The next pandemic is inevitable. Are we prepared?

Budget cuts to pandemic preparedness put us all at risk.

  • There is no way to completely stop a pandemic from coming, says former United Nations medical officer and a key player in the World Health Organization's (WHO) smallpox eradication program in South Asia, Larry Brilliant. Being prepared and having a good public health infrastructure are necessary to reduce impact.
  • Pandemics like ebola are more likely to start at the edges of poor countries, away from the main hub and away from major cities, but without isolation and containment protocols they can and will grow.
  • According to Brilliant, budget cuts and poor decision making by government in the past has crippled pandemic prevention efforts in time of crisis. That's something that we can not let happen again.
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Moon landing astronauts reveal they possibly infected Earth with space germs

Two Apollo 11 astronauts question NASA's planetary safety procedures.

Credit: Bettmann, Getty Images.
  • Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins revealed that there were deficiencies in NASA's safety procedures following the Apollo 11 mission.
  • Moon landing astronauts were quarantined for 21 days.
  • Earth could be contaminated with lunar bacteria.
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How Tasmanian devils are evolving to fight back against extinction

Devil facial tumor disease, or DFTD, has cut the Tasmanian devil population by 90 percent. Now, some devils have evolved to resist the virulent cancer.

GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images
  • Devil facial tumor disease, or DFTD, is a transmissible cancer that Tasmanian devils spread through bites.
  • The cancer is highly infectious and lethal, and the Tasmanian devil population has dropped by 90 percent since it was first discovered.
  • In the short time that we've known about the disease, however, the devils seem to be evolving new defenses that are helping some of them fight back and survive.
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Why experts are certain another influenza pandemic will occur

It's been 100 years since the world's last deadliest flu pandemic. Experts warn that another one is inevitable, but are we ready?

  • 100 years ago, the Spanish Flu killed over 50 million people.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 80,000 Americans died of the flu last winter.
  • Experts stress that the world needs to take precautions and prepare for the next pandemic.
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'Aquatic life is bathing in a soup of antidepressants,' says marine biologist

Antidepressants are destroying underwater ecosystems, which we in turn eat.

  • A new British study has discovered that "our aquatic life is bathing in a soup of antidepressants."
  • Entire ecosystems are being negatively affected by our pharmaceutical use.
  • The drugs re-enter our bodies when we consume seafood from these areas.
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