La Doctorita combats Chagas disease

May 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

The May 11 issue Science magazine contains several ‘green’ articles of interest. Here are two standouts:

With Novel Paint, Chemist Aims to Vanquish the Vinchuca describes decades-long work by Spanish chemist, Pilar Mateo (“la Doctorita“), to gain widespread acceptance of Inesfly, a house paint that is specially formulated to combat the spread of vinchuca (Triatoma infestans) that transmits the parasite that causes Chagas disease. The article gives some insight into the science of developing an insecticidal paint and the hurdles that la Doctorita has had to overcome in getting governments to accept her product.

The Wind at Our Backs, a book review of Harvest the Wind by Philip Warburg, provides a capsule description of the modern wind industry, starting with the construction of a large wind turbine on Grandpa’s Knob in Vermont in 1941, and continuing to the present where the largest growth is occurring in China (four of the top 10 turbine manufacturers are Chinese companies). Wind energy has its downsides – intermittent power-generation, harm to birds and bats, noise, and visual appeal of massive wind farms is subjective – so China’s rush to wind energy may be a mixed blessing (Warburg writes about China that “[p]rivate property rights scarcely exist” and “[g]overnment policies and plans are announced, not debated”). On the other hand, wind’s ability to deliver electricity without greenhouse gases makes it an alternative that needs to be understood and used.


Entry filed under: In the News.

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