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1.
Microb Biotechnol ; 15(1): 240-246, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008727

ABSTRACT

Our epoch is largely characterized by the growing realization and concern about the reality of climate change and environmental deterioration, the surge of global pandemics, the unacceptable inequalities between developed and underdeveloped countries and their unavoidable translation into messy immigration, overpopulation and food crises. While all of these issues have a fundamentally political core, they are not altogether removed from the fact that Earth is primarily a microbial planet and microorganisms are the key agents that make the biosphere (including ourselves) function as it does. It thus makes sense that we bring the microbial world-that is the environmental microbiome-to the necessary multi-tiered conversation (hopefully followed by action) on how to avoid future threats and how to make our globe a habitable common house. Beyond discussion on governance, such a dialogue has technical and scientific aspects that only frontline microbial biotechnology can help to tackle. Fortunately, the field has witnessed the onset of new conceptual and material tools that were missing when the journal started.


Subject(s)
Climate Change , Earth, Planet , Pandemics
2.
Endeavour ; 46(3): 100835, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007680

ABSTRACT

In summer 2021, the Virtual History of Science, Technology, and Medicine group hosted two online panels on pseudoscience topics including Flat Earth, Hollow Earth, geohistory, alternate evolution, and forgeries. The panels discussed the roles of such theories in the history of science, as well as the public's understanding of both history and science.


Subject(s)
Earth, Planet , Technology
3.
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(23)2021 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560734

ABSTRACT

Bold new approaches are urgently needed to overcome global health challenges. The proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) is intended to provide rapid health breakthroughs. While new technologies for earlier disease detection and more effective treatment are critical, we urge equal attention be given to the wider (physical, emotional, social, political, and economic) environmental ecosystems driving the non-communicable disease (NCD) crisis in the first place. This requires an integrated, cross-sectoral vision that spans the interwoven connections affecting health across the scales of people, places, and planet. This wider "exposome" perspective considers biopsychosocial factors that promote resilience and reduce vulnerabilities of individuals and communities over time-the many variables driving health disparities. Since life course health is strongly determined by early life environments, early interventions should be prioritized as a matter of effectiveness and social justice. Here, we explore the origins of the Advanced Research Project Agency and point to its potential to build integrated solutions, with wisdom and ethical value systems as a compass. Since the planned ARPA-H is anticipated to spawn international collaborations, the imagined concept is of relevance to a broad audience of researchers. With appropriate input, the quest for health equity through personalized, precision medicine while deconstructing unacceptable structural inequities may be accelerated.


Subject(s)
Health Equity , Noncommunicable Diseases , Earth, Planet , Ecosystem , Humans , Planets
5.
Microb Biotechnol ; 15(1): 176-185, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541675

ABSTRACT

Microbial technology is exceptional among human activities and endeavours in its range of applications that benefit humanity, even exceeding those of chemistry. What is more, microbial technologists are among the most creative scientists, and the scope of the field continuously expands as new ideas and applications emerge. Notwithstanding this diversity of applications, given the dire predictions for the fate of the surface biosphere as a result of current trajectories of global warming, the future of microbial biotechnology research must have a single purpose, namely to help secure the future of life on Earth. Everything else will, by comparison, be irrelevant. Crucially, microbes themselves play pivotal roles in climate (Cavicchioli et al., Nature Revs Microbiol 17: 569-586, 2019). To enable realization of their full potential in humanity's effort to survive, development of new and transformative global warming-relevant technologies must become the lynchpin of microbial biotechnology research and development. As a consequence, microbial biotechnologists must consider constraining their usual degree of freedom, and re-orienting their focus towards planetary-biosphere exigences. And they must actively seek alliances and synergies with others to get the job done as fast as humanly possible; they need to enthusiastically embrace and join the global effort, subordinating where necessary individual aspirations to the common good (the amazing speed with which new COVID-19 diagnostics and vaccines were developed and implemented demonstrates what is possible given creativity, singleness of purpose and funding). In terms of priorities, some will be obvious, others less so, with some only becoming revealed after dedicated effort yields new insights/opens new vistas. We therefore refrain from developing a priority list here. Rather, we consider what is likely to happen to the Earth's biosphere if we (and the rest of humanity) fail to rescue it. We do so with the aim of galvanizing the formulation and implementation of strategic and financial science policy decisions that will maximally stimulate the development of relevant new microbial technologies, and maximally exploit available technologies, to repair existing environmental damage and mitigate against future deterioration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Microbiota , Earth, Planet , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Sci Total Environ ; 806(Pt 3): 151208, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481936

