• Science
    The Telegraph

    Covid-19 vaccine will rely on blood taken from horseshoe crabs

    A Covid-19 vaccine will save millions of lives, but it could have a surprising collateral: horseshoe crabs whose blood will be used to test the safety of the medicine. Horseshoe crabs, which are found on the coasts of Northeast America and South Asia have been around for 450 million years and are more closely related to spiders than crustaceans. But their numbers have dropped dramatically in recent years, thanks in part to the pharmaceutical industry’s harvesting of the animals for their unusual blue blood. The blood contains limulus amebocyte lysate, a substance that can be used to detect toxins, a process vital to the production of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals. As the only natural source of lysate, the pharmaceutical industry depends on 500,000 horseshoe crabs being bled every year in a process similar to giving blood. The crabs are put back into the ocean alive around two days later, but little is known about the long-term effects, with studies suggesting between 3 and 30 per cent of the crabs die as a result. There are also indications that the process could be detrimental to their ability to reproduce. Numbers of horseshoe crabs off the coast of Delaware Bay in northern US have dropped from 1.24m in 1990 to around 330,000 last year. On the Guangxi Coast of China, where horseshoe crabs are also eaten, numbers have dropped from around 700,000 breeding pairs to as little as 40,000. When it comes to the production of a Covid-19 vaccine, “my concern is about the population of the horseshoe crabs because they’re such a key part of the ecosystem,” Barbara Brummer, the State Director of The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey told BBC Radio 4. Birds such as the red knot or the semipalmated plover rely on horseshoe crabs for food. Conservationists are calling on the pharmaceutical industry to embrace the use of a synthetic alternative known as recombinant factor C (rFC), which would end the reliance on horseshoe crabs. The European pharmaceutical regulator last week approved the use of rFC, which was first developed in the early 2000s, as an alternative test for bacterial contamination. But its widespread use has been hampered by a ruling in June from the US regulator, which ruled that any pharmaceutical companies that want to use it instead of the natural alternative would be required to do extra tests.

  • Lifestyle
    In The Know

    Woman captures eerie animal behavior on video during beach trip: 'I can’t handle this'

    Seems like everyone is headed to the beach nowadays.

  • Celebrity
    Evening Standard

    Kate Garraway reveals Elton John offered to help her family as husband Derek Draper fights covid-19

    Kate Garraway has revealed Sir Elton John offered to assist her family after her husband Derek Draper was hospitalised with coronavirus.Garraway returned to Good Morning Britain this morning to share an update on Draper’s condition, saying she has received enormous support from all over the UK.

  • Politics

    ‘Depravity’ Of Trump’s July 4th Speeches Laid Bare In Washington Post Editorial

    The president "plumbed new depths of depravity" with the addresses, wrote the newspaper's editorial board.

  • Celebrity

    Brooklyn Beckham is double of dad David as he finally reunites with family

    Brooklyn Beckham was the image of his dad David in Victoria Beckham's latest Instagram post. The mum-of-four was clearly thrilled to be reunited with her eldest, after living apart for months during the coronavirus pandemic, as she shared a lovely photo of the 21-year-old – and fans were blown away by how much he looked like his dad!MORE: Brooklyn Beckham reveals glimpse inside NYC home with girlfriend Nicola PeltzLoading the player...WATCH: Victoria and David Beckham reunite with son Brooklyn after coronavirus pandemicVictoria posted the photo of Brooklyn on Monday evening as he sat in a country field – no doubt near their gorgeous Cotswold home – and smiled at the camera. The former Spice Girl and fashion designer captioned the picture: "So happy to have @brooklynbeckham home with us. We have missed you so much!! kisses @nicolaannepeltz x VB."MORE: Romeo Beckham twins with mum Victoria as he shows off shoulder-length hairFans couldn't believe how much the 21-year-old looked like his dadFollowers of Victoria couldn't believe how much Brooklyn resembled his famous dad. One person wrote underneath: "He is so like David," while a second person wrote: "Gosh he looks the image of his Dad," and a third said: "He looks so much like David!" Other were so taken back by the photo, they were initially convinced it was in fact David in the image. "Thought this was David at first glance xx," said one, with another echoing, adding: "Omg I thought this was David on first glance!"Cruz posted this photo which convinced followers Brooklyn had reunited with the familyThe eldest son of David and Victoria, along with his girlfriend Nicola Peltz, recently reunited with the rest of his family after months of living apart during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. It was first suspected that the family were all in one place on Thursday, when Brooklyn's younger brother Cruz, 15, shared a photo of his elder brother chasing Harper, eight, across the family tennis court.Nonetheless, fans were unsure whether this was definite since Romeo could only just be made out in the photo. Since, Brooklyn has also posted two photos of himself with one of the family's pet dogs, shortly before Victoria triple confirmed all of our suspicions. Until now, Brooklyn and his girlfriend Nicola were staying at Nicola's home in New York, which she appears to share with her family.    Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

  • Business
    The Telegraph

    Buckingham Palace staff face job cuts amid speculation Queen will not return to London after summer

    Buckingham Palace staff are facing the spectre of job cuts amid speculation that the Queen will not come back to London following her summer holiday in Balmoral. The Telegraph has seen an internal memo that lays bare the full implications of the coronavirus crisis for palace staff. As well as seeking voluntary redundancies from the Royal Collection Trust (RCT), which has lost £64 million in income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, pay is being frozen for all employees while a consultation into the pension scheme is launched. RCT – which derives its income from visitors to the palace – had been expected to make £77 million this year, but the lockdown has caused its earnings to fall to £13 million. Warning that the Royal household "may not be fully operational until 2021", the memo, written by the Lord Chamberlain, Lord Peel, states: "Even when lockdown measures are relaxed, social distancing and changing attitudes to travel will mean that visitor numbers are likely to be reduced for several years." According to one palace source, employees fear that is "the opening salvo to further cuts". "The word is Buckingham Palace is not being opened up any time soon, which has huge implications for staff," said the insider. "The Queen is planning to spend the summer in Balmoral as usual, but after that it's thought she will probably return to Windsor Castle. What that means for staff in London is anyone's guess. A lot of people fear they'll lose their jobs."

  • Science
    In The Know

    Photo of human-sized bat in the Philippines baffles social media users

    An old photo of a human-sized bat in the Philippines has resurfaced on Twitter, puzzling social media users.