Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

 
The Coming Storm: Helping Rural Communities Cope in Southeast Asia
Climate change is not only about the environment – it also has major financial and institutional implications. This was the backstory to a recent report on 'Risk Financing for Rural Climate Resilience in the Greater Mekong Subregion' co-authored by UNU-MERIT PhD fellow Ornsaran Pomme Manuamorn. The report was published in May 2017 by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
See: http://www.merit.unu.edu/the-coming-storm-helping-rural-communities-cope-in-southeast-asia/



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  • Therapy could stop superbugs on farms
    Researchers at Leicester University have shown that it might be possible to develop an alternative to antibiotics for treating diseases in pigs.

    They have identified a range of viruses, called bacteriophages, that can be used to kill common pig infections. The aim is to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria emerging on farms that could also infect humans. If trials in pigs work, the new therapy could be extended to treat people.

    Phages occur in nature and are the natural enemy of many infectious agents. There are many phages, each of which is specific to different infectious bugs. The phages home in on these agents like a guided missile. Once they find their target, they latch on to them and inject their DNA into the bug rendering it harmless.

    Like all viruses, they reproduce inside the infectious bug and these new phages go on to hunt other infections

    The Leicester University team have identified a range of disease-killing phages, including one that disables a salmonella bug that infects pigs. Her team has shown that it works in the lab and the scientists have also developed a powdered form of the phage which remains active. This is an important step because it enables the researchers to add the phage to pig feed and see if it works in practice. The team plans to begin trails later this year.

    If the approach is found to be effective, other phage treatments could be developed for a range of animal diseases. It would also speed the development of phage treatments for people.

    BBC News    June 08, 2017