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Scientists Without Borders Security Update

Posted by Steve Binkowski
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on Friday, 18 April 2014 in News

Dear Scientists Without Borders community members:

As you may have seen recently on the news or social media, a widespread security vulnerability referred to as Heartbleed has been discovered in websites and services that use online encryption software called OpenSSL. More than half of all active websites rely on OpenSSL to encrypt communications, including the Scientists Without Borders website of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Please know that there has been no indication of breach or compromise of our online systems. Your privacy and security are of the utmost importance to the Academy, and as soon as this potential vulnerability was discovered, our hosting service took immediate action to investigate the issue and apply appropriate patches. In the years since our website launched, never once has suspicious account activity been detected.

Because the data you share with us is of a personal nature, however, we would like to recommend that you change your user password as a precaution. It may be an unnecessary precaution, but as your data is precious, we would rather exercise a little healthy paranoia in the name of protection. To change your password, log into your profile at https://scientistswithoutborders.org/component/users/?view=login.

Thank you for your continuing support of Scientists Without Borders and the New York Academy of Sciences.

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Scientists Without Borders Digest: Innovations in Sanitation

Posted by Chenelle Bonavito
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on Friday, 18 April 2014 in News

A weekly digest of activity within the Scientists Without Borders community.

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Innovations in Sanitation

511577.5926415271bda072ae0fzToday, in Bangladesh more people have access to toilets and latrines than ever before with only about 3% of the country's urban population practicing open defecation compared to 6% two decades ago. The situation in urban areas is improving faster than in the country side, where one-quarter of the population is still not engaged in modern waste disposal.

SNV, a Netherlands-based development organization is trying to take sanitation in Bangladesh to the next level with innovative solutions that can potentially turn human waste into energy or agriculture products. The organization will work closely with local communities to develop service models that are safe, affordable, and generate employment income while managing the sludge in these areas. Partnerships will undoubtedly play a key role in this effort, as will technology and innovation.

Access to sanitation is a key factor in development and designing innovative methods to increase access in low-resource settings, as well as manage waste, is critical. 

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Almas Siddiqui, Sylvie Haviernick, Ritaum Biswas, Scott Walter, Yue Liu,  Annie Hartley, Gaurav Bhandari, Carla Washbourne

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About Scientists Without Borders
Scientists Without Borders is a web-based collaborative community dedicated to generating, sharing, and advancing innovative science and technology-based solutions to the world's pressing global development challenges. Through our free web platform, we enable our worldwide community of users and our strategic partner network to frame and tackle specific scientific or technological challenges in areas of critical global need. We disseminate these challenges to a wide network of diverse problem-solvers who can collaborate to identify solutions, exchange resources, and expertise. We do this in a neutral, credible, and noncommercial way. To see the other challenges and resources, visit our site.

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Scientists Without Borders Digest: The First 1000 Days

Posted by Chenelle Bonavito
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on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 in News

A weekly digest of activity within the Scientists Without Borders community.

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The First 1,000 Days

172516.mother-and-infantThere is a unique window of opportunity between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday to break the cycle of poverty using adequate nutrition. Providing a child with the right nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life has the potential to save more than one million lives each year; reduce the harm and economic burden of diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis; reduce the risk of developing non-communicable diseases later in life; improve an individual’s educational achievement and earning potential; and increase a country’s GDP by 2-3 percent annually, according to the organization, 1,000 Days.

1,000 Days builds champions within U.S. business, government, and civil society communities to promote targeted actions and investment to improve nutrition during these first 1,000 days of life through interventions such as vitamin and mineral supplementation and the promotion of breastfeeding. They have great resources such as a nutrition map, essential documents, and success stories.   

Are you working on innovative ways to increase nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life? Do you have a technology or intervention that you looking to refine?  Ask out community for help or advice. And, be sure to take a look at A Global Research Agenda for Nutrition Science, spearheaded by the New York Academy of Science’s Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science, to see the areas nutrition experts have deemed as high-priority research gaps in this important field. 

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Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa posted an answer to Klaus Kramer’s question on how we can more efficiently use innovations and products from private and public sector labs to become public goods to address hunger, poverty, and other global development challenges. Add your answers here!  

