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Scientists Manage to Convert Cancerous Tumors Into Healthy Cells With Genetic Technology



Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is an aggressive type of cancer that forms in muscle tissue and primarily affects the pediatric population.  Like other cancerous tumors, its treatment usually includes chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, a set of procedures that is exhausting and aggressive for children’s health.

 However, a new treatment option against rhabdomyosarcoma could soon become a reality now that a team of scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (New York, USA) managed to transform cells from this type of cancer into normal ones for the first time. and healthy muscle.

 The best news is that this promising treatment could be replicated and targeted at other types of malignant tumors, the researchers say in an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 New therapy against rhabdomyosarcoma

The new procedure against the development of RMS cells is called differentiation therapy and is possible with CRISPR gene editing technology.

 It consists of intervening in the development of RMS cells at a critical stage of their evolution to force them to differentiate into other muscle cells.  This procedure is possible by altering a protein known as NF-Y, which promotes the growth of cancer cells.After the therapy, “the cells literally become muscle,” says Christopher Vakoc, molecular biologist and leader of the research team.

 «The tumor loses all the attributes of cancer.  It changes from a cell that just wants to produce more of itself to cells dedicated to contraction.  Because all its energy and resources are now dedicated to contraction, it cannot multiply again,” the biologist explains in a statement.

 Applicable to other types of cancer

Previously, Vakoc and his colleagues had already managed to successfully test this new technique with Enwing sarcoma cells, a type of childhood cancer that mainly affects the bones.  For this reason, they assure that it may be a promising process that could be replicated with other malignant tumors.

 “This technology can allow you to take any cancer and figure out how to differentiate it,” Vakoc says.  “This could be a key step in making differentiation therapy more accessible,” he adds. “Every successful medicine has its origin story.  And research like this is the terrain from which new drugs are born,” summarizes the researcher.

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Costa Rica Issues Health Alert Amid Pediatric Respiratory Surge :



Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health has sounded the alarm in response to a troubling surge in respiratory illnesses among the nation’s children.

Over the past two weeks, hospitals have reported an average of 117 daily pediatric admissions for respiratory viruses. The influx has strained emergency services, with bed occupancy exceeding capacity at 113%. In addition to hospitalizations, over 300 cases are treated on an outpatient basis daily.

The 27-bed Intensive Care Unit has reached a staggering 214% occupancy rate given the high demand. Notably, the majority of affected children are under 5 years old, with 40% being infants under 1 year old and 60% between ages 1 and 4. Their average hospital stay lasts around 7 days, whether in the ICU or general wards. An average of 2 critically ill patients are admitted daily.

Facing this public health crisis, preventative measures are imperative. Ensuring children receive vaccinations appropriate for their age is paramount. Hand washing, especially after contact with respiratory secretions, contaminated objects, using the bathroom and before meals, is another key measure.

When coughing or sneezing, disposable tissues should be used along with proper technique. Avoiding crowded places is strongly advised, particularly taking children under 5 to mass events. Keeping children away from sick individuals reduces transmission risks.

According to the Ministry of Health, should your child exhibit symptoms, seeking prompt medical care is vital. Administering medications without prior consultation is discouraged. Opting for outdoor activities in well-ventilated areas is recommended. Children with respiratory symptoms, diarrhea or vomiting should refrain from educational institutions.

Promoting prevention is essential not just for respiratory diseases but also gastrointestinal illnesses. Individuals requiring specialized care should first visit appropriate primary care facilities.

With hospitals stretched thin, the public must take responsibility and exercise vigilance. Following preventative protocols, recognizing warning signs early and accessing care at the first signs of illness in children will be critical to containing this crisis.

The health and safety of Costa Rica’s youth hangs in the balance. As alarming reports continue to emerge, Costa Ricans must come together to enact measures that safeguard the health of the nation’s children during this precarious time.

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TV Star Natalia Rodríguez’s Thrilling African Adventure Leaves Her ‘Speechless – The Costa Rican Times



All Photos from the Instagram of Natalia Rodriguez

TV presenter and journalist Natalia Rodríguez realized one of her biggest dreams as she ventured into Africa to get up-close with elephants. The star chronicled her incredible Tanzanian journey across social media platforms, showcasing not only elephants but also a variety of wildlife including lions, leopards, and boars.

