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May 2017 News Round Up

News:

U.S. sanctions hundreds of employees of Syrian research center | Reuters The United States on Monday blacklisted 271 employees of a Syrian government agency it said was responsible for developing chemical weapons, weeks after a poison gas attack killed scores of people in a rebel-held province in Syria.
India schoolgirls ill after New Delhi gas leak | India News | Al Jazeera Officials order investigation after gas tanker leak near a southern New Delhi school leaves hundreds of children ill.
Syria, Russia condemn US-led strike on pro-Assad forces | Syria News | Al Jazeera Deadly US-led coalition air raid against pro-Syrian government forces denounced as ‘brazen’ and ‘unacceptable’.
Manchester attack: Fears over ‘second bomb’ after police find huge chemical explosive cache in Salman Abedi raid The Manchester suicide bomber may have built a second device which is now in the hands of fellow jihadists, police fear.
North Korea fires missile in third test in three weeks | North Korea News | Al Jazeera Short-range ballistic Scud missile landed in the Sea of Japan and was the third successful test in as many weeks.
Japan to take action with US after N Korea missile test | North Korea News | Al Jazeera Prime Minister Abe says Japan ‘will take concrete action with the US’ after Scud missile crashes into Japanese waters.
Libya and the Manchester connection | Libya | Al Jazeera There is a link between the woeful Manchester attack and the dubious methods the UK used to help Libyans topple Gaddafi.

Technology:

Frog slime could help fight future flu outbreaks Frog mucus might seem like the kind of flu remedy a witch doctor would suggest, but researchers have found that certain peptides excreted by frogs can fight off human flu strains. As such, they could be used as emergency stand-ins during flu outbreaks when regular vaccines aren’t available.
Scientists combine viruses and human antibodies to hunt down superbugs Overuse of antibiotics is leading us towards a terrifying future where our best drugs simply don’t work. Researchers at The Rockefeller University have created a molecule that combines a virus and human antibodies to hunt down drug-resistant bacteria.
First malaria vaccine to be introduced in Africa According to WHO, 90 percent of 2015’s malaria cases occurred in Africa, as did 92 percent of malaria deaths. It is here that WHO has chosen to trial the world’s first malaria vaccine beginning next year, with Ghana, Kenya and Malawi to be the first recipients.
Plant powder snatches malaria victims from death’s door When 18 malaria patients in the Congo failed to respond to conventional treatments, doctors knew they had to act fast – and try something different. So instead of turning to more synthetic drugs, they turned instead to nature and found a solution that delivered remarkable results.
Resurrecting ancient proteins to foil the attack plans of viruses In a conventional arms race, amassing the most advanced weaponry is one way to stay ahead. However in the ongoing evolutionary battle between host cells and viruses, scientists in Spain have found that to advance, we might have to go all the way to the early beginnings of life.
From ancient oceans to modern hospitals: How one superbug became near indestructible Meet enterococci, superbug extraoordinaire. Apart from outlasting the dinosaurs, they have also managed to survive everything that Nature has thrown at it, each time becoming more indestructible. Could deciphering their genetic blueprint bring us one step closer to defeating them?​​
Red light, blue light: Making the flu virus visible to the naked eye Compared to cancer, influenza may sound harmless but as various reports have shown, it can be fatal, even for the healthy. A swift diagnosis can make all the difference and scientists have come up with an easy and novel way to spot the virus: a glow test.​
Watching the immune system outsmart TB in real time When tuberculosis-causing bacteria invade the human body, a drama unfolds at the cellular level involving invasions, toxic poisons, shape-shifting, prisons and daring escape plans. Now researchers have watched it all play out in real time. The finding could help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Human antibodies in Ebola survivor’s blood effective against all strains The fight against Ebola continues with news of a new outbreak in the Republic of Congo. That said, a discovery by scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine offers reason to be optimistic: they have found the first human antibodies that can neutralize all strains of ebolavirus.
Electrified graphene becomes a bacterial bug zapper Researchers from Rice University have used graphene to make a bacterial bug zapper. A form of the material called laser-induced graphene (LIG) has previously been found to be antibacterial, and now the team has found that those properties can be kick up a notch by adding a few volts of electricity.

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