Mulligan is a PhD student at the McMaster University campus of the United Nations University's Institute on Water, Environment and Health and a recipient of Canada's most prestigious doctoral award—the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Her research examines why dengue fever, a severe flu-like illness spread through the bite of mosquitoes, continues to threaten urban populations in many developing countries.
"Dengue fever is often believed to be connected to poverty and poor public services, but in some cities this just isn't the case," she says. "I want to know: have we been mischaracterizing dengue fever all this time? Or is infectious disease control simply at the bottom of the list of urban priorities?"
According to the World Health Organization dengue fever infects 50 million people each year in more than 100 countries, and global incidence of the disease has grown so dramatically in recent decades that almost one third of the world's population is now at risk. Still, dengue fever ranks among the world's most neglected tropical diseases, receiving less than five per cent of the global funding allocated to diseases with similar impact, such as malaria.
Mulligan's research uses Malaysia's carefully planned city of Putrajaya as her example. Designed to be a showcase of Malaysian innovation, the city has excellent public services and one of the highest standards for water quality in the world. It also has very high rates of dengue fever.
So far, she's discovered that the traditional link made between poverty and water-related diseases like dengue fever may be at the root of the problem.
"Does the connection between poverty and the disease imply there is no risk for the wealthy?" she asks. "I think we really have to consider the impact of making this link."
Mulligan will present her research and answer questions from the press, as part of the THINK CANADA Press Breakfast on the theme of water. The breakfast will be held in Room 202A of the Washington Convention Center at 8 a.m. on February 20, 2011 and will feature Canadian research experts across natural sciences and engineering, health, social sciences and humanities.
Media Contact:Michael Adams
Michael Adams | EurekAlert!
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
11.12.2017 | Information Technology