Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Wild boars, hunting dogs and hunters carry tick-borne bacteria

Rickettsia bacteria cause a number of human and animal infections, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have for the first time surveyed the prevalence of ...

Medical research

Can changing the microbiome reverse lactose intolerance?

After childhood, about two-thirds of the world's human population loses the ability to digest milk. As far as we know, 100 percent of nonhuman mammals also lose this ability after weaning. The ongoing ability to digest lactose, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New ebolavirus, found in bats, more widespread than first thought

A recently discovered species of ebolavirus may be more widespread than previously thought and could be hosted by a particular bat species, according to findings published by a University of Arkansas biologist. The ebolavirus ...

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World population

The term world population commonly refers to the total number of living humans on Earth at a given time. As of 29 July 2009, the Earth's population is estimated by the United States Census Bureau to be 6.774 billion. The world population has been growing continuously since the end of the Black Death around 1400. There were also short term falls at other times due to plague, for example in the mid 17th century (see graph). The fastest rates of world population growth (above 1.8%) were seen briefly during the 1950s then for a longer period during the 1960s and 1970s (see graph). According to population projections, world population will continue to grow until around 2050. The 2008 rate of growth has almost halved since its peak of 2.2% per year, which was reached in 1963. World births have levelled off at about 134-million-per-year, since their peak at 163-million in the late 1990s, and are expected to remain constant. However, deaths are only around 57 million per year, and are expected to increase to 90 million by the year 2050. Since births outnumber deaths, the world's population is expected to reach about 9 billion by the year 2040.

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