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Samples of lab embryos raise hopes and fears at the same time.. Why?



Samples of lab embryos raise hopes and fears at the same time.. Why?

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — The way a human cell divides and reproduces to become the human body of more than 30 trillion cells remains one of science’s greatest mysteries.

From the moment the sperm unites with the egg, the human embryo begins to develop according to complex and poorly understood processes. Much of what is known about embryonic development comes from animals such as mice, rabbits, chickens, and frogs, and research on human embryos is subject to strict oversight and regulation in most countries.

But animal studies have little to reveal to researchers. What happens during human fetal development, especially during the critical first month, is largely unknown.

“The basic narrative is in the first month, and the remaining eight months of pregnancy are a lot of growth, basically,” said Jacob Hanna, a professor of stem cell biology and embryology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. “But that first month is still a black box.”

The ability to unlock the secrets of this black box could open up a world of biomedical possibilities, allowing scientists to unravel an even more mysterious episode of fetal development. If scientists can discover the secret of the first month, it could lead to a better understanding of miscarriages, birth defects and the side effects of drugs taken during pregnancy. Some researchers believe they have found a way to do this, bypassing the need for eggs or sperm.

Using advances in stem cells, labs around the world are working to create embryo-like tissue that can act like an embryo but cannot develop into an embryo.

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Recent achievements in this field, the culmination of years of painstaking laboratory work, have given hope and some concern. The ethical status of these models has raised urgent questions about the extent to which they should be treated like human embryos, and whether they can be misused.

What exactly did the scientists achieve?

Embryonic tissue is a cluster of cells grown in a lab, smaller than a grain of rice and represents the earliest stages of human development, before any organs form. She has no beating heart or mind.

The more advanced models, released in September by an Israeli team of which Hanna was a part, show all the cell types necessary for fetal development — the placenta, yolk sac, chorionic sac (outer membrane) and other tissues. To develop.

The structures were left to form for eight days, reaching a stage of development similar to day 14 of a human embryo in the embryo, the critical moment when normal embryos acquire the internal structures that help them move on to the next stage: the development of body organ progenitors.

Jacob Hanna, professor of stem cell biology and embryology, in his lab at the Weizmann Institute in Israel.Credit: Courtesy Jacob Hanna/Weisman Institute

Hanna says they are the most accurate models ever made, and unlike models made by other groups, no genetic modification has been done to activate the genes needed to create different types of cells, only chemical blocks have been used. .

“It’s not just putting the cells together, they’re there, but when you look at the architecture, you start to see the finer details,” he noted.

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How to grow embryos in the lab?

Hanna’s team did not use fertilized eggs. They started with human cells called pluripotent stem cells, which are programmed into multiple cell types and are widely used in biomedical research. Some are derived from adult human skin cells.

The team reprogrammed these cells to what they call a “naïve stage,” which corresponds to day seven of normal human embryo development, when it implants itself in the uterus. These “naïve” cells were divided into three groups.

A group that was supposed to become embryos was left untouched. The other two groups are “stimulated” using certain chemicals that turn on specific genes and make the tissues needed to support the fetus, such as the placenta. After two days, the three groups were brought together, Hanna said.

Hanna explained, “In the first three days, you don’t see much, you see a group of cells growing. But on the fourth day, you start to see… Now you know there’s tissue, you know. To tell where the embryo will develop… and where the yolk will be.” can.” .

At the equivalent day 7 stage, the artificial human embryo samples were clumps of about 120 cells that together were about 0.01 mm in diameter. On day 14, it contained about 2,500 cells and measured half a millimeter.

Hanna and his team noted that these models faithfully reflect the way an early embryo acquires all the structures it needs to become an embryo. The internal system matched the images in uterus atlases produced in the 1960s, and when they used secretions from the cells for a commercial pregnancy test, the result was again positive.

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However, only 1% of aggregated cells continued to self-organize to form a nucleus-like structure. A higher percentage would be needed to turn embryo samples into a useful tool for scientists, Hanna said, which is possible but will take years to perfect.

He continued: “I think we can learn a lot from embryonic models based on stem cells. Currently there are some drawbacks. Their production is very inefficient, so obviously efficiency needs to be increased.” We can learn from these models.” Rog-Khan is a team leader and chair of the Public Engagement Group at the Abraham Institute, which focuses on life sciences research.

