Surgeon leaves drawings to the children he operates on so the lasting memory for them is not the scar


Dolphins ‘alert’ rescuers to lost swimmer


A swimmer missing for almost 12 hours off the Irish coast was rescued after a lifeboat crew’s attention was drawn to a pod of dolphins.

The RNLI volunteers spotted the exhausted man among the dolphins in the sea near Castlegregory in County Kerry.

Conservationists have now identified the animals as being from a population of bottlenose dolphins that feed and breed in Scotland’s Moray Firth.

The rescue was sparked by the discovery of the swimmer’s clothes on a beach.

The RNLI and coastguard teams carried out a search into Sunday night.

The RNLI said: “At 20:30, the volunteer lifeboat crew with Fenit RNLI spotted a pod of dolphins and a head above the water about two-and-a-half miles off Castlegregory beach.

“The casualty was conscious and immediately recovered onto the lifeboat and brought Fenit Harbour to be taken to hospital.”

The dolphins have been seen off the Irish coast since 2019.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group confirmed the identity of Sunday’s dolphins as the same animals. Scientists and conservationists can identify individual dolphins by the shape and markings on their dorsal fins.

The wayward Scottish group had included a dolphin known to scientists as Spirtle, who survived being badly sunburned while stranded on mudflats in the Cromarty Firth in 2016. After appearing off Ireland, she later returned to the Moray Firth where this month was spotted with her new-born calf.

A farmer from the NSW town of Guyra has created a stunning display in honour of his late aunt


US war veteran reunited with Italian siblings he saved as children

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A 97-year-old former US soldier has been reunited with three Italian siblings he saved as children during WWII.

Martin Adler travelled to Bologna in northern Italy to meet Bruno, Mafalda and Giuliana Naldi, who are now in their 80s.

Mr Adler was photographed with the children after almost killing them near Bologna in 1944, with the image being used to track them down more than 75 years later.

The veteran greeted the Naldis warmly from his wheelchair as he arrived, bringing them chocolate and a rose. He was wearing a t-shirt saying ‘Martin’s bambini, forever kids’.

The former soldier managed to make contact with the three siblings after a successful search via social media last year.

Mr Adler, a native of the Bronx, entered a house in Monterenzio, near Bologna, with a companion of the 339th Infantry Regiment during the Italian campaign in October 1944.

Once inside they heard sounds coming from a basket and they were ready to shoot as they thought German soldiers were hiding there.

But the mother rushed in shouting ‘bambini, bambini!’ before they could open fire.

When he saw three small children, two girls and a boy, Mr Adler said his heart melted and he asked the mother if he could take a photo with them.

“The mother, Mamma, came out and stood right in front of my gun to stop me (from) shooting,” Mr Adler recalled to US media.

“She put her stomach right against my gun, yelling, ‘Bambinis! Bambinis! Bambinis!’ pounding my chest.

“That was a real hero, the mother, not me. The mother was a real hero. Can you imagine you standing yourself in front of a gun and screaming ‘Children! No!?”.

The first mRNA-based HIV vaccine is about to start human trials


Two of Moderna’s mRNA-based HIV vaccines could start human trials this week, according to a new posting in the National Institutes of Health’s clinical trial registry. The Phase I study would test the vaccines’ safety, as well as collect basic data on whether they’re inducing any kind of immunity, but would still need to go through Phases II and III to see how effective they might be.

These shots are based on the same technology as Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine: mRNA strands in the vaccine enter human cells, providing them with the code to make little bits of the same proteins that sit on the virus’s exterior. Those proteins then act like test dummies for our immune systems to recognize, so immune cells in the future can identify and neutralize the actual virus. The process works incredibly well against SARS-CoV-2, and there’s hope that it may work with HIV as well.

HIV has historically been extremely challenging to produce a vaccine for, in part because the virus integrates itself into the human genome rapidly—within 72 hours of transmission—thus producing an irreversible infection. This means “high levels of protective neutralizing antibodies must be present at the time of transmission to completely prevent infection,” according to a July review paper in Nature Reviews Immunology. Many people infected with HIV don’t develop those antibody levels, much less people exposed to the various attempted vaccines throughout the decades.

But the hope is that an mRNA vaccine could work where other candidates have failed.