Dogs trained to sniff out cancer are helping Japanese residents

A town in Japan with high rates of stomach cancer is turning to sniffer dogs for help.

Kaneyama, a town in northeastern Japan with 6,000 residents, has Japan’s highest fatality rates stemming from stomach cancer, local reports say.

The town is now taking part in a research programme, in which residents’ frozen urine samples are sent to the Nippon Medical School, just east of Tokyo. At the school, dogs are trained to sniff out signs of disease.

Dogs have some 300 million sensors in their nose, compared to five million in a human. They also have a second smelling device in the back of their noses, the combination of which allows trained dogs to detect cancerous tumours which is said to give out a specific odour.

“Nearly 100 percent accuracy.”

“In our research so far, cancer detection dogs have been able to find [signs of] cancer with an accuracy of nearly 100 per cent,” said Professor Miyashita, of the Nippon Medical School.

There are only five dogs trained to work as cancer detection dogs in Japan, according to a training facility in the country. It costs about $45,000 to train each dog.

Cancer sniffing dogs are not unique to Japan.

In the UK, a major trial was conducted last year at Medical Detection Dogs, where dogs were taught to sniff out prostrate cancer from urine samples. The group claimed to have a 93 percent success rate.

In a training session, dogs are taken around a room with different samples only one sample will contain cancer cells.

When the detect the smell, they are trained to sit down in front of the sample and touch it with their nose.

“We are now understanding the huge potential dogs have,” Claire Guest, founder of the Medical Detection Dogs told news outlet the Huffington Post.

“I think the potential for this is absolutely huge and we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface.”

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/19/cancer-sniffer-japan/

Terminally ill woman does the bridal photo shoot of her dreamsby herself

Image: may q chen/facebook

When she was younger, 27-year-old Q May Chen always dreamt of what her wedding photoshoot would look like.

But she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer before she could find a partner with whom to make that dream a reality.

Undeterred, she decided to fulfil her wish anyway by herself.

Image: Q May chen/facebook

Image: Q MAY CHEN/FACEBOOK

Image: Q MAY CHEN/FACEBOOK

Chen, who is from Taiwan, was first diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in 2013.

She was declared cancer-free after receiving treatment, but two years later, she received bad news, that she cancer was back and had worsened to stage four.

So for her birthday last year, Chen decided to make the photoshoot happen.

Image: Q MAY CHEN/FACEBOOK

Image: Q MAY CHEN/FACEBOOK

When I was younger, I loved to dress up and always hoped that I would one day be able to do my own wedding shoot when I got married, Chen told news outlet BuzzFeed.

And so I waited, but then I got sick again…that was when I finally decided that this was something I needed to do.

Chen adds that she will travel to Bali with her mum for a “honeymoon” later on this year.

I couldnt have known that stage four cancer was waiting for me, but Im making the most of the limited time we all have, she said.

Mashable has reached out to Q May Chen for comment.

[H/T: BuzzFeed News]

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/11/taiwan-wedding-shoot-cancer/

Listen to the voicemails of people impacted by the immigration ban

(CNN)From Boston to Baghdad, families are being ripped apart. Some people can’t go home to the US, others can’t return to their native countries to visit parents and children, and still others are stranded in airports and cities halfway across the world.

We asked people to call us and share how you’ve been affected by President Trump’s immigration order. You’ve left us lots of voicemails. Here are some of your stories.
Have you or your loved ones been impacted by the immigration ban? Please leave us a voicemail at 646-535-9720. We’re still listening.

“They do not get to visit me often … now because of this ban they will not get to come and visit me.”

Armineh From Iran, lives in Virginia

Armineh is a small business owner who’s lived in Virginia since 1999. Her family doesn’t get to visit her often, and this immigration ban is only going to make it harder.
Her parents, who are dual citizens of Sweden and Iran, were supposed to fly in to visit her next weekend. Now she doesn’t know when she’ll see them again.
    “I haven’t seen my parents in two years,” she says. “And the only thing that’s holding them back is that they happen to be born in another country. I have a sister in London who probably will never be able to visit me, because she’s a dual citizen as well.”

    “This is so, so painful. I am now in between either seeing my mom or staying with my daughter.”

    Anonymous From Syria, lives in Ohio

    She is Syrian and has been living in Ohio with her husband and daughter since 2009. She doesn’t want her name used because, given the climate, she worries about consequences.
    Her mother in Syria has had multiple heart attacks and is not doing well. “I’m in constant worry about her situation,” she says, explaining that she planned to visit Syria if her mother had another heart attack.
    But now, she feels like she must choose between visiting her mother and staying with her 6-year-old daughter.
    She is a Syrian citizen and has a green card. But if she leaves the US to visit her mother, she will not be able to return. She doesn’t want to bring her young daughter to Syria, a country that’s still torn by violence and war.
      “I’m hoping I will not reach the choice to choose between my daughter leaving her here, obviously I’m not going to take my daughter, it’s not safe there and seeing my mother and father,” she says.
      “The idea that you aren’t able to see your parents or attend a funeral — for me, it’s heartbreaking.”

      “I was working as a contractor for US army overseas. I served with the US army for 5 years. I came here to have my peace and live my free life.”

      Mohammad From Iraq, lives in Texas

      Mohammad was a contractor with the US army in Iraq. He says he left Baghdad for Texas in 2012 to live in peace, to live in freedom.
      He’s married, lives in Austin and works as a security officer and a AAA service officer.
      But his wife is in Iraq right now, taking care of his parents. His mom has stage 4 breast cancer and his dad has stage 4 colon cancer.
      His wife has an Iraqi passport and a green card. Her flights were booked, and she was supposed to come home on February 15. But now she can’t come back.
      “I’m just shocked now. What do I do now? Everything is not clear,” he says.

