Chinese scientists first discover spider species breastfeeding, nursing

admin   •   December 3, 2018   •   5789

 

Spider babies eating milk on bellies of spider mothers | REUTERS

Chinese scientists discovered a spider species that feeds their babies with milk as mammals, marking the first time humans discovering invertebrates breastfeeding and nursing theirs offspring, said Chinese Academy of Sciences Friday.

Breastfeeding is a unique animal behavior to mammals, including humans. This type of spider, commonly known as big ant spider, discovered with “breastfeeding behavior”, belongs to Myrmarachne of Salticidae, which is a spider species widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of East and Southeast Asia.

“Spider babies which just hatched out clime up on spider moms’ bellies, to eat a kind of liquid (secreted by spider moms), which was tested to be milk containing four times the protein of cow’s milk. We call it spider milk,” said Chen Zhanqi, a post doctor from Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Researchers found after long-term observation that the newly hatched spider babies feed themselves entirely with the milk in the first 20 days after birth, during which they grow as big as half of their mothers. From 20 to 40 days, spider babies go out looking for food by themselves, while also eating milk from their mothers. This period is a transition for weaning.

The study also found that spider babies don’t leave their mothers after weaning, and continue to stay with them in nests, even after they grow up. This kind of spider will take care of its grown-up offspring, which is seen as a long parental behavioral mode. This mode was once thought to only exist in the social vertebrates with long lifespan.

Experts believe that this breakthrough discovery has extremely important significance for the research on revolution of breastfeeding behavior for contemporary animals. — Reuters

China records 9 coronavirus deaths, 440 confirmed cases

UNTV News   •   January 22, 2020

A woman checks the mask on her child outside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 21 January 2020. EFE/EPA/YUAN ZHENG

By Javier Triana

Beijing
– The death toll from the new coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China, has increased to nine with 440 confirmed cases, the country’s National Health Commission reported Wednesday.

At midnight local time on Tuesday (16.00 GMT), 13 provinces had confirmed the 440 cases of infection, and the nine deaths were all located in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, NHC vice-minister Li Bin said Wednesday at a press conference in Beijing.

This hikes the casualty figures by three deaths and 149 people infected since the last report published on Tuesday.

The city of Wuhan has a population of 11 million people and is the epicenter of the outbreak of the new type of coronavirus (2019-nCov). It causes what is known as “Wuhan pneumonia” which, authorities said on Monday, can be spread through human contact.

Li said there is a possibility that the virus — the transmission route of which is yet to be completely traced — could mutate and that the epidemic could spread, but that no “super transmitter” with the capacity to infect many people from a single case has been detected.

He expressed concern about the spread of infection that could occur throughout Chinese New Year, the holiday period that officially begins Friday and constitutes the largest human migration on the planet, with tens of millions of Chinese returning to their hometowns.

He said: “During Chinese New Year, the surge [in people moving around the country] increases the risk of the epidemic’s spread and the difficulty of prevention and control. We must not take it lightly,”

However, Li said that the response of health services to the disease has managed to keep “fatalities and cases at a minimal level.”

“We have confidence we will defeat this disease,” the official concluded.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s president Tsai-Ing Wen called on China to make fully transparent all its information on the virus to help other countries take proper measures to prevent its spread.

Taiwan has reported one confirmed case of the virus — a Taiwanese woman returning to the island from a business trip to Wuhan.

The patient reportedly felt ill for days before her trip home but wore a face mask on the return flight. She was quarantined on arrival and hospitalized.

Tsai said the woman was in a stable condition.

Taiwanese medical personnel are working with airline companies to detect potential cases of fever on board planes, a symptom of the SARS-like Wuhan virus along with difficulty breathing.

The World Health Organization has scheduled a Wednesday meeting to determine whether the current outbreak of coronavirus in China constitutes an international emergency.

Japan and South Korea have also reported one case each, while two others had already been confirmed in Thailand with another two announced Wednesday.

