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Male Fertility is in Crisis and Scientist Don’t Know Why

Male Fertility is in Crisis and Scientist Don’t Know Why 86

For those that are familiar with the late great Gene Roddenberry and his visionary brain child Star Trek (the original and all of its branch offs), you might recall an episode in Star Trek The Next Generation where a very similar situation was taking place on another planet. It is amazing how this guy foresaw so many of the issues of the today (for him at that time, the future).

via iNews:

Health experts are warning of a crisis in male fertility that they fear is making it harder for couples to conceive – a problem they say is compounded by a lack of scientific understanding.

The average sperm count has dived by 52 percent in the past four decades – while men are leaving it later and later before trying to have a child.

Yet scientists don’t know why the sperm count is falling or even whether the decline is reducing fertility – although logic suggests that it is, leading academics said today.

Men become less fertile

And while there is now evidence to show that men, like women, become less fertile with age, they know very little about when and how this happens.

In short, our understanding of the key male fertility questions has moved on very little from the 1990s, according to Professor Richard Sharpe, of the University of Edinburgh.

“We still don’t know what causes most cases of male infertility, which means we don’t have the tools to correct them,” he said. “And the flip side of that coin is that we can’t induce infertility for contraceptive purposes – we haven’t developed a new effective male contraceptive since the condom,” Professor Sharp added.

Finally, among the big unanswered questions, scientists still know very little about sperm production – the fundamental driver of male fertility. ” We know it’s absolutely dependent on high levels of testosterone.

But we should know how that works and we still don’t – it’s a big black box,” said Prof Sharp. Millions of people affected It’s estimated that around 1 in 6 couples, or about 3.5 million people in the UK, are affected by infertility.

In more than half of cases, the problem lies with the male partner, for example if he has a low sperm count or his sperm are poor swimmers.

“Despite how common male fertility problems are, incredibly there’s nothing that we can prescribe, nor add to his sperm to cure it,” said Dr Sarah Martins Da Silva, of the University of Dundee.

“So couples rely on fertility treatment such as IVF which is expensive and invasive and doesn’t guarantee success,” she said.

Fertility ‘crisis’

Professor Allan Pacey, of the University of Sheffield, added: “I do think male fertility is in a bit of a crisis….the quality of evidence we’ve got in this area falls way behind that of other branches of medicine and that’s something that we need to change.”

Normal sperm densities range between 15 to 200 million per millilitre, with anything less than that regarded as low, making it potentially much more difficult to conceive naturally.

Tom Bawen
Image Credit: Shutterstock


Planet Earth

Polar vortex: “wild” winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January

Polar vortex: "wild" winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January 87

In the upper atmosphere above the North Pole, experts saw a rapidly swirling vortex of cold air that could bring severe frosts to the United States, Northern Europe and East Asia. Serious cold snap and snowy weather are expected after January the 16th.

Snowfalls and a cold snap hit South Korea since the start of 2021, hitting historic snow maximums and temperatures. In the country, for the first time since 1964, television and newer communications are sending people cold snap warnings:

The situation is similar in Japan, where a new snow storm hit historic highs:

On January 7, the thermometer In Beijing dropped to -20 degrees Celsius, breaking the 1966 record. In other regions of China, the temperature is also not sugar, and you can only move around in special uniforms:

The cold even reached Taiwan, where the temperature in some areas dropped below freezing point, snow poured down and people realized that rice terraces can be used as a ski jump:

Even more snow went to Spain, where on January 6, 2021, a temperature of -34.1 ° C was recorded – the lowest on record. After that, a snow storm hit the country, which has not been seen for 80 years:

The same thing happens in Canada and in the northern states of the United States:

It seems that after a stratospheric warming, the subpolar vortex began to split:

The vortex itself is a standard phenomenon. However, this time experts were surprised at his movement. It is possible that in the near future it will be divided into two parts. 

Scientists associate the strange behavior with the changed climate in the Arctic, which has become warmer. From September to December, the amount of ice cover decreased significantly.

The polar vortex is a low-pressure region located in the stratosphere and filled with cold air. When the jet stream of air that holds the vortex weakens, the low pressure area moves south. 

As the ice shrinks, more moisture will move inland. It will turn to snow, so snowfalls are expected. Snow, in turn, reflects heat, leading to a cold snap.

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Planet Earth

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared 88

Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud crash at dawn when a huge hole in the ground formed outside the Ponticelli Ospedale del Mare hospital in eastern Naples.

Early in the morning of January 8, 2021, a sinkhole occurred in the parking lot of a clinic in Naples. The depth of the formed cavity is about 20 meters, the total area of ​​the hole is about 2,000 square meters.

No casualties were found at the scene; firefighters say the sinkhole “affected an area of ​​about 500 square meters” and engulfed several cars parked near the hospital.

As the press writes and as a little can be seen from the videos, rescuers and firefighters were running around the pit together with the governor of the area.  But who should be there in the forefront are Italian geologists, since Naples stands in the very center of the volcanic system known as the Phlegrean Fields.

If the surface collapsed, moreover – the surface reinforced with concrete and reinforced from below with some kind of communications, then we are talking about serious soil deformations caused by the activity of magma.

Italy has been in doubt since the summer of 2020, because swarms were observed there in very atypical places in May, and according to the forecasts of old Italian seismologists, who had witnessed many strong earthquakes, it should have boomed in the August region.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened to Italy and there was no big earthquake. But, since there are swarms, it means that something is being prepared, the magma is gathering strength. 

Following this particular sinkhole event – an obvious sign that a major earthquake in Italy is already very close.

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Planet Earth

A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China

A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China 89

In the first months of 2020, the whole world with a certain fright followed the events unfolding in China, where people fell on the streets during the day and astronauts wandered, and in the evening crematoria began to smoke. And now, with the onset of December, the cycle seems to be repeating itself.

Shunyi area in Beijing, where the authorities announced “wartime status” the day before. As you can see in the videos, thousands of people are lined up in the queue for mandatory testing:

Dalian city, where “wartime” is also declared. Neighborhoods are blockaded, people are walled up in entrances, familiar characters of George Lucas roam the streets:

Chinese ‘rescuers’, before performing a combat mission:

Chengdu City:

Daluo Port, Yunnan – tourists came for adventure and they received the ‘time of their life’ after leaving the ramp:

If something happens in Beijing, it does not mean that tomorrow the same will happen everywhere. However, the trend towards such dynamics is observed and, as the practice of the first wave of the pandemic has shown, all countries and people, to one degree or another, have taken into account the ‘Chinese experience’. 

Therefore, one must think that everything will now be in peace, as in spring – a new global round of the fight against the Covid has begun in China, a new great pandemic cycle!

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