Our Singida study won the 10th McKnight Community of Practice poster competition!

Congratulations to our colleagues, Clara Mollay (NM-AIST) and Esther Kalonga (AATZ) et alia for winning the poster competition at the 10th McKnight Community of Practice image_1meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi. The poster highlighted the various activities undertaken during the first phase of this project and our baseline findings that there is high potential to benefit from this project. SNAP is starting the next phase in its implementation as farmers started to get into the next farming season.

Dr. Paula Pebsworth to discuss geophagy in non-human primates in the International Primatological Society meeting

Paula & GeresomuCongratulations to Dr. Paula Pebsworth, whose abstract “Can geophagy alter the feeding ecology of non-human primates?: a systematic literature review” has been programed for an oral presentation on Tuesday, August 23 @ 4:30, at the joint meeting of the International Primatological Society and the American Society of Primatologists in Chicago. She will discuss which non-human primate species have been observed eating earth, what kinds of earth, and where on Earth they do this.

Geophagy in non-human primates is considered adaptive and a form of self-medication; however, the proximate and ultimate mechanisms remain unknown. Paula will discuss the main physiological explanations, 3 new predictions, and lay out a research agenda.

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Pregnancy, HIV, and water insecurity

Congratulations to Dr. Natalie Krumdieck and co-authors whose manuscript  “Household water insecurity is associated with a range of negative consequences among pregnant Kenyan women of mixed HIV status” was accepted into the Journal of Water and Health. This is our group’s first publication on water insecurity, and the first to our knowledge exploring household water insecurity in the context of HIV and pregnancy. These data are the basis for our more comprehensive ongoing water insecurity cohort, the Pii Ngima study.

Capture here is the moment we learned the good news: Godfred, Shalean, and the youngest members of the Young Research Group, Stella and Aurora Lucks!

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BBC digs geophagy

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Geophagy was focus of a recent BBC-Future story: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160615-the-people-who-cant-stop-eating-dirt. I was so happy that they took our evolutionary perspective on pica very seriously!

SNAP Mentor Farmer Selection-Village randomization complete

The Singida Nutrition and Agroecology Program (SNAP) is now successfully underway!

Farmers were invited to nominate themselves and make campaign speeches before one male and one female “mentor farmer” was selected by their villages. Pictured below are the elected mentor farmers.

These mentor farmers then gathered in Singida town to see whether the luck of the draw designated their village as intervention or delayed-intervention villages. Congratulations to all mentor farmers, and a big thank you to Action Aid Tanzania, who led the work!

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Abby Maranga wins first place at the Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Poster Competition at Experimental Biology

Congratulations to Abby Maranga and colleagues (Undergraduate majoring in Biology & Society, Cornell University ’16) who received First Place and a $500 travel grant for her poster  “Perceived Benefits of Livestock Ownership among Female Smallholders of Mixed-HIV Status in Nyanza Province, Kenya” in the American Society of Nutrition’s Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Poster Competition. This poster was top prize amongst those submitted by both graduate and undergraduate students! Abby’s findings emphasized the importance of livestock as social assets, long-term economic investments, and safety nets, and furthered the research on women’s investment in and access to livestock.

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Irene Tsai wins second place at the Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Poster Competition at Experimental Biology!

Congratulations to Irene Tsai (an Undergrad in Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell 2016) and co-authors whose poster “Food Insecurity is Associated with Depression and Stress Among a Cohort of Pregnant Kenyan Women of Mixed-HIV status” received Second Place and a $300 travel grant in the American Society For Nutrition’s Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Poster Competition. The gist of our work is that probable depression and higher perceived stress were associated with food insecurity in Pith Moromo, our pregnancy cohort in western Kenya. image1

 

 

A new way to study iron bioavailability in geophagic earth

Who would have thought, but— chickens are a great model of human iron metabolism! As such, they can help us to understand effects of geophagy. In our recently published paper in Nutrients we show that a poultry model has clear advantages over prior methods used both in vitro and in humans, and represents an important step in explaining the public health impact of geophagy on iron status. img_2967

Dr. Itziar Familiar presents on infant cognitive development and HIV at AIDS

Congratulations to Dr. Itziar Familiar and co-authors for their abstract “Predictors of neurocognitive outcomes among a cohort of 12-month old infants from Uganda of mixed HIV status” was programmed for a poster presentation at The International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. In this work, we found that HIV-exposed-uninfected children have significantly more cognitive delay than HIV-unexposed-uninfected children. Further, ARV exposure may be associated with better cognitive performance among HIV-exposed but uninfected children, and children living in environments with more stimulation may have better neurocognitive development overall.