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Diarrhoea-causing bacteria in human gut produces electricity – study

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Bacteria that live in the human gut and can cause diarrhoea produce electricity, a study has found.

The bug Listeria monocytogenes, which can also lead to miscarriages, produces an electrical current when it removes waste products from its cells. 

Hundreds of other bacteria, including those that cause gangrene and hospital infections, as well as bugs involved in fermenting yoghurt, also create ‘sparks’.

Researchers believe these bacteria could create ‘living batteries’, which may lead to electricity being generated from bugs in sewage plants.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, measured the electrical current that comes off Listeria monocytogenes.

Results, published in the journal Nature, suggest the bug gives off just as much electricity as other bacteria that are known to trigger electrical currents.

Study author Professor Dan Portnoy said: ‘The fact that so many bugs that interact with humans, either as pathogens or in probiotics or in our microbiota or involved in fermentation of human products, are electrogenic – that had been missed before.

‘It could tell us a lot about how these bacteria infect us or help us have a healthy gut.’ 

Certain bacteria generate electricity to remove waste electrons, which make up atom particles, as well as to boost their energy production.

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This involves the bugs transferring electrons outside of their cells, which triggers an electrical current that carries the particles.

Some scientists have made a battery by sticking an electrical conductor in a flask of bacteria to generate electricity.

Many bacteria appear to only generate electricity when they need to, such as when their oxygen levels are low. If this process could be manipulated, it could be used to ferment food like sauerkraut and manufacture probiotics, according to the scientists.

This comes after a completely new species of bacteria was discovered by scientists in a 64-year-old man from Cornwall yesterday.

The unnamed patient went to his doctor with cellulitis, which is a common infection that can turn skin red, swollen and hot-to-touch.

Lab tests revealed the bacteria responsible had never been documented before but was similar to others.

Researchers called the new strain of Staph infection cornubiensis, after the medieval name for the historic English county of Cornwall.

They believe it is part of a group of bacteria known as staphylococcus SIG, which are usually passed to humans from pet dogs.

It is unclear whether the patient owned a dog or had come into contact with the animal before developing cellulitis.

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102-year-old contracts Covid-19 as positivity rate doubles – KBC

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The daily Covid-19 positivity rate doubled to 7.5 pc after 469 people Tuesday among them a 102-year old tested positive from a sample size of 6,244 tested in the last 24 hours.

The positivity rate is now 7.5pc up from 3.5pc pushing up the country’s caseload to 166,006 from 1,752,693 cumulative tests conducted so far.

Of the cases, 363 are Kenyans while 106 are foreigners. 280 are males and 189 females. The youngest is a two-year-old baby while the oldest is 102 years.

This time around,  Kisumu recorded the highest number of positive cases at 102, Nairobi 77, Mombasa and Kericho 27 cases each, Siaya and Busia 18 cases each, Meru 17, Kisii 16, Nyeri 14, Kitui 13, Nyamira and Kilifi 12 cases each, Nandi 11, Uasin Gishu 10, Turkana 9, Bungoma and Makueni 8 cases each, Kakamega and  Kiambu 7 cases each, Nakuru and Homa Bay 6 cases each, Murang’a 5, Embu, Laikipia, Machakos and Vihiga 4 cases each, Taita Taveta, Bomet, Kajiado, Trans Nzoia and West Pokot 3 cases each, Kirinyaga, Migori, and Tharaka Nithi 2 cases each, Isiolo and Marsabit 1 case each.

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Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced eight more deaths in the last 24 hours, three of them having occurred on diverse dates within the last one month while five are late deaths reported after conducting a facility record audit in the last month.

“This now pushes the cumulative fatalities to 3,021. Our sincere condolences to the families and friends who have lost their loved ones” he said in a statement.

43 new recoveries have been reported, 29 from the Home-Based and Isolation Care, while 14 are from various health facilities countrywide.

Total recoveries now stand at 113,917 of whom 82,806 are from Home Based Care and Isolation, while 31,111 are from various health facilities.

A total of 1,039 patients are currently admitted to various health facilities countrywide, while 4,714 patients are on the Home-Based Isolation and Care Program.

108 patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 22 of whom are on ventilatory support and 71 on supplemental oxygen. 15 patients are under observation.

Another 91 patients are separately on supplemental oxygen with 87 of them in general wards and 4 in High Dependency Units (HDU).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sentence Jane Muthoni to death, the State urges court in husband murder case

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Jane Muthoni hired men, including her co-accused, to kill her husband Solomon Mwangi in November 2016. [File, Standard]

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) wants Jane Muthoni, who was found guilty of her husband’s murder on April 22, sentenced to death.
Muthoni, alongside her co-accused Isaac Ng’ang’a, was declared guilty of Solomon Mwangi’s murder, which occurred in November 2016.
State Prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki told the Nakuru High Court on Tuesday, May 18 that the crime committed by the two; and the manner in which the murder was executed, “deserves a severe punishment such as death sentence”.
“This is a case that meets the threshold of a death penalty,” said Mwaniki.
“We are looking at the seriousness of the acts that led to Solomon Mwangi’s death. In our conclusion, we pray that this court finds that the element of the statutory premeditation was satisfied in this case,” she submitted.
According to the prosecutor, her team proved beyond any reasonable doubt that there was “substantial orchestration and planning” of Mwangi’s execution by Muthoni and Ng’ang’a.
“Mwangi’s death was not caused by a spontaneous act of violence, or an act of self-defense by the accused,” said Mwaniki, who proposed Muthoni and Ng’ang’a be sentenced to death.
Lawyer Wokabi Mathenge, who represented Solomon Mwangi’s family in the case, reiterated the Prosecution’s recommendation, terming Mwangi’s killing as “Murder Most Foul”.

