HIV affects new populations in China
While China has a low number of HIV cases – 700,000 – for a population of 1.3 billion, the rising infection rate is cause for concern, according to a study based out of Rockefeller University.
Since 2005, the number of cases has risen by 8 percent and expanded into all provinces. Transmission is increasing especially rapidly among gay men and female prostitutes.
AIDS is believed to have entered China through drug traffickers in Yunnan province during the 1980s. Yunnan borders Southeast Asia‘s opium “Golden Triangle“ and is now the province the hardest hit with the epidemic. The disease spread further in Henan where illegal blood banks sold blood collected from indigent farmers. (source: nytimes.com)
Study shows one in four mammals face extinction
Conservation scientists have made the first update to the Red List of Threatened Species in over a decade. The study concludes that one in four of the world‘s mammals is threatened with extinction and the population of one in two is declining.
Primates are particularly threatened due to major habitat loss in Southeast Asia and hunting in Africa. There are also unusually high threats to hippos, bears, pigs and hogs. Larger mammals are more threatened as they tend to grow slower and have large ranges with low population density.
Habitat loss is the major threat to land species while marine mammals are threatened most by accidental death, especially from by-catch and being hit by ships.
The report was published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the world‘s oldest environmental network consisting of more than 1,000 government and nongovernmental organizations and over 11,000 volunteer scientists in 160 different countries. The research took five years and involved over 1,700 scientists from around the world. (source: Associated Press)
Science Scene is compiled by ALYSOUN BONDE. She can be reached at email@example.com.