ABSTRACT

Widespread industrialization, rapid urbanization, and massive transport through land, waters, and air have led to catastrophes such as climate change, water pollution, resource limitation, and pandemics causing severe economic consequences, massive influences on the natural environment and pose a great threat to the life sustainability. Sustainability topic has a long history, and many policies and initiatives are in effect for a sustainable planet Earth, still gaps of varying degrees exist in almost all sectors. This article addresses the essentiality of minimising the sustainability gaps exist in diverse realms of life and citing few examples. Creating a cyclic path for production-consumption process in the economic sector through promoting circular economy, learning from the natural processes through appropriate biomimicking, and knowledge-integration from diverse disciplines and emphasizing sustainability in the educational sector are shown to lower the sustainability gaps.


Subject(s)
Environment , Urbanization , Climate Change , Earth, Planet , Water Pollution
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463687

ABSTRACT

The "Earthrise" photograph, taken on the 1968 Apollo 8 mission, became one of the most significant images of the 20th Century. It triggered a profound shift in environmental awareness and the potential for human unity-inspiring the first Earth Day in 1970. Taking inspiration from these events 50 years later, we initiated Project Earthrise at our 2020 annual conference of inVIVO Planetary Health. This builds on the emergent concept of planetary health, which provides a shared narrative to integrate rich and diverse approaches from all aspects of society towards shared solutions to global challenges. The acute catastrophe of the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn greater attention to many other interconnected global health, environmental, social, spiritual, and economic problems that have been underappreciated or neglected for decades. This is accelerating opportunities for greater collaborative action, as many groups now focus on the necessity of a "Great Transition". While ambitious integrative efforts have never been more important, it is imperative to apply these with mutualistic value systems as a compass, as we seek to make wiser choices. Project Earthrise is our contribution to this important process. This underscores the imperative for creative ecological solutions to challenges in all systems, on all scales with advancing global urbanization in the digital age-for personal, environmental, economic and societal health alike. At the same time, our agenda seeks to equally consider our social and spiritual ecology as it does natural ecology. Revisiting the inspiration of "Earthrise", we welcome diverse perspectives from across all dimensions of the arts and the sciences, to explore novel solutions and new normative values. Building on academic rigor, we seek to place greater value on imagination, kindness and mutualism as we address our greatest challenges, for the health of people, places and planet.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Planets , Earth, Planet , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Adv Genet ; 106: 75-100, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363831

ABSTRACT

The origins and global spread of two recent, yet quite different, pandemic diseases is discussed and reviewed in depth: Candida auris, a eukaryotic fungal disease, and COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), a positive strand RNA viral respiratory disease. Both these diseases display highly distinctive patterns of sudden emergence and global spread, which are not easy to understand by conventional epidemiological analysis based on simple infection-driven human- to-human spread of an infectious disease (assumed to jump suddenly and thus genetically, from an animal reservoir). Both these enigmatic diseases make sense however under a Panspermia in-fall model and the evidence consistent with such a model is critically reviewed.


Subject(s)
Biological Evolution , Candidiasis/etiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Origin of Life , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Animals , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Candida/isolation & purification , Candida/physiology , Candidiasis/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Earth, Planet , Exobiology , Extraterrestrial Environment , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Man Manip Ther ; 29(2): 67-70, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174790
13.
Glob Public Health ; 16(8-9): 1141-1154, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103198

