The Daily Dose: Feeding lychees to young children can kill them; HIV outbreak in Pakistan

Don’t feed lychees to young children. They are deadly and can cause death within 20 hours. As explained in the Lancet Global Health, the tropical fruit “contains unusual amino acids that disrupt gluconeogenesis and β-oxidation of fatty acids.” It is believed that fruits within the same family result in toxic hypoglycaemic encephalopathy (Jamaican vomiting sickness) in children.

The World Health Organization is reporting that there has been an outbreak of HIV in Pakistan. Health teams have been deployed to the area in question. For more details, we’ll turn to the WHO statement which says, “So far more than 600 HIV cases have been identified. The majority are among children and young people: more than half those affected are children under the age of 5. This poses a particular challenge. Prior to this outbreak, there were just over 1200 children diagnosed with HIV and receiving antiretroviral treatment in the whole of Pakistan.”

When He Jiankou announced that he had created the world’s first genetically modified babies using CRISPR, the condemnation came swiftly, fiercely, and widespread. Only it wasn’t that widespread since the news has just emerged that a number of fertility clinics around the world reached out to He and asked him for assistance in replicating his feat. A clinic in Dubai is reported to have reached out to him, asking for his help teaching the “CRISPR gene editing for Embryology Lab Application.” If you aren’t hearing alarm bells, you should be.

The pacemaker of the future has been tested on live pigs (whose system and heart closely resemble human). The device harnesses energy from a beating heart and uses that to function, making it batteryless. According to Scientific American, “The new “symbiotic pacemaker” consists of three components: a wafer-sized generator attached to the heart that converts the organ’s mechanical energy into electrical energy; a power-management unit that has a capacitor to store that energy; and the pacemaker itself, which stimulates and regulates the heart muscle.”

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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