Safari of a Lifetime in Tanzania’s National Parks:

After waiting for two years, Rodríguez finally visited Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, a location she had long yearned to explore. In Serengeti and Tarangire, she had the unforgettable experience of being close to elephants, which she described as an emotion that left her “speechless.” Adding icing to the cake, she even witnessed a baby elephant being nursed.

The Diverse Faces of Tanzania:

Rodríguez didn’t just stop at the wildlife. Since early September, she has been soaking up Tanzania’s rich culture and history. Each of her posts is a tapestry of curious facts and stunning visuals of Africa’s flora and fauna.

From Giant Turtles to Queen’s Birth Home:

One of her first captivating experiences involved meeting giant turtles, some of whom are as old as 198 years. “They are on Prison Island, 5 km off the coast of Zanzibar. This island was once a slave holding area and later a malaria and yellow fever hospital in the 1870s,” she elaborated in her post.

Her itinerary also includes a visit to the birth home of the legendary singer Freddie Mercury of the band Queen.

An Eye for Cultural Sensitivity:

While in Zanzibar, Rodríguez opted for more modest attire in line with the country’s Muslim majority, not wanting to be out of sync with local customs.

More Than Just Wildlife Photography:

In addition to capturing breathtaking images of various animal species, Rodríguez also shared that park employees periodically clean up animal bones. These bones are later displayed in museums or other places for photographic purposes, serving as a reminder of the circle of life.

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Costa Rica Held the 1st Central American Space Congress 2023 ⋆ The Costa Rica News



The Central American Space Congress (CEC23), one of the most anticipated events in the space field in the region, was held from September 12 to 14 at the Rodrigo Headquarters Facio of the University of Costa Rica.

 During three exciting days of talks, panels and coexistence spaces, experts and enthusiasts of the space industry discussed the space ecosystem, the development of space capabilities, space science and technology, in order to generate knowledge, collaborations between actors and potential businesses in the countries of the region.

 “It was an unprecedented opportunity to create an inclusive platform for the formation of new alliances and collaborations and thus promote the aerospace field in our respective countries, generating opportunities for entrepreneurs, but also for our students,” said Leonora de Lemos, professor at the University of Costa Rica and representative of the CEC2023 organizing committee.

Notable exhibitors

 Among the exhibitors, Costa Rican engineer Sandra Cauffman, Andrés Mora and Carlos Fontanot from the US space agency NASA stand out;  the lawyer with a specialty in aeronautics, AlinaNassar;  oceanographer Melania Guerra;  MizanulChowdhury of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  Gustavo Cabrera, coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency;  Luis Zea, associate professor in the department of aerospace engineering sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder;  the engineer Leonora de Lemos;  Carlos Duarte from the Mexican Space Agency (AEM), Dana Scarlet, robotics teacher at the Ella She is Ella Foundation mission;  RachitBahtia of LeoLabs;  Katherine Herrera, expert space microbiologist;  Franklin Chang Diaz and Elías Solórzano of the MDA.

 “CEC2023 was a real opportunity for a 17-year-old student from Central America to talk directly with representatives of the highest level of the American Space Agency NASA about her ideas and aspirations and vice versa,” celebrated engineer Andrés Mora, manager of the idea that gave rise to the congress.

 “Historically, the region has not been a leader in previous industrial revolutions, but that does not mean it should be that way forever.  New commercial platforms in space will allow companies from all over the world to be key participants in this new industrial revolution,” concluded Guatemalan Luis Zea.


 For more than 40 years, the Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiatives (CINDE) has worked to attract foreign direct investment to the country.  Throughout its history, CINDE has provided support to more than 400 multinational companies established in Costa Rica in various industries, including manufacturing, services, life sciences and tourism infrastructure.  As a private, apolitical organization declared to be of national interest, the agency has been classified since 2017 – and now, for five consecutive years – by the International Trade Center (ITC) as the best investment attraction agency of the world.


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