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News Item Last Straw: the Path to Reducing Ocean Plastic Waste

Shuddering and unable to breathe, he vomited up five plastic bags. The small pilot whale, found in a Thai canal this past June, is another symptom of a crisis in the world’s oceans. Plastic waste, mostly broken down into tiny particles, floats in huge blobs that together cover as much as 40 percent of Earth’s ocean surface. Growing public concern has inspired movements to ban single-use plastics, most notably straws.

News Item Did crafting beer lead to cereal cultivation?

Stanford researchers have found the oldest archaeological evidence of beer brewing, a discovery that supports the hypothesis that in some regions, beer may have been an underlying motivation to cultivate cereals.

News Item Stanford data analyst’s childhood inspires his research: A Q&A

Data analysts are critical to medical research — particularly to epidemiology studies that look at the incidence, distribution and determinants of health conditions in specific populations. So I was happy to have the opportunity to speak with Jonathan Altamirano, a research data analyst in Stanford’s Global Child Health Program.

How did you get involved in global health research?

News Item Thai boys’ cave rescue: What are the health concerns?

A complex and dangerous mission is underway to rescue twelve Thai boys and their soccer coach, who survived more than two weeks trapped by rising waters in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system. Though one person, a former Thai Navy SEAL, has lost his life in the effort, prospects are brightening for the boys as elite divers guide them, one by one, through a treacherous 2.5-mile route to freedom.

News Item Life on the border: Stanford researcher seeks to help Syrian refugees

I have a hard time navigating the two worlds I find myself occupying. On the one hand, I occupy a world within Stanford University, amidst seemingly infinite, almost palpable, resources, opportunities, and an unspoken sense of security. On the other hand, I occupy a world within the border of Syria, amidst an acute shortage of even the most basic human necessities and a nagging reminder of the brevity and unpredictability of life.

News Item How can global partnerships help conserve the ocean?

Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions Co-Director Jim Leape spoke recently about his involvement with Friends of Ocean Action, a global initiative launched on World Oceans Day (June 8) to help conserve and sustainably use the world’s oceans. Friends of Ocean Action includes global leaders and influencers from business, civil society and the public sector who are committed to driving actions that implement the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 14 on ocean conservation and sustainable use.

News Item In Uganda, women with heart disease shown to take great risks to have a family

Some Ugandan women are knowingly risking their lives in order to have children, a new study has found. Thousands of women in the East African country suffer from rheumatic heart disease, which has been largely eradicated in the developed world but is common in developing countries.

Women with the disease who become pregnant can suffer many complications, including blood clots, arrhythmias, heart failure and death. And those who take blood-thinning medications can risk having children born with birth defects.

News Item Costa Rican initiative refocuses on marine issues

The natural and cultural beauty of Costa Rica’s Osa and Golfito region has attracted the attention of tourists and developers in recent years. A Stanford initiative is working with local residents to create livelihoods that reconcile perceived conflicts between human prosperity and protection of natural resources.

News Item Stanford Partners with Chinese Academy of Sciences

Imagine if a country mobilized tens of thousands of people to reforest an area the size of Ireland within a year. This and other seemingly incomprehensible scenarios are a reality in China. A massively ambitious effort to become “the ecological civilization of the 21st Century” has driven the Middle Kingdom to commit more than a trillion dollars to environmental investments, limit development on nearly half of its total land area and pay 200 million people to restore landscapes, change farming practices or move out of sensitive areas.