      “It will tear our family apart”

      Hoda From Iran, lives in California

        Hoda is a 29-year-old Iranian student at the University of Southern California pursuing a masters degree. Her husband is with her, working on his PhD.
        She was initially excited for her graduation in May. Her parents were going to visit, and she was starting to think about what jobs to apply for. But the immigration ban changed everything.
        “I was excited about graduating. Now, I’m heartbroken. I have no idea what I can do afterward,” she says.
        Her husband still has a few more years of study to earn his PhD, so Hoda was planning to stay in the United States after graduation.
        But now she doesn’t know what to do. Her student visa will expire after she graduates, and she can no longer apply for jobs in the United States because she cannot apply for a new visa as an Iranian.
        If she chooses to leave the country and find a job elsewhere, she will not be able to return. And her husband has to stay in the US to finish his studies.
        “It will tear our family apart,” she says.

        “We’ve worked hard in this country…. we have impacted so many lives here and this is certainly not fair for my family and for my brother.”

        Saad From Iraq, lives in Minnesota

          Saad is an oncologist and an American citizen. His 34-year-old brother Zain is also a physician, and the chief medical officer for a large corporation.
          The two Iraqi brothers have built a life in Minnesota. Saad has a wife and children, and Zain is engaged. Their mother lives there too.
          Zain, who has a green card, was traveling to the United Arab Emirates on a business trip. He was supposed to fly home Friday, and now he can’t return.
          “I’m frustrated. I don’t know what to do,” Saad says. “We just want our voice to be heard. It’s so un-American … This is our land of opportunity. This is our home.”

          “I want to go back to see my family… I can’t go there to see them … this policy ruins everything for me.”

          Abbas From Iraq, lives in New Jersey

          Abbas, his wife and their two kids live in New Jersey, where he’s a PhD student at Rutgers University. They’re Iraqi.
          Now, their plans for the summer are ruined. They can’t visit their families, and their families can’t visit them.
          Abbas needs to go back to Iraq to finish research and do field work for his doctoral degree in political science. He’s on a scholarship and he has a contract with the Iraqi government, he says. He wants to finish his studies here and then go teach at a university in Baghdad.
          Right now, Abbas is at a loss. He says he doesn’t know what he’s going to do.

          “If this ban continues, my sister cannot ever come back to the US again.”

          Soudeh From Iran, lives in Massachusetts

          Soudeh and her mom were in Toronto for a family function when they heard news about the possibility of an immigration ban.
          They are Iranian citizens with green cards, so everybody told them, “get back as soon as you can.”
          Soudeh paid $300, got on an earlier flight, and returned to Boston on Friday. Just in time.
          But her mother is stuck in Toronto. “The funniest thing is, with a green card, you can go to Mexico, you can go to Canada, but you cannot come back home,” Soudeh says.
          Her father and sister also Iranian citizens with green cards are in Iran, unable to return. And her Iranian brother-in-law has a temporary visa, which will expire if he doesn’t come to the United States in the next few months.

          “My nieces and nephews are held at Washington Dulles Airport… this is inhumane, this is not the United States that we knew.”

          Dahan From Yemen, lives in Indiana

          Dahan’s sister-in-law and her six children were detained Saturday at Dulles airport outside Washington. The three youngest children, ages 7, 8 and 16, have US passports and have been told they can enter the country. The rest of the family have Yemeni passports and green cards and have been told that they will be sent back to Djibouti, where they have spent the last few months because of the civil war in Yemen.
          They arrived from Djibouti to join Dahan’s brother in the United States. When Dahan spoke to CNN on Saturday, his brother was driving across the country from Michigan to Dulles. He says they don’t know what to do and aren’t sure what comes next.
          “This is inhumane,” Dahan says. “This is not the United States that we knew.”

          “My partner is Iranian, and we have been planning our wedding for two years … now we don’t quite know what to do.”

          Brandy From Iran, lives in Oregon

          Brandy and her partner Reza have been planning their wedding in the US for two years. Now their plans are in limbo.
          Reza is an Iranian citizen with a green card. His entire family was planning to visit for the wedding. Now they probably won’t be able to come, and if he leaves the country to see them, he will not be able to return.
          Brandy says the idea of Reza’s parents not being able to attend their wedding is “just heartbreaking. They’ve already been here before. They’re professional people who’re just trying to be with their loved ones during these important times.”

          “My mom comes and visits me every few months, she’s a green card holder, she’s worried about coming here now”

          Anonymous From Iran, lives in California

          He is a dual Iranian and American citizen who wishes to remain anonymous. He moved here in 2003 and lives in Los Angeles.
          His 60-year-old mother, an Iranian citizen with a green card, visits him every few months. He worries about what will happen to her if she tries to visit.
          “I don’t want her to come to a situation where she’s going to be interrogated. I had a friend that just came today and said that a bunch of people were handcuffed,” he says.
          His mother splits her time between him and his siblings, who live in Singapore and Thailand.
          “I’m the only one with grandchildren, and she comes to visit them as frequently as possible,” he says.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/world/immigration-ban-voicemails/index.html

          ‘It will tear our family apart’: Voices of the immigration ban

          (CNN)From Boston to Baghdad, families are being ripped apart. Some people can’t go home to the US, others can’t return to their native countries to visit parents and children, and still others are stranded in airports and cities halfway across the world.

          We asked people to call us and share how you’ve been affected by President Trump’s immigration order. You’ve left us lots of voicemails. Here are some of your stories.
          Have you or your loved ones been impacted by the immigration ban? Please leave us a voicemail at 646-535-9720. We’re still listening.

          “They do not get to visit me often … now because of this ban they will not get to come and visit me.”

          Armineh From Iran, lives in Virginia

          Armineh is a small business owner who’s lived in Virginia since 1999. Her family doesn’t get to visit her often, and this immigration ban is only going to make it harder.
          Her parents, who are dual citizens of Sweden and Iran, were supposed to fly in to visit her next weekend. Now she doesn’t know when she’ll see them again.
            “I haven’t seen my parents in two years,” she says. “And the only thing that’s holding them back is that they happen to be born in another country. I have a sister in London who probably will never be able to visit me, because she’s a dual citizen as well.”