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Join the Academy on May 1 for Supporting Dynamic STEM Careers for Underrepresented Minorities: A Networking Reception and Forum

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Jordan Brener, F. Persia Jamshidi, Steve Binkowski, Chi Dima, Omar M. Ishak, Matthew Gale    

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About Scientists Without Borders
Scientists Without Borders is a web-based collaborative community dedicated to generating, sharing, and advancing innovative science and technology-based solutions to the world's pressing global development challenges. Through our free web platform, we enable our worldwide community of users and our strategic partner network to frame and tackle specific scientific or technological challenges in areas of critical global need. We disseminate these challenges to a wide network of diverse problem-solvers who can collaborate to identify solutions, exchange resources, and expertise. We do this in a neutral, credible, and noncommercial way. To see the other challenges and resources, visit our site.

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The New York Academy of Sciences
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Scientists Without Borders Digest: Innovative Water Filters

Posted by Chenelle Bonavito
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on Friday, 28 March 2014 in News

A weekly digest of activity within the Scientists Without Borders community.

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Innovative Water Filters

433361-waterLast week, in connection with World Water Day, we discussed the importance of access to clean, fresh water. Every day, millions of people spend hours walking to find safe drinking water, making innovative technologies that increase access to clean water increasingly important. Currently, common technologies for water disinfection include chlorination, filtration, UV-disinfection, pasteurization or boiling, and ozone treatment. While all effective in some ways and within some communities, each has elements that prevents wide implementation in developing countries such as access to electricity, knowledge of maintenance, fuel, and expense just to name a few. 

Looking to nature for inspiration, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are working to produce an "economic and efficient" means of filtering bacteria from water using plant xylem. Plant xylem, which comes from the sapwood of coniferous trees, is readily available, inexpensive, biodegradable, and disposable; best of all, it removes bacteria from water using a simple pressure-driven filter. Testing according to WHO guidelines still needs to be done, but xylem filtration technology is on the right path.

Share your thoughts on this technology or tell us about a technology being created in your university or lab and ask our community for help or advice 

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Join the Academy on April 25 for Malaria 2014: Advances in Pathophysiology, Biology and Drug Development

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Charlie Laundry, Alexander Hoekstra, Maria Burgos Garay, Jordan Brener

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About Scientists Without Borders
Scientists Without Borders is a web-based collaborative community dedicated to generating, sharing, and advancing innovative science and technology-based solutions to the world's pressing global development challenges. Through our free web platform, we enable our worldwide community of users and our strategic partner network to frame and tackle specific scientific or technological challenges in areas of critical global need. We disseminate these challenges to a wide network of diverse problem-solvers who can collaborate to identify solutions, exchange resources, and expertise. We do this in a neutral, credible, and noncommercial way. To see the other challenges and resources, visit our site.


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The New York Academy of Sciences
7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St, 40th Fl
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© 2014 The New York Academy of Sciences, All Rights Reserved.
 

 

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Scientists Without Borders Digest: Celebrating 2014 World Water Day: Water and Energy‏

Posted by Chenelle Bonavito
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on Friday, 21 March 2014 in News

A weekly digest of activity within the Scientists Without Borders community.

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Celebrating 2014 World Water Day: Water and Energy

world water day

March 22 is World Water Day. This year the UN System and other relevant stakeholders are focusing their attention on the water-energy nexus, specifically looking at inequalities, especially for those in low-resource settings with limited access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and food and energy services. Currently, there are 13 billion people who cannot access electricity, 768 million people without access to improved water sources, and 2.5 billion people who lack access to improved sanitation. Water is required to produce just about all forms of energy and energy is needed at all stages of water extraction, treatment, and distribution. Yet, rarely are the two discussed simultaneously.  A better understanding between these two sectors and their connection and effect on each other is vital to reducing inefficiencies and inequalities worldwide.

Join us in celebrating World Water Day by thinking of ways to break down the barriers between these two sectors. Do you have an innovative idea on how to improve access to water and energy? Do you have questions about a specific technology or policy? Visit our website to ask our community of experts!

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Join us on April 24 for Building a Collaborative International Network

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Fernanda Foertter, Peter Lekkas, Thomas Helfrich, Harini Anandhi Senthilkumar, Selvakumar Subbain, Aastha Tripathi, Sounak Ghosh Roy, Kimberle Shen , Marco Masia, Dr. Samantha McQuaid, Roderick Bautista 

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About Scientists Without Borders
Scientists Without Borders is a web-based collaborative community dedicated to generating, sharing, and advancing innovative science and technology-based solutions to the world's pressing global development challenges. Through our free web platform, we enable our worldwide community of users and our strategic partner network to frame and tackle specific scientific or technological challenges in areas of critical global need. We disseminate these challenges to a wide network of diverse problem-solvers who can collaborate to identify solutions, exchange resources, and expertise. We do this in a neutral, credible, and noncommercial way. To see the other challenges and resources, visit our site.


