Thursday, October 10
Eating tomatoes could help treat fertility problems in men, according to UK scientists.
A dietary supplement containing lycopene – a pigment that gives tomatoes their red colour – has been shown to boost overall sperm quality with improvements to their size, shape and swimming capabilities.
The researchers say their findings could help reduce the need for invasive fertility treatments in the future as more than 40 per cent of all infertility cases are due to abnormal sperm production or function.
But experts point out that the study, which only involved healthy participants, does not show that lycopene improves fertility and needs to be replicated with men with poor sperm quality.
The team from the University of Sheffield recruited 60 healthy volunteers aged between 19 and 30.
During the 12-week trial, half of the participants took 14mg of LactoLycopene – created by supplement manufacturer Cambridge Nutraceuticals Ltd – and the other half took dummy pills.
Professor Allan Pacey, head of the University of Sheffield’s department of oncology and metabolism and lead author, said: “We didn’t really expect that at the end of the study there would be any difference in the sperm from men who took the tablet versus those who took the placebo.
“When we decoded the results, I nearly fell off my chair.
“The improvement in morphology – the size and shape of the sperm – was dramatic.”
Study co-author Dr Liz Williams, a specialist in human nutrition at the University of Sheffield, said while she was “surprised” by the improvements in the sperm quality in the experiments, further research is needed with a larger study sample.
US Democratic presidential contender front runner Joe Biden has, for the first time, openly called for the impeachment of US President Donald Trump.
Mr Biden, who featured prominently in the actions that led congressional Democrats to start impeachment proceedings, had earlier refrained from making an outright plea for the move.
He said in an opinion piece published over the weekend they would let Congress do its job on impeachment.
However, during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Mr Biden toughened his stance..
“With his words and his actions, President Trump has indicted himself. By obstructing justice, refusing to reply with a congressional inquiry, he’s already convicted himself,” he said.
“In full view of the world and the American people, Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed this nation and committed impeachable acts.
“To preserve our constitution, our democracy, our basic integrity, he should be impeached.”
Mr Trump responded in real time on Twitter, using one of his nicknames for Mr Biden.
“So pathetic to see Sleepy Joe Biden, who with his son, Hunter, and to the detriment of the American taxpayer, has ripped off at least two countries for millions of dollars, calling for my impeachment — and I did nothing wrong.”
The Democratic-led House of Representatives opened impeachment proceedings against Mr Trump on September 24, over a July phone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which he asked him to investigate Mr Biden and his businessman son, Hunter Biden.
Despite Mr Trump’s allegations that Mr Biden engaged in improper dealings in Ukraine, made without providing evidence, there are few signs the controversy has damaged the Democratic former vice president’s 2020 prospects.
A Melbourne suburban councillor’s plan to start DNA testing dog poo found on the district’s footpaths, has been binned at the last moment.
Councillor Lambros Tapinos, of Moreland City Council, said DNA testing of dog poo was already happening in the United States and London.
However, he acknowledged the plan was “not necessarily feasible” for the suburban council and after withdrawing his proposal last night the Councillors instead agreed to back an “awareness campaign” reminding people to pick up after their dogs
Councillor Tapinos was proposing to create a DNA database of the region’s pet dogs, so that errant excrement littering its streets and parks might be traced back to animals, and their owners fined.
The plan would have required DNA to be voluntarily taken from dogs when their owners brought them in to be microchipped.
It would also have needed a specialist operator to carry out the tests, with costs starting at $100,000.
“It is something in operation in the US and in operation in London. It’s something that Madrid is looking at the moment,” Councillor Tapinos said.
Councillor Tapinos was set to put his plan to council last night.
But after widespread publicity, he withdrew it just before it went to a vote.
“I acknowledge that it was probably a little bit too visionary considering there wasn’t an operator in Australia,” he told his fellow councillors.
“It certainly doesn’t have the support of my colleagues here. And that’s been made clear over the debate had in the media and so forth.
“But I’m glad it was able to get some publicity and I’m glad that those issues were raised, because it means that residents are getting more serious and that is a good thing.”
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