Egypt Independent: Science-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/Environment/rss.xml en Antiquities former employees referred to trial over Great Pyramid theft http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2478339 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/08/28/43/ab64f600030904fcd51f2496457e4d4a.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Egypt administrative prosecution referred 12 former employees of the Antiquities Ministry to trial in a disciplinary court&nbsp;for allegedly allowing individuals from a German expedition to steal samples from the Egyptian Great Pyramid Khufu.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>An official press statement said that the employees let the German group steal samples from the red ink used in writing King Khufu&#39;s name in&nbsp;a small room on top of the king&rsquo;s burial chamber inside the Great Pyramid, known as King Khufu&#39;s cartouche, using a sharp machine that caused noticable scratches and damages.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The statment pointed out that the employees comitted several crimes in the period from July 14 to November 9, 2013; the crimes&nbsp;included allowing the German group to steal fargments from the walls and the ceiling of the main burial chamber of King Khufu&#39;s tomb using a sharp machine that also caused some scratches and abrasions to both ceiling and walls.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Moreover the Germans were allowed to enter the five chambers above the main burial one and take photos inside it without permission.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>One of the crimes was that five people were let to visit the Great Pyramid without following the permission they had from the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council of Antiquities that said only three Germans can enter the place. Plus, the authorization papers did not include the names of another two Egyptians, the director of the tour organizing company and the chief inspector of scientific affairs antiquities who accompanied the German group into the great pyramid.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The defendants did not perform the work entrusted to them accurately and safely, did not preserve the property and funds of the place they work at, did not observe the maintenance and violated all the financial and legal rules,&quot; the statment said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>The story was revealed in November 2013 when a documentary entitled &quot;The Cheops Project&quot; was uploaded on YouTube showing two German researchers Dominique Goerlitz and Stefan Erdmann from the University of Dresden during a secret tiring tour inside Khufu&rsquo;s Pyramid to reveal the secrets of the Pyramid&rsquo;s construction.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>During the documentry the researches showed how it was hard to reach Khufu&#39;s cartouche;The researchers analyized a sample of the cartouche&nbsp;in a German laboratory after stealing it and &nbsp;claimed that Khufu had not build the Great Pyramid and the ink used in the cartouche is not old and it&#39;s much younger than the age of the pyramid itself by centuries, which confirms that the pyramid does not return to Khufu and who built it in reality were the ancient Jews because they lived in Egypt during the period of the Great Pyramid construction.</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div>When the documentry came to light, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities realized the issue and took strict legal actions against the researchers who were put under Egypt airport&#39;s watchlist by the interpol; the tourist company that helped them and the University as well were both faced with legal accusations.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Moreover, the Egyptian Government has suspended any scientific cooperation with Dresden University and the German laboratory that analyzed the stolen fragments.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:17:00 +0000 Hend El-Behary 2478339 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/08/28/43/ab64f600030904fcd51f2496457e4d4a.jpg First large-scale malaria vaccine trials for Africa http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2478311 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/02/15/43/malaria_drugs.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020.<br /><br />The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five.<br /><br />&quot;The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine,&quot; said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO&#39;s regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellents and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO said.<br /><br />&quot;Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa,&quot; Moeti said. &quot;This vaccine is a weapon amongst others, it is one of the tools at our disposal,&quot; she added.<br /><br />The vaccine, also known as Mosquirix, has been developed by the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and the large-scale three-country pilot will test it on children aged five to 17 months.<br /><br />The drug passed previous scientific testing -- including a phase three clinical trial between 2009 and 2014 -- and was approved for the pilot program in 2015.<br /><br /><strong>&#39;Huge Impact&#39;</strong><br /><br />The aim of the trial is to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine as well the feasibility of its delivery to populations at risk as four successive doses must be given on a strict timetable.<br /><br />The immunization cycle is not in sync with routine childhood inoculations against diseases such as hepatitis, measles and meningitis, with injections required at five months, six months, seven months and two years.<br /><br />Symptoms of malaria include fever, muscle pain and headache as well as vomiting and diarrhoea.<br /><br />While RTS,S does not promise full protection against the mosquito-borne disease it is the most effective potential vaccine so far developed reducing the number of hospitalisations and blood transfusions.<br /><br />Malaria episodes reduced by 40 percent in tests on 15,000 people in seven countries over five years of clinical trials, and could therefore save hundreds of thousands of lives.<br /><br />&quot;It&#39;s an efficacy rate which is quite low, but given the amount of affected people, the impact will be huge,&quot; said Mary Hamel, who is coordinating the vaccine&#39;s implementation program. &quot;There will be other vaccines and they&#39;ll be more efficient, but in the meantime, this will have a significant influence.