An ethical alternative?

A human embryonic stem cell model developed by Hanna and colleagues is at a stage of development equivalent to day six in a normal human embryo.Credit: Courtesy Jacob Hanna/Weisman Institute

Many scientists argue that human embryo samples, especially if they can be produced in large numbers, offer an ethical alternative to research on the rare and valuable human embryos that are typically obtained as a byproduct of the IVF process.

“Because of the stem cell base, we can measure everything (human) embryos. It changes the types of experiments we can do,” says Naomi Morris, team leader at the Francis Crick Institute’s Developmental Modeling Laboratory in London. “And we can answer the questions.”

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Climate scientists demand powers to develop “political agendas”.



Climate scientists demand powers to develop “political agendas”.

Climate experts have called for a “comprehensive overhaul” of the structure and mandate of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, including allowing scientists to interfere in countries’ political plans.Guardian“British.

Five of the lead authors of the IPCC reports told the Guardian, “Scientists must be empowered by the 195 signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to set policy plans and oversee their implementation.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an international body affiliated with the United Nations consisting of 3,000 climate scientists and other experts.

It is also considered an influential scientific organization in the field of studying global warming and its effects.

“As climate change worsens, it is becoming increasingly difficult for policy to be relevant without binding guidance,” said IPCC Vice-President Sonia Senaviratne.

He added that scientists “can argue for the reduction and phase-out of fossil fuels.”

Of the “contradiction between science and work on the ground,” he said: “It’s hard for us scientists to understand because science doesn’t seem to make any sense.”

The function of the IPCC is to issue assessment reports of the latest climate science that are over 3,000 pages long every 6 to 7 years. A short “summary for policy makers” of these lengthy assessments has been compiled.

COP28 Agreement: Three Options on Fossil Fuels

A second draft of the final agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) showed negotiators are considering calling for an “orderly and equitable” phase-out of fossil fuels, according to Reuters.

“The decisive, independent and guiding roles of the IPCC are unclear,” said Geert-Jan Nabors, lead author of three IPCC reports.

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He continued: “With the decline of those roles, states wield more influence.”

The problem for teachers, he said, is that they “can’t be policy-oriented, so they can’t make strong statements about what needs to be done.”

Nabors questioned the value of consistently producing evaluation reports. And less time trying to stay below 2 degrees Celsius.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends cutting carbon emissions by 43 percent by 2030 compared to 2019, with hopes of meeting the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Glenn Peters, lead author of the emissions scenarios in the same body’s sixth assessment report, said scientists “should be allowed to identify country-by-country causes of increased greenhouse gas emissions, such as coal use in China.” mitigation pathways elsewhere.”

According to the Guardian, a report by IPCC scientists that blamed China and India for more than 50 percent of the net increase in global emissions between 2010 and 2019 was omitted from a recent briefing for policymakers, the negotiating documents show.

“The IPCC needs to move towards solving the problem,” Peters said. “If that doesn’t happen in the seventh assessment report, I think the IPCC will lose its relevance.”

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Pain in their stomachs… After symptoms of Shigella bacteria spread among the invading soldiers



Pain in their stomachs… After symptoms of Shigella bacteria spread among the invading soldiers

By Fatima Yasser

Friday, December 8, 2023 at 11:00 am

Several media outlets have reported that Israeli occupation soldiers in Palestine have been infected with deadly bacteria, according to Dr. Osama Fikri, gastroenterology and liver consultant at the Egyptian Liver and Clinical Nutrition Institute, in a special report. Everything you need to know about “Youm7”. Bacteria Shigella.

Shigella bacteria causes infection

A gastroenterology and liver consultant explained that Shigella bacteria is similar to a common type of bacteria called E. coli, which causes infection in the intestines and colon and is spread through faecal-contaminated food, i.e. unsanitarily prepared food. Due to lack of hygiene.

Symptoms of Shigella bacteria

Dr. Osama added that there are many symptoms associated with Shigella bacteria.

– High body temperature.

– Severe abdominal pain.

– Diarrhea is sometimes bloody.

– Cracking and pain in the body.

– Headache.

– As a result of diarrhoea, the body loses nutrients, which manifests as dizziness and collapse.

