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Venezuela Has the Most Expensive French Fries on the Continent

first_imgBy Fabiana Rondón/Voice of America (VOA) January 06, 2020 French fries, a common food, affordable in most parts of the world and generally very popular, have become a luxury for many in Venezuela.The price of French fries in Venezuela ($4.50) greatly exceeds the cost of this product in countries of the region, such as Brazil ($3.35), Argentina ($3), Ecuador ($2.10), Colombia ($2), Chile ($1.83), Peru ($1.50), and Paraguay ($1.55).Very few people in Venezuela can afford to buy French fries, a popular food for Venezuelans, which, among many other aspects, highlights the economic and food crisis in the South American country.Such details expose the impact of hyperinflation on Venezuelans, which climbed from 2,616 percent in 2017 to 34,458 percent in 2018, and up to 136,000 percent as of October 2019, according to recent reports from the Venezuelan National Assembly led by Interim President Juan Guaidó.Venezuela continues to be one of the weakest points in Latin America’s economy, according to data and prospects from the latest report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).Inaccessible French friesThe impact is even greater when the basic monthly income in Venezuela (150,000 bolivars or $8) is taken into account, which makes French fries a luxury meal instead of a quick snack for the day. VOA estimated that a person with the minimum monthly income in Venezuela must work more than 15 days to make enough money to buy the iconic McDonald’s product.French fries aren’t the only foods that have essentially become inaccessible for Venezuelans.Buying a medium-sized McDonald’s combo meal in Venezuela might be almost impossible for an average worker, since they would need to work 34 days, or more than a month, to afford a hamburger, a soda, and French fries at the world’s largest fast food chain, at a cost of 210,000 bolivars, or $11.last_img read more

Gulfstream acquires new aircraft to fly Bahamas routes

first_imgLifestyleTravel Gulfstream acquires new aircraft to fly Bahamas routes by: – October 26, 2011 24 Views   no discussions Tweet Image via: FlickrFORT LAUDERDALE, USA — Gulfstream International Airlines has reached an agreement with Saab Aircraft Leasing to purchase six, 34-seat Saab 340Bplus aircraft. The Fort Lauderdale-based airline, which serves more destinations in The Bahamas than any other US carrier, will deploy all six Saabs along its Florida/Bahamas routes, replacing smaller, 19-seat Beechcraft 1900D aircraft.“This investment will enhance our customers’ flight experiences by providing them with the premium service and comfort they value and deserve” said Darrell Richardson, Gulfstream CEO. Saab 340Bplus aircraft features include comfortable seating for 34 passengers, large, easy-to-access overhead bins, personalized flight attendant service, an active noise reduction system, and convenient on-board lavatories.Gulfstream will integrate the six new aircraft into its fleet over a nine-month period beginning in mid-November 2011 when the first 340Bplus is slated for delivery. Each aircraft will be subject to a period of inspection and certification under US and Bahamian aviation regulations to ensure full compliance with all safety and operational requirements prior to initiating scheduled passenger service. In-service dates for the new aircraft type will be announced upon receipt of regulatory approvals.Caribbean News Now Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Sharelast_img read more

Chelsea wrap up Schurrle deal

first_img Press Association It was announced on June 13 that Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen had reached an agreement for his transfer and the 22-year-old’s move to Stamford Bridge was confirmed after paperwork was completed. He said on chelseafc.com: “I am so happy now I have signed and it is an honour for me to play for this club, with this team and for these great fans. I am really looking forward to it.” Chelsea have completed the signing of forward Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen on a five-year contract, with the Germany international becoming the first recruit of Jose Mourinho’s second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.center_img Schurrle, who can play as a creative wide player or central striker, will wear the number 14 shirt. He has scored seven goals in 24 appearances for Germany, since making his debut in November 2010 while at Mainz, whom he joined from Ludwigshafener in 2009. He signed for Leverkusen at the end of the 2010/11 season. In his first campaign he scored nine times in 40 appearances and last term he netted 14 in 43 to earn his move to Stamford Bridge. last_img read more

