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Space pups are here: Mouse sperm stored on Space Station produces healthy offspring



Japanese researchers discovered mouse sperm exposed to high levels of grandiose radiation for almost six years produced a large brood of healthy, unremarkable “space pups.”

Their study was published Friday in Science Advances – which noted no signs so far of Mousezillas or rodent Hulks. The sperm was stored in the International Space Station in freeze-dried form. Once brought back to Earth and rehydrated, it resulted in the birth of 168 youthful, free of genetic defects.

Developmental biologist and lead author Teruhiko Wakayama told AFP on Thursday that there was little difference between mice fertilized by space sperm and sperm that had remained confined to our planet. “All pups had normal appearance,” he said, and when researchers examined their qualities “no abnormalities were found.”

In 2013, Wakayama and colleagues at the University of Yamanashi in Japan launched three boxes, each containing 48 ampoules of freeze-dried sperm, to the ISS for the long-term study. They wanted to determine whether long term exposure to radiation in space would damage DNA in reproductive cells or give mutations to offspring. That could be a problem for our own species in future space exploration and colonization missions.

Batches were returned to Earth for fertilization after the first nine months, then after two years, and finally after six years, leading to hundreds of births. Freeze-dried sperm was selected for the experiment because it can be preserved at room temperature, rather than needing a freezer. The ampoules were also little and very light, about the size of a little pencil, further cutting dispatch costs.

At the point when the space mice reached adulthood, they were randomly mated and the next generation appeared normal also. Wakayama, now director for Advanced Biotechnology Center at the University of Yamanashi, told AFP he had been inspired by the sci-fi of Heinlein and Asimov and once wanted to be an astronaut. Though he settled on becoming a scientist, the feeling of wonder and eccentricity about space exploration never left him.

“In the future, when the time comes to migrate to other planets, we should mantain the diversity of genetic resources, not only for humans but also for pets and domestic animals,” Wakayama and colleagues wrote in their paper.

Getting to other planets implies departing the safety of Earth’s protective atmosphere and magnetic field – which also extends to the ISS, 400 kilometers (250 miles) above the surface. Deep space is filled with strong radiation from both solar particles and galactic enormous beams from outside our system.

Solar flares from the surface of the Sun generate particles that can have particularly devastating impacts on human health and penetrate current generation spaceships. According to Wakayama, the process of freeze drying sperm increases its tolerance compared to fresh sperm, since the former doesn’t contain water inside its cell cores and cytoplasms.

According to the team’s calculations, freeze-dried sperm could be stored for up to 200 years on board the orbital outpost. Humanity might also want to spread its genetic resources off planet in case of a disaster on Earth, the paper added.

The study noted it is still important to investigate the effects of space radiation on frozen female eggs and fertilized embryos before humans take this next step into the space age.


Delay Covid sponsor shots for now, permit all nations to inoculate 10% populace: WHO



The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a ban on supporter portions of Covid-19 vaccines until the finish of September. This proposed ban, whenever executed, will be a transitory measure to empower no less than 10% of the number of inhabitants in each nation to be inoculated against SARS-CoV-2.

WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said while hundreds of millions of individuals are as yet sitting tight for their first portion, some rich nations are moving towards sponsor dosages.

“I understand the worry of all governments to shield their kin from the Delta variation. In any case, we can’t acknowledge nations that have already used the greater part of the worldwide stockpile of vaccines utilizing considerably more of it, while Europe and Africa’s most weak individuals remain unprotected,” he added.

He proceeded to reiterate the call for “run to September” he gave in May where he looked for participation to ensure that each nation can inoculate somewhere around 10% of its populace.

“We are presently more than most of the way to that deadline, yet we are not on target,” the WHO chief said on Wednesday.

WHO chief calls on G20 countries

Dr Ghebreyesus said the health ministers of G20 countries will meet one month from now ahead of the G20 highest point in October. It is no understatement to say that the course of the Covid-19 pandemic depends on the leadership of the G20, added Dr Ghebreyesus.

“I call on them to make concrete responsibilities to help WHO’s worldwide immunization targets,” he said. He likewise appealed to vaccine makers to focus on COVAX – the WHO’s vaccine coalition.

Dr Ghebreyesus stated, “Up until now, more than 4 billion vaccine dosages have been administered worldwide. More than 80% have gone to high and upper-center pay nations, despite the fact that they represent not exactly 50% of the world’s populace.”

The WHO chief proceeded to add that low-pay nations have only had the option to administer 1.5 portions for each 100 individuals because of absence of supply of Covid-19 vaccines. Populaces that can’t afford to remain at home need inoculations direly, he added.

Low pay nations, then again, have only had the option to administer 1.5 portions for each 100 individuals inferable from the absence of supply.

Recalling the challenge he made in May of this current year, the WHO chief said top level salary nations had administered around 50 dosages for each 100 individuals at that point. He adds that the number has multiplied since and big time salary nations have now administered right around 100 dosages for each 100 individuals.

