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Seafood carbon footprint, malaria vaccine and a US well being chief


A nurse fills a syringe with malaria vaccine for an infant at the Lumumba Sub-County hospital in Kisumu, Kenya, July 1, 2022.

A nurse prepares to manage a malaria vaccine in Kenya.Credit score: Baz Ratner/Reuters

Malaria vaccine booster prolongs safety

A promising malaria vaccine was as much as 80% efficient at stopping the illness in younger kids who obtained a booster shot one 12 months after their preliminary dose, exceeding a World Well being Group (WHO) goal of 75% efficacy.

The clinical-trial outcomes, revealed on 7 September (M. S. Datoo et al. Lancet Infect. Dis. https://doi.org/gqsmkb; 2022) add to knowledge launched final 12 months, and present that immune responses — which waned over the 12 months following the preliminary dose of vaccine — might be boosted again to preliminary ranges.

The findings provide hope that the vaccine, known as R21, might be an efficient weapon within the struggle in opposition to malaria, which is without doubt one of the greatest killers of kids globally.

However public-health officers would require outcomes from a much bigger trial — with greater than ten occasions as many contributors, unfold throughout 4 African international locations — earlier than they’ll verify R21’s security and utility, and roll it out on a bigger scale.

Eat extra fish: when switching to seafood helps — and when it doesn’t

Changing meat with sure sorts of sustainably sourced seafood might assist folks to cut back their carbon footprint with out compromising on vitamin, finds an evaluation of dozens of marine species.

The examine, revealed on 8 September (M. Bianchi et al. Commun. Earth Environ. 3, 188; 2022) means that farmed bivalves — shellfish resembling mussels, clams and oysters — and wild-caught, small, surface-dwelling (pelagic) fish, which embrace anchovies, mackerel and herring, generate fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and are extra nutrient-dense than beef, pork or rooster.

The analysis aimed to “do a greater job of understanding the local weather impacts of seafood via the lens of very various dietary qualities”, says Peter Tyedmers, an ecological economist at Dalhousie College in Halifax, Canada.

BETTER FISH TO FRY. Graphic showing some seafood has a higher nutritional value and generates fewer emissions than meat.

Supply: Bianchi, M. et al. Commun. Earth Environ. 3, 188 (2022).

Utilizing 41 seafood species, the researchers established a nutrient-density rating that accounted for important vitamins, resembling sure fat and nutritional vitamins. The species surveyed included farmed and wild-caught fish, crustaceans, bivalves and cephalopods (the group that features octopus and squid). The group then used accessible emissions knowledge for 34 of these species to match their nutrient density with the emissions related to their manufacturing or seize.

Half of the species supplied extra dietary bang for his or her buck when it comes to emissions (see ‘Higher fish to fry’). Wild-caught pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), together with wild-caught, small pelagic fish and farmed bivalves, had been the most effective selections for nutrient-dense, low-emissions protein sources. Whitefish resembling cod (Gadus spp.) additionally had a low local weather impression, however had been among the many least nutrient-dense meals. Wild-caught crustaceans had the best emissions, with a carbon footprint rivalled solely by that of beef. The authors observe that their emissions knowledge don’t embrace ‘post-production’ emissions, resembling these generated by refrigeration or transport.

Renee Wegrzyn will head ARPA-H, the high-risk, high-reward health innovations agency launched by the Biden administration.

Renee Wegrzyn is a former programme supervisor within the Organic Applied sciences Workplace at DARPA.Credit score: Ginkgo Bioworks

Billion-dollar US Well being company will get first chief

US President Joe Biden has chosen Renee Wegrzyn, a biologist and former authorities scientist, because the inaugural director of the Superior Analysis Tasks Company for Well being (ARPA-H), an company created by his administration to seek out modern options to biomedical issues. Though researchers applaud Biden’s alternative, they are saying that Wegrzyn may have her work reduce out, as a result of many particulars concerning the company are nonetheless in limbo, together with the way it must be structured.

The US Congress allotted the company solely US$1 billion in 2022 — slightly than the $6.5 billion that Biden requested final 12 months — and has not but handed laws authorizing its creation. Lawmakers have been sparring over whether or not the company must be housed within the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, which is seen as a conservative funder of science, or be unbiased of it.

Wegrzyn spent greater than 5 years working as a programme supervisor on the US Protection Superior Analysis Tasks Company (DARPA), which the Biden administration intends to emulate with ARPA-H. At DARPA, her portfolio included initiatives that used artificial biology to counter infectious illness and bolster biosecurity.

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