Categories
Environment

Prevention Still Key Amid Spate in West Nile Virus

Medical experts said that prevention remains the key as several districts in the United States are alarmed over the spate in the presence of West Nile Virus in mosquito traps.

“Certainly we’re watching the trends very carefully as we work closely with abatement districts,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin of the Department of Health in a report.

In a report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the “most effective way to avoid West Nile virus disease is to prevent mosquito bites.”

These include the use of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents, wearing clothes that cover arms and legs, and use of screens on windows and doors, among others.

“The mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile will reproduce in small containers, children’s toys, garden pots anything that can hold water,” said North Shore Mosquito Abatement District Executive Director Mark Clifton in a report.

In Ohio alone, there were 122 reported cases where humans were inflicted by the virus, which is reportedly the highest since its outbreak back in 2012. Last year, there were 34 cases of reported human infliction, where one sadly did not survive.

West Nile Virus is known to cause fever and headache for mild cases but may also pose risks to one’s brain and spinal cord. For severe cases, it may even lead to death.

Experts say that adding to the already dangerous virus more deadly is the fact that people who are bitten with West Nile Virus-infected mosquitos will only develop symptoms between three to 21 days. Still, there are some who does not develop any symptom at all.

“People are most at risk of getting the virus summer through early fall, with most symptoms reported late July through early October,” a report read.

Symptoms may range from headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rashto as severe as high fever, vision loss, numbness, disorientation or muscle weakness.

“The West Nile virus in endemic in Ohio. It’s not going any where. We will always test for it,” said Miami County Public Health commissioner Dennis Propes in a report.

Categories
Environment

How Can Biotechnology Help Humanity in Averting World Hunger?

Hunger and food shortage is a perennial problem in the contemporary world especially in the third world. People are dying from famine daily due inadequate nutrition which is as a result of shortages in food production. There have been proposals by different international co-operations to try and reduce the effects of hunger but there is not much achieved.

Biotechnology stands to be one of the best solutions in averting world hunger. Biotechnology is the application of technology in agricultural productions. It exists in many ways some of which I will explain.

Genetically Modified Organism (GMOS) products are organisms whose genetic composition has been altered in order to make a larger and more productive organism. GMOs are going to be the answer to having more food on the table with less labor and resource output. GMO crops have more yields compared to natural crops. They are larger in size and they can withstand harsh climatic conditions compared to natural crops. They also take a very short time to make yield.

GMO animals produce larger products compared to normal animals. Their genes are engineered in such a way that their resistance to parasites is better. This translates to a greater animal immortality rate and therefore more consistent production. GMO animals are also larger in size and they give out high quality animal products compared to normal animals.

Genetically modified crop species have been developed which have resistance to pesticides and herbicides. This means that such crops would be successfully treated with herbicides and pesticides without them dying. This increases the efficiency of these sprays and the process of eradicating pests and weed has become a very simple one.

Scientists can modify crop species to be resistant to certain weather conditions and therefore mean that they can be grown in various environments. Corn is one of the crops that has been modified by scientists to endure dry climates and therefore means it can be grown in arid areas and produce very healthy yield.

If human beings can adapt the advancements that have been made in biotechnology, they can avert world hunger in a short time with minimum struggle.

Categories
Technology

Apple Store App Gets the Voice Search Feature

Apple Inc. has added a voice search feature in its latest release of the Apple Store app. The update comes after its main competitor; Google Inc. added the same feature in Google Play Store which is the android version of the Apple Store App.

The feature includes a more advanced search menu with a microphone icon which you click on and say out your query loudly. The voice recognition software will then analyze the audio and search for your query accordingly.

The update has been rolled out on the latest version of the Apple Store App (5.1). Trending topics will now appear in the “try searching” option whereby you can see the most popular searches that other iOS users have been making.

This voice search feature is not a new thing. Apple has been using voice recognition software in its assistant that is nicknamed “Siri”. Google on the other hand has had Google assistant “Alexa” which performs very straight forward tasks such as making calls, browsing the weather and even reading out weather predictions.

This feature will allow you to ask for things without having to type them in. This is very convenient since we are unable to access our iPhones at some instances leaving voice searches as a big solution to this problem.

The Apple Store app has been slightly adjusted to accommodate this feature but everything else remains the same. Many people wonder why Apple is way behind in adopting voice recognition software to all of its applications. Crucial apps such as iTunes and the App Store lack this feature.

The Apple Store App is primarily created to help shoppers find the latest and most relevant Apple products in one app. It provides shopping suggestions to iOS users using already bought products or installed apps as the base reference.

This update is however not available to users of all markets. The Apple Store App is available for all Apple devices running iOS 10 and newer operating systems. The update will allow Apple products users to find suitable accessories easily.