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2017-07-17 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-07-12 12:42:13    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
A mosquito factory in south China is manufacturing "mosquito warriors" that can combat epidemics including Zika and dengue.
Male mosquitoes are infected with the bacteria that makes them sterile, so the wild females they mate with lay infertile eggs.
These mosquitoes are produced in the world's largest mosquito factory in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province.
Tropical Disease control experts say reducing the number of mosquitoes carrying viruses is the most direct way to suppress Zika and dengue epidemics.
Since January, the research team has been helping the Mexican city of Merida prevent Zika outbreaks by providing the mosquitoes and equipment.
Two villages have been selected for release. Community education and baseline data collection are under way.
According to the World Health Organization, dengue and Zika virus are common in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. A fact sheet reads that dengue is now endemic in more than 100 countries. An estimated 500,000 people with severe dengue require hospitalization each year, and around 2.5 percent of those affected die.
This is Special English.
The United Nations Development Program, UNDP, is providing new farming techniques for Myanmar as part of a project to address climate change risk on water resources and food security in the dry zone.
The new farming techniques include crop spacing method, drought resistant crop selection, water conservation and environmentally sensitive livestock husbandry practices.
The project targets 250,000 people in the country.
The four-year project worth almost 8 million U.S. dollars is the first of its kind in Myanmar to receive funding from the Adaptation Fund.
The project, being implemented by the UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, began in 2015 and is set to complete in 2019.
The Myanmar government is working towards the adoption of a national climate change policy, expecting to announce the launch of the policy soon.
The policy, formulated in collaboration with civil society, the private sector and experts from across all sectors, will be launched along with a new national climate change strategy and action plan.
The government is encouraging its people to appreciate and help preserve the beauty of the country, one of the most ecologically diverse countries in Asia, urging people to take forward the call of the theme of the World Environment Day this year to connect with the nature.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Remarkable progress has been achieved in tackling communicable diseases in Africa despite challenges.
A World Health Organization official said Africa is confronted with very heavy burden of communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases. It is witnessing non-communicable diseases increasing as well.
The official said Africa is facing multiple challenges in tackling the communicable diseases, including a lack of human resources and education on disease prevention, a fragile health system, climate change, and an insufficient budget.
On the sidelines of the first World Health Organization Africa Health Forum held in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, the officials said achievements have been made during the past years which reduced malaria infections and malaria-related deaths in the region and .
Polio is on the verge of being eradicated too. Outbreak of yellow fever have been contained. Togo has been the first country in Africa to have eliminated lymphatic filariasis recently.
Africa has also made significant health progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS that almost 50 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS have been put on treatment.
Speaking of China's contribution to the health sector in Africa, the official said China-Africa cooperation "is increasing by the day."
This is Special English.
The World Health Organization has said that a cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen has killed 1,500 people since late April.
The suspected cases have reached 246,000 as the epidemic has hit 21 of the 23 provinces in the country.
Meanwhile, the United nations Childrens Fund, UNICEF, said one in four of the dead are children.
The death toll has increased by 100 and suspected cases by almost 28,000 in just four days after a report by the World Health Organization, which it put the death toll at 1,400 and suspected cases at almost 219,000.
Since April 27, the cholera cases in Yemen have been "increasing at an average of 5,000 a day. The World Health Organization said they are facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world.
More than three years into war, Yemen is facing a total collapse, where two thirds of the total population, around 19 million, need humanitarian aid. Around 10 million people are at risk of famine and 15 million lack access to safe drinking water.
Fewer than 45 percent of the country's hospitals are operational, but even the operational ones are coping with huge challenges, especially the lack of medication, medical equipment and staff.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Researchers at the University of Washington have combined electrodes on top of the brain to sense movement in the parts of the body that experience essential tremor, along with a deep brain electrode, to deliver stimulation only when it's needed.
The approach was developed for the first time by electrical engineers, researchers and ethicists at the University of Washington.
Essential tremor is the most common movement disorder, affecting an estimated 7 million people in the United States alone. It triggers an involuntary, rhythmic shaking during intentional movement, complicating everyday tasks like writing, eating and drinking. When resting or sleeping, however, most patients have few or no symptoms.
The disease can be treated with a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation, where a neurosurgeon implants an electrode in the brain; the wire is then tunneled under the skin to a battery in the chest, which provides electrical stimulation that quiets the symptoms. In current use, these devices are constantly "on", delivering stimulation even when a patient doesn't need it.
The electrode in the thalamus of a patient's brain and its wiring with another implanted device housed under the clavicle that contains a battery and the electronics that drive the system is known as an "open-loop" system.
