The next big thing (pause) in sex: female condoms

Once upon a time, not that long ago actually, most American women didn’t use tampons. After they had been invented and introduced as a product, it still took some seventy years for them to gain widespread adoption. People are loathe to change their habits when it comes to intimate parts of the body, even when there are obvious health benefits.

It’s female condom day! Also, it’s ozone day!

The female condom was developed years ago to allow women more control over their reproductive health, safety and choice. It’s good in concept but, as has been reported here and there, the reception so far has been fairly poor. Some complain it’s too expensive as compared to the male condom; other say it’s too cumbersome.

Bill Gates’ humanitarian plan for world (vaccination) domination

Everyone knows Bill Gates loves vaccines. Yet few seem to appreciate just how revolutionary and accidental is this love affair. Promoting this powerful, fundamental tool for children’s health may look these days like the obvious humanitarian thing for a philanthropist to do. But it wasn’t either obvious or that celebrated when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation started down this path in the 1990s.

Plan to produce synthetic anti-malaria drug criticized as “assault on farmers”

A decades’-long struggle to produce a synthetic version of one the world’s favored drugs for treating malaria, artemisinin, was celebrated as a victory for poor people. But now is being criticized as an assault on poor farmers. Global supply of artemisinin, which until now has been produced from harvest of the plant sweet wormwood, has been erratic in both quantity and supply. Hundreds of millions of people fall ill with malaria every year with an estimated 650,000 deaths — mostly in children.

The goal of this project, led by Seattle-based PATH in collaboration with the French drug firm Sanofi, was to supplement the global supply with this synthetic version. PATH officials told me that Sanofi’s ultimate production goal would likely only meet one-third of the global need, but the scientist who developed the synthetic drug said the goal is to totally replace dependence on the natural crop.

PATH & Sanofi start major production of synthetic anti-malaria drug

Malaria remains one of the world’s biggest killers and also a massive economic drag on poor countries, poor families. One of our best weapons against this scourge is a drug known as artemisinin, which is harvested from the plant sweet wormwood and, as a crop, is about as predictable as corn or hog futures.A major new initiative to be launched tomorrow in Italy by Seattle-based PATH in collaboration with the French drug maker Sanofi aims to do industrial production of synthetic artemisinin.

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