Death of Axel Kahn, shark population drop, importance of vaccines

Death of Axel Kahn, shark population drop, importance of vaccines
Death of Axel Kahn, shark population drop, importance of vaccines

The science news of July 6, 2021 is:

Healthy: The famous geneticist Axel Kahn has passed away.

  • Axel Kahn died at the age of 76 from devastating cancer.
  • A researcher specializing in molecular genetics applied to hereditary diseases, he became Research Director of Inserm at the age of only 34, where he contributed to nearly 500 scientific publications.
  • Authors of 30 books on genetics, ethics and biotechnologies, since 2008 he was elevated to the rank of Commander of the National Order of Merit.

In paleontology: Shark populations have been collapsing because of man since prehistoric times.

  • Reef sharks have lost much of their workforce since humans first colonized the planet.
  • It is the fast-swimming pelagic sharks that seem to have suffered the most from human activities.
  • Sharks of all types declined during this period, due to habitat loss or decreased prey numbers.

In health: Covid-19: why is it important for those around the elderly to be vaccinated?

  • The immune response generated by vaccines declines with age, especially in those over 80, increasing their risk of infection despite vaccination.
  • Half of people over 80 do not have enough neutralizing antibodies to prevent infection.
  • The best protection for the elderly is that those around them cannot infect them.

In paleontology: How did dinosaurs breathe?

  • Not all dinosaurs breathe the same.
  • “Tucky”, a small herbivorous dinosaur, was scanned at the synchrotron revealing the presence of abdominal vertebrae, gastralia participating in respiration.
  • Paddle-shaped thoracic vertebrae are also present and allow ample movement of the rib cage, so Tucky could breathe by contracting his stomach and chest.

In biodiversity: Fukushima: wild boars have reproduced with abandoned pigs.

  • Following the evacuation of homes in the city of Fukushima over 1,150 square kilometers, 30,000 domestic pigs were left behind by local farmers.
  • By probing the genome of several wild boars, researchers have found that hybridizations between these animals and domestic pigs have occurred.
  • The genes provided by pigs will be lost from generation to generation, in particular because hybrid specimens reproduce with wild boars, moreover, most pigs have not adapted in nature.


Death Axel Kahn shark population drop importance vaccines

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