ABSTRACT

Some observers have described the coronavirus pandemic as an 'Anthropocene disease,' thereby highlighting its connection with this new ecological era that is characterised by the considerable pressure human activities are exerting on ecosystems and the consequences on public health, society and the environment. This article focuses on the recent emergence of the 'Planetary Health' paradigm. Launched by the Rockefeller Foundation and the medical journal The Lancet, Planetary Health is one of the most ambitious attempts in recent years to systematize global health in the Anthropocene. While recognising the interest and necessity of reflecting on human health and the health of the planet, this article aims to show, however, that the Planetary Health paradigm is problematic and aporetic for two reasons. First, because it is based on a scientistic and depoliticised conception of the Anthropocene, which obscures capitalism's responsibility for the contemporary global and, especially, ecological crisis. Second, because this conception leads to a promotion of solutions that are essentially based on the financialization and technoscientific management of the living world - precisely the underlying cause of the degradation of ecosystems and living conditions that created the Anthropocene in the first place. A different kind of 'planetary health' remains possible and desirable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Earth, Planet , Global Health , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ecosystem , Humans , Public Health
16.
Adv Genet ; 106: 119-122, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808223

ABSTRACT

WHO's pronouncement of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic disease came months after we published a warning that the present deepest minimum of the sunspot cycle would be likely to facilitate the onset of a viral pandemic. During a deep sunspot minimum (deepest in 100 years) such as we are now witnessing, two space related phenomena could have an effect on the disposition of viral disease and potential pandemics. With the weakening of the magnetic field in the Earth's vicinity, there would be a high flux of mutagenic cosmic rays. These processes would be likely to herald the onset of new pandemics. Neutron counts from Moscow Neutron Monitor show that the flux of cosmic rays reaching Earth in 2019 was indeed at a maximum over a timespan of half a century since 1962. It is of interest to note that immediately prior to the first recorded cases of the novel Corona virus in China a peak of cosmic rays was measured as is indicated by the Huon neutron monitor data. Recent research revealed that estimates of the timing of the most recent common ancestor of COVID-19 made with current sequence data point to emergence of the virus in late November 2019 to early December 2019, compatible with the earliest retrospectively confirmed cases and the cosmic ray spike in late November 2019. In our view, this strong cosmic ray spike was in some way connected with the onset of the outbreak.


Subject(s)
Biological Evolution , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Cosmic Radiation , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Solar Activity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Betacoronavirus/radiation effects , COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/etiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/virology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cosmic Radiation/adverse effects , Earth, Planet , History, 21st Century , Humans , Neutrons , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Science ; 369(6509): 1299-1300, 2020 09 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-794988
18.
Sci Adv ; 6(36)2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-760201

ABSTRACT

Global strategies to halt the dual crises of biodiversity loss and climate change are often formulated separately, even though they are interdependent and risk failure if pursued in isolation. The Global Safety Net maps how expanded nature conservation addresses both overarching threats. We identify 50% of the terrestrial realm that, if conserved, would reverse further biodiversity loss, prevent CO2 emissions from land conversion, and enhance natural carbon removal. This framework shows that, beyond the 15.1% land area currently protected, 35.3% of land area is needed to conserve additional sites of particular importance for biodiversity and stabilize the climate. Fifty ecoregions and 20 countries contribute disproportionately to proposed targets. Indigenous lands overlap extensively with the Global Safety Net. Conserving the Global Safety Net could support public health by reducing the potential for zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 from emerging in the future.


Subject(s)
Biodiversity , Climate Change , Conservation of Natural Resources/methods , Climate , Earth, Planet , Ecosystem , Humans , Public Health
20.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(1): 31-32, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-329302

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the multidimensional and inseparable connection between human health and environmental systems. COVID-19, similar to other emerging zoonotic diseases, has had a devastating impact on our planet. In this perspective, we argue that as humans continue to globalize and encroach on our surrounding natural systems, societies must adopt a "planetary health lens" to prepare and adapt to these emerging infectious diseases. This piece further explores other critical components of a planetary health approach to societal response, such as the seasonality of disease patterns, the impact of climate change on infectious disease, and the built environment, which can increase population vulnerabilities to pandemics. To address planetary health threats that cross international borders, such as COVID-19, societies must practice interdependence sovereignty and direct resources to organizations that facilitate shared global governance, and thus can enable us to adapt and ultimately build a more resilient world.


Subject(s)
Climate Change , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Earth, Planet , Environmental Health , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons , Vulnerable Populations
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