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beyond-minnesota

Tuning into Social Networks to Prevent and Contain Disease

Photo: https://flic.kr/p/g8dUu8

As the College of Veterinary Medicine’s first and only disease ecologist, Meggan Craft, Ph.D., is a pioneer in the study of how disease spreads through animal populations. She has used mathematical models to track the spread of distemper in African lions and is currently working on a five-year collaborative project to discover what types of mountain lion contacts lead to the transmission of infectious disease.

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beyond-minnesota

Improving dental therapy education in Rwanda

Photos courtesy of Karl Self

Karl Self, D.D.S., leads CPR training for faculty at the University of Rwanda

When the U.S.-based Rwanda Human Resources for Health (HRH), was tasked with rebuilding Rwanda’s only dentistry school, leaders faced a dilemma.

Dental therapists had practiced in Rwanda for several years, but their education wasn’t viewed as quite up-to-standard. HRH wanted to improve the education of dental therapy students to provide higher quality care in a clinical setting. But they didn’t have any experience with dental therapy.

They sought out Karl Self, D.D.S, Director of Dental Therapy at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry – the only dental school in the United States to train dental therapists.

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Vaccination program for pet dogs may not fully prevent lion infections in Serengeti

Photo courtesy Meggan Craft

In June 2014, Health Talk first shared that a virus carried by domestic dogs is threatening the health of wild cats like the Serengeti lion. Now, in an update to that research, new findings led by the University of Glasgow and co-authored by the University of Minnesota suggest vaccinating domestic dogs against this virus, known as canine distemper, is not enough to keep Serengeti lions and their cohabitants, the endangered African wild dog, safe from infection.

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In the News: U students map Fish Town, Liberia, contribute to Ebola relief efforts

With Ebola and infectious disease response at the top of mind, University of Minnesota students and professors are evaluating what students can learn from and contribute to the west African pandemic response.

A group of juniors in the University of Minnesota’s bachelor of science in nursing program, for one, is creating maps of previously uncharted areas of Guinea and southern Liberia. Their contribution to crowd-sourced mapping tool, OpenStreetMap, is an example of a small – but vital – effort in responding to public health crises like Ebola.

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What happens to a rehabilitated eagle after release?

The Jackson Bay female is released in Hastings, Minnesota in July 2014.

Each year in September, The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota releases a small number of rehabilitated birds back to the wild at Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center in Hastings, Minnesota. While a few thousand spectators come out to observe the release and see education birds including bald eagles, great horned owls and kestrels up-close, it’s not often that the audience gets to learn what happens in the days, weeks and months following.

Did the bird make it? Did it fall prey to another urban landscape challenge such as a chimney, window or methane burner? Or is the bird we saw fly free in good health, hunting and soaring over the plains?

For one bird released in July, there was a rare opportunity to find out.

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U of M School of Nursing faculty join southern Liberia Ebola response

Photo: CDC Global/CC 2.0/ flic.kr/p/or5Vfa

Four University of Minnesota School of Nursing faculty were invited by the American Refugee Committee (ARC) to be part of a leadership team of health professionals charged with launching a new Ebola treatment center in southern Liberia. Two members of the group departed today to aid in the response efforts.

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