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Brazil. Aerials around Altamira checking the "Cachoeira Seca"
Image by Daniel Beltrá

Deforestation’s Hidden Toll: Amplifying Disease Risk Worldwide

In the last couple of decades, the lush rainforest around the remote village of Meliandou in the heart of Guinea has become patchier. Animals, like bats, saw their habitats dwindle and in a quest for survival, they sought refuge in closer proximity to human environments, making the boundaries between species thinner. A hollowed-out tree in the middle of the village became home to a colony of bats.

About 50 meters from the same tree, in the heart of Meliandou, a two-year-old boy named Emile lived with his family. In a matter of days, Emile fell ill with an unknown virus, developed a high fever, and died. Soon the same virus, that scientists now believe Emile got from the bats, took the lives of his sister, mother, and grandmother. The village, surrounded by a ring of forest, unexpectedly became the epicenter of a devastating outbreak that would leave an indelible mark.

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Indomoro mine toxic waste runoff. Palangkaraya, Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Indomoro mine toxic waste runoff. Palangkaraya, Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Daniel Beltrá: Capturing Earth’s Beauty and Humanity’s Impact

Daniel Beltrá, a Madrid-born photographer now calling Seattle, Washington, his creative haven; has a distinctive approach to his photography. His most captivating works are large-scale photographs taken from the air, providing viewers with a sweeping panorama of our world’s wonders and woes.

His unwavering passion for conservation can be seen from this elevated vantage point as he skillfully reveals the contrast of nature’s magnificence and humanity’s destructive footprint.

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Image of David Suzuki
David Suzuki Source: University of Toronto

David Suzuki: Scientist, Broadcaster, Eco-Warrior

In the world of environmental activism, few names resonate as powerfully as that of David Suzuki. For decades, this Canadian scientist, broadcaster, and author has dedicated his life to championing the cause of environmental conservation and sustainability. With a career that spans over half a century, Suzuki’s relentless passion for the planet has made him an iconic figure in the global environmental movement.

Born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1936, David Suzuki’s early years were marked by a deep connection to nature. His Japanese-Canadian upbringing laid the foundation for his lifelong commitment to protecting the natural world. Suzuki’s career took flight as a geneticist, where his pioneering research on fruit flies contributed to our understanding of genetics. However, he soon realized that his scientific knowledge could be a powerful tool for environmental advocacy.

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Why Our Health Depends on the Environment

Origins of new pathogens like SARS-CoV-2 stem from environmental degradation, so the COVID-19 pandemic should make us see the connection between our health and the environment. Protecting the environment and taking a planetary health approach is an essential strategy for avoiding other major health crises in the future.
Macro of mosquito (Aedes aegypti) sucking blood close up on the human skin. Mosquito is carrier of virus.

Aedes aegypti: Beyond the Black and White

One look at Aedes aegypti gives an immediate impression of its menacing nature. The telltale dark and white bands on the mosquito’s legs and other body parts bring a sense of foreboding and hardship. Sleek, silent, and stealthy, Ae. aegypti is the primary vector for several important, debilitating, and sometimes fatal human diseases including dengue, Zika virus, yellow fever, and chikungunya. The species is cause for mounting concern on many levels, as its biology, behavior, and ability to adapt have made Aedes aegypti one of the most pervasive and daunting public health challenges in the modern world.

The first mosquito ever associated with the spread of disease, Ae. aegypti is also the most studied of all mosquito species.1 From its humble beginnings in the African wild to a footprint that spans the globe, this durable and opportunistic insect has become a formidable opponent of vector control efforts worldwide.

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Orthoptera: Nigricornis javanica

Mike Libby’s Retro-Futuristic Wonders

Mike Libby, a multi-disciplinary artist hailing from the scenic landscapes of Maine, has a portfolio of eclectic sculptures, models, collages, drawings, and installations that radiate meticulous craftsmanship and boundless conceptual curiosity.

Libby’s Insect Lab project, born out of a love for science fiction, natural history, and storytelling, has truly turned heads and captured imaginations. It is a marriage of preserved insects and meticulously crafted mechanical components – a series that blurs the lines between science fiction and science fact.

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Image of Raman Velayudhan
Dr. Raman Velayudhan.

Dr. Raman Velayudhan: Combating Deadly Mosquitoes

Dr. Raman Velayudhan is a seasoned expert in the public health field and a relentless advocate for combating the global threat of mosquito-borne diseases.

Currently at the helm of the Veterinary Public Health, Vector Control, and Environment unit within the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases at the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Velayudhan’s impact is far-reaching.

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The Importance of World Dengue Day

Every year around the world, 100,000,000 cases of dengue cause severe infections with symptoms including fever, joint pain, and internal bleeding. Approximately 10,000 people die from dengue each year.
Claire Slesinski, MSPH Senior Program Manager for Global Urban Health (
3D CG rendered image of scientifically accurate Zika Virus Envelope Structure based on PDB : 5IRE (ribbon style)
3D CG rendered image of scientifically accurate Zika Virus Envelope Structure based on PDB

Mosquito-borne Diseases & the Environment

Climate change and human activity are enabling the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, like dengue fever, to new places. Stanford infectious disease experts and disease ecologists discuss what we know and how communities can protect themselves from these changing disease threats.

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