The United States announced its first case Tuesday, with the affected person hospitalized last week after experiencing symptoms of pneumonia and, according to US authorities, is in a stable condition after having recently traveled to Wuhan, the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

The patient returned from China on Jan. 15, two days before US authorities ordered all travelers entering from Wuhan to be monitored for viral illness at the airports in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. EFE-EPA

jt/tw

Death toll in China climbs to 9 as Wuhan Coronavirus reaches the US

Marje Pelayo   •   January 22, 2020

edical staff transfer patients to Jinyintan hospital where patients infected with a new strain of Coronavirus identified as the cause of the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak are treated in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 20 January 2020.  EPA-EFE/STRINGER

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Wednesday (January 22) the first case of the mysterious strain of coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.

Reports said a Washington statesman in his 30s contracted the disease when he traveled to Wuhan to visit his relatives last week.

He arrived in the US on January 15, two days before Federal officials ordered the screening of travelers from China arriving in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York’s John F. Kennedy international airport.

The man is now in stable condition but is still under observation.

The CDC has created a new system of testing the virus and is coordinating with National Institutes of Health in the country to develop a vaccine against it.

Meanwhile, Chinese health authorities confirmed a positive case of human to human transmission of the virus discovered in Wuhan after a doctor who was involved in the investigation on the outbreak of the virus contracted the disease.

So far, the death toll from the viral infection has already reached nine, while more than 400 individuals across China have tested positive of Wuhan coronavirus.

The virus has already reached the capital city of Beijing and Shanghai as well as other Asian countries namely Thailand, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. MNP (with details from Aaron Romero)

PH Gov’t urged to take precautionary measures vs threat of new coronavirus strain

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

Passengers wearing face masks who arrived from Guangzhou, China lineup for immigration at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, 22 January 2020. EPA-EFE/MARK R. CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines – Several lawmakers on Wednesday urged the Philippine government to take precautionary measures and prepare emergency response plans amid the threat of a new strain of coronavirus from China.

In a statement, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to put schools on alert and ensure that preventive steps are in place to protect students from the respiratory disease that has already infected 222 individuals across neighboring countries of China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.

“Sa ating pangambang makapasok itong bagong coronavirus sa ating bansa, mabuti nang maging sigurado tayo dahil ang isang kumpirmadong kaso ay maaaring maikalat sa iba,” Gatchalian said.

He made the appeal after the Department of Health (DOH) reported Tuesday it is closely monitoring a child who may have contracted novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) prior to entering the Philippines from Wuhan, China.

The DOH said the child manifested symptoms such as cough, throat irritation, and fever. He is currently stable but still has a cough.

Based on samples examined by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the unnamed child tested negative for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Both diseases are caused by a family of viruses called coronavirus.

But he tested positive for a non-specific pancoronavirus assay, meaning he is infected with a strain of coronavirus. The sample has been sent to a laboratory in Australia for further testing.

The new strain of coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City on December 31, 2019.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said novel coronavirus causes respiratory infections which may develop into severe cases such as pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death if left untreated.

Coronavirus, which is a large group of viruses common among animals, may be transmitted to humans through contact with an infected person or animal.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, arts, and culture also said that schools should have protocols in identifying students displaying flu-like symptoms and emphasize the practice of good hygiene, such as frequent hand-washing, to avoid any diseases.

Senator Nancy Binay, meanwhile, called on the DOH and other government agencies to prepare for an emergency response plan in dealing with the respiratory illness from China.

Binay said she filed Senate Resolution 293 which aims to determine appropriate measures and necessary funding requirements to ensure quick government response to address possible outbreaks.

“Preemptive measures will always the better option. Kailangan natin paghandaan na dahil actionable ang impormasyong hawak ng DOH. We must act immediately to monitor reports of the disease or sightings, and abate the possibility of an outbreak,” she said in a statement.

“Mabuting maging handa, hindi lamang ang DOH at ang pambansang pamahalaan, kundi pati na rin ang mga local na pamahalaan hanggang sa lebel ng barangay,” she added.

The DOH earlier advised the public to always practice frequent handwashing, avoid crowded places and contact with an infected person, and to thoroughly cook food, especially those containing meat and dairy products.   

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