            “This is so, so painful. I am now in between either seeing my mom or staying with my daughter.”

            Anonymous From Syria, lives in Ohio

            She is Syrian and has been living in Ohio with her husband and daughter since 2009. She doesn’t want her name used because, given the climate, she worries about consequences.
            Her mother in Syria has had multiple heart attacks and is not doing well. “I’m in constant worry about her situation,” she says, explaining that she planned to visit Syria if her mother had another heart attack.
            But now, she feels like she must choose between visiting her mother and staying with her 6-year-old daughter.
            She is a Syrian citizen and has a green card. But if she leaves the US to visit her mother, she will not be able to return. She doesn’t want to bring her young daughter to Syria, a country that’s still torn by violence and war.
              “I’m hoping I will not reach the choice to choose between my daughter leaving her here, obviously I’m not going to take my daughter, it’s not safe there and seeing my mother and father,” she says.
              “The idea that you aren’t able to see your parents or attend a funeral — for me, it’s heartbreaking.”

              “I was working as a contractor for US army overseas. I served with the US army for 5 years. I came here to have my peace and live my free life.”

              Mohammad From Iraq, lives in Texas

              Mohammad was a contractor with the US army in Iraq. He says he left Baghdad for Texas in 2012 to live in peace, to live in freedom.
              He’s married, lives in Austin and works as a security officer and a AAA service officer.
              But his wife is in Iraq right now, taking care of his parents. His mom has stage 4 breast cancer and his dad has stage 4 colon cancer.
              His wife has an Iraqi passport and a green card. Her flights were booked, and she was supposed to come home on February 15. But now she can’t come back.
              “I’m just shocked now. What do I do now? Everything is not clear,” he says.

              “It will tear our family apart”

              Hoda From Iran, lives in California

                Hoda is a 29-year-old Iranian student at the University of Southern California pursuing a masters degree. Her husband is with her, working on his PhD.
                She was initially excited for her graduation in May. Her parents were going to visit, and she was starting to think about what jobs to apply for. But the immigration ban changed everything.
                “I was excited about graduating. Now, I’m heartbroken. I have no idea what I can do afterward,” she says.
                Her husband still has a few more years of study to earn his PhD, so Hoda was planning to stay in the United States after graduation.
                But now she doesn’t know what to do. Her student visa will expire after she graduates, and she can no longer apply for jobs in the United States because she cannot apply for a new visa as an Iranian.
                If she chooses to leave the country and find a job elsewhere, she will not be able to return. And her husband has to stay in the US to finish his studies.
                “It will tear our family apart,” she says.

                “We’ve worked hard in this country…. we have impacted so many lives here and this is certainly not fair for my family and for my brother.”

                Saad From Iraq, lives in Minnesota

                  Saad is an oncologist and an American citizen. His 34-year-old brother Zain is also a physician, and the chief medical officer for a large corporation.
                  The two Iraqi brothers have built a life in Minnesota. Saad has a wife and children, and Zain is engaged. Their mother lives there too.
                  Zain, who has a green card, was traveling to the United Arab Emirates on a business trip. He was supposed to fly home Friday, and now he can’t return.
                  “I’m frustrated. I don’t know what to do,” Saad says. “We just want our voice to be heard. It’s so un-American … This is our land of opportunity. This is our home.”

                  “I want to go back to see my family… I can’t go there to see them … this policy ruins everything for me.”

                  Abbas From Iraq, lives in New Jersey

                  Abbas, his wife and their two kids live in New Jersey, where he’s a PhD student at Rutgers University. They’re Iraqi.
                  Now, their plans for the summer are ruined. They can’t visit their families, and their families can’t visit them.
                  Abbas needs to go back to Iraq to finish research and do field work for his doctoral degree in political science. He’s on a scholarship and he has a contract with the Iraqi government, he says. He wants to finish his studies here and then go teach at a university in Baghdad.
                  Right now, Abbas is at a loss. He says he doesn’t know what he’s going to do.

                  “If this ban continues, my sister cannot ever come back to the US again.”

                  Soudeh From Iran, lives in Massachusetts

                  Soudeh and her mom were in Toronto for a family function when they heard news about the possibility of an immigration ban.
                  They are Iranian citizens with green cards, so everybody told them, “get back as soon as you can.”
                  Soudeh paid $300, got on an earlier flight, and returned to Boston on Friday. Just in time.
                  But her mother is stuck in Toronto. “The funniest thing is, with a green card, you can go to Mexico, you can go to Canada, but you cannot come back home,” Soudeh says.
                  Her father and sister also Iranian citizens with green cards are in Iran, unable to return. And her Iranian brother-in-law has a temporary visa, which will expire if he doesn’t come to the United States in the next few months.

                  “My nieces and nephews are held at Washington Dulles Airport… this is inhumane, this is not the United States that we knew.”

                  Dahan From Yemen, lives in Indiana

                  Dahan’s sister-in-law and her six children were detained Saturday at Dulles airport outside Washington. The three youngest children, ages 7, 8 and 16, have US passports and have been told they can enter the country. The rest of the family have Yemeni passports and green cards and have been told that they will be sent back to Djibouti, where they have spent the last few months because of the civil war in Yemen.
                  They arrived from Djibouti to join Dahan’s brother in the United States. When Dahan spoke to CNN on Saturday, his brother was driving across the country from Michigan to Dulles. He says they don’t know what to do and aren’t sure what comes next.
                  “This is inhumane,” Dahan says. “This is not the United States that we knew.”

                  “My partner is Iranian, and we have been planning our wedding for two years … now we don’t quite know what to do.”

                  Brandy From Iran, lives in Oregon

                  Brandy and her partner Reza have been planning their wedding in the US for two years. Now their plans are in limbo.
                  Reza is an Iranian citizen with a green card. His entire family was planning to visit for the wedding. Now they probably won’t be able to come, and if he leaves the country to see them, he will not be able to return.
                  Brandy says the idea of Reza’s parents not being able to attend their wedding is “just heartbreaking. They’ve already been here before. They’re professional people who’re just trying to be with their loved ones during these important times.”

