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An experimental single dose vaccine against the Zika virus has proven to be powerful in mice, new research has found.
The vaccine employs an uncommon two-pronged approach to fighting the virus, which is spread by mosquitoes and is most serious for pregnant women and their foetuses.
The vaccine, carrying genes for two or three Zika proteins, proved effective in triggering an immune response that prevented later infection by the virus.
“The vaccine was potent, safe and highly effective, at least in the short term. There’s a long way to go, but we think this is a promising candidate for a human vaccine,” said lead author Jianrong Li, professor at The Ohio State University in the US.
The experimental vaccine holds particular promise because it appears to afford an adequate immune response with one dose. In hard-to-reach and resource-poor areas, that becomes especially valuable, added Shan-Lu Liu, co-author at the varsity.
In the study, appearing in the journal Nature Communications, the team targeted a protective immune response by expressing two or three Zika proteins and looked to vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV — a foot-and-mouth disease in cattle.
In the experimental vaccine, VSV acts as a vehicle to deliver the genes for two or three key proteins from the Zika virus, carrying them into the mouse and expressing them inside some of the cells in the mouse so that the immune system could respond and build up a defence against Zika.
In addition, experiments in mice with severely compromised immune systems showed that vaccination helped their weak immune systems to fight off the virus swiftly and efficiently.
The early success with this vaccine has encouraged this team to use the same approach to fight other related viruses, including Dengue fever, the researchers said.
However, the next big question is “will this be protective in humans?”, the researchers said. (IANS)
Samsung Electronics on Tuesday replaced all three CEOs in a surprise move that, the company said, was intended to enhance competitiveness and promote future growth.
Han Jong-hee was promoted to vice chairman and CEO and will be in charge of the newly created SET division, which merged the consumer electronics and IT and mobile communications divisions, previously led by Kim Hyun-suk and Koh Dong-jin, respectively.
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An expert in TV research and development, Han played a key role in bringing the company's TV business to the top position. Samsung said he is expected to "strengthen the synergies among the different businesses in the SET division and help drive new businesses and technologies." The device solutions (DS) division will be led by Kyung Kye-hyun, who has been Samsung Electro-Mechanics CEO.
Kyung is a semiconductor design expert, having previously led the company's flash product and technology team. Samsung said he is expected to "help maintain the company's semiconductor leadership and lead innovation in the components business."
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Kim Ki-nam, vice chairman and head of the DS division, was named chairman of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, reports Yonhap news agency.
The tech giant said in a statement the new appointments were made "for the next phase of the company's future growth and to strengthen its business competitiveness."
The reshuffle came as a surprise as it had been widely expected that the tech giant would keep its current division heads to ensure a stable management environment amid fierce global competition and potential risks associated with the ongoing trial of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong over his role in controversial merger and accounting fraud allegations.
Lee did not get promoted to chairman of Samsung Electronics -- the crown jewel of Samsung Group. Unsplash
The three CEOs had been considered successful in leading the company to post stellar performances since 2018 and were endorsed to keep their posts during the annual shareholders meeting in Suwon, south of Seoul, in March.
But Lee, the de facto leader of the country's biggest conglomerate, Samsung Group, has hinted at making a sizable change to the company to "create a better Samsung." He also warned of the "harsh reality of the market" amid the global supply crunch and chip shortages.
The management reshuffle came a week after the company overhauled its position system and abolished the seniority-based top-down approach to nurture young talent and create a more flexible corporate culture. It scrapped mandatory years of working at certain positions, a precondition for possible promotion, and incorporated ranks to make the company structure more simplified and nimble.
Lee did not get promoted to chairman of Samsung Electronics -- the crown jewel of Samsung Group. He assumed the vice chairman position in December 2012. The chairman position has been left vacant since his father, Lee Kun-hee, died in October last year. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Samsung, company, competitiveness, growth, technology, reshuffle, successful, chairman.)
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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russia's President Vladimir Putin met in New Delhi on Monday and discussed regional and global developments, including the post-pandemic global economic recovery, and the situation in Afghanistan.