He pointed out that there are four types of Shigella bacteria and there is a dangerous type that causes diarrhoea, which can endanger a person with violent diarrhea with blood as a result of the release of intestinal toxins. A person’s life.

Groups most susceptible to Shigella bacterial infection

Dr. Osama affirmed that the groups most vulnerable to Shigella bacterial infection are children, the elderly, and those with chronic and immunological diseases.

Treatment of Shigella bacteria

A gastroenterology and liver consultant explained that Shigella bacteria should be treated for remission because they deprive the body of many vital nutrients. The treatment plan includes giving the patient antibiotics and paying attention to the quality of the food consumed. , it should be healthy, and cover a lot of fluids. The body is not wasted due to diarrhea.

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Finally, he pointed out that the treatment protocol requires a maximum of 10 days, but serious cases can lead to many health complications, such as kidney problems and the breakdown of platelets.

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5 Signs of Sleep Apnea… What Are They?



5 Signs of Sleep Apnea… What Are They?

Seasonal Influenza… Prevention and Control by Vaccination

Climate change is a major threat to human health; It affects all aspects of natural and human systems, including the physical environment, social and economic conditions, and the performance of health systems. As such, it is a threat multiplier that will undermine and reverse decades of health progress. As climates change, more frequent and extreme weather and climate events are seen, including storms, extreme cold, extreme heat, floods and droughts.

These weather and climate hazards affect health directly and indirectly, increasing deaths, non-communicable diseases, emergence and spread of communicable diseases and health emergencies. Cases of “severe seasonal flu”.

Research by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 3.6 billion people already live in areas most vulnerable to climate change, and from 2030 to 2050, climate change is expected to cause 250,000 additional deaths each year. By 2030, direct costs to health are estimated to be between 2 and 4 billion US dollars per year. Areas without strong health infrastructure – most of which are in developing countries – are less able to cope without help. From… for preparedness and response.

Seasonal fever

Seasonal influenza (flu) is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses. It is common throughout the world and is easily spread between people when coughing or sneezing. Most people recover from it without treatment, and vaccination is the best way to prevent the disease. People of all ages can be affected by the disease, but certain groups are at greater risk than others, including:

People at risk for serious illness or complications from the flu: pregnant women, children under 5 years of age, the elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions (such as chronic heart, lung, kidney, metabolic, neurodevelopmental, liver, or blood) and individuals with immunosuppressive conditions (HIV V, chemotherapy or steroids or malignancy).

– Health care workers are at high risk of infection with influenza virus due to high exposure to disease and contact with patients and increased transmission of disease among particularly at-risk individuals. Vaccination can protect healthcare workers and the people around them.

New season recommendations

Dr. Muhammad al-Abd al-Ali, a spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Health, said that 80 percent of those hospitalized in intensive care due to seasonal flu since the beginning of the season had not received the vaccine.

Reports from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that the new influenza season (2023-2024) will be two different things:

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The first: updating the composition of influenza vaccines for the 2023-2024 season with new recommendations, compared to the composition of the US flu vaccine for the 2022-2023 season. Updated influenza vaccines based on eggs or recombinant cells.

Second: People with egg allergies can get any vaccine (egg-based or egg-based) that is appropriate for their age and health. Previously, people with severe egg allergy (those with any symptoms other than allergy as a result of egg exposure) were referred for vaccination in inpatient or outpatient clinical settings. Beginning in the 2023-2024 season, additional protective measures for influenza vaccination are no longer recommended for people with egg allergy, beyond what was recommended for receiving any vaccine, regardless of the severity of a previous reaction to eggs. All vaccines should be given in settings where allergic reactions can be recognized and treated quickly.

Viral forms

There are 4 types of influenza virus: A, B, C and D. Influenza A and B viruses circulate and cause seasonal epidemics.

• Influenza A viruses are also classified into subtypes according to groups of proteins found on the surface of the virus. A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) subtypes of influenza viruses are currently circulating in humans. The name of the A(H1N1) strain is also written in the following way: “A(H1N1)pdm09”, because it caused the pandemic in 2009 and replaced an earlier virus called A(H1N1) that circulated before 2009. Only influenza type A viruses are known to cause infection.

• Influenza B viruses are not classified into subtypes, but can be divided into strains. Type B influenza viruses belong to the B/Yamagata lineage or the B/Victoria lineage.

