Drats! Not chosen.

As part of my edit test for a nationwide publication, I was asked to summarize several of the day’s top international news stories for the site’s on-the-go readers. The editor asked that each piece give the reader a thorough understanding of the event in four or five sentences. While I wasn’t chosen for the job, I did find the exercise beneficial. As such, I’m excited to share what I came up with. Enjoy!

April 22, 2015

Monkeys cured of West African Ebola strain

This cure for Ebola is the opposite of monkey business. Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian organization charged with spearheading the TKM-Ebola treatment via a $140 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, has announced that their treatment has cured three monkeys infected with the deadly Makona strain. Scientists theorize that the treatment could be modified to handle other strains of the pathogen by halting the replication of the virus within the body. Although the results of human testing are expected later in 2015, this is the first major step towards a cure for the widespread West African Ebola outbreak. (BBC)

Human embryos modified in China

To call it eugenics wouldn’t be inaccurate. Several scientific groups at China’s Sun Yat-sen University have been editing DNA sequences in human embryos to remove segments that may trigger diseases and replace them with less dangerous sections. Thus far however, the technology that allows for this splicing isn’t incredibly accurate, leaving scientists elsewhere to fear that such tinkering may trigger a slippery slope of modifications and reopen debate over ethics surrounding the practice. Until the genetic change hit rate increases, the experiment is likely to remain a theoretical possibility. (BI)

April 23, 2015

Execution preparations ordered for “Bali Nine” leaders

It’s the end of the nine. After death sentences were issued in 2006, prosecutors in Indonesia have ordered execution arrangements for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the leaders of the “Bali Nine” heroin smuggling group, at the Nusakambangan prison. While no specific date has been issued for the execution of the Australian drug kingpins, the law dictates that the men must be given three days notice beforehand. Joko Widowo, the president of Indonesia has previously denied a clemency appeal from the traffickers, citing the drug trade as an ongoing corrupting force in Indonesia. (BBC)

Transgender teen wins right to wear makeup in driver’s license photo

 This is her time to smile. Chase Culpepper, a 17-year-old transgender girl from South Carolina, has won a settlement that allows the teenager to wear cosmetics in her driver’s license photo. Months after being told to remove her makeup to appear more masculine, the teenager won a settlement that states an individual is not misrepresenting their identity when their appearance opposes typical gender expectations. While the law doesn’t apply to the department of motor vehicles nationwide, it does set a precedent that state governments cannot impose such gender stereotypes. (Mashable)

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