                  “My mom comes and visits me every few months, she’s a green card holder, she’s worried about coming here now”

                  Anonymous From Iran, lives in California

                  He is a dual Iranian and American citizen who wishes to remain anonymous. He moved here in 2003 and lives in Los Angeles.
                  His 60-year-old mother, an Iranian citizen with a green card, visits him every few months. He worries about what will happen to her if she tries to visit.
                  “I don’t want her to come to a situation where she’s going to be interrogated. I had a friend that just came today and said that a bunch of people were handcuffed,” he says.
                  His mother splits her time between him and his siblings, who live in Singapore and Thailand.
                  “I’m the only with grandchildren, and she comes to visit them as frequently as possible,” he says.

                  Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/world/immigration-ban-voicemails/index.html

                  Striking portraits of the LGBTQ community aim to raise breast cancer awareness

                  40 women answered the call-out to take part in the series.
                  Image: lisa white/supplied

                  A new photographic series called “Beautiful LGBTI Women” isn’t just striking to look at: It also raises awareness for an important cause.

                  The black and white portrait series of female-identifying members of the LGBTQ community was created by Australian photographer, Lisa White, in association with BreastScreen Victoria to encourage more women in the community to get breast cancer checks.

                  White, who works under the name “The Social Photographer,” reached out to the LGBTQ community directly for help finding her subjects.

                  “We called for 20 women to participate and had 40 women respond,” she explained to Mashable over email, adding that the women were aged 26 to 76, however most participants were over 50 years old.

                  Image: Lisa White

                  Image: Lisa White

                  “We decided to photograph them all,” White said. “The women who volunteered told us they loved the idea of celebrating the diversity of LGBTI women and they wanted to support BreastScreen Victoria.”

                  BreastScreen’s CEO Vicki Pridmore said in a statement that the photographs will assure LGBTQ women the organisation’s staff “will provide inclusive services that understand their needs.”

                  Image: Lisa White

                  Image: Lisa White

                  The photographs have already received a rapturous reaction online. “The participants have been posting their images on social media and have been inundated with positive responses,” said White.

                  Image: LIsa White

                  Image: Lisa White

                  Art that fulfils an important need, while still being beautiful enough to hang on your wall? It’s a big yes from us.

                  [h/t Buzzfeed]

                  BONUS: Being LGBTQ and Muslim

                  Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/11/lgbti-portraits-breast-cancer-screening/

                  16 innovations making a difference for poor communities around the world

                  Image: SafariSeat; LifeStraw; The Peepoo Toilet; Mariko Products

                  Getting to the root of poverty means solving various issues along the way, and inventors are up for the challenge.

                  Poverty isn’t just inadequate access to income it manifests in a lack of access to health services, education and vital goods. It can also lead to societal instability, allowing sexism, ableism, classism and racism to flourish. And every day, innovators create new gadgets and other solutions with the world’s poor in mind.

                  Here are 16 ingenious innovations helping to alleviate poverty-related inequalities for developing regions across the globe.

                  1. The Shoe That Grows

                  Children are notorious for quickly outgrowing clothing and shoes, much to the frustration of parents who are constantly replacing hardly-worn items with larger sizes. Growth spurts are especially a challenge in developing nations, where money for worn or outgrown items is scarce.

                  The Shoe That Grows is a simple, adjustable shoe that children can wear for years, capable of expanding five sizes through a series of notches and snaps. The shoe generally fits a child’s foot from age 5 to 9, helping to curb foot injuries and cases of soil-transmitted diseases and parasites. A concept first conceived almost a decade ago, The Shoe That Grows is making an impact in developing regions around the world where the nonprofit delivers donated shoes to children and families.

                  2. Life Saving Dot

                  Image: Life Saving Dot

                  In rural India, thousands of women are estimated have iodine deficiency, which has been linked to breast cancer, fibrocystic breast disease and pregnancy complications. But the Life Saving Dot, an iodine-rich variation on a traditional bindi, is helping provide women with the vital mineral.

                  The dot, which is worn between a woman’s eyebrows just like a bindi, delivers a wearer with the recommended daily amount of iodine. The Life Saving Dot only costs 10 rupees or 16 cents for a packet of 30, fitting the budgets of women in rural India.

                  3. Safari Seat

                  Image: SafariSeat

                  Wheelchairs are essential devices for many people, but in rural, developing areas with rough terrain and few roads, traditional wheelchairs aren’t always practical or even usable.

                  SafariSeat is a low-cost, all-terrain wheelchair designed to be manufactured and maintained in poor countries, creating a self-sustaining product. The innovation is made of bicycle parts, and the device is propelled forward by hand levers and durable wheels. The seat is projected to start production in Kenya in the coming months.

                  4. Mazzi

                  Image: Intellectual Ventures

                  In developing nations, milk is an important source of income and nutrition for poor families. But transporting milk safely and easily with traditional open milk pails comes with spillage, spoilage and an increased risk of contamination.

                  Mazzi, a durable, 10-liter plastic container designed with a wide mouth for collection, solves these issues by providing a safe and affordable way to collect and transport milk. The container is also easy to clean, with a specially designed funnel attachment that helps eliminate spilling.

                  5. NIFTY Cup

                  When an infant in a developing country is unable to nurse, they’re at risk of severe malnutrition or even death. NIFTY cup is solving this issue in rural areas of Africa.

                  Developed over five years, the NIFTY cup was designed with a spout that makes collected milk easy to drink by infants with cleft palates or other related issues that prevent proper latching. The cup, which is reusable and costs only $1 to create, has already been credited with preventing starvation of infants in poor African communities.

                  6. Eco-Cooler

                  Image: GRAMEEN INTEL SOCIAL BUSINESS LTD/Youtube

                  In developing areas without electricity, soaring temperatures can leave huts unbearably hot. Eco-Cooler, a low-cost cooling system created from recycled plastic bottles, helps solve the issue by drawing cool air into homes.

