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The Pill for Men, not that pill!

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

February 24, 2023 – A time-sensitive birth control pill for men is being hailed as a game changer in reproductive health to effectively stop sperm from swimming.

The pill TDI-11861, which does not have any hormones or affect sperm development will be taken shortly before sex and only as needed, according to the developers at the US National Institutes of Health.  Researchers published the results of their study on Valentine’s Day, February 14th in the Nature Communications Journal.

Citing the number of unplanned pregnancies and few birth control options for men the researchers explained that they targeted an enzyme called soluble adenylyl cyclase which is essential for sperm to swim in semen and reach the egg. A single dose of the TDI pill, inhibits this enzyme, rendering sperm lame, in a sense.

The effect is temporary, beginning within 30 minutes and lasting around 3 hours. According to researchers sperm produced in the hours after will go completely back to normal.  So far the drug has only been tested on live mice and human sperm outside the body, both times with highly positive results researchers say:

“Our goal is— to provide on-demand contraception only when it is needed, and administration of a single oral dose of TDI-11861 did not cause any abnormal mouse behaviour for at least 24 hours,” they explained.

Already researchers are predicting that if it can be safely used on humans, it will be more effective than female oral contraceptives.  The next stage of testing moves to rabbits and if researchers can pull this off, it will be the first major effective birth control for men in over 1000 years and join the big two, condoms and vasectomies.

Education

Four Chevening Scholarships awarded to Turks and Caicos Islands Scholars for 2024-2025

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Thadine Crossman

The Governor’s Office is pleased to announce that four Scholars from the Turks and Caicos Islands have been awarded Chevening Scholarships to pursue their master’s degrees in the UK for the academic year 2024-2025:

  • Thadine Crossman MSc Occupational Safety, Health and Environment
  • Dodly Prosper MSc Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Royshana Robinson MSc Forensic Toxicology
  • Ashley Williams MSc Project Management

This is the first time the Turks and Caicos Islands will have four Chevening Scholars within the same academic year. It is also commendable to note that Scholar Royshana Robinson is the top-ranking scholar from across the Overseas Territories.

Dodly Prosper

Her Excellency the Governor, Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, said, “It is with immense pride that I extend my heartfelt congratulations to our four outstanding Scholars on being awarded the prestigious Chevening Scholarship. With dynamic skills and experiences across environmental protection, forensic science, public health, project delivery and leadership, they are a demonstration of our youth’s passion, vision and commitment to strengthening the future of these Islands. I hope their success as Chevening Scholars inspires others to achieve their full potential and contribute to the collective progress of the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

Royshana Robinson

Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders from all backgrounds and areas of study who can demonstrate that they have the commitment and skills to create positive change in their country. The scholarship offers full financial support for scholars to study for any eligible master’s degree at over 150 UK universities whilst also gaining access to a wide range of exclusive academic, professional and cultural experiences.

The Chevening Awards Scheme is the UK Government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and partner organisations. The scheme offers scholarship awards to outstanding emerging leaders around the world to study for a master’s degree in the UK. Visit chevening.org/scholarships for detailed information on the eligibility criteria and scholarship specifications.

Ashley Williams

For those interested in becoming a Chevening Scholar, the application cycle for study in the next academic year, 2025-2026, opens on 06 August 2024. Visit www.chevening.org to learn more. #BeChevening

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Education

Ministry of Education and DECR announce Green Flag Awardees

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Schools from across the Turks and Caicos Islands gathered to showcase their environmental initiatives at the ‘Greening Our Schools’ awards and presentation ceremony. Attended by ministries, departments, officers, teachers, students and parents, the event highlighted the innovative and creative projects developed by students to reduce their carbon footprint.

The ‘Greening Our Schools’ initiative is an environmental and conservation program focused on four key pillars: biodiversity, waste management, energy conservation and water conservation. Through this programme, students implemented new initiatives and technologies within their schools to promote sustainability and environmental stewardship.

During the ceremony, 12 of the 17 participating schools were honoured with the Green Flag, an eco-symbol representing a green school. This recognition underscores the schools’ commitment to sustainability and environmental excellence.

