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The quest for one of science’s holy grails: artificial blood

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ST. LOUIS – When red blood cells are poured into the test tubes here in Dr. Allan Doctor’s lab, tiny tools measure the reaction of the rabbit aortas strung up inside, computing if and how strongly the aortas constrict. Doctor and his team are trying to make sure that when they dump in the artificial blood…

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Fig leaf or first defense? Deploying flimsy masks against virus

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As fears of a deadly virus sweep the globe, panicked members of the public are depending on a flimsy first line of defence -- surgical masks that are coveted, but in short supply and of limited use.

While Asian commuters cover their noses and mouths with the blue-green paper-thin covers -- and social media buzzes with mask emojis, rumours of stockpiles and shortages -- the humble medical mask has become an essential weapon in the battle against an invisible enemy.

Cheap, mass-made and usually readily available at convenience stores, experts dispute the usefulness of masks as a tool to block transmission of the new SARS-like virus.

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Markets suffer more losses as China virus death toll risesd

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Asian markets tumbled again Tuesday, extending a global sell-off as the toll from a rapidly spreading Chinese virus spiked to more than 100 dead and thousands infected, with investors fretting over the impact on an already fragile world economy.

Traders have been running for the hills as the coronavirus is reported in more countries, with oil also tanking on expectations that demand in China, the world's top consumer of the commodity, will be hammered.

The outbreak comes during the Lunar New Year break when hundreds of millions of people criss-cross China and spend huge amounts of money.

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Trump to unveil Middle East peace plan despite accusations of pro-Israel bias

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US President Donald Trump on Tuesday will ignore accusations, led by the Palestinians themselves, of pro-Israel bias and unveil what he says is a peace plan capable of solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Long held secret, the plan will finally be aired jointly by Trump and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

Given that it has been rejected by the Palestinians, the latest of many US proposals to address the bitter, multi-generational Mideast conflict might seem to have little future.

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