                  The cooler is made of halved plastic bottles on a board, which is then installed like a window. When in place, each bottle’s neck compresses the hot breeze, cooling it down and dropping temperatures inside a hut as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

                  Rural communities in Bangladesh have implemented the environmentally friendly solution.

                  7. Luck Iron Fish

                  Image: Lucky Iron Fish

                  Iron deficiency is the most widespread nutritional disorder in the world, affecting an estimated 3.5 billion people. It can be especially devastating in developing nations, where nutritional needs are often unmet. Iron deficiency alone can lead to anemia, low energy and difficulty concentrating.

                  Lucky Iron Fish is an iron, fish-shaped object that families can place in a pot of boiling water prior to cooking to enrich vegetables with additional iron. The company works on a one-to-one donation scale, allowing individuals in developed nations to buy their own fish while simultaneously donating one to a family in need.

                  8. Embrace Warmer

                  More than 1 million babies die on the day of their birth every year. A staggering 90 percent of these deaths occur in developing nations, where hypothermia is a common cause of death in premature and low-weight infants.

                  Embrace Warmer is essentially an infant sleeping bag, helping to regulate a baby’s body temperature during their vulnerable first days. The award-winning innovation is reusable, low-cost and requires no electricity, making it ideal for poor communities around the globe. Over 200,000 infants have used the life-saving blanket so far.

                  9. LifeStraw

                  Image: LifeStraw

                  About 783 million people or 11 percent of the world’s population lack access to improved sources of drinking water. Drinking contaminated water can lead to devastating disease and illness. It’s estimated that every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease.

                  LifeStraw makes drinking contaminated water safer, which can be a game-changer in poor regions where water access is minimal. The straw-like device uses a simple filtration system made of specially designed cloth to render water safe to drink.

                  The company not only provides straws to communities in need for individual use, but also donates larger filtration systems to poor communities around the globe for community use.

                  10. The XO Laptop

                  Image: XO Laptop

                  Education and learning are universal desires for today’s youth. But poor communities don’t always have the means to give children the comprehensive education they deserve.

                  The XO Laptop is helping to fill that gap. The small, low cost computer is highly durable and features a powerful screen that can be read in harsh sunlight. It has built-in wireless internet so kids can connect to information around the world.

                  The tech solution is specifically designed for children in developing nations, hoping to give youth access to self-empowered education. XO Laptops have been donated to more than 2.4 million children in several countries, such as Peru, Kenya, Nepal and Afghanistan.

                  11. Flo

                  Image: Mariko Products

                  Lack of access to menstrual products has devastating impacts on women and girls in developing nations. The inability to cope with menstruation often keeps girls out of school, with girls in Kenya missing an average of five days of school per month due to periods. Improper menstruation sanitation also has devastating health impacts, with 70 percent of all reproductive diseases in India caused by poor menstrual hygiene.

                  Flo, a simple, reusable menstrual hygiene kit, provides a solution for women and girls in developing nations to care for their bodies. The low-cost kit includes reusable pads, a wearable pouch to carry them and a washer-dryer container for improved cleanliness.

                  12. Wonderbag

                  Image: Cathy menees/youtube

                  Cooking food safely with limited resources is something many poor families in rural areas struggle with every day. Using stoves or open fires for long periods of time without proper ventilation can cause sickness or even death. Every year, household smoke inhalation from meal preparation contributes to more than 4 million deaths globally.

                  Wonderbag is a reusable, zero-energy slow cooker that drastically cuts down on the time needed for food to cook on a stove or fire. Once ingredients are brought to a boil using traditional methods, a pot can be placed in a Wonderbag, where it continues to cook for up to 12 hours.

                  The company is distributing the innovation to regions in Africa, helping families cut down on cooking times in favor of a more sustainable method.

                  13. Hippo Roller

                  For poor women and children in rural areas, collecting water can be a physically demanding and dangerous task. But the Hippo Roller, a water collection drum designed to roll along rough terrain, is allowing those who collect water to do so safely and effectively.

                  The Hippo Roller lets women collect enough water to sustain a family for a full day during daylight hours, when there is less risk of harassment and sexual violence on the walk to a water source. The drum also reduces the risk of injury, allowing women to roll the hefty drum instead of carrying a heavy, smaller pail on their head. More than 500,000 rollers have been distributed across 20 countries over the past several years.

                  14. Hemafuse

                  Image: Youtube/Hemafuse

                  In emergency situations and during childbirth, blood transfusions are often necessary to save a person’s life. But in poor nations, access to a safe, reliable blood supply is relatively rare, leading to preventable deaths each year.

                  The Hemafuse, from Sisu Global Health, takes the donation and storage barriers out of blood transfusions, recycling a person’s own blood back into their body. The low-cost device acts like a large syringe, collecting blood and filtering it internally to remove clots and other particulates. The blood can then be deposited into a blood bag, where it can be pumped back into a patient’s body.

                  15. The Peepoo Toilet

                  Image: The Peepoo Toilet

                  About 1 in 3 people or nearly 2.4 billion people worldwide lack access to a toilet. Managing human waste is a massive issue in developing nations, with improper sanitation partially responsible for the spread of deadly disease. Each year, poor sanitation contributes to an estimated 700,000 child deaths from diarrhea.

                  Putting aside its giggle-inducing name, The PeePoo Toilet is a vital way for people in developing nations to use the restroom safely, especially when they have a contagious disease. The slim, biodegradable bag is used by an individual in the absence of a toilet. The bag sanitizes human excrement, turning the contents of the bag into fertilizer in about a month.

                  The PeePoo Toilet, however, is a single-use solution, meaning it may not be practical for every time someone needs to use the restroom. Nevertheless, it’s providing an innovative, safe way to prevent the spread of disease in the absence of improved sanitation.

                  16. Jet injections

                  Image: Pixnio

                  Vaccines and immunizations are crucial in curbing the impacts of diseases and illnesses around the world. But safely administering a vaccine in a developing nation can be difficult with the complexities of sterilization, especially when it comes to often misused needles.