&quot;<br /><br />Moeti emphasised that while the dream is &quot;a vaccine that replaces everything&quot;, insecticide-treated bed nets remain the most effective protection against malaria, which remain, &quot;at the moment, our strongest preventive weapon&quot;.<br /><br />Kenya, Ghana and Malawi were selected for the trial because malaria rates are high and they have a long history of use of bed nets and other interventions.<br /><br />The large-scale pilot is the latest step in decades of work seeking to eradicate malaria with the numbers dying falling nearly two-thirds since the turn of the century.</p> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:42:00 +0000 AFP 2478311 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/15/43/malaria_drugs.jpg To have powerful brains we need this basic superfood – fruits http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2478254 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/06/30/501184/citrus.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Humans likely developed large and powerful brains, researchers said recently, with the help of what is today the simplest of snacks: fruit.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Eating fruit was a key step up from the most basic of foodstuffs, such as leaves, and provided the energy needed to grow bulkier brains, the scientists argued.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s how we got these crazy huge brains,&rdquo; said the study&rsquo;s corresponding author Alex Decasien, a researcher at New York University. &ldquo;We have blown up the quality of our food that we are eating.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The study published in Nature Ecology &amp; Evolution looked at the staple foods of over 140 species of primates, and assumed their diets haven&rsquo;t changed much over the course of recent evolution.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to the research, the animals which feast on fruit have brains that are about 25 per cent bigger than those filling their bellies primarily with leaves.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The results call into question the theory that has prevailed since the mid-1990s, which says bigger brains developed out of the need to survive and reproduce in complex social groups.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Decasien said the challenges of living in a group could be part of getting smarter, but found no link between the complexity of primates&rsquo; social lives and the size of their grey matter.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>What did correlate strongly with brain size was eating fruit.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Read more at http://www.star2.com/health/nutrition/2017/04/19/we-have-powerful-brains-thanks-to-one-basic-superfood-fruits/#JeKVTS3lU40sbAhD.99</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Foods such as fruit contain more energy than basic sources like leaves, thus creating the additional fuel needed to evolve a bigger brain.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>At the same time, remembering which plants produce fruit, where they are, and how to break them open could also help a primate grow a bigger brain.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A larger brain also needs more fuel to keep it running.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve heard that fact saying (our brain) is two percent of our body weight, but it takes up 25 per cent of our energy,&rdquo; Decasien said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a crazy expensive organ.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>While the study challenges some of the orthodoxy of how our brains evolved, the research is likely to continue.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;I feel confident that their study will refocus and reinvigorate research seeking to explain cognitive complexity in primates and other mammals,&rdquo; wrote Chris Venditti, a researcher at the University of Reading in Britain in a comment on the study, also published in Nature Ecology &amp; Evolution.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;But many questions remain,&rdquo; he added.&nbsp;</div> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 12:43:00 +0000 AFP 2478254 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/06/30/501184/citrus.jpg Young women with this disease may also develop an eating disorder http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2478251 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/12/21/43/screen_shot_2015-12-21_at_11.55.12_am.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Young women suffering from coeliac disease, a chronic infection of the intestine triggered by eating gluten, may be at greater risk of developing the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, according to a Swedish study published in the journal, Pediatrics.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Coeliac disease affects around 1% of the population and damages the small intestine, causing problems absorbing nutrients from food. Women suffering from the disease could have almost twice the risk of developing anorexia, according to findings from a Swedish study.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Researchers studied data from 107,000 women, 18,000 of whom were diagnosed with coeliac disease via intestinal biopsy between 1969 and 2008, at an average age of 28 years-old.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The study suggests that this risk could be even higher prior to the diagnosis of coeliac disease. In fact, the researchers found that women diagnosed with coeliac disease before the age of 19 were 4.5 times more likely to have been previously diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, compared with women who didn&rsquo;t have coeliac disease.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Restricting dietary sources of gluten is currently the only recommended treatment for coeliac disease. This soluble protein is present in wheat, barley, oats and rye &ndash; cereals used mainly in the production of bread, cakes, pastries and pasta, as well as in many ready-prepared dishes.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>As a result, dietary restrictions could, in some cases, cause individuals to focus excessively on their diets, eliminating gluten-containing foods to keep symptoms at bay (chronic diarrhoea, weight loss, vomiting, fatigue, joint pain, neurological problems, etc.). This could cause disturbed eating patterns that may lead to the eating disorder anorexia, the researchers suggest.&nbsp;</div> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 12:26:00 +0000 AFP 2478251 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/12/21/43/screen_shot_2015-12-21_at_11.55.12_am.png