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Scientists Without Borders Digest: Spotlight on Low-Cost Health Technologies‏

Posted by Chenelle Bonavito
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on Thursday, 06 March 2014 in News

A weekly digest of activity within the Scientists Without Borders community.

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Spotlight on Low-Cost Health Technologies

health technologiesThe company Maternova says you should think of them as an Amazon-type platform, but for global health technologies. Working to move maternal and newborn care into the 21st Century in every country, Maternova makes it easy for doctors, nurses, midwives, and the organizations that equip them to track innovations and buy technologies and kits to use in low- resource settings. Their focus is "frugal" tools and protocols that save lives in childbirth, but they are rapidly expanding to a range of other global health products. To date, Maternova calculates that it has impacted the lives of 115,000 in 35 countries. Check out the solar powered headlamp for midwives or the mylar infant thermal blanket. Are there other companies that you're aware of that provide useful technologies for low-resource setting? If so, visit our website and let us know who they are and what technology you find to be the most efficient—both in terms of cost and use potential.

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Orkid Cosjuner, Ravi Kumar Yadav, Cheyenna Shao, Manjari Shukla, Alexandra Rosabal, Claudia SchechterIrwin BraudeKen Pisarczyk, Sandra Giuliani, Dadar Ahmadi PirshadidH Rhaimi, Vishwanath Venketaraman

Invite your friends and colleagues to join Scientists Without Borders.

About Scientists Without Borders
Scientists Without Borders is a web-based collaborative community dedicated to generating, sharing, and advancing innovative science and technology-based solutions to the world's pressing global development challenges. Through our free web platform, we enable our worldwide community of users and our strategic partner network to frame and tackle specific scientific or technological challenges in areas of critical global need. We disseminate these challenges to a wide network of diverse problem-solvers who can collaborate to identify solutions, exchange resources, and expertise. We do this in a neutral, credible, and noncommercial way. To see the other challenges and resources, visit our site.

nyas

The New York Academy of Sciences
7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St, 40th Fl
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© 2014 The New York Academy of Sciences, All Rights Reserved.
 

 

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Scientists Without Borders Digest: Announcing the Winners of our Global Mental Health Challenge

Posted by Chenelle Bonavito
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on Thursday, 13 February 2014 in News

A weekly digest of activity within the Scientists Without Borders community.

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Announcing the Winners of our
Global Mental Health Challenge

Announcing the Winners of our Global Mental Health Challenge

Our outstanding team of judges awarded the $10,000 prize to Veena S. Katikineni and Alejandra Leyton for their solution "mHealth for Mental Health." This solution proposes the use of SMS text message service to directly supply relevant information to the depressed or anxious patient and his or her family, friends and community, who are best positioned to support their loved one through his or her struggle. This intervention was designed on the premise that access to information about community resources and mental health disease, coupled with an informed social support network, will empower patients to seek help in combatting mental health problems. The intervention will send relevant information to people who present symptoms of depression or anxiety, as well as the community at large with the hope that members will refer one another to the service.

Please join us in congratulating Veena and Alejandra!

To learn more about the winning solution, or partners, and the Global Mental Health Challenge, please visit our website.

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Simon Goldstein, Dr. Helaine Gariepy, Allie Surina, Mohamed Azim, Christian Regenbrecht, Sirkka Jarvenpaa   

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About Scientists Without Borders
Scientists Without Borders is a web-based collaborative community dedicated to generating, sharing, and advancing innovative science and technology-based solutions to the world's pressing global development challenges. Through our free web platform, we enable our worldwide community of users and our strategic partner network to frame and tackle specific scientific or technological challenges in areas of critical global need. We disseminate these challenges to a wide network of diverse problem-solvers who can collaborate to identify solutions, exchange resources, and expertise. We do this in a neutral, credible, and noncommercial way. To see the other challenges and resources, visit our site.

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The New York Academy of Sciences
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Scientists Without Borders Digest: The Death of a Language

Posted by Chenelle Bonavito
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on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 in News

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The Death of a Language

91594marie

Language is an essential part of communication. It is estimated that there are up to 7,000 different languages spoken around the world, 90% of which are used by less than 100,000 people.  Globalization and cultural homogenization mean that many of the word’s languages are in danger of vanishing. UNESCO has identified 2,500 languages that are in danger of extinction

On January 21, 2008, Marie Smith Jones, the last speaker of the Eyak language died at the age of 89. There is an interesting article in the Economist from February 7, 2008 that tells Jones’ story.  Jones worked to preserve her heritage and language as the last full-blooded member of Alaska’s Eyak Indians. The Eyak language is a branch of the Athabaskan Indian Family of languages and in 1933 there were only 38 Eyak-speakers left. In the early part of the 21st century there was a growing interest in the Eyak language. If you are interested in learning more, you can learn more about the Eyak Language Project and efforts to create a written record of the language on the Eyak Language Project website.

