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Nepali team finds asteroids

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KATHMANDU — A nepali team has found six new asteroids during the Nepal Asteroid Search Campaign-2017 held from January 19 to February 18.

Five teams were selected for the campaign from Nepal which included four from Kathmandu and one from Pokhara.

The participating teams were provided with the photos taken by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) based in Hawaii, USA along with necessary software and instructions.

The teams found nine asteroids based on the photos and sent it to the US mainland. It will take a few years for the research to be verified.

The students from Celebration Co-Ed School in Kathmandu, teachers and students from Pokhara’s Prithvinarayan Campus, and club members from Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) took part in the search campaign.

NASO Chairman Suresh Bhattarai said it was possible to give Nepali names to the new finds after necessary verification process.

The participating teams had analysed 180,000 moving masses of rock in the data provided by Pan-STARRS which currently operates two telescopes of 1.8 meters.

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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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