Embryo experiments take baby steps toward growing human organs in livestock

first_img The perpetual shortage of human organs for transplant has researchers turning to farm animals. Several biotech companies are genetically engineering pigs to make their organs more compatible with the human body. But some scientists are pursuing a different solution: growing fully human organs in pigs, sheep, or other animals, which could then be harvested for transplants.The idea is biologically daunting and ethically fraught. But a few teams are chipping away at a key roadblock: getting stem cells of one species to thrive in the embryo of another. Last month, a U.S. group reported in a preprint that it had grown chimpanzee stem cells in monkey embryos. And newly loosened regulations in Japan have encouraged researchers to seek approval for experiments to boost the survival of human cells in the developing embryos of rodents and pigs. Insoo Hyun, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, says the work is being done responsibly. Efforts such as the new chimp-monkey chimeras represent “baby steps forward, gathering data as you go,” he says. “And I think that’s a wise approach.”Ultimately, the researchers envision reprogramming a person’s cells to a primitive developmental state that can form most any tissue and injecting these induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells into another species’s embryo. The embryo would be implanted in the uterus of a surrogate, and allowed to grow to full size to serve as an organ donor. The IPS cells could come from the person awaiting transplant or, in a potentially faster and less costly approach, human organs could be grown in advance from cells from other donors, matched for key immune signaling proteins to prevent rejection. BELMONTE LAB, SALK INSTITUTE FOR BIOLOGICAL STUDIES Successful rodent chimera experiments, such as this mouse embryo harboring rat heart cells (red), have been hard to re-create with human cells.  Click to view the privacy policy. 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Country By Kelly ServickJun. 26, 2019 , 11:50 AM So far, the feat has been modeled only in rodents. In 2010, stem cell biologist Hiromitsu Nakauchi and his team at the University of Tokyo reported growing rat pancreases in mice that couldn’t form pancreases of their own. In 2017, Nakauchi and colleagues treated diabetes in mice by giving them transplants of insulin-producing mouse pancreas tissue grown in a rat.But the success in rodents hasn’t held up between larger and more evolutionarily distant animals. In 2017, cell biologist Jun Wu and colleagues in Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte’s lab at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, reported that when they injected pig embryos with human IPS cells and implanted the embryos into sows, about half of the resulting fetuses were stunted and slow growing. Those that were normal size had very few human cells after a month of gestation.Wu, who is now at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, has since explored how human stem cells interact in a lab dish with stem cells from nonhuman primates, rats, mice, sheep, and cows. He’s found what he calls “a very exciting phenomenon: a competition between cells of different species.” Pitted against cells of distantly related animals, human cells tend to die off, and the team is now trying to understand the mechanism. “I think we are almost there,” Wu says.But competition isn’t the only problem. Primate IPS cells are also more developmentally advanced, or “primed,” than the “naïve” rodent stem cells used in the earlier successful chimera experiments. They are therefore less likely to survive in a chimeric embryo, says Nakauchi, who also has a lab at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. To help primate IPS cells thrive, his Stanford team and collaborators endowed them with a gene that prevents cell death. In the experiments reported last month, they tested how the modified cells would fare in the embryo of a closely related primate species.To avoid raising ethical concerns, the team decided not to use human IPS cells. If a nonhuman primate embryo with added human cells were allowed to develop in a surrogate and many human cells survived and proliferated, the result would be an unprecedented primate chimera. “People are concerned that the boundary between humans and animals could become blurred,” says Misao Fujita, a bioethicist at Kyoto University in Japan who recently conducted a survey of attitudes toward animal-human chimeras in the Japanese public. Respondents were particularly worried that such animals could have enhanced intelligence or carry human sperm and egg cells.Nakauchi’s team instead modified IPS cells from the closest human relative, the chimpanzee, and put them into rhesus macaque embryos. They found that, compared with unmodified chimpanzee IPS cells, the cells with the survival-promoting gene were more likely to persist in the 2 days after they were inserted into a 5-day-old monkey embryo. It’s hard to keep a monkey embryo alive in a dish for much longer than a week, Nakauchi says, but his team plans to grow its chimeras further by implanting them into the uteruses of female macaques “in the near future.”Nakauchi also has submitted proposals to a government committee in Japan to put the survival-promoting gene into human stem cells and inject them into mouse, rat, and pig embryos—but not nonhuman primates—that lack a gene critical to pancreas development. The researchers hope that, as in the earlier rodent experiments, the human cells will begin to form the missing pancreas. His team would implant the embryos in surrogate animals but remove them for study before they reach full term. The proposals are an initial test for new legal guidelines in Japan, which in March lifted an outright ban on culturing human-animal chimeras past 14 days or putting them into a uterus.Other groups are honing different recipes for chimera-friendly stem cells. In January, a team from Yale University and the Axion Research Foundation in Hamden, Connecticut, described culturing monkey IPS cells with chemicals that prompted gene expression patterns like those of mouse embryonic stem cells, which are more likely to survive in a chimera. In April, Yale University stem cell biologist Alejandro De Los Angeles reported that the technique prompted similar gene expression changes in human IPS cells. He’s now considering testing how these cells hold up in a mouse or other nonhuman embryo.Such work faces hurdles in the United States. There is no outright ban, but in 2015 the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, froze its review of grant applications for research that involves putting human pluripotent stem cells—whether IPS cells or cells from human embryos—into early embryos of nonhuman vertebrates. After protest from some researchers, the agency in 2016 proposed lifting the broad prohibition while keeping a funding ban on specific chimera experiments, including inserting human stem cells into early nonhuman primate embryos and breeding chimeric animals that may have human egg or sperm cells. The proposal is “still under consideration,” according to an NIH spokesperson.The moratorium “has had a very significant impact on the progress of this field,” says Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist at the University of California, Davis, who does chimera research. “Some of the concerns that are raised are to be taken seriously, but I think we have the tools to do that, and [these concerns] shouldn’t prevent us from pursuing this goal.”Because of the slow pace of chimera research, even some of its proponents predict that xenotransplantation—the use of nonhuman tissue, such as modified pig organs, for transplants—will beat their approach to the clinic. “Xenotransplantation is close to prime time now,” Wu says, and “we are lagging behind.” But the possibility of creating organs that are a better match for their human recipients keeps his lab and others poring over stem cells and embryos, hoping to narrow the species divide.last_img read more