can have an impact on infectious diseases back in May.