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Dr. Dau Lal Bohra, Bowu Luan, Shan Jin Chang, Barbaros Yaman    

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About Scientists Without Borders
Scientists Without Borders is a web-based collaborative community dedicated to generating, sharing, and advancing innovative science and technology-based solutions to the world's pressing global development challenges. Through our free web platform, we enable our worldwide community of users and our strategic partner network to frame and tackle specific scientific or technological challenges in areas of critical global need. We disseminate these challenges to a wide network of diverse problem-solvers who can collaborate to identify solutions, exchange resources, and expertise. We do this in a neutral, credible, and noncommercial way. To see the other challenges and resources, visit our site.

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Scientists Without Borders Digest: Investing in Solar Energy

Posted by Chenelle Bonavito
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on Thursday, 23 January 2014 in News

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Investing in Solar Energy

SolarGlobally, approximately 1.3 billion people are without access to electricity and more than 2.6 billion rely on the traditional use of biomass for cooking, which causes harmful indoor air pollution. Moreover, people in low-resource settings often pay much more for poorer quality energy. Access to solar energy could change the entire process and provide affordable clean power to the people who need it most, however; getting electricity into the areas where it is needed most, by investing in global renewable investments, has proven difficult.

A new model has surfaced in the last year that combines the crowdfunding entrepreneurship of Kickstarter with the social enterprise of Kiva—enter SunFunder! SunFunder creates partnerships with solar energy business around the world (you can browse them on the website) that provide solar energy to underserved communities. Each project has a funding target and the average person (you and me) can invest as little as $10 to help reach the target amount.  Once the project has become fully funded, SunFunder facilitates low-cost financing to the solar partner to fund the project.

Here is the really interesting part: as the solar partner receives payments from their customers, the partner makes repayments to SunFunder, which then repays investors. A pretty interesting model worth checking out!

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Laura Marcotte and Lauren Thomlinson  

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About Scientists Without Borders
Scientists Without Borders is a web-based collaborative community dedicated to generating, sharing, and advancing innovative science and technology-based solutions to the world's pressing global development challenges. Through our free web platform, we enable our worldwide community of users and our strategic partner network to frame and tackle specific scientific or technological challenges in areas of critical global need. We disseminate these challenges to a wide network of diverse problem-solvers who can collaborate to identify solutions, exchange resources, and expertise. We do this in a neutral, credible, and noncommercial way. To see the other challenges and resources, visit our site.

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The New York Academy of Sciences
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Scientists Without Borders Digest: Facebook is Full of data!

Posted by Chenelle Bonavito
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on Friday, 17 January 2014 in News

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Facebook is Full of Data!

World Map

With more than 15% of the world on Facebook it comes as no surprise that this social network is more than just a place to reconnect with friends, share photos, and stay up to date on the news. Facebook holds a slew of data that can be used by scientists and others to predict human behavioral patterns. Adam Pasick recently reported in Quartz on Facebook's ability to detect human migration patterns from a few bits of data buried in users' profiles. By comparing users' hometown with their current homes, data scientists at Facebook were able to discern the 10 cities with the most "coordinated migrations." Meaning at least 20% of the population of one city has moved to another city. The destinations varied, but scientists found that most of them are in urbanizing areas such as Istanbul, Hyderabad, London, and Lima.

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Lashynbeck Olieira, Natalia Oliveira, Paul Icamina, SciStarter.com, Anis Nordin, Peggy O’Connor, Majid Hosseini, Mohamad Fakruddin-Jamiluddin, Aditya Rao      

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About Scientists Without Borders
Scientists Without Borders is a web-based collaborative community dedicated to generating, sharing, and advancing innovative science and technology-based solutions to the world's pressing global development challenges. Through our free web platform, we enable our worldwide community of users and our strategic partner network to frame and tackle specific scientific or technological challenges in areas of critical global need. We disseminate these challenges to a wide network of diverse problem-solvers who can collaborate to identify solutions, exchange resources, and expertise. We do this in a neutral, credible, and noncommercial way. To see the other challenges and resources, visit our site.

nyas

The New York Academy of Sciences
7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St, 40th Fl
New York, NY 10007-2157
© 2014 The New York Academy of Sciences, All Rights Reserved.
 
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