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“He was defenseless while being killed,” said Mathenge.
The lawyer said Muthoni was yet to express any remorse to Mwangi’s family over his murder.
“The first accused (Muthoni), being a teacher, was expected to impart ethics to learners. In this case, she was the mastermind of her husband’s death. She, therefore, conducted herself in a manner not expected of a person of her stature,” said Mathenge.
According to the lawyer, Mwangi’s murder deprived his four children of fatherly love.
“We urge the court to find that a death sentence will suffice. Mwangi’s death was premeditated and well-planned,” he emphasised.
The accused’s lawyer, Francis Njanja, however defended Muthoni and Ng’ang’a against death sentence, stating the two have cooperated with the courts thus far.
Njanja maintained that even though the courts found the duo guilty of murder, they were “still innocent”.
Muthoni, who addressed the court via video conferencing, pleaded her innocence, saying her family had suffered throughout the period she’s been in custody.
“I’m the only hope and surviving breadwinner in my family. My children are suffering, yet those who killed my husband are out there walking freely,” she said.
Ng’ang’a, on his part, pleaded with the court to consider a lenient sentence on him.
Justice Joel Ngugi said the two persons will be sentenced on June 3, 2021.
How Mwangi’s murder was planned
During the trial, the court heard that in early November 2016, Muthoni hired two men to kill her spouse, the principal of Kiru Boys’ High School in Mathioya, Murang’a County. One of the hired killers was Muthoni’s co-accused, Isaac Ng’ang’a. The other, Nelson Njiru, disappeared shortly after learning that Muthoni and Ng’ang’a were being hunted.
Muthoni had been directed to Ng’ang’a and Njiru by Joseph Kariuki, who turned into a Prosecution witness following a plea negotiation. Kariuki was, however, sentenced to seven years in jail for manslaughter.
Upon arrest in mid-November 2016, Muthoni and Ng’ang’a, alias Gikuyu, were charged with Solomon Mwangi’s murder.
The court, through Kariuki, heard that Muthoni engineered her husband’s killing after he allegedly kick-started a relationship with another woman, identified in court as MWK or M-Pesa Lady. The plan was to eliminate Mwangi’s lover and then kill him, the court was told.
After four years in court, the case came to a close on Thursday, April 22, 2021, when Muthoni and Ng’ang’a were declared guilty of Mwangi’s murder.
“The offence of murder is established against both the first and second accused persons (Muthoni and Ng’ang’a respectively). Consequently, I find and hold that both accused persons are guilty of the murder of the deceased. I hereby convict both of them accordingly,” Justice Ngugi pronounced himself on the case.
In the ruling, the judge observed that Muthoni did not physically kill Mwangi, but “evidence demonstrated that she was the author of the plot”.
Muthoni reportedly parted with Sh50,000 for Mwangi’s killing, which was conducted by Ng’ang’a and another person not before the court Nelson Njiru. The hired killers strangled Mwangi to death on November 6, 2016, and dumped his body in Karakuta Coffee Estate in Juja, Kiambu County.
The court relied on 18 SMSs between Muthoni and Njiru, and 21 Prosecution witnesses to conclude that Muthoni had masterminded her husband’s murder.

Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Poll ranks Muthomi, Waiguru best performing Governors – KBC

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Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki has been ranked the best performing Governor in the Country in an opinion poll by Mizizi Africa.

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Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru ranks second with 79.4% while Nandi Governor Stephen Sang was third with 79%.

The opinion poll conducted in all 47 Counties between March and December 2020 had a sample size of 47,000 respondents.

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Ny’ongo, Kiambu Governor James Nyoro and Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja were the other top perfoming Governors.

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Thika Town MP Wainaina Jungle and Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi were ranked the best performing legislators with 65.9% followed by Uriri MP Mark Ogallo with 65.5%, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Shariff with 65.1% to complete the top five best ranked MPs.

In the Counties, Nyeri Speaker John Kaguchia was rated the best with 69.7% while Baringo Speaker Douglas Mbilu was second with 69.6% followed by Embu Speaker Josiah Muriithi with 69.5% and Kwale Speaker Sammy Ruwa with 69.3%.

Biashara Ward MCA Elijah Njoroge, Kinoo Ward MCA Samuel Kimani, Khalaba Ward MCA Majimbo Okumu, Ichagaki Ward MCA Mwangi Ng’ang’a and MUvuti/Kiima Kimwe Ward MCA Caleb Mutiso were the top five best performing Members of the County Assembly.

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