                  Jet injectors help solve this problem, delivering vaccines to patients using pressure to penetrate the skin, rather than needles. The single-use medical device administers a vaccine through a fine stream of fluid that passes through skin into tissue. The solution is cost-effective and highly efficient, using up to 80 percent less vaccine than a traditional needle injection.

                  Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/10/17/poverty-innovations/

                  How breastfeeding can help tackle these 6 global inequalities

                  Women in the Central African Republic breastfeed their babies.
                  Image: Veronique DURRUTY/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

                  What if mothers could tackle some of the world’s most pervasive problems simply by feeding their babies? Breastfeeding advocates argue they can.

                  August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, with the first week dubbed World Breastfeeding Week an annual observance to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and infants across the globe. And many of those benefits, advocates say, can help address some of the world’s biggest inequalities.

                  The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 to diminish the most widespread global issues by 2030, focus heavily on women and children. According to the leading health organizations behind World Breastfeeding Week, breastfeeding can help alleviate some of those burdens.

                  “A women should not be made to feel guilty if in knowing this information she decides not to breastfeed.”

                  Globally, less than 40 percent of the world’s children are exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life, a practice that is recommended by the World Health Organization. France Begin, a senior nutrition adviser with UNICEF, says low rates of breastfeeding most likely stem from a lack of knowledge regarding its benefits for both mother and child.

                  While health advocates like Begin want all mothers to be empowered with information on breastfeeding, she also says it’s essential to respect the decision of each mother on how to nourish her baby.

                  “Despite this information, a woman may decide not to breastfeed and that decision is to be respected,” Begin tells Mashable. “But this information should be conveyed, and a woman should not be made to feel guilty if, in knowing this information, she decides not to breastfeed.”

                  To explain how breastfeeding can help address global inequality, we took a look at six big issues that the practice can help tackle.

                  1. Overall health and well-being

                  The World Health Organization calls breast milk “the ideal food for newborns and infants,” saying it gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. But breast milk also contains antibodies that help protect babies from common childhood illnesses.

                  “Just simply breastfeeding can play a role in preventing a lot of the infant illnesses and deaths in many developing countries,” Begin says.

                  Breastfeeding alone has been shown to curb the rates of diarrhea and pneumonia in infants, two of the primary causes of infant mortality around the globe. Studies also estimate that if all women breastfed within the first hour of life, more than 800,000 infant lives per year could be saved globally.

                  Breastfeeding not only benefits the overall health of infants, but it also benefits mothers. It has been shown to reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. Begin also points out that breastfeeding has been proven to help space out births at a sustainable interval for a mother’s health, which is crucial in developing and remote regions that often lack access to methods of family planning.

                  2. Poverty

                  Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of breastfeeding is its low economic toll on household budgets. Raising a child in any global context can be costly and formula costs have an obvious impact on a family’s finances. But breastfeeding is a low-to-no cost way to feed infants, especially in the first six months of life.

                  The World Health Organization says breastfeeding can even be used for children “two years or beyond” in addition to age-appropriate foods, further curbing household food costs.

                  Begin also points out that breastfeeding can help curb long-term health costs for families by making both infants and mothers less susceptible to illnesses, cancers and other health impacts. But, she adds, even though the financial cost is alleviated for a family, breastfeeding still costs time for women. This, she says, is why it’s essential that women are supported when breastfeeding by their spouse, employer and community.

                  3. Hunger

                  Infant and childhood hunger is a global issue, especially in developing and remote regions that lack adequate food security. According to the World Food Programme, poor nutrition causes 45 percent of deaths in children under five an estimated 3.1 million children each year.

                  Begin says breastfeeding can help curb the impact of food insecurity for infants under six months, as it can be the sole nutritional and food source for babies. Additionally, the ability of mothers to supplement age-appropriate foods with breastfeeding into a child’s first few years of life enables more food and nutritional security for their young children.

                  She points out, however, that it is still crucial for mothers to get adequate nutrition in order to pass breastfeeding’s nutritional benefits on to their babies. So, while breastfeeding may help curb some of the issue of food security, it certainly isn’t a catch-all for its potential impacts.

                  4. Lack of clean water

                  While a breastfeeding mother needs to stay hydrated to care for her own health, her infant doesn’t have the same reliance on pure drinking water. According to the World Health Organization, breast milk is 80 percent water, which means even in the hottest of climates an infant does not need additional water to stay healthy and hydrated.

                  Begin says breastfeeding also helps support an infant’s developing immune system, which can help protect them from some bacteria that can contaminate the water they drink as they age. But breastfeeding doesn’t eliminate water inequality for a mother and her family.

                  “In a way, you take care of issues of water contamination because you don’t have to give water to the infant,” Begin says. “But mothers still need access to water and sanitation to sustain breastfeeding.”

                  5. Gender inequality

                  Around the globe, women often lack access to proper information about breastfeeding, preventing them from making informed decisions on whether or not feeding is for them. They’re also routinely shamed for breastfeeding in public, especially in Western nations.

                  Overall, gender inequality is ingrained in how we view breastfeeding. But the practice, Begin says, can also help tackle gender inequality by empowering women.

                  The act of breastfeeding, she says, helps empower women by enabling them to provide all the nutrition their babies needs with their own bodies.

                  But, she adds, women also must be empowered to choose how they feed their children and that includes whether or not to breastfeed at all. And to support a woman’s right to her body, a cornerstone of gender equality, we should support that decision, too.

                  6. Pollution

                  The process of breastfeeding depends almost entirely on a woman’s body, with few if any additional resources needed to sustain the practice. That’s good news for the environment, which undoubtedly feels the impacts of the formula industry.

                  “Breastfeeding has a very low carbon print,” Begin says. “All the water used to produce formula, the energy, the bottles, the tin cans you don’t need that. There’s something to be said about the cost of the [formula] industry on the environment.”

                  Advocates call breastfeeding “the most ecologically sound food available to humans,” as it is produced and consumed without any adverse impacts on the environment. That’s especially important in a global community already in crisis from the impacts of climate change.

