Sustainability is a concept that can be applied across all professions, even those that may not immediately come to mind, like dentistry. But how dentists conduct their practices have both environmental and economic sustainability implications. A Dow Sustainability Fellows team addressed the dearth of data and resources on sustainable dentistry through a three-part study of 1) a review of current sustainable practices in medical and dental facilities, 2) a case study at the U-M School of Dentistry, and 3) a sustainability toolkit for dental clinics that draws on the results of the review and the dentistry case study.
Keywords: University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Green Dentistry Practices, GreenHealth, Greening the Dental Clinic Toolkit
Objectives: Gastric carcinoma is the most common cancer and cause of cancer mortality in Peru. Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that colonizes the human stomach, is a Group 1 carcinogen due to its causal relationship to gastric carcinoma. While eradication of H. pylori can help prevent gastric cancer, characterizing regional antibiotic resistance patterns is necessary to determine targeted treatment for each region. Thus, we examined primary antibiotic resistance in clinical isolates of H. pylori in Lima, Peru.
Materials and methods: H. pylori strains were isolated from gastric biopsies of patients with histologically proven H. pylori infection. Primary antibiotic resistance among isolates was examined using E-test strips. Isolates were examined for the presence of the cagA pathogenicity island and the vacA m1/m2 alleles via polymerase chain reaction.
Results: Seventy-six isolates were recovered from gastric biopsies. Clinical isolates showed evidence of antibiotic resistance to 1 (27.6%, n=21/76), 2 (28.9%, n=22/76), or ≥3 antibiotics (40.8%). Of 76 isolates, eight (10.5%) were resistant to amoxicillin and clarithromycin, which are part of the standard triple therapy for H. pylori infection. No trends were seen between the presence of cagA, vacA m1, or vacA m2 and antibiotic resistance.
Conclusion: The rate of antibiotic resistance among H. pylori isolates in Lima, Peru, is higher than expected and presents cause for concern. To develop more targeted eradication therapies for H. pylori in Peru, more research is needed to better characterize antibiotic resistance among a larger number of clinical isolates prospectively.
Access to grocery stores, a critical component food security, has consistently been linked to better health outcomes. Full-service grocery stores stock fresh fruits and vegetables daily and have competitive prices. However, in West Tallahatchie and other food insecure areas, the primary source of food is from convenience stores that sell a lot of processed, unhealthy foods. Research data supports the link between a community’s location in a food desert and negative health impacts. These same areas – usually low-income, communities of color, and rural areas – often have the most trouble attracting full-service grocery stores. This fact sheet outlines the activities of a Dow Fellows team, from the University of Michigan, and how they engaged people in the community to document the needs and the barriers that hindered previous local food security initiatives.
Keywords: Poverty, food access, food insecurity, empowerment, Dow Fellows Program
There has recently been an increase in natural gas extraction efforts across the U.S., including in Michigan. Much of this increase is due to the expanded use of the process called hydraulic fracturing–popularly known as “fracking,” a method of natural gas extraction used since the 1940s. Fracking has been at the center of both wide support and concern by community members, industry, and state governments. This 2-page fact sheet provides a summary of a research project, read the report: http://graham.umich.edu/emopps/hydraulic-fracturing
Key Terms: It’s important to understand the terms “fracking,” “hydraulic fracturing,” and “high volume hydraulic fracturing.” Many people use the term fracking to describe the entire natural gas extraction process–including leasing, drilling, and well completion. Hydraulic fracturing is the injection of fluids (e.g., water, chemicals) into rock to create fissures or cracks that allow natural gas or oil to be pumped to the surface of the ground and used. The State of Michigan defines high volume hydraulic fracturing as hydraulic fracturing that uses a large volume–more than 100,000 gallons–of fluid injected into rock to extract oil or gas.
This summary covers the need for oil spill responders require accurate, up-to-date information to ensure a rapid, coordinated, and effective response to a spill. New technologies present an opportunity for responders to use real-time information about a spill and the conditions affecting it. Electronic maps can be used to create dynamic oil spill response plans, allowing responders to react immediately to changing conditions in the field. These plans can be accessed using a tablet, cellphone, or computer, and are expected to improve oil spill response times, potentially preventing a small spill from becoming a larger one.
The project team’s pilot work in the Western Lake Erie Basin demonstrates the potential for electronic plans to be applied throughout the Great Lakes region.
See: Project Website
Keywords: Oil Spill Response Plan, Electronic, Western Lake Erie Basin, Great Lakes region, water quality, David Dean, Colin Brooks, Arthur Endsley, Michigan Tech Research Institute
Compost is organic matter like food, leaves or other material that has been decomposed and reused to fertilize and amend soil. U-M Dining is composting food waste, following the 8 key steps outlined in this infographic. A key ingredient in organic farming, compost is rich in nutrients and used for backyard gardens. Industrial scale composting systems are increasingly being used, as part of water management efforts to reduce the amount of landfill waste. U-M Dining employees go through multiple steps, outlined here to save food scraps for composting and reduce waste to landfills.
Keywords: Compost, food waste, grey water, Michigan Dining
Ensuring access to safe water supplies and creating good management strategies are fundamental to improving global health and sustainability. Yet the barriers to doing so are multifaceted and complex. To address these barriers and improve global health equity, the U-M Graham Sustainability Institute partnered with the U-M Center for Global Health to co-sponsor two Integrated Assessment research projects in Ghana and Peru. Research teams investigated the health and social impacts of water-related challenges in each country through interdisciplinary, collaborative research aimed at 1) filling knowledge gaps and raising awareness, 2) identifying sustainable solutions, and 3) building lasting relationships with partners in these two countries.
Keywords: Health, water, equity, international, Ghana, Peru
Located in Mississippi, one of the least food-secure states in America, the west side of Tallahatchie County is a rural county located in the fertile Delta region and is about a 45-minute drive away from the closest full-service grocery store. Building on the stories and insights shared by community members during interviews and workshops, the Dow Masters project team designed a regional plan that provides potential strategies for a more food-secure future.
Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, food insecurity, poverty
The Condon Crow House, located in the heart of Detroit, leverages sustainability programming and implementation for both community and personal development. It is a uniquely tangible effort, supported by the Dow Distinguished Award Program. Through this effort, U-M students are leveraging a house and side lots to demonstrate how community-driven development can reclaim place and steer the effects of social policy. Crow House embodies a wide breadth of sustainability categories, including energy, water, food sovereignty, public health, sanitation, site ecology, the built environment and community engagement.
Crow House is a non-profit organization, with a mission founded in the urban settlement house tradition. Located in Chadsey-Condon neighborhood on the west side of Detroit, the focus is on place-based community education in sustainability. Including a permaculture demonstration/teaching site, Condon Crow House also provides a community space for a range of programming, as well as for an urban scholar in residence.
Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability
Current transportation options in Detroit's HOPE Village are limited. According to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, HOPE Village residents face a 10-30-minute trip via walking or public transit to local supermarkets, hospitals, or health clinics. By analyzing existing information and facilitating focus groups with HOPE Village residents, a Dow Fellows project team identified community needs and barriers to accessing transportation services such as Uber and Zipcar.
The HOPE Village Initiative is a long-term, comprehensive, place-based initiative designed to radically change the odds of success for children, their families, and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding Focus: HOPE's campus. The initiative aims to create a pipeline of opportunity, from cradle to post-secondary education.
Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, Focus HOPE