Science, Nature and Tech

SCIENCE NEWS – What is Dengue Fever and Could Genetically-Modified Mosquitoes Prevent It?

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Sam

Sam has worked as a forensic scientist as well as for the British government, and has degrees in both archaeology and osteoarchaeology. She has 2 children, is passionate about science, reading, history and music, and loves dyeing her hair bright colours!

Sam blogs about all kinds of science at www.samanthagouldson.com.
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Dengue (pronounced den-gee) fever affects between 50-100 million people each year, with around 25,000 people dying from the disease. It’s most common in south America and parts of Africa, and is also known as breakbone fever because it causes such intense pain in the bones. Dengue fever is a virus that’s spread by mosquitoes, and there is no vaccine or effective drug treatment to prevent or cure it.

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Travel

Adventure in Uganda

On my second day in Uganda, we went white water rafting on the Nile, near a town called Jinja. The rapids are just Screenshot 2013-10-14 at 10.50.13down river from Lake Victoria, which is where the Nile starts.

The rapids are caused by the force of the water as it crashes over rocks and around islands in the river. There used to be more rapids there, and the famous Bujugali Falls. However, a couple of years ago a dam was built across the river, which has made part of it more like a lake and has increased the water levels, wiping out lots of the rapids, including Bujugali. However, below the dam, the rapids are still just as scary! The rapids are a favourite for rafters and kayakers all over the world. 

The rapids are caused by the force of the water as it crashes over rocks and around islands in the river. There used to be more rapids there, and the famous Bujugali Falls. However, a couple of years ago a dam was built across the river, which has made part of it more like a lake and has increased the water levels, wiping out lots of the rapids, including Bujugali. However, below the dam, the rapids are still just as scary! The rapids are a favourite for rafters and kayakers all over the world. 

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Science, Nature and Tech

Drip Drip Drip

Lynn Schreiber

Founder and Editor at Jump! Mag
A freelance writer, who lives and works in Scotland with her family and fluffy white dog.

Likes: Writing, reading, twitter and chocolate
Dislikes: Negative and angry people

Latest posts by Lynn Schreiber (see all)

Can you imagine not being able to turn on a water tap? Can you imagine not even having a water tap?
Today’s challenge is to notice when you do something that we all take for granted – turning that tap and letting the water flow.
Washing your hands, cleaning your teeth, taking a shower. You are thirsty, so take a big gulp of water straight from that tap after playing outside in the sun.
Every time you turn on a tap of water, think about how easy it was and what you would do without running water.

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School & Career

A Homemade School

Lynn Schreiber

Founder and Editor at Jump! Mag
A freelance writer, who lives and works in Scotland with her family and fluffy white dog.

Likes: Writing, reading, twitter and chocolate
Dislikes: Negative and angry people

Latest posts by Lynn Schreiber (see all)

Drakensberg (the dragon’s back mountains)

This is the Drakensberg in South Africa. The children in this part of South Africa face a daily commute to school in the nearest town, Bergville. With the windy roads through the mountains, this journey can take almost an hour. School starts early too, at eight o’clock, so that means getting up around 6am to be ready for the taxi.

Can you imagine a journey like that, just to go to school?

The problem

The long drive and the cost of the taxi meant that many children didn’t go to school, and that is not good for the long-term future of the children and South Africa. So, the owner of the hotel we were staying at decided to set up a school. But first, they had to build it. This is the homemade school at The Cavern.

Would you like your school to be in the mountains?

 

The Royal Drakensberg Primary School

They named the school the Royal Drakensberg Primary School, and as of this year, there are 55 pupils enrolled. There are four teachers, who all live in the school grounds, in houses built for them. Twice a year, an examiner visits the school to make sure that the children are learning the right things and keeping up with children at main stream schools. The Royal Drakensberg Primary is an independent school which gets no funding from the government and aims to educate some of the poorest children in the country.

Who pays for it?

So where does the money come from? The main funding comes from the hotel owners, who pay for transport and the maintenance of the school buildings. Guests at the hotel are encouraged to visit the school and buy tourist gifts made by the children. They do a lot of bead work. Visitors are asked for donations. And an organization Hearts of Hope was set up to raise money for education projects in South Africa.

It’s a constant battle. There are still many people earning very low wages in South Africa. The parents of the children in this school are mostly hotel workers. They must each pay R400.00, that’s about £30.00, a month for each child in the school.

Education is priceless

Everyone knows that a good education is priceless. These children will become South Africa’s teachers, doctors, nurses and politicians. In Africa, education is still a privilege. It is not every child’s right to go to school. Many mothers are uneducated themselves. There is a saying that the mother educates the child, meaning that if the mother has not been to school, then it is very likely that child won’t go to school either.

It is vitally important that we change this perception. Children in Britain all have the right to go to school. Children in Africa still have to fight for survival.

Do you like going to school? What would you do if didn’t go to school?

 

More information?

I am pleased to support the following organisations in South Africa.

Hearts of Hope works with education projects in rural South Africa and is mainly involved with getting young children into primary education.

The Thandulwazi Maths and Science Academy is based in Johannesburg and was set up to encourage young school children to continue studying maths and science at school. It also trains teachers in maths and science. These subjects are most important for economic development in South Africa. ‘Thandulwazi’ means for the love of knowledge in Zulu.
Dr Lesley Beeton is an experienced life science researcher with a passion for talking and writing about science.

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Travel

What Do You Know About Africa?

Lynn Schreiber

Founder and Editor at Jump! Mag
A freelance writer, who lives and works in Scotland with her family and fluffy white dog.

Likes: Writing, reading, twitter and chocolate
Dislikes: Negative and angry people

Latest posts by Lynn Schreiber (see all)

What do you think of when you hear the word AFRICA?

Do you think of safaris? And villages?

 

You might think of drums and dancing. Or do you think of something else?

These are stereotypes of Africa, which means they are a conventional, over-simplified image or impression of the country.

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