• Influenza type C virus is rarely detected, usually causes mild infections, and is therefore not of public health importance.

• Influenza T viruses primarily infect livestock and are not known to infect or cause disease in humans.


Flu symptoms usually begin two days after receiving the infection from someone infected with the virus. Symptoms include:

– Severe fever.

– Cough (usually dry), which may be severe and last two weeks or more.

– Headache, muscle and joint pain, and feeling very bad.

– Sore throat and runny nose.

Influenza can cause serious illness or death; Especially in those at high risk.

Influenza can exacerbate symptoms of other chronic illnesses. In severe cases, the fever can lead to pneumonia and sepsis. People with other medical problems or severe symptoms should seek medical treatment.

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Hospitalizations and deaths due to influenza occur mainly among high-risk groups.

In industrialized countries, flu-related deaths are highest among people 65 years of age or older.

The effects of seasonal flu epidemics on developing countries are not fully known, but research estimates that developing countries account for 99 percent of deaths among children under the age of five with flu-related lower respiratory tract infections.

In terms of transmission, seasonal flu spreads easily and quickly in crowded places, including schools and nursing homes. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, droplets containing viruses (infectious droplets) become airborne and can infect people in close proximity to the infected person. The virus is also spread through hands contaminated with influenza viruses.

To prevent spread, people should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough and wash their hands regularly. In temperate regions, seasonal influenza epidemics occur mainly in winter, while in tropical regions epidemics can occur throughout the year, resulting in less frequent outbreaks.

The period between acquiring the infection and the onset of illness is called the incubation period, which can last from two days but can range from one to four days.


Most cases of human influenza are diagnosed clinically. However, during periods of low influenza activity or outside epidemics, other respiratory viruses (such as SARS-CoV-2, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza viruses, and adenoviruses) can produce influenza-like illness. making clinical differentiation between influenza and other pathogens difficult.

To determine the final diagnosis, it is necessary to collect appropriate samples from the respiratory system and perform laboratory diagnostic tests. Proper collection, storage, and transport of respiratory specimens is an essential first step in the laboratory diagnosis of influenza virus infections. Laboratory confirmation is usually performed using direct antigen detection, virus isolation, or detection of influenza RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

Rapid diagnostic tests are used in clinical settings, but are less sensitive than reverse transcription-PCR-based methods, and their reliability largely depends on the circumstances in which they are used.


Most people recover from the flu on their own. People with severe symptoms or other medical conditions should seek medical treatment. People with mild symptoms should do the following:

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– Staying at home to rest; Avoid hurting others.

– Drink enough fluids.

– Treating other symptoms such as fever.

– Seek medical attention when symptoms appear.

– People at high risk, or those with severe symptoms, should be treated with antiviral drugs as soon as possible. WHO’s Global Influenza Surveillance and Response Network (GISRS) monitors viral resistance among circulating influenza viruses to provide timely evidence for national policies on antiviral use.


First – The Advisory Committee on Influenza Immunization (ACIP) recommends vaccination for the following groups for the 2023-2024 season: pregnant women, children 6 months to 5 years of age, people over 65 years of age, and people with chronic medical conditions; and health workers.

Many inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines are available in injectable form. Live attenuated influenza vaccines are available as a nasal spray. The vaccine may be less effective in the elderly; But it can reduce illness, and reduce the chance of complications and death. Vaccination is especially important for people who are at risk of developing flu complications and for their caregivers.

Second: Other methods of prevention:

– Wash and dry hands frequently.

– Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.

– Dispose of tissue properly.

– Stay home when sick.

– Avoid close contact with sick people.

– Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

Third – The World Health Organization, in collaboration with the Global Influenza Program, the organization’s Global Surveillance and Response Network and other partners, continues to monitor influenza viruses and their activities globally, and recommends twice seasonal flu vaccines. A year in the middle and middle of the year for influenza seasons. It provides guidance on the mix of vaccines to be used in tropical and subtropical countries, supports decisions regarding the timing of vaccination campaigns and supports Member States in prevention and development of control strategies.

The organization works to strengthen influenza response capabilities at the national, regional and global levels, including disease diagnosis, antiviral susceptibility monitoring, disease surveillance and outbreak response. It works to increase vaccination coverage among high-risk groups and to support research and development into new treatments and other countermeasures.

* Community Medical Consultant

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