In the Comment which opens the Series, The Lancet’s editor Dr Richard Horton says: “This ‘scandal of invisibility’ means that millions of human beings are born and die without leaving any record of their existence. Over three-quarters of them are to be found in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.”
The imprint of a person’s existence confirms their citizenship and represents the first step in securing their right to life, freedom, and protection. Counting human lives is a pressing priority, and the Who Counts? Team says there has been widespread neglect of the issue and little progress in four decades.
Dr Horton says: “Today, less than a third of the world’s population is covered by accurate data on births and deaths. Far greater global urgency needs to be injected into this challenge.”
Further, he calls for robust and effective national statistics systems at country level, strong government ministries, legal systems, civil service and local information networks, as well as a vocal civil society to press governments to act. He says: “The health sector can be an important catalyst in this effort.”
He concludes: “Globally, there is a gap. No single UN agency currently has responsibility for registering births and deaths. This absence has led the Who Counts? team to call for a new international body to improve civil registration efforts. But they concede that the likelihood of a new organisation being inaugurated is low. In the interim, they urge donors and global partners to do more to promote and support registration systems. Ultimately, this campaign is about how much each of us values the life of every other human being. It is a test of our humanity.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur
MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
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25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy