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Monkey survives fall but triggers Nationwide Blackout in Kenya

The vervet monkey survived the fall and was turned over to Kenyan Wildlife Service, the KenGen company said

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A Vervet Monkey. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • A nationwide blackout was triggered in Kenya by the fall of a monkey on the transformer
  • The nationwide blackout that lasted for nearly three hours
  • The company is looking for different measures to enhance the security of the power plants

In an ill-fated incident that took place on Tuesday, June 7, a nationwide blackout was triggered in Kenya by the fall of a monkey.

The company, Kenya Electricity Generating Company  or KenGen, claims that a monkey of the Vervet species climbed onto the roof of the Gitaru Power Station. The monkey in question jumped off the roof of the power station, landing on the transformer.  The fall tripped the transformer, causing the other machines to trip on overload as well. It leaded to a loss of over 180MW.

The nationwide blackout that lasted for nearly three hours, proved detrimental for the businesses. There were some houses in Nairobi that complained of power loss even on Wednesday.

The company has posted the image in their Facebook page, KenGen Kenya about the incident with the image of the monkey.

kenGen building in Kenya. Image source: www.esi-africa.com
kenGen building in Kenya. Image source: www.esi-africa.com

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In a statement that KenGen issued, the company stated that this accident was an “isolated incident” that they deeply regretted. It also said that the power installations in the hydropower station are “ secured by electric fencing which keeps away marauding wild animals”.

The company stated that it is looking for different measures to enhance the security of the power plants.

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The vervet monkey survived the fall and was turned over to Kenyan Wildlife Service, the company said. It also uploaded a picture of the culprit on its facebook page.

KenGen is locally known for its high electricity costs. It claims that the system had been restored and is functioning to its normal capacity.

-By Devika Todi, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: devika_todi

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Experimental Vaccine for Swine Fever Virus Shows Promise

When they deleted this gene, ASFV-G was completely attenuated

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Pigs, Swine Fever, Asia
Almost 5 million pigs in Asia have now died or been culled because of the spread of African swine fever over the past year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Friday, warning Asian nations to keep strict control measures in place. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a vaccine against African swine fever that appears to be far more effective than previously developed vaccines.

Currently, there is no commercially available vaccine against African swine fever, which has been devastating the swine industry in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.

African swine fever virus (ASFV) is highly contagious and often lethal to domestic and wild pigs, according to the the study, published in the Journal of Virology.

“This new experimental ASFV vaccine shows promise, and offers complete protection against the current strain currently producing outbreaks throughout Eastern Europe and Asia,” said study researcher Douglas P Gladue from Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture.

The research was motivated by the 2007 outbreak of African swine fever in the Republic of Georgia.

“This was the first outbreak in recent history outside of Africa and Sardinia–where swine fever is endemic–and this particular strain has been highly lethal and highly contagious, spreading quickly to neighboring countries,” Gladue said.

“This is also a new strain of the virus, now known as ASFV-G (the G stands for Georgia),” Gladue added.

chinese pork, african swine fever
Pigs stand in a barn at a pig farm in Jiangjiaqiao village in northern China’s Hebei province on May 8, 2019. Pork lovers worldwide are wincing at prices that have jumped by up to 40 percent as China’s struggle to stamp out African swine fever in its vast pig herds sends shockwaves through global meat markets. RFA

For the findings, researchers set out to develop a vaccine. Part of the process of developing whole virus vaccines involves deleting virulence genes from the virus.

But when the researchers deleted genes similar to those that had been deleted in older ASFV strains to attenuate them, “it became clear that ASFV-G was much more virulent” than the other, historical isolates, because it retained a higher level of virulence, said Gladue.

The researchers then realised they needed a different genetic target in order to attenuate ASFV-G.

They used a predictive methodology called a computational pipeline to predict the roles of proteins on the virus. The computational pipeline predicted that a protein called I177l could interfere with the immune system of the pig.

Also Read: Indoor Dust Bacteria Have Transferrable Antibiotic Resistance Genes, Says Study

When they deleted this gene, ASFV-G was completely attenuated.

In the study, both low and high doses of the vaccine were 100 per cent effective against the virus when the pigs were challenged 28 days post-inoculation, the researchers said. (IANS)