Tuesday December 11, 2018

Scientists find a new way to preserve sperm Stem Cells that can enable boys to undergo Cancer Treatment without risking their Fertility

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Joyce Endresen wears an Optune therapy device for brain cancer, as she speaks on a phone at work in Aurora, Illinois, March 29, 2017. She was diagnosed in December 2014 with Glioblastoma. After two surgeries to remove the tumor as well as radiation and chemotherapy Endresen is now trying the new "sci-fi" cap therapy, VOA
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New York, April 10, 2017: US scientists have found a promising way to preserve sperm stem cells that could enable boys to undergo cancer treatment without risking their fertility.

Adult men can have their sperm frozen before undergoing radiation or chemotherapy — cancer treatment that can render sperm infertile.

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But boys who have not been through puberty can only have sperm stem cells removed and frozen in anticipation of technology that could culture the cells and place them back in the testes, where they produce sperm after puberty.

“I think it’s going to become the standard by which everybody cultures their cells, including trying to develop conditions for human cells,” said Jon Oatley, Associate Professor at Washington State University.

For the study, published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, the team worked with prepubescent mouse pups and put a fluorescent tag on a gene specific to stem cells, which revealed the process of a stem cell differentiating to create the progenitors that eventually become sperm.

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Initially, the stem cells creating energy through one method, called glycolysis, then switching to the second method, called oxidative phosphorylation, which produces free radicals — reactive forms of oxygen that can be particularly harmful to a cell’s DNA.

Thus, the team tried to change the culture environment to favour glycolysis.

By lowering the oxygen in the culture (that is by adding nitrogen to cut oxygen by more than half), the researchers found they could dramatically improve the percentage of stem cells capable of making normal sperm when put back into the testes.

Where before only five per cent of the cells remained viable after six months, now 40 per cent were viable, the researchers noted.

“We’re getting an eight-fold improvement,” Oatley added. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)