Stories by Eileen Drage O'Reilly

Experts: Eliminating TB is possible this generation, but funding is paramount

Illustration of lungs made of coins, with a couple differently colored (copper pennies with silver nickels)
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Global health leaders around the world are sharpening their goals of eliminating tuberculosis within this generation, but at the same time they are facing the threat of the U.S. — the biggest contributor to the fight — cutting back its support.

Why it matters: Today is World Tuberculosis Day. Most cases of tuberculosis (TB) can be treated and cured, yet the disease continues to infect 10 million and kill 1.6 million people a year — more than any other infectious disease. And if the U.S. cuts its funding for international programs, despite having the tools to get rid of it, it's likely to stay the course.

In a first, researchers used a frozen piece of testicle to create a baby monkey

12-week-old Grady, born from cryopreserved testicular tissue.
12-week-old Grady, born from cryopreserved testicular tissue. Photo: Oregon Health and Science University

Scientists successfully froze immature testicular tissue and later transplanted it so it could mature and produce sperm that successfully led to a baby in primates — the first time a live birth resulted from a graft of this type of tissue, according to a study published in Science Thursday.

Why it matters: This research is a step towards the goal of allowing young male cancer patients to be able to reproduce later in life if they so choose. As cancer treatments improve, more than 80% of U.S. kids who get cancer now survive but 30% of those will have permanent infertility due to their treatments.

World Health Organization calls for strong gene editing framework

Photo of the World Health Organization emblem
WHO headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Top global scientists declined to declare the moratorium on gene editing heritable genes in humans called for by some experts, but warned it would be "irresponsible" to allow this in clinical practice and recommended initial steps for a global regulatory framework under the World Health Organization.

Why it matters: The global scientific and ethical community continues to be divided on whether there should be a complete moratorium on editing germline, or heritable, cells for now. However there's a growing consensus that some global regulatory framework is needed to prevent a repeat of the ethically and medically questionable way a Chinese scientist edited and implanted embryos.

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