News at a glance: African swine fever vaccine, low-dose radiation and bees as ‘fish’ | Science

AGRICULTURE

The vaccine is aimed at African pigs

The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture last week granted a limited permit for one of the most serious animal diseases, a vaccine considered an important tool for controlling African swine fever (ASF). In recent years, the herd has been hit hard by herds of pigs in several Asian and European countries. The Vietnam National Veterinary Joint Stock Company developed the vaccine based on a strain of the ASF virus, designed by the U.S. Agricultural Research Service to prevent genes associated with virulence. A small trial with 20 animals reported in September 2021 found strong evidence of protection; the company says 99% of those who had not published a follow-up trial and had achieved full doses showed that they had survived ASF infections. According to these results, the ministry approved the commercial use of the vaccine in 600,000 pigs. It will evaluate the results before deciding whether to allow nationwide use. Endemic to Africa, ASF spread across Europe in the 2000s and to Asia in 2018, and had to cut pork and create shortages, the main source of protein throughout the region.

COVID-19

The FDA panel protects the Novavax vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccine Advisory Committee almost unanimously recommended that the agency authorize the Novavax protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, which would be the first of its kind available to U.S. adults. Panel members said the benefits of the SARS-CoV-2 peak protein vaccine outweigh the risks when given in two doses for 18-year-olds or older. The FDA does not have to follow the recommendations of its advisors, but it usually does. In a trial of 30,000 people in the United States and Mexico, the vaccine was 90.4% effective in preventing the symptomatic infection of early strains of SARS-CoV-2. Approval came shortly after the FDA released data documenting five cases of myocarditis or pericarditis – inflammation of the heart tissue in volunteers – shortly after receiving the vaccine in U.S. and UK clinical trials, mostly young men. Novavax hopes to attract U.S. recipients who are skeptical of vaccines using RNA messenger and promoter search engines that favor the proven method of its products, which has led to licensed vaccines for other diseases, such as shingles.

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Part of the 1640 clinical trials has been rated as “bad” because of the selective reporting of results and other errors due to the high risk of bias. The bad guys wasted £ 8 billion. (Rehearsals)

BIOMEDICINE

Low-dose radiation tests have been requested

The U.S. government is expected to spend $ 100 million a year for at least 15 years to study the health effects of low-dose radiation, a high-level review panel concluded last week. The public and staff suffer from the usual low-dose radiation (below 100 milligrays, absorbed dose measurement), such as medical scans, air travel, and mining, which can lead to cancer and possibly heart disease and other health problems. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE) completed a long-term program to study low-dose radiation in 2016 so it could focus on other priorities. But in 2018, Congress ordered its revival and later asked the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine for a new plan. The investigation is important and should be restarted, though not entirely under the auspices of the DOE, the academy report says, highlighting conflicts of interest related to its nuclear weapons facilities. The report recommends epidemiological and biological studies of the National Institutes of Health fund; The DOE must oversee computational work and modeling. Congress now has to decide whether or not to take over the funding.

CONSERVATION

Bees are protected as “fish”

Four bee species are eligible for protection under the California Endangered Species Act because they meet a gap in the state’s definition of “fish,” the Court of Appeals ruled last week. Until now, state law did not protect insect species. But a Sacramento State Court of Appeals ruled on the California Fish and Hunting Code, which includes any “mollusk, crustacean, invertebrate, or amphibian” in the definition of fish. This inscription covers every invertebrate on earth, such as a bee, the judge wrote. The decision was welcomed by conservation organizations and deplored by agricultural groups, who argued that extending protection to bees would burden agricultural operations. The bee population has declined in the United States and elsewhere, and threats have been made to agricultural crops and other plants that are dependent on pollinators for healthy development.

RESEARCH SECURITY

NIH fellows lax in foreign details

A U.S. government official has found that many organizations receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) do not follow federal rules to report sources of foreign aid, educate scientists about those rules, and investigate possible conflicts of interest. A report by the Chief Inspector of the NIH Parent Department on 22 June, for example, states that 36% of the more than 600 organizations surveyed at the end of 2020 do not require their faculty members to disclose their participation in a talent recruitment program in another country. do not separate internal and external funding. Since 2018, the NIH has been particularly vigilant in pursuing a government-wide campaign to track interns ’ties with China to prevent US-funded investigations from being stolen by that country. The report calls on the NIH to enforce existing regulations, which must be met by these organizations as funding requirements.

Focus

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities unveiled a new collection of artifacts from its late period found in the Saqqara necropolis near Cairo last week (from 664 BC to 332 BC). New excavations in the previously excavated cemetery include 150 bronze statues of ancient Egyptian gods and 250 wooden sarcophagi.MAHMOUD EL-KHAWAS / PICTURE ALLIANCE / GETTY IMAGES
EVOLUTION

Rice led to the domestication of chicken

People all over the world know that chicken and rice are the winning combination of cooking. But now, scientists say without rice, there might not be a chicken. Until humans began clearing forests and sowing rice seeds in the range of red birds in the jungle of Southeast Asia, some of these wild pheasants fell from trees to feed on seeds, and became more docile hens, according to the study. was published this week Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This taming of birds in the jungle is much more recent than other studies have calculated, based on a comprehensive analysis of bones and dates at more than 600 sites, and as a result some of the bones believed to be chickens belonged to other animals. According to the authors, the oldest chickens appeared only 3250-3650 years ago in a rice-growing area in central Thailand today. Chickens then spread throughout Asia with rice and millet.

THE ENVIRONMENT

PCB reduction gets a bad grade

According to a report, most countries do not have a class of hazardous chemicals used to dispose of stocks of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), insulate equipment and other purposes for the 2028 term of an international treaty. Since its launch in 2001, 42% of the nations that have signed the Stockholm Convention on Sustainable Organic Pollutants have not inventoried or located stocks of their country’s electrical transformers and other PCB-contaminated products, according to an analysis published last week. Environmental Science and Technology. Many countries, including the United States, banned PCBs that are neurotoxins in the 1970s. But then they continue to use products loaded with manufactured PCBs. The United States, one of the world’s largest producers and users of PCBs, has never ratified the treaty, and since 2006, chemical stocks have fallen by only 3%, according to the study.

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