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Zebrafish in good conditions after staying 20 days in China’s space station

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Zebrafish in good conditions after staying 20 days in China’s space station

2024-05-19 14:50 Last Updated At:05-20 00:07

The four zebrafish brought into orbit by the Shenzhou-18 spaceship on April 26 are now in good conditions after staying 20 days in China’s space station, according to researchers.

The four fish are now living in a small "aquarium" in the Wentian laboratory module on the Tiangong space station.

They were sent to the space station for a life science and ecological experiment, which requires the three Shenzhou-18 astronauts, Ye Guangfu, Li Cong and Li Guangsu, to create a simplified version of an aquatic ecosystem using zebrafish and hornwort to study how the space environment affects their growth and system balance.

So far, the astronauts have successfully carried out two times of water sampling and one fish food container replacement. They have found some abnormal directional behaviors of the zebrafish in microgravity, such as making rotational movements, going in circles and even swimming upside-down.

The water samples, fish eggs, and videos recording spatial movement behaviors of the zebrafish will be sent back to Earth for scientists to study the influence of space environment on the growth and behaviors of vertebrates, which will provide reference for researches on material circulation of contained ecosystems in space.

If the experiment succeeds, it will be a significant breakthrough to cultivate vertebrates in China's space program. Not only will the astronauts find joy in the space "aquarium," but it may also pave the way for their future counterparts to enjoy nutritious fish from their own in-orbit harvests.

Zebrafish in good conditions after staying 20 days in China’s space station

Zebrafish in good conditions after staying 20 days in China’s space station

Zebrafish in good conditions after staying 20 days in China’s space station

Zebrafish in good conditions after staying 20 days in China’s space station

Zebrafish in good conditions after staying 20 days in China’s space station

Zebrafish in good conditions after staying 20 days in China’s space station

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Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

2024-06-20 02:18 Last Updated At:06:17

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war in a series of prohibited indiscriminate attacks on Gaza, according to a report issued by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office on Wednesday.

Released during the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the report details six notable attacks targeting Gaza's residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market between Oct 9 and Dec 2, 2023, which involved the suspected use of GBU-31, GBU-32 and GBU-39 bombs.

"The report details six emblematic attacks involving the suspected use of GBU-31s, or 2,000-pound bombs, GBU-32 1,000-pound bombs, and GBU-39, 250-pound bombs from the 9th of October to the 2nd of December 2023 on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market," said Jeremy Laurence, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), at a press briefing in Geneva.

GBU-31, 32 and 39 bombs are mostly used to penetrate through several floors of concrete and can completely collapse tall structures. Given how densely populated the areas targeted were, the use of an explosive weapon with such wide area effects is highly likely to amount to a prohibited indiscriminate attack, the report finds.

The OHCHR has reported that at least 218 deaths have been confirmed as a direct consequence of the six attacks. However, it cautioned that the actual death toll is likely to be significantly higher.

"The report concludes that these Israeli strikes indicate that the IDF may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war. In this connection, it notes that unlawful targeting when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, in line with a State or organizational policy, may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity," said Laurence.

The report also says that such unlawful targeting may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity.

"Israel's choices of methods and means of conducting hostilities in Gaza since the 7th of October, including through the extensive use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in densely populated areas, have failed to ensure that they effectively distinguish between civilians and fighters," said Laurence.

"It became very clear to us that the nature of weapons that were used, especially on a wide area, that have a wide area effect, is extremely dangerous in the context of Gaza, and we have been saying this, in several reports and statements, that Gaza is a very densely populated area. And in these six incidents, we had sufficient information to demonstrate, the civilian casualties, both in terms of the deaths as well as injuries, and where we felt that the principles of international humanitarian law, particularly precaution, distinction, proportionality, were not necessarily followed," said Ajith Sunghay, an official with the OHCHR in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Although the report primarily focuses on Israel, it also highlights that Palestinian armed groups have continued to fire rockets indiscriminately towards Israel, inconsistent with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

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