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Is global food “spoilt” by climate change?



Is global food “spoilt” by climate change?

Climate change increases agricultural crop shortages, leading to higher prices for commodities such as orange juice, olive oil and cocoa, the agency said.BloombergAmerican.

Apart from pests and “plant diseases”, high temperatures resulting from pre-warming affect different crops.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), plant diseases cost the global economy more than $220 billion annually, and invasive pests at least $70 billion.

According to Leah Buckman, an entomologist at Georgetown University in the US, insects are adapting easily to a changing climate because higher temperatures allow them to reproduce faster and migrate faster, leading to reduced crop yields.

“As temperatures rise, the geographic range of plant disease-carrying insects increases,” Bockman said.

As a result, destructive butterflies native to the Americas have been found devouring maize and other grains throughout Africa and Asia. Whitefly, associated with tropical and subtropical climates, also destroyed tomato gardens in Europe.

Cocoa and tomatoes

West Africa, home to two-thirds of the global cocoa supply, has experienced severe difficulties with its crop in recent seasons, with wholesale prices hitting near-historic levels this year.

Prolonged heavy rains increased the chances of “black pod” disease, caused by a fungus-like organism that rapidly spreads and turns wet cocoa pods black or brown.

According to several studies, “black pods” destroyed up to 30 percent of the annual cocoa crop.

The second disease is swollen bud virus, which is transmitted by mealybugs, an insect that feeds on the sap of cocoa plants. This pest can drastically reduce crop yields before killing the cacao plant.

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Mealybugs breed in warm temperatures and can spread the virus quickly, even if only one seedling is infected.

Uprooting infected trees is the only way to control the disease, according to the World Agriculture Organization.

And last July, the price of tomatoes in India went up by 700 percent, so extraordinary that it was ridiculed on social media.

Crop production suffered amid delayed monsoon, heavy rains in some planting areas and above-normal temperatures in June. But the tomato crop was particularly affected by the so-called silver leaf whitefly.

Feeding on sap – the liquid that travels through the vascular tissue of the plant – this insect is capable of transmitting hundreds of plant viruses, preventing the production of staple crops such as tomatoes, as well as cassava (also known as cassava, a woody plant. South America), beans and sweet potatoes. .

In India too, the insect-borne tomato leaf curl virus has contributed to devastating losses.
The virus recently arrived in Europe, possibly from India, and has caused outbreaks in several European countries.

Olive oil

With the combination of warmer weather and higher humidity, the insects showed greater ability to adapt to changes in agricultural ecosystems, which provided an ideal environment for their reproduction.

Spain – the world’s largest producer of olive oil – is facing a crisis of its own as drought has reduced production and doubled costs.

Global grain trade has faced problems for a number of reasons, not least Russia’s recent war against Ukraine.

While prices were more or less under control, unfavorable weather and pests caused problems for local production in some countries.

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In China, one of the world’s largest corn producers, pests such as fall armyworm are attacking plants earlier than usual.

Warmer and wetter weather favors the survival and reproduction of this pest, allowing the caterpillars to begin their attacks much earlier in the crop cycle.

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Finding the genetic causes of a rare cancer affecting the kidney



Finding the genetic causes of a rare cancer affecting the kidney

An international team led by researchers at the British Wellcome Sanger Institute has revealed a new drug target that could act as an alternative treatment for kidney cancer if doctors don’t recommend surgery. According to the results of a study published in the journal Nature Communications (Monday), this rare cancerous form of kidney tumor is called Renin tumor, and its complete genetic code has been understood for the first time.

Reninoma is one of the rarest cancers in humans, with only about 100 cases reported worldwide. Although it can usually be treated with surgery, it can cause severe high blood pressure and develop into malignant tumors that can spread.

There are still no medical treatments for kidney tumors, as treatment management only involves surgery. Before the results of the latest study came out, it was not known what genetic error caused these types of tumors.

Reninoma is one of the rarest cancerous tumors in humans (Public Domain).

According to the study’s co-principal investigator, Dr. Sam Bagadi, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow at the Wellcome Sanger Institute: “The significance of our results is that we have succeeded in discovering the essence of this type of tumor. Based on the fact that it is so rare, there have been no previous studies on it.

He added to Asharq Al-Awsat: “Not only have we been able to understand the genetic code of a kidney tumor, but we have also shown that drugs can counteract what triggers it, and this may be important for patients whose tumors cannot be removed. through surgery.”

