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Mars crater named after Nepal quake village Langtang

Gorkha Post

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A crater on Mars has been named after one of the villages worst hit by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

At least 215 people were killed in Langtang, a popular trekking site, when the quake triggered an avalanche that submerged the village, last year.

The International Astronomical Union has named a 9.8km wide crater on Mars as Langtang.

The researcher behind the move, Tjalling de Haas, said it was “a tribute” to the Nepali village.

Dr de Haas, who studies Mars’s physical geography at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, told the BBC he chose Langtang because his colleague had worked there while studying Himalayan glaciers.

“It was his base camp for a long period, so we said maybe it’s a nice tribute to call [the crater] Langtang,” he said.

Langtang was a ‘scientifically important’ crater, Dr De Haas said. “The marks on the top of the crater wall were probably water flows, and below them you can see ridges – the remains of former glaciers.”

He has named another crater Bunnik, after his hometown near Utrecht. Both names were approved by the International Astronomical Union Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature.

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Researchers successfully grow human cells in sheep embryos

Raghu Kshitiz

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Researchers successfully grow human cells in sheep embryos. Represenatational image

KATHMANDU — In an incredible development that could possibly go a long way in medical practices, scientists in California are working on a way to reduce organ transplants and rejections: Growing embryos in sheep and pigs containing human patients’ cells.

In a transplant breakthrough, scientists at the University of California said they have achieved sheep embryos in which around one in every 10,000 cells was human, according to UPI report.

The researchers presented preliminary findings Saturday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

The new finding paves way for genetically tailoring the organs to be compatible with the immune system of the patient receiving them, thus removing the possibility of rejection, the report said.

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The hybrid embryos contain both human and sheep cells and were created in an early step toward growing human organs in farm animals before transplanting them into patients.

Last year, the same researchers introduced human stem cells into early pig embryos, producing embryos with about one in every 100,000 cells being human.

The experiment began with Hiro Nakauchi, from the University of Tokyo, who grew a mouse with a rat pancreas and a rat with a mouse pancreas.

When cells from the rat-grown mouse pancreas were transplanted into a diabetic mouse, they made enough insulin to cure the condition without being rejected.

Mice and rats are different types of rodents with the former having thin slightly hairy tails, while rats have thicker hairless scaly tails.

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“The next step was to move into large animals,” Nakauchi said. Since this was prohibited in Japan, he moved to the Stanford University in the US.

Nakauchi’s rodent work has demonstrated that you can “grow organs in a different species and cure a disease without [suppressing the immune system],” added co-researcher Pablo Ross, Professor at from the University of California, Davis.

“We are working together to translate the technology into humans, to solve the terrible shortage of organs for transplantation. In the US, 20 people die every day because they cannot get the organs they need,” Ross explained.

With Agency Inputs

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