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

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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, printed 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 — could be boosted again to preliminary ranges.

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

However public-health officers would require outcomes from a much bigger trial — with greater than ten instances 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 varieties of sustainably sourced seafood might assist folks to scale back their carbon footprint with out compromising on vitamin, finds an evaluation of dozens of marine species.

The examine, printed on 8 September (M. Bianchi et al. Commun. Earth Environ. 3, 188; 2022) means that farmed bivalves — shellfish equivalent to 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.

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The analysis aimed to “do a greater job of understanding the local weather impacts of seafood by way of the lens of very numerous 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, equivalent to 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 staff then used accessible emissions knowledge for 34 of these species to check 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, have been one of the best selections for nutrient-dense, low-emissions protein sources. Whitefish equivalent to cod (Gadus spp.) additionally had a low local weather influence, however have 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 notice that their emissions knowledge don’t embrace ‘post-production’ emissions, equivalent to 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 Initiatives Company for Well being (ARPA-H), an company created by his administration to seek out progressive options to biomedical issues. Though researchers applaud Biden’s alternative, they are saying that Wegrzyn may have her work minimize out, as a result of many particulars in regards to the company are nonetheless in limbo, together with the way it must be structured.

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The US Congress allotted the company solely US$1 billion in 2022 — moderately 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 impartial of it.

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

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