Researchers have identified a specific error in the genetic code of a known cancer gene called NOTCH1, which is behind the development of this rare cancer.

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“This is the first time we have identified the causes of kidney tumors, and we believe our work will continue to pave the way for new treatments,” said lead study author Taryn Trescher at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

The team has already studied two cancer samples, one from a young adult and the other from a child, using advanced genetic techniques. Their findings suggest that existing drugs that actually target this gene could be used as a potential solution for treating kidney tumors in patients for whom surgery is not a viable option.

Dr Tansina Chowdhury, lead researcher on the study at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK, explained: “Rare forms of kidney cancer known as renal tumors do not respond to traditional anti-cancer treatments. “Currently the only known treatment is surgery.” She added: “There is a specific, well-known gene that drives this rare cancer. Our study shows that the studied gene has “If we use drugs that are already known to affect this gene, we can deal with it without the need for invasive medical technology like surgery.”

Here Bahjati said: “Rare cancers are a huge challenge for research and analysis. Patients with other types of tumors may not benefit from them. “But here is a powerful example of cutting-edge science that is changing our understanding of an extremely rare type of tumor: a discovery that could have immediate clinical benefits for patients.” He added: “We will continue to study these extremely rare tumors to understand their genetic code, which we hope will reveal more new therapeutic approaches.”

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Climate change: Saudi Arabia warns against rush to abandon traditional fuels – Financial Times



Climate change: Saudi Arabia warns against rush to abandon traditional fuels – Financial Times

image source, Good pictures

We begin our tour of British newspapers with Amy Williams in New York and Miles McCormick in Calgary at the Financial Times on what they describe as deep tensions and divisions over the oil and gas industry’s role in combating climate change. Recent events in New York, US and Calgary, Canada this week cast doubt on the likelihood of an agreement at the upcoming United Nations COP28 conference.

According to the article, when world leaders and senior officials meet in New York in ten weeks ahead of the United Nations’ COP28 climate summit, there is a deep divide between those who support and those who urge the expansion of fossil fuel use. Stopping all forms of growth and expansion is critical to achieving stability in the world.

In December, the UN The authors quoted Dan Jorgensen, Denmark’s minister for development cooperation and global climate policy, who is leading discussions on new climate targets that could be agreed at the climate change conference COP28, as saying: “Countries agree that we must move. Move forward on this issue.” “But the bad news is that we’re far from reaching an agreement. We need to address the larger problem of burning fossil fuels.”

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What are the most common symptoms of breast cancer in men?



What are the most common symptoms of breast cancer in men?

Breast cancer is a disease that affects women, especially with a high number of infections, but in fact it affects men as well, and many believe that it leads to death among them.

she explained NHS The NHS in England says that 85 men die each year in Britain from breast cancer, and that the malignancy affects around 400 men annually.

The charity Breast Cancer Now also reports that “at least one person is diagnosed with the disease every day”.

According to the website “Mayo ClinicMedically, male breast cancer is “a rare cancer that begins with the growth of cells in the breast tissue of men.”

Breast cancer cells disrupt the immune system

Australian researchers announced Monday that breast cancer cells have powerfully destroyed the body’s immune system, allowing the disease to invade patients’ bones.

“Breast cancer in men usually affects older people, but it can occur at any age,” he pointed out.

Those diagnosed with “male breast cancer” at an early stage have a good chance of recovery.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of this disease are as follows:

A painless lump or thickening of breast tissue and changes in the skin of the breast, such as sagging, wrinkling, redness or peeling.
Changes in the nipples, such as redness or peeling, or one of the nipples turning inward.

The causes of these malignant tumors are still unclear, but doctors define “male breast cancer” as occurring when “some breast cells divide faster than healthy cells.”

Accumulated cells form a tumor, which can spread (metastasize) to nearby tissues, lymph nodes, or other parts of the body.

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According to the website “Web MedicineThe disease can be diagnosed through a clinical examination, which is done by feeling the chest area of ​​the person in search of any tumors or changes in the chest tissue, and the doctor evaluates the size, structure and depth of the tumors present.

It can be diagnosed with radiographic imaging such as X-rays or ultrasound to create clear images of the breast tissue.

Only a biopsy is used to “confirm” a diagnosis of breast cancer in men. This is done by taking a sample of the tumor tissue and examining it to confirm whether the tumor is cancerous or benign.

Treatment usually involves surgery to remove as much of the visible tumor as possible, along with some of the surrounding healthy tissue.

Other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be recommended depending on the condition.

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