July 2017 News Round Up


Sarin used as weapon in Syria chemical attack, watchdog says
International chemical weapons inspectors have confirmed that the nerve agent sarin was used in April’s deadly chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province.
Syrian chemical attack victims demand accountability The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has confirmed that sarin gas, a chemical weapon, was used in April in Syria’s Khan Sheikhoun township.
Three things to know about North Korea’s missile tests Since Kim Jong-un’s ascendancy in December 2011, North Korea has accelerated its missile development programme, the tempo of tests increasing considerably from those under his father Kim Jong Il.
Nuclear shelter sales SURGE in Japan as fears grow over North Korea Sarin gas threat SALES of nuclear shelters and radiation-blocking air purifiers have surged in Japan, after North Korea stepped up its missile programme in defiance of UN sanctions.
UN conference adopts treaty banning nuclear weapons Countries meeting at a United Nations conference in New York today adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years.
Home Secretary announces action plan to tackle acid attacks Victims and survivors will be at the centre of a new government strategy aimed at reducing the number and impact of acid attacks.
Iran accuses US of nuclear deal ‘sabotage’ Iran has accused the United States of not living up to its side of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal after Washington slapped fresh sanctions on Tehran over its ballistic missile programme.
Iran announces new missile production line Iran announced Saturday that it had started on a new missile production line, a move that comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.


Scientists say antimicrobial soaps are harmful and don’t work If the label on your hand soap proudly boasts that it kills 99 percent of germs, it might be time to stop using it. According to a consensus statement signed by over 200 scientists and medical professionals, there’s no evidence that so-called antimicrobial chemicals actually do anything to prevent illness – and worse, they might be actively harming your health and the environment.
Microneedle patches deliver pain-free flu vaccine Getting an injection is on the bottom of everybody’s list of favorite things, but now a more bearable alternative is another step closer to reality. In human clinical trials, painless microneedle patches have been found to be just as effective at delivering flu vaccines, and are easier to administer, transport, store and dispose of than regular needles.
Purifying water with swimming, bacteria-hunting microbots In the future, contaminated water may be made drinkable not through the addition of harsh chemicals, but by pouring in a bucket of swimming robots instead. European researchers have developed spherical microbots that could do just that, swimming around under their own power to catch and kill deadly bacteria before being easily removed from the water.
New nanomaterial might make for radiation-reflecting spacesuits Humans were never really meant to live in space, but that hasn’t stopped us from trying. The lack of gravity wreaks havoc on the body, while radiation exposure leaves astronauts with an increased risk of cancer and other diseases. A team from Australian National University (ANU) has developed a new nanomaterial that could protect space travelers with a thin film that dynamically reflects harmful radiation.
Device may detect onset of sepsis, before it’s too late Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s immune system releases chemicals to fight an infection, causing widespread inflammation. If it’s addressed too late, it can result in organ failure and ultimately death.
Personalized cancer vaccines successful in first-stage human trials A cancer vaccine is one of the holy grails of modern medical research, but finding a way to stimulate the immune system to specifically target and kill cancer cells has proven to be a difficult task. Now two recent clinical trials that have produced encouraging results in patients with skin cancer are are providing hope for the development of personalized cancer vaccines tailored to individual patient’s tumors.
LG’s handrail sterilizer promises to keep escalators germ-free Handrails are pretty good at helping escalator riders stay balanced, but you know what else they’re good at? Collecting germs. LG is aiming to put a stop to these conveyor belts of infectious bacteria with a dedicated sterilizer that kills them off with UV light.
20 million sterile mosquitoes to be released in California Verily, an independent subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has just launched its Debug Fresno project, which will see the release of 20 million sterile male mosquitoes across two neighborhoods in Fresno Country, California. This will be the largest mosquito field study ever conducted in the US with an aim of curbing the population of the disease-carrying insect.
HIV and the common cold in the firing line of potential new treatment for viral disease Scientists have long struggled with finding effective ways to fight back against viral infections. An international investigation led by a team from RMIT in Melbourne has uncovered a previously undiscovered biological process that suppresses the body’s natural antiviral response. This research could lead to entirely new treatment strategies for some of the world’s most widespread viruses, including the common cold and the flu..