Health & ScienceHealth & Science
A vaccine to protect sheep and cattle from a virus spread by midges has been approved by UK government vets. The virus, which emerged in the Netherlands and Germany in 2011, can lead to sheep and cattle having stillborn or deformed offspring.
Argentina’s Antarctica campaigns are losing their flair and the country is having difficulties to fill vacancies for the 2013/14 season. This follows repeated claims of alleged corruption and delays in supplying the bases and stations plus an overall lack of support from the Defence ministry.
UK Government Minister Ken Clarke is leading the UK's largest ever Healthcare Technology and Life Sciences delegation to Brazil. Twenty eight companies will travel to Sao Paulo to attend Hospitalar (21 – 24 May), the largest healthcare exhibition in South America, which is expecting to attract around 90,000 visitors – as well as taking part in the trade mission.
At least 30% of people in the Americas suffer from hypertension, or high blood pressure, for which excessive dietary salt is the main risk factor. For 1 of 3 people who have hypertension, cutting sodium intake can reduce their blood pressure to normal levels. Reducing dietary salt could also prevent an estimated 25% of heart attacks and strokes worldwide.
A Bolivian brewer has come up with an innovative solution for quenching thirst and coping with altitude sickness: coca beer, based on the same leaf used to make cocaine.
Western pharmaceutical firms allegedly conducted drug tests on unwitting patients in communist East Germany. The lucrative clinical trials enabled the GDR government to bring much needed hard currency according to a report from Deutsche Welle.
In a decision that drew sighs of relief from the biotechnology industry, the US Supreme Court ruled that an Indiana farmer violated agribusiness company Monsanto Co’s patent for a type of soybean. The court agreed unanimously with Monsanto that Vernon Bowman, 75, had performed an end-run around the law when he used the company’s patented soybean seeds without seeking a licence.
The British Antarctic Survey scientist Joe Farman, who helped identify the hole in the ozone layer over the southern pole, has died. Dr Farman who was also a scientific officer at the Falkland Islands Dependency Survey, published the discovery with Brian Gardiner and Jon Shanklin in the Journal Nature in 1985.
HMS Protector, the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship, has returned to Portsmouth at the end of a nine-month deployment to the ‘Frozen Continent’. Operating in the British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands throughout the Austral Summer, the ship conducted three intensive work periods in the ice, and a fourth work period in the waters surrounding South Georgia.
A disease-resistant piglet has been produced using new genetic engineering described as ‘gene-editing’. The piglet was born four months ago at Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, and is known as ‘Pig 26’.