                  The waste that comes from formula consumption is often non-recyclable, meaning it ends up in landfills or incinerated, both of which spell trouble for our environment.

                  Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/08/04/breastfeeding-inequality/

                  Paul McCartney Fast Facts

                  (CNN)Here is a look at the life of musician Paul McCartney, former member of the Beatles.

                  Personal:
                  Birth date:
                  June 18, 1942
                  Birth place: Liverpool, England
                    Birth name: James Paul McCartney
                    Father: James McCartney, salesman and musician
                    Mother: Mary (Mohin) McCartney, nurse and midwife
                    Marriages: Nancy Shevell (October 9, 2011-present); Heather Mills McCartney (June 11, 2002-March 17, 2008, divorce); Linda (Eastman) McCartney (March 12, 1969-April 17, 1998, her death)
                    Children: with Heather Mills McCartney: Beatrice, October 28, 2003; with Linda (Eastman) McCartney: James, September 12, 1977, Stella, September 13, 1971, Mary, August 28, 1969, Heather, December 31, 1963 (Linda’s daughter from a previous relationship, adopted by Paul)
                    Other Facts:
                    Has had 29 #1 hits during his career, 20 with the Beatles and nine during his post-Beatle years.
                    Nominated for 78 and winner of 18 Grammy Awards (eight solo/eight with Beatles/two with Wings). He has also won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award twice, once as part of the Beatles and once as a solo artist.
                    Nominated for three Academy Awards with one win.
                    Long-time vegetarian and animal rights activist.
                    McCartney has appeared on several of former Beatle Ringo Starr‘s solo albums, including “Vertical Man” (1998) and “Y Not” (2010).
                    Did not ask second wife Heather Mills to sign a pre-nuptial agreement because he thought it was “unromantic.”
                    An urban legend in the late 1960s purported that McCartney was dead and had been replaced by a double.
                    Timeline:
                    1957
                    McCartney meets John Lennon at a church picnic in Liverpool, England. He later joins Lennon’s group, The Quarrymen.
                    1960 After several name changes, the group becomes known as the Beatles.
                    November 9, 1961 Brian Epstein sees the Beatles play at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and becomes their manager.
                    1962 The Beatles are signed by EMI-Parlaphone and release their first record.
                    1963 – Beatlemania hits England as the group has four number one hits.
                    January 3, 1964 – U.S. television debut, in a film clip on “The Jack Paar Show.”
                    February 9, 1964 The Beatles appear live on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
                    April 13, 1965 The Beatles win two Grammy Awards, one for Best Performance by a Vocal Group and one for Best New Artist of 1964.
                    August 15, 1965 They play for a crowd of 55,000 people at Shea Stadium in New York.
                    October 26, 1965 Queen Elizabeth II names the Beatles members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
                    August 29, 1966 – Last scheduled concert, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.
                    March 2, 1967 Paul McCartney wins a Grammy for Best Contemporary (R&R) Solo Vocal Performance for “Eleanor Rigby.” Also, McCartney and John Lennon win a Song of the Year Grammy for “Michelle.”
                    February 29, 1968 The Beatles win two Grammy Awards for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”: Song of the Year and Best Contemporary Album.
                    May 14, 1968 – Apple Corps Ltd. is formed to manage their business affairs.
                    January 31, 1969 The Beatles play an impromptu concert on the roof of the Apple building in London, their last live performance together.
                    April 10, 1970 – Paul McCartney announces that the Beatles have broken up and releases his first solo album, “McCartney,” a week later.
                    March 16, 1971 The Beatles win a Grammy for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special, for “Let it Be.”
                    April 15, 1971 The Beatles win an Academy Award for Original Song Score, for “Let it Be.”
                    1972 Paul and Linda McCartney form the band Wings.
                    March 15, 1972 – Wins a Grammy for Arranging for “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.”
                    March 1, 1975 McCartney and Wings win a Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by A Duo, Group Or Chorus, for “Band on the Run.”
                    1979 The last album by Wings, “Back to the Egg,” is released, and McCartney resumes sole billing on all of his recordings.
                    January 16, 1980 Arrested for marijuana possession at the Tokyo Airport, and spends 10 days in jail.
                    February 27, 1980 – Wins a Grammy award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for “Rockestra Theme.”
                    July 13, 1985 Performs at Live Aid, a concert for Ethiopian famine relief.
                    January 20, 1988 The Beatles are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but McCartney does not attend the ceremony.
                    April 20, 1990 Sets a new world record for the largest stadium crowd in rock history, when he plays to 184,000 in Rio de Janeiro.
                    November 1995 – “Anthology,” containing demos, rare material, and outtakes of the Beatles, is released, in conjunction with a five-hour miniseries on the group.
                    December 1995 – The Beatles release a new single, “Free as a Bird,” their first new song in 25 years. John Lennon started it before his death in 1980.
                    February 26, 1997 “Free as a Bird” wins two Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Music Video-Short Form and “Anthology” wins one for Best Music Video.
                    March 11, 1997 – McCartney is formally invested as a knight by Queen Elizabeth II. He is now called Sir Paul McCartney.
                    April 17, 1998 Wife, Linda McCartney dies of breast cancer.
                    March 15, 1999 McCartney is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.
                    October 20, 2001 Headlines the “Concert for New York,” a benefit for 9/11 victims. David Bowie, Elton John, and Mick Jagger also perform, and the concert is broadcast live on VH-1.
                    March 17, 2008 A British judge announces the divorce settlement between McCartney and second wife Heather Mills. She is awarded 24.3 million British pounds, approximately $50 million dollars U.S.
                    March 2007 – Becomes the first artist to sign with Starbucks’ new music label, Hear Music.
                    June 3, 2010 – Accepts the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from President Obama in the East Room of the White House. During the evening McCartney performs the song “Michelle” for Mrs. Michelle Obama.
                    September 22, 2010 – HP and McCartney Productions Limited (MPL) announce an agreement to digitize and deliver McCartney’s library via a private cloud.
                    December 5, 2010 McCartney is honored at the Kennedy Center as part of the 33rd annual Kennedy Center Honors gala.
                    February 13, 2011 – Grammy win Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for “Helter Skelter.”
                    November 27, 2011 PETA announces U.S. postage stamp campaign of famous vegetarians to include McCartney.
                    February 12, 2012 Grammy win Best Historical Album for “Band On The Run” (Paul McCartney Archive Collection – Deluxe Edition).
                    September 8, 2012 Is awarded France’s Legion of Honour, by President Francois Hollande, for his contributions to music.
                    February 10, 2013 Grammy win for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for “Kisses on the Bottom.”
                    January 26, 2014 – Grammy win for Best Music Film for “Live Kisses” and Best Rock Song for “Cut Me Some Slack” with the former members of Nirvana. He also is awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with the Beatles.
                    May 23, 2015 – McCartney receives a special award from PRS for Music to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the composition of the Beatles’ song “Yesterday.”