Accompanied by a high-level delegation, Putin visited New Delhi for the 21st India-Russia annual summit. He extended an invitation to Modi to visit Russia for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit in 2022.
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The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the sustained progress in the 'Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership' between both countries despite the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic. They welcomed the holding of the first meeting of the 2+2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defence Ministers and the meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation in New Delhi.
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The leaders underscored the need for greater economic cooperation and in this context, emphasised on new drivers of growth for long-term, predictable, and sustained economic cooperation. They appreciated the success story of mutual investments and looked forward to greater investments in each others' countries.
The role of connectivity through the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the proposed Chennai-Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor figured in the discussions. The two leaders looked forward to greater inter-regional cooperation between various regions of Russia, in particular with the Russian Far East, with India's states.
Putin congratulated Modi for India's ongoing non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council. | Wikimedia
They appreciated the ongoing bilateral cooperation in the fight against the Covid pandemic, including humanitarian assistance extended by both countries to each other in critical times of need.
The leaders discussed regional and global developments, including the post-pandemic global economic recovery, and the situation in Afghanistan. They agreed that both countries share common perspectives and concerns on Afghanistan and appreciated the bilateral roadmap charted out at the NSA level for consultation and cooperation on Afghanistan.
They noted that both sides shared common positions on many international issues and agreed to further strengthen cooperation at multilateral fora, including at the UN Security Council.
Putin congratulated Modi for India's ongoing non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and the successful Presidency of BRICS in 2021, while Prime Minister Modi congratulated Russia for its ongoing chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
In a joint statement, the two sides stressed that partnership for peace, progress and prosperity aptly covers the state and prospects of bilateral ties.
Coinciding with the visit, several government-to-government agreements and MoUs, as well as those between commercial and other organisations of both countries, were signed in different sectors such as trade, energy, science and technology, intellectual property, outer space, geological exploration, cultural exchange, education, and others.
This is a reflection of the multifaceted nature of our bilateral partnership, the statement said. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : India, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, President, New Delhi, regional, global, developments, Afghanistan, challenges, pandemic, defence, economic, cooperation, connectivity, humanitarian, partnership, trade, education.)
Pakistani decision makers are holding extensive consultations on whether to attend the virtual summit on democracy convened by US President Joe Biden this week, as certain issues are making it difficult for Islamabad to make the final call, The Express Tribune reported.
The exclusion of China from the summit is believed to be one of the reasons delaying Pakistan's decision, the newspaper report quoted sources familiar with the development as saying. However, the sources added that China did not object to Pakistan's participation in the virtual summit.
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"There are certain issues that the government of Pakistan is currently looking at," said a senior official, explaining the reason behind the delay in announcing the decision.
Biden will hold his virtual summit on Thursday and Friday. He has invited leaders from over 100 countries, including the South Asian nations of India, Pakistan, Nepal and Maldives. The White House did not send invitations to China and Russia but extended one to Taiwan, which drew a strong reaction from Beijing.
It is stated that the White House asked invitees to confirm their participation or otherwise by last weekend. Pakistan was supposed to announce the decision last week but delayed it to give more time for in-house consultations. Till Monday, according to diplomatic sources, Pakistan had not officially responded to the White House.
A virtual meeting in progressUnsplash
The proposals on the table include the level of participation at the democracy summit. Should the prime minister or a minister attend the summit is the question being debated by the decision-makers. This stems from the fact that President Biden has not yet spoken to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Express Tribune report said.
The relationship between Pakistan and the US is strained by differences over the Afghan situation. Some of the statements given by Khan after the Taliban takeover were not liked by the White House.
Another reason that is delaying the final call on the US invitation is reports that the US Treasury will impose sanctions against people undermining democracy. Sanctions will also be imposed on those involved in serious human rights violations and corruption.
But a diplomatic source made it clear that non-participation in the summit does not mean that country would be facing any sanctions, the report said. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : virtual, summit, President, Joe Biden, America, China, India, Nepal, Maldives, Russian, diplomatic, official, participation, sanctions, human rights, violation, corruption.)
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