Green Flag Awardees:

  • Adelaide Oehmler Primary School
  • Charles Hubert James Primary School
  • Clement Howell High School
  • Eliza Simons Primary School
  • Enid Capron Primary School
  • International School of the TCI
  • Iris Stubbs Primary School
  • Marjorie Basden High School
  • Oseta Jolly Primary School
  • Provo Primary Middle School
  • Raymond Gardiner High School
  • Thelma Lousie Primary School

Primary School Category:

  • Second Runner-Up: Provo Primary (Biodiversity) 
  • First Runner-Up: International School of the Turks and Caicos Islands (Waste Management)
  • Champion School: Enid Capron Primary School (Water Conservation)

Special Prizes:

  • Green Ribbon for the most innovative project
  • $1,000 from the Department of Education
  • $1,000 from Provo Water Company
  • Supplies and  6 months of technical support from EA Landscaping
  • $300 Cash Prize TCI Waste
  • School Supplies (Fortis TCI)

High School Category:

  • Second Runner-Up: Clement Howell High School (Biodiversity)
  • First Runner-Up: Raymond Gardiner High School (Biodiversity)
  • Champion School: Marjorie Basden High School  (Biodiversity)

Special Prizes:

  • Green Ribbon for the most innovative project
  • $1,000 from the Department of Education
  • Supplies and  6 months of technical support from EA Landscaping
  • $300 Cash Prize TCI Waste
  • School Supplies (Fortis TCI)

The Department of Education and the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) extend their heartfelt thanks to our sponsors: EA Landscaping, TCI Waste, Provo Water Company, and Fortis TCI, for their invaluable support throughout the programme. This event demonstrated the power of student-driven initiatives in fostering a greener, more sustainable future for the Turks and Caicos Islands. We encourage all schools to continue their efforts and look forward to even more innovative projects in the coming years.

The Minister for Education, Honourable Rachel Taylor speaking to participants stated, “To those schools that were awarded the prestigious Green Flag or Green Ribbon, congratulations on your outstanding efforts. Your commitment to sustainability and your innovative approaches set a powerful example for all of us. Your achievements are a testament to what can be accomplished when we work together toward a common goal. To the schools that were not awarded, I would like to encourage you to take up the task again. You can do this!  The Green Flag is not just a symbol of your hard work but a beacon of hope and inspiration for the entire country.”

The Greening Our Schools initiative will continue, with registration reopening TODAY, Tuesday, 25 June 2024. Schools are reminded that the Green Flag is a prestigious honour that can be revoked if sustainable projects are not maintained during the next assessment period. Schools may use the following link to register their school, they can also contact programme leads Elisann Delancy (edelancy@gov.tc) or Amy Avenant (aavenant@gov.tc) for more information.

Speak to your school’s principal and register TODAY!

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Caribbean News

Government Progressing with Plans to Build Seven STEM and STEAM Schools

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#MontegoBay, July 3, 2024 – The Government is progressing with plans to construct six Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Schools and one Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Academy.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says arrangements to build the STEAM school, being cited in Montego Bay, are “proceeding.”

“The land is acquired and the budget is in place from the Ministry of Finance [and the Public Service]. By the end of the year the Ministry of Education [and Youth] can give a timeframe on it,” he stated.

Regarding construction of the STEM Schools, Dr. Chang advised that  “we will be opening the first one in Portmore [St. Catherine] very soon.”

He was speaking during the University of Technology (UTech) Western Campus’ recent STEM Summer camp launch at the institution’s campus in Montego Bay, St. James.

The camp, being held in western Jamaica for the first time, will see some 100 youth from communities in Hanover, Trelawny and St. James engaging in several STEM-related activities.

For his part, Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) President, Oral Heaven, said Jamaica has been declared a ‘STEM island’, adding that the camp serves as testament to the country’s growing prominence in the global STEM landscape.

“This designation opens the door for so many things, through multinational STEM investments [and] real money for our people, positioning Jamaica as a hub of innovation and technological advancement,” he outlined.

Dr. Chang pointed out that there is “a legacy of STEM activity” in the west, noting that the Government is committed to expanding opportunities in the sector.

“It is imperative, therefore, that we attract some of these investments to Montego Bay”, adding that, “we must focus on the positives and potential solutions that STEM can offer.”

The STEM Summer Camp will be held in two phases for junior and senior participants under the theme: ‘Think, Collaborate and Innovate to Grow and Be Resilient’.

Junior participants will attend from July 8-19, and the older youth between July 15 and 26.

 

Contact: Serena Grant

Release: JIS

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