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Drastic measures: Italy has taken the drastic, but necessary, measure of banning all children without proper proof of vaccinations from schools. Under the so-called Lorenzin law, parents can be fined up to €500 should they choose to send unvaccinated children to school. This comes on the heels of a major outbreak of measles sweeping across the country. https://bbc.in/2F81tAf

Misguided and misinformed: In an effort to make America great again, President Donald Trump has proposed cutting $5 billion from the National Institute of Health’s budget in the 2020 fiscal year. More money is set to be shaved off the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, Department of Energy Office of Science, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the FDA. The president proposed increasing the military spending budget, of course. Unbeknownst to him, Science lies at the core of the nifty, new weapons he wants to buy. https://go.nature.com/2NYZocG

Bad news: The largest study focusing on ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic has presented some sobering information. While early HIV detection and prompt antiretroviral therapy showed modest benefit in addressing the epidemic, the data also reflected a contradictory finding. There was almost no decline in the number of infections, the complete opposite to what was expected. http://bit.ly/2F7B0Tg

Tragic reality of fake drugs: The Guardian reports that over 250,000 children die every year due to counterfeit and poor quality drugs. Most of the deaths were found in countries with high demand for medicine but with poor surveillance and quality control. While criminals are often responsible for counterfeit drugs, legitimate pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the sloppy manufacturing that result in poor quality medicines. http://bit.ly/2F9mUkj

There maybe a Toyota on the mood: Toyota Motor Corporation and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency have agreed to cooperate in developing a manned lunar rover. While Japan has not announced any plans to send manned flights to the moon, the rover would be a significant contribution to a manned international space probe in the future. https://reut.rs/2F96cS9

Trolling GMO activists: The first gene-edited food products are hitting the U.S. market and nobody knows where it is going. Nobody except Calyxt, the company producing the soy bean based frying oil, and the company that purchased it. Gene editing follows a different process that traditional gene modification that relies on injecting DNA from a different organism. Anti-GMO activists must be besides themselves at this point. http://bit.ly/2F7iOsV

Worshipping people with rare diseases: And on a lighter note, new research seems to indicate that people suffering from abnormalities such as dwarfism and cleft palates may have enjoyed special treatment in ancient times. According to Science, “Case after case challenged the common notion that life in the past was nasty, brutish, and short. In a line of research called the bioarchaeology of care, scientists are finding that people with rare diseases often enjoyed the support of their societies, survived well into adulthood, and were buried with their communities, not as marginalized outsiders.” http://bit.ly/2F7WPC8

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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