Dr Ghebreyesus additionally refered to an email from Harriet Nayiga, a birthing specialist from Uganda who is one of many health workers in Africa and different parts of the world actually trusting that their turn will receive the life-saving punch.

“We need a dire reversal, from most of vaccines going to big league salary nations, to the larger part going to low-pay nations,” he said.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added, “We call on everybody with impact; Olympic competitors, financial backers, business leaders, confidence leaders, and each person in their own family and local area to help our call for a ban on promoter shots until essentially the finish of September.”

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Delta now dominant Covid variant in most of Europe, warn WHO and ECDC



Delta is now the dominant variant of Covid-19 in most of Europe, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Monday. Along with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the WHO said that efforts to prevent transmission of the Delta variant must be reinforced.

According to the WHO’s Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe), surveillance data from the period between June 28 and July 11 shows that Delta was the dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2 in at least 19 of the 28 European countries that reported sufficient genetic sequencing information.

In these 19 countries, the median proportion of Delta variant detected in samples sent for genetic sequencing was 68.3 per cent. In comparison, the previously dominant Alpha variant was found in only 22.3 per cent of the samples.

This indicates that Delta has now overtaken Alpha as the dominant variant of Covid-19 in most of Europe.

Experts have already confirmed the presence of the highly transmissible Delta variant in nearly all European countries.

Delta could emerge as dominant global variant
Even in the United States, Delta variant accounts for about 83 per cent of all new Covid-19 infections, according to reports.

If current trends continue, Delta will emerge as the globally dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the weeks to come.

The variant will continue to spread, displacing the circulation of other variants unless the virus mutates further to form a new and more competitive strain.

First detected in India in October of 2020, Delta (B.1.617.2) was identified as one of the major factors driving the second wave of Covid-19 infections that devastated the country earlier this year.

Quoting microbiologist Sharon Peacock, news agency Reuters reported, “The biggest risk to the world at the moment is simply Delta.”

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UN adopts first resolution on vision, requests that members ensure eye-care for everybody



The UN General Assembly endorsed its first-historically speaking resolution on vision Friday, calling on its 193 part countries to ensure admittance to eye care for everybody in their nations which would add to a worldwide effort to help basically 1.1 billion individuals with vision debilitation who currently need eye services by 2030.

The “Vision for Everyone” resolution, sponsored by Bangladesh, Antigua, and Ireland, and co-sponsored by more than 100 nations, was adopted by agreement by the world body.

It urges nations to organize a “entire of government way to deal with eye care.” And it calls on international monetary institutions and benefactors to provide designated financing, particularly for developing nations, to address the increasing effect of vision misfortune on economic and social development.

As indicated by the resolution, “no less than 2 billion individuals are living with vision weakness or visual deficiency and 1.1 billion individuals have a dream disability that might have been prevented or is yet to be addressed.”

“Worldwide eye care needs are projected to increase substantially, with a large portion of the worldwide populace expected to be living with a dream weakness by 2050,” the resolution says.

Bangladesh’s UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima presented the resolution, stressing its first-since forever center around vision, and calling it “a long-past due recognition of the central job that healthy vision plays in human life and for economical development.”

He said more than 90% of the 1.1 billion individuals worldwide with vision misfortune live in low-and center pay nations, adding that 55% of visually impaired individuals are women and girls.

By and large, the deficiency of sight costs the worldwide economy “a staggering measure of $411 billion in efficiency every year,” Fatima said. Furthermore, admittance to eye care services can increase family spending per capita by 88% “and the chances of getting paid work by 10%.”

While General Assembly resolutions are not lawfully restricting, they do reflect worldwide assessment.

Fatima said it was basic for the get together to pass on the UN’s “unequivocal obligation to guaranteeing legitimate eye care offices for everybody, everywhere, to prevent conditions which can lead to genuine and permanent damages.”

He called the resolution an “freedom to change the existences of millions who are living in visual deficiency or with impaired vision.”

The resolution stresses that admittance to eye care is fundamental to accomplish UN goals for 2030 to end neediness and hunger, ensure healthy lives and quality training, and reduce disparity.

It calls on all countries to assemble resources and backing to ensure eye care for all individuals in their nations, to reach essentially 1.1 billion individuals worldwide “who have a dream hindrance and currently don’t approach the eye care services that they need” by 2030.

Hong Kong giver James Chen, founder of the Clearly campaign to advance worldwide vision who campaigned for the resolution for as long as two decades, called it “a huge achievement” and “a basic preliminary advance” to accomplishing the U.N. goals.

“The initial step, presently, is to ensure governments circle back to their obligation to activity,” and “regard vision correction as fundamental healthcare, alongside different needs like family arranging and baby vaccination,” he said in a statement to The Associated Press.

With that sort of commitment from governments and non-governmental associations, “glasses are affordable, and their distribution is reasonable,” and the goal-oriented U.N. 2030 deadline can be met, said Chen, who is chairman of the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation.

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