                    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/13/world/paul-mccartney-fast-facts/index.html

                    Diamond-encrusted Golden Eagle stolen

                    (CNN)The Golden Eagle, a diamond encrusted statue made of gold, is the centerpiece of The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt, a marketing scheme created by Hunt for the Cause Foundation President Ron Shore, aimed at raising funds for breast cancer research. Now it’s gone.

                    “Without the eagle, I don’t have anything,” Shore said Tuesday.

                      The

                      The one-of-a-kind Maltese eagle statue is made of 18 pounds of pure gold, covered in 763 diamonds and contains a 12.7 carat emerald. It is valued around $6.8 million.

                      Night street heist

                      On Sunday, around 10 p.m. Shore says he was carrying the statue when he was robbed on the street in Ladner, part of the municipality of Delta in British Columbia, according to the Delta Police Department. “The victim suffered some injuries and was treated at hospital and released.”
                      “The eagle was in transport,” Shore said. “It was being transported to a secure location. During the transport, I was badly injured in trying to protect it from being stolen.”
                      Just hours before, the Golden Eagle had been on display at the Art! Vancouver four-day art fair.
                      “It was the most valuable piece in the show,” Art! Vancouver Director Lisa Wolfin said. “Usually he keeps it in the bank vault,” she said, speaking of Shore.
                      “After the event, since it was Sunday and the bank was not open, he didn’t return it to the bank and went somewhere else,” said Wolfin. She confirmed the statue was insured but did not know for what amount.
                      CNN affiliate CTV reported Shore was leaving a Christian concert at a local church when he was robbed by two men.
                      Jim Murphy, who was at the church that night, told CTV Shore was vocal about carrying something valuable, telling others he had “a piece of art in his backpack.”
                      “He was wearing a backpack when he was talking to me,” Murphy said.
                      “There was a designated security person with me at all times,” Shore said. He said because of the ongoing police investigation, he couldn’t provide more details of the incident.
                      The Golden Eagle, however, was part of something much bigger.

                      The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt

                      In 2002, Shore’s sister-in-law had to decide between her life and the life of her unborn child after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
                      “She was given the choice of getting chemo and saving her own life or saving the life of her child,” Shore said. After his sister-in-law passed away, Shore had his own near-death experience after a drunken driver slammed against his car at 100 mph.
                      “As I was lying in the hospital bed I was thinking, what had my life really stood for? I though the bulk of my life had been selfish and I had not given back to the community enough,” he said.
                      Shore owns a telecommunications company and, according to his website, has traveled to over 44 countries. He has auditioned 11 times for Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice.”
                      It was at this time of introspection that Shore turned to his MBA thesis: “How to Create the World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt.” He also created Hunt for the Cause, a nonprofit organization to raise funds for breast cancer research.
                      The thesis scheme involved writing a series of “treasure hunt” books prompting readers to crack hidden codes and solve complex riddles. His website advertises a grand prize of $1 million “hidden somewhere in the world,” which can only be found using the clues in the books.
                      “In writing the book, the theme of the book was a quest for something and because I really appreciate the bald eagle, I chose the eagle as the theme for the book,” Shore said. “If you are going to have a theme you need to have an object.”
                      Shore then set out to design and create the Golden Eagle.
                      “I mortgaged my house and used my savings to buy the gold and diamonds,” said Shore. “And then to have an old world treasure I approached the Fisher family from Key West, with the Atocha shipwreck, and I asked them if they had an emerald from the shipwreck that I could use.” He bought one of the Atocha emeralds on a bid.
                      But despite the flashy diamond-covered Golden Eagle theme, book sales flopped. Since 2010, Hunt for the Cause has netted around $15,000 from book sales, according to Shore. That’s a fraction of the $100 million he set out to raise.
                      “Sales of the book have not been as good as we would have liked,” Shore acknowledged.
                      To raise more funds, Shore decided it was time to sell the eagle.

                      Golden Eagle for sale

                      Before the Golden Eagle was stolen, it was for sale.
                      Shore attempted to sell the statue at the Art! Vancouver show. “There were a few people who were interested in buying it,” he said.
                      Once sold, the Golden Eagle would fund Shore’s next project: a series of music concerts to benefit breast cancer research.
                      “We wanted to have the world’s best artists to play. People like Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Adele, Taylor Swift, Elton John,” Shore said. “I’m really hoping that the music industry can come together regardless of whether I can get the eagle back. That is my whole dream.”

                      Police investigation

                      Police are treating the incident as a robbery, Delta Police spokeswoman Sarah Swallow said. They are canvasing the neighborhood for surveillance or CCTV video and looking at witness statements.
                      “It is a very unique piece with significant media coverage. It would get harder to get rid of. But there are underground networks were this could be done,” Swallow said.
                      Shore is hopeful the Golden Eagle will be returned. “I don’t care how I get it back as long as I get it back,” he said. “The whole thing was to sell the Eagle and raise money for breast cancer research. Without the eagle I don’t have anything.”

                      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/31/world/golden-eagle-stolen/index.html