18 January 2008South Africans Alex Harris and Sibusiso Vilane made history on Thursday when they became the first South African team to walk unassisted to the South Pole.The duo set out on their epic 65-day journey on 10 November, dragging 130-kilogram sleds almost 1200 kilometres across some of the most hostile terrain on the planet.Antarctica generates much of the bad weather in the southern hemisphere, and storms there can be fierce. Temperatures range from an ambient of about -8 degrees to about -40 degrees Celsius.They completed their journey without the help of support teams putting out food or rigging up tents, and without using wind power or sled dogs, in what Harris described as “the purest form of getting to the South Pole”.Harris and Vilane are no strangers to extreme feats, with Harris becoming the second South African to summit the highest peak on each of the seven continents, the so-called “seven summits”, in 2005 and Vilane becoming the first black South African to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, in 2003.The two men spent almost a year training for the trek, dragging tyres requiring a pulling force of 30-40kg every second day, covering a distance of about 17 kilometres per training session.The trip was premised on covering at least 20 kilometres a day – they carried only an extra five days’ worth of emergency fuel and food – meaning that any mileage lost in a day would have to be made up for, or they would risk running out of supplies.They just made it, taking exactly five more days than planned – one day more and they’d have been running on empty.The physical and mental toughness it took to achieve this is hinted at in some of the extracts from Harris’s trip journal …No painkillers– extracts from Alex Harris’s journal21 November 2007have only covered distance of 45kms so far, but the last 6 days we have been stuck in our tent with high winds, so it is very frustrating23 November 2007finally on the move again. whiteout today so tough going. broke a ski in the wind the other day. did a repair job, just hope it lasts27 November 2007hi. only managed 14km in 8hrs. weather was perfect but it was the toughest day yet. soft snow made pulling desperate. but we finally made it to 81 degrees!01 December 2007at last. day 18 and did 20.48km in 8.5hrs. felt good, weather perfect and snow improving all the time. 42 more days!02 December 2007another good day. day 19. did 19.4km. my heel is starting to act up. there is a monster bank of clouds rolling in from the east.04 December 2007day 21. i battled today. heel burning like a hot poker. trying different things. sibu is fine11 December 2007day 28. last two days have been desperate conditions. zero vizibility and thick snow. only managed 15km today. heaviest the sleds have felt!13 December 2007this place deprives us of the luxury of nightime but the gloom of the day robs us of the light. instead we move through a grey twilight that knows not dawn nor dusk. it is fit for neither the living nor the dead. battled for 10hrs in the same conditions just for 15km04 January 2008day 52. feel exhausted. did 22.3km but getting colder measured -25.9 in my pocket! done 800km12 January 2008day 60 comes at last. perfect weather. still -22. did 25.4km in 10 hrs. tomorrow its on to emergency rations some juicy tidbits not mentioned before for fear of freaking the folks out. in that very windy spell in the first week, i got frostbite on my inside left thigh, about the size of my hand. not serious though as there is nothing to freeze solid and fall off. unless it was higher up my leg! anyway i have had to doctor it every day and make sure it doesnt go septic. but it is finally healing and forming scabs.14 January 2008day 62. mon 14th. gloomy day but still did 25.4km. countdown! 3 more days. 67km. unbelieveable! JTB #3. In the first week sibu and i had a huge argument about whether it was acceptable to do a #2 in the bell of the tent if conditions outside warranted it! thankfully it never came to that!15 January 2008day 63. JTB #4 We have had no painkillers on this trip. zip! must have fallen out when i was consolidating 2 kits into 1 at home16 January 2008day 64. wow, we have only 15km to go. listen to 702 thurs 4to6. you might catch us. i cant believe this day has finally come!SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
8 August 2014City residents and commuters boarding trains and taxis at Pretoria Station will now have access to free breast cancer screening, thanks to the opening of Hello Clinic at the station.The clinic, a joint initiative of the government, Metropolitan Health, Pink Drive, Bidvest and Motion Pathology, was opened by Deputy Social Development Minister Hendrietta Mogopane-Zulu on Thursday.Bogopane-Zulu said the opening of the clinic was not only about detecting cancer, but also about promoting a healthy lifestyle.“When the mother passes on, it is us that must pick up the pieces,” Bogopane-Zulu said. “Our business is about strengthening families. We have a responsibility to assist families become strong and healthy so they can assist us in combating poverty.”She said the Pink Drive truck, which was also launched on Thursday, would be used as a one-stop shop for conducting cervical cancer testing and HIV testing, as well as providing dignity packages to girl learners in rural areas.She added that the department would be making funding available to ensure that Hello Clinic has dedicated sign language interpreters to strengthen its work.First Lady Thobeka Madiba-Zuma, also speaking at Thursday’s opening, said women’s health should be at the centre of all government programmes.“We can’t even begin to talk about development without women’s health featuring there,” Madiba-Zuma said. “Women should be healthy in order for them to play a meaningful role in the economic growth of our country.”She added that the clinic reflected the power of public-private partnerships. “The clinic is a goal standard for innovative approaches towards improving women health.”Deputy Health Minister Joseph Phaahla commended the work done by the Pink Drive. “We believe that any contribution towards alleviating the burden of cancer is highly appreciated. This is not a small effort and we are really grateful.”Noelene Kotschan from Pink Drive said that, while cancer was a potential killer, so was ignorance. “Breast cancer is an enemy fighting us. Together we must fight it and we must win.”Source: SAnews.gov.za
(AP) – A redacted version of the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference and the Trump campaign is stirring controversy even before its release.Democrats say a news conference ahead of the redacted report’s release on Thursday allows Attorney General William Barr to spin its contents before lawmakers and the public have a chance to read it.The nearly 400-page report is expected to reveal what special counsel Robert Mueller uncovered about ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that fell short of criminal conduct.Democrats have vowed to fight in court for the disclosure of additional information from the report. They are expected to seize on any negative portrait of the president to demand the release of the full report.
Gene therapy stops bleeding episodes in hemophilia trial By Jocelyn KaiserDec. 6, 2017 , 5:00 PM iStock.com/somersault18:24 Researchers have scored their first clear success in using gene therapy to treat hemophilia, an inherited blood disorder. Ten men received a single intravenous infusion of a harmless virus ferrying a gene for factor IX, a blood-clotting protein missing in people with hemophilia B. Up to 18 months later, the men’s livers are making, on average, 34% the normal level of factor IX. That’s enough that nine of the 10 patients have had no bleeding episodes, researchers report today in The New England Journal of Medicine. What’s more, eight of the 10 no longer need factor IX injections every few days. Previous gene therapy trials for hemophilia B didn’t go well, either because patients’ immune systems destroyed the modified cells or the cells didn’t make enough factor IX. In the new trial, sponsored by Spark Therapeutics and Pfizer, researchers gave the patients’ liver cells the gene for an unusually potent version of the factor IX protein. That allowed the team to lower the vector dose, minimizing immune responses. Two patients had elevated liver enzymes in reaction to the vector, but those levels came down after they received steroids. Only 20% of hemophilia patients have the B form, but efforts are also underway to use gene therapy to treat the most common type, hemophilia A.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)