This is Special English.
Stark cultural differences and a language barrier are responsible for the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
A linguistics expert at the University of Adelaide said a refusal by medical experts to understand the nuances of Indigenous culture and language has contributed to "mistrust and disengagement with the health sector" among Aboriginal Australians, meaning medical care is not often sought out or taken seriously.
According to Robert Amery, head of Linguistics at the university, the gap in life expectancy between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians is around 16 years in some parts of the Northern Territory. In a statement accompanying his research, Amery said doctors needed to make their advice more accessible for those without a strong grasp on the English language.
While many speakers of Indigenous languages living in remote areas can engage with outsiders and converse in English about everyday matters, they often have a poor grasp of English when it comes to health communications and other specialized areas.
The communication gap as a contributor to the life expectancy discrepancy is under-rated and under-researched.
He said the miscommunication could also be hidden from both parties who believe they are on the same page, but differences in body language were also contributing to confusion.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Yoga is one of the fastest growing pastimes in Australia and worldwide, but new research suggests that it is not as safe as previously believed.
The joint study conducted by the University of Sydney and the Mercy College in New York has found that 10 percent of people who practice yoga experience pain, while 21 percent of those studied experience further pain to existing injuries.
According to a 2016 Roy Morgan poll, yoga, which originated in ancient India, is Australia's fastest growing sporting or fitness activity, with over two million Australians participating regularly, and with the number of women who take part topping out at 15 percent of the population.
But one of the authors of the study which looked at injury rates for those who practice yoga told China's Xinhua News Agency that his study was the first time that the risks of participating in the fitness activity have been outlined.
The researcher said they just wanted to objectively assess the benefits of yoga in terms of pain, as well as the risks. 
He said the study found that the incidence of pain caused by yoga is more than 10 percent per year, which is comparable to the injury rate of all sports injuries combined among the physically active population, however people consider it to be a very safe activity.
This is Special English.
A new study involving mice study has suggested that high-fat diet in pregnancy may increase the risk of breast cancer over generations.
Feeding pregnant female mice a diet high in fat derived from common corn oil resulted in genetic changes that substantially increased the susceptibility of breast cancer in three generations of female offspring.
The study was published online in the journal Breast Cancer Research.
It is believed that environmental and life-style factors, including diet, play a critical role in increasing human breast cancer risk, and so scientists used animal models to reveal the biological mechanisms responsible for the increase in risk in women and their female progeny.
The new study revealed a number of genetic changes in the first and third female generations of mice that were fed high-fat diets during pregnancy, including several genes linked in women to increased breast cancer risk, increased resistance to cancer treatment, poor cancer prognosis and impaired anti-cancer immunity.
In the new study, the amount of fat fed to the experimental mice matched what a human might eat daily. But both the experimental mice and the control mice ate the same amount of calories and they weighed the same.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
To cater for travel demand during summer vacation, 142 extra and charter flights have been approved to operate in Macao.
Macao has so far approved 142 extra and charter flights destined for the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, as well as Thailand, South Korea and Japan, to cater for the demand for travel of both Macao residents and tourists who take Macao as a transit point to travel to other places.
In accordance with the application submitted by Air Macau this year, Macau has approved them to operate from July 4 to August 31, 2017, including 57 flights to Taipei, 26 to Kaohsiung, and 30 to Bangkok.
In addition to the extra and charter flights, Macau has also approved the applications for the capacity increase submitted by Air Macau and Tigerair respectively for their Taiyuan flights and Taiwan flights.
When the peak travel season comes, including summer holidays and Spring Festival holidays, airlines departing from and arriving in Macao usually provide extra capacity to satisfy the travel needs of the passengers.
This is Special English.
A team of researchers, including some from Stanford University, have created a new archive of almost 4,000 digitized drawings, prints, photographs and sketches of historic Rome from the 16th to 20th centuries.
The pieces were collected by renowned Roman archaeologist Rodolfo Lanciani, who sought to document the entire history of Rome's archaeology up to the end of the 19th century. And the digital exhibit, which went online in the spring, is expected to help study Rome's transformation over the centuries.
After Lanciani's death in 1929, his library, which contains more than 21,000 items, was sold to Italy's National Institute of Archaeology and Art History in Rome. Archaeologists, historians, architects and other researchers who study ancient cities have used the collection to glean valuable information about Rome's history and structure.
A Roman archaeologist said these materials are very important and have been used by many different scholars, but access to them is quite limited.
An official said Rome is a layered city; and to be able to see its history, people need to look through those layers, and this collection helps that process.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
That is the end of today's program. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

 
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