BEIJING: Doctors of Shandong Eye Institute in China, on Monday, declared the successful operation of a bio-engineered pig cornea into a human eye.
“The patient’s vision has gradually improved after a three month recovery period, which means the transplant was a success,” said Zhai Hualei, director of Shandong Eye Institute’s cornea division.
Wang Xinyi, 60, was suffering from corneal ulcer. He could only see moving objects within 10 cm.
“The doctors originally told me that my father might lose sight in one eye because there are not enough cornea donations,” Wang’s son said.
The transplant used a bio-engineered cornea named Acornea, the first such product to be licensed by the China Food and Drug Administration in April.
“With the pig cornea as the main material, the product is devoid of cells, hybrid proteins, and other antigens. It retains a natural collagen structure with remarkable bio-compatibility and biological safety,” said Zhai.
Cornea diseases are one of the biggest causes of blindness in China. New cases are increasing by 100,000 each year, however, only about 5,000 people receive a cornea transplant annually.
Beijing Tongren Hospital and Wuhan Xiehe Hospital, among others, have been conducting clinical trials of Acornea since 2010, recording a success rate of 94.44 percent, similar to the results seen with donated human corneas.(IANS),(Image: the-newshub.com)
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday it is unacceptable that Russia and China are devaluating their currencies, days after the Treasury Department declined to label these countries as currency manipulators in its latest report.
Amid a possible new round of sanctions against Russia and a simmering trade war with China, Trump tweeted Monday morning, “Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!
In general, when a country artificially devaluates its currency, its exports become cheaper and more competitive in the global marketplace.
During his presidential campaign, Trump has repeatedly accused China of lowering the value of its currency and vowed to formally label China as a currency manipulator, but so far has failed to do so.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says the administration is closely watching China’s currency practices. “That’s something that the Treasury Department is watching very closely and we’re continuing to monitor it,” she said Monday.
In a semiannual report titled “Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States” released last Friday, the Treasury Department did not designate China as a currency manipulator, but put it as one of the six countries on a monitoring list. The other five countries on the list are Japan, Korea, India, Germany, and Switzerland. Russia is not on the monitoring list. The Chinese currency, the renminbi, has appreciated over 3 percent against the dollar since the beginning of this year, after strengthening by over 6 percent in 2017.
Brad Setser,a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Treasury Department official said in an interview with VOA he does not think it is an accurate complaint that Russia and China are playing the currency game.
“The Russian ruble was actually quite stable before the sanctions on Russia were intensified. It’s quite clear the volatility in the ruble is a function of the intensification of U.S. sanctions, a sign that the sanctions are biting,” he explained.
Setser said over the past several months, the Chinese yuan has actually appreciated, and China has not been intervening heavily.
“There are plenty of things to criticize China for on trade, but right now, there’s no real basis for criticizing China on currency,” he noted.
In the past three years, the Federal Reserve raised interest rate six times to a range between 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent, and said they expect to raise the rate two or three more times this year.
Usually, when a country raises its interest rates, the value of its currency rises, making its exports more expensive and less competitive. However, higher U.S. interest rates have not raised the value of the dollar.
“The interesting puzzle that the market has been pondering for the past several months is that the dollar has actually weakened even as the U.S. has raised rates, and even as U.S. passed legislation to expand the fiscal deficit,” Setser said.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Economic Analysis at the Treasury Department Setser stressed the United States should not label China as a currency manipulator at this moment.
“It would undermine the United States’ credibility to name China at a point in time when there is no plausible case that China is managing its exchange rate in a way that is adverse to the U.S. interest,” he said. VOA