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December 15, 2018

THE WEEK

Sausages and nyama choma may cause cancer

Health experts have warned Kenyans against excessive consumption of nyama choma, sausages and other processed meats after the WHO linked them to cancer.

The latest WHO report says there is sufficient evidence that consuming about 50 grams of processed meat daily or one and a half sausages, increases the risks of getting cancer by up to 18 per cent.

The revelation caused alarm among Kenyans who eat large amounts of processed meats like sausages, bacon, ham and nyama choma.

Kenya Medical Association National Chairperson Elly Nyaim expressed concern that many Kenyans are consuming excessive amounts of both processed and red meats thereby increasing their chances of getting cancer.

 

African lions may soon go extinct – new study

A new study has revealed that lion numbers across Africa could shrink to half their current levels over the next 20 years.

Populations of the predators in West and Central Africa are most at risk as hunting, poisoning and loss of habitat due to human activity devastates their numbers.Lions in East Africa are also declining but less rapidly.

Researchers behind the study warn that the big cats are vanishing so fast in some areas they may disappear completely from the landscapes they once dominated.The researchers examined data from surveys of 47 lion populations in protected areas across Africa.

Since 1980 the number of lions living in the wild has plummeted from 75,000 to 20,000, according to the most recent estimates by the IUCN. Only Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe have more than 1,000 lions each. The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

La Nina is coming, Met warns farmers in Kisii

The Kisii county meteorological director Henry Sese has urged farmers to prepare for La Nina.

La Nina is a prolonged dry spell that follows El Niño rains.

Sese urged the Agriculture ministry to encourage farmers to plant more food in anticipation of the dry spell.

Speaking to the Star in Kisii town, he told the farmers there is a likelihood hunger will strike after the rains.

“There is a need for the Agriculture department to mitigate the effects of the rain,” Sese said.

Agriculture executive Vincent Sagwe said measures have been put in place to ensure farmers use the rainwater to cultivate more crops. “We will educate farmers on the importance of cultivating more crops this season,” Sagwe said.

Meanwhile, USAid has rolled out a technology to help farmers store maize without using chemicals.

 

Scientists can resurrect the dead, virtually

One academic says it could be possible to speak with the dead within 50 years – at least in the virtual sense. Simon McKeown, a Reader in Animation and Post Production at Teesside University argues that computers could soon become advanced enough to create a ‘synthetic digital life’. This life will be based upon peoples’ past movements, traits, preferences and history on social media history.

McKeown claims the avatars could be created using a process called ‘photogrammetry’ in a project he has dubbed ‘Preserved Memories’. Photogrammetry means you can accurately reconstruct a virtual 3D shape of a human being from existing photographs and video. McKeown predicts that in 50 years’ time, this kind of technology will be seen in a similar way to how the Xbox or Playstation are seen today.

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