Human Needs

Health & Medicine

We still don't know for sure how Ebola reached humans

Scientists are still trying to figure out when and how the Ebola virus first emerged in humans. Many believe that fruit bats are the so-called “reservoir hosts,” but that remains to be definitively proven. Science writer David Quammen ventured deep into the forest of central Africa to try to find out for his latest book “Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus.”

Health & Medicine

How 'big data' could help stop the spread of Ebola

When it comes to containing an outbreak like Ebola, anticipating where it might spread next is crucial. Until somewhat recently, however, the only way to do that was through untimely census records. But with the proliferation of so-called "big data," epidemiologists can track in real time where West Africans are headed — and where they might be spreading the disease.

Development & Education

Kenyan communities succeed in managing scarce water, where aid projects once foundered

Water is the most precious resource for communities around the globe. Yet, surprisingly, aid projects to drill wells in Kenya often failed because people didn't maintain the wells. Now communities are taking responsibility for cooperatively managing their water and their success is leading them to tackle other problems, like education.