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North Korea Celebrates 70th Anniversary of Founding; Nantucket, Massachusetts Hotbed for Ticks, Mice and Lyme Disease; MIT Experiments on Mice to Control Lyme Disease; Rescue Dog Geronimo Breaks Double Dutch Record

Aired September 10, 2018 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN 10 minutes of news explained. I think that makes sense. I`m Carl Azuz at the CNN Center. Great to have

you kicking off a new week with us. Sunday`s date September 9th marked exactly 70 years from the day when North Korea was founded. Though it`s

formal name is The Democratic People`s Republic of Korea it is a communist state controlled by one central party. It`s also a military state who`s

young men and women are required to serve in the armed forces for several years starting at age 17.

North Korea has spent tremendous amounts of it`s money on defense though it`s industrial and power sectors have struggled and it`s people have

suffered through widespread shortages of food. The nation celebrated it`s history yesterday with a military parade. It was it`s first show of

military strength since North Korean Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump made history with a face to face meeting in June. But the

journalists invited to attend yesterday`s event noticed a couple major differences between it and the parades that the country has held in the

past and those changes may be related to that summer meeting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: North Korea`s military parade to celebrate it`s 70th founding anniversary left no doubt that this is still a military state. It

has a standing army of more than 1 million and there were thousands of soldiers marching here along Kim Il Sung Square. The one dramatic

difference that I`ve seen this parade versus the previous parades that I`ve seen in this very square. The nuclear program was not included. You

didn`t see the nuclear symbol and you certainly did not see the intercontinental ballistic missiles that are believe to pose a threat to

the mainland United States.

Those were kept away. The focus was on the soldiers themselves. Kim Jong- un the North Korean leader did not give a speech but his right hand man Kim Yong-nom did speak and one thing that he said that I thought was

particularly striking. He told soldiers they need to be prepared to fight a war but they also need to be prepared simultaneously to fight an economic

battle. To build things like roads and bridges and buildings to grow this country`s economy. Something that Kim Jong-un has said is his priority

moving forward. Something that he hopes the United States will be able to help with as he continues to work towards diplomacy with President Trump.


CARL AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these places is a town, a county and an island? Nantucket, Massachusetts; Key West, Florida; Outer Banks,

North Carolina; or Catalina Island, California. It`s true they`re all islands but the only one of these that`s also a town and a county is


Nantucket is about 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. It`s home to centuries of history, 12,000 people year around, 50,000 or more in the

summertime and an untold number of mice and ticks who play a starring role in our next story. Though a controversial proposal involving both animals

is still years away from being possible, it is a talk of the town.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the West Coast when it comes to natural disasters they have earthquakes. The Heartland has tornadoes. The South has

hurricanes. Here in the Northeast, our natural disaster is Lyme disease.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the cause of this natural disaster, disease carrying ticks but scientists think they can stop this pest by genetically

engineering another. Nantucket Island, the sleepy and idyllic summer paradise has a tick problem. Ticks are the main transmitters of Lyme

disease, a bacterial infection that can cause fevers, fatigue and rashes. If left untreated, infection can spread to the joints, heart and even the

nervous system causing serious long term health problems.

According to the CDC, more than 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. But on Nantucket Island, up to 40 percent of residents

have been diagnosed according to a local health official. How serious is the Lyme disease issue here in Nantucket?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In about another week, my office will be 50 or 60 percent tick born illnesses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With no FDA approved vaccine on the market, scientists at MIT think they`ve found an alternative but controversial

solution using the power of genetic editing, specifically in a little mouse. They call the proposal "Mice Against Ticks".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ecologists have known for quite some time that the white footed mouse is the primary reservoir, not just of Lyme disease but

of pretty much every major tick born disease in the Northeast United States. Ticks aren`t born infected. They get infected when they bite

their first prey. Typically that`s a white footed mouse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The chain of transmission starts when a tick bites a white footed mouse carrying Lyme disease. The tick gets infected and then

usually moves on to bite a deer where it continues to feed and reproduce. And with few natural predators, deer populations have exploded increasing

the spread of ticks and the odds that you`re bitten by one. So what`s the solution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to heritably immunize the local white footed mice that are responsible for infecting most ticks. So the idea is if we

can immunize all of the mice, then we can disrupt the chain of transmission.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In other words, if mice can`t carry Lyme disease then they can`t pass it on to the ticks who bite them. To immunize Nantucket`s

mice population, Esfelt (ph) and his team at MIT propose hacking into the white footed mouse`s genetic code. How are you genetically altering the

mice to make them immune to Lyme disease?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some mice in nature are immune. They acquire immunity naturally just like our bodies acquire immunity when we get a cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this one has it`s door closed which means that there`s a mouse in it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh yes. Hey little guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s take the immunity gene that have evolved natural resistance. Let`s encode them in the mouse genum such that they`re

descendents will be protected from birth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To do that, scientists isolate the genetic code for Lyme disease immunity from the few wild mice that naturally have it. Then

they can edit that special code into many more mice. Any offspring of these modified mice would inherit Lyme disease immunity. And if thousands

of modified mice were released in Nantucket, they could pass on Lyme disease immunity to the island`s entire mouse population.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These mice would be expected to be resistant to Lyme for decades. That will lead to less ticks infected which will lead to less

human`s infected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But nobody has ever released genetically modified mammals into the wild. So, scientists are planning a two year trial run.

They want to release thousands of modified mice onto a private, uninhabited island. But even if the scientists are happy with the tryout run, this

bold idea has to get past the residents of Nantucket.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of our goal is to draw on your knowledge of the local environment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`ll vote on whether or not to approve the project. Here on the island, science is coming right up against small town


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our only economic driver here is tourism. Everything is connected to that. The ticks and the diseases that come with it, right

now, are an acceptable risk to live here and visit here. If it was to get worse, I`d say we`re kind of done for.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My worst fear is that we`re going to make a modification that effects a whole chain of reaction in this environment and

this island is small. When you make a reaction in a negative way, it`s going to effect us very quickly. No matter how much they test this, we do

not know how this is going to effect the environment five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To address concerns like these, Esfelts (ph) team is working on adding an expiration date to any genetic modifications the team

makes. It would mean that after a set number of generations, the genetic changes will no longer be passed on to offspring but the technique is still

in development. How critical is community acceptance of this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s vital. Without it, the project cannot and should not move forward. In fact, I think the world could use a salutary,

positive example of a community saying no and scientists walking away.

UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even if the people of Nantucket approve the project, a full scale release of modified mice is at least eight years away and would

need approval from the EPA and possible the FDA. But if the experiment works, scientists see the possibility of using it on broader scale as a

tool to stop the spread of other harmful viruses and diseases around the world.


CARL AZUZ: Headline, dog does double dutch wins record. 10 Out of 10. This is Geronimo, the dog. He`s a border collie. He`s a rescue. His

original name was Cricket which totally makes sense here and he`s a champion at double dutch. Geronimo holds the record for most double dutch

jump rope skips by a dog. He did 128 of them in a minute. His owner hopes Geronimo will be an example of how rescue dogs can be great success

stories. Does this mean the next record`s 12"K-9"? Does it mean it`s only a hop, skip and a jump away? I suppose that with Geronimo anything is

"pawsible". Now that he`s been "roped" into the sport a string of successes may be just the "wag inning". I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10. Please

join us again Tuesday. We`ll have special coverage of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks that changed America. We`ll see you then.