While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 27 edition

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto has informed the White House he will not be attending the Jan 31 meeting.
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto has informed the White House he will not be attending the Jan 31 meeting.PHOTO: REUTERS

Mexican president cancels US visit over border wall

Mexico’s president scrapped a planned summit with Donald Trump in the face of insistent tweets from the US president demanding Mexico pay for a border wall, a deepening spat that threatens Mexican efforts to salvage trade ties.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, responding to a Twitter message from Trump saying it would be better for him not to come to the meeting if Mexico would not pay for the wall, said in his own tweet that he would not attend and had informed the White House of this.

Trump later presented the scrapped plan as a mutual agreement.

Addressing Republican members of Congress at a meeting in Philadelphia, he said he and Pena Nieto had agreed to cancel the meeting, adding it would be fruitless if Mexico did not treat the United States “fairly”.


Canadian mum goes six days without lungs after doctors take them out to save her life

Doctors in Canada came up with a radical solution to save the life of a young mum who was suffering from a severe lung infection and had hours to live. They removed Meliss Benoit's lungs for six days while she waited for a transplant.

It is thought to be the first procedure of its kind in the world.

Born with cystic fibrosis, Benoit arrived at a Toronto hospital in April with a severe lung infection and doctors soon realised that she had just hours to live, leading them to consider the unprecedented approach


Human-pig 'chimera' embryos created in milestone study

Embryos that are less than 0.001 per cent human, and the rest pig, have been made and analysed by scientists as part of a milestone study that raises the prospect of being able to grow human organs inside animals for use in transplants.

It is the first proof that chimeras - named after the mythical lion-goat-serpent monster - can be made by combining material from humans and animals.

The creation of this chimera has been hailed as a significant first step towards generating human hearts, livers and kidneys from scratch. However, the scientific report in the journal Cell shows the process is challenging and the aim of growing human organs in animals is distant.


It started with a seal pup... Now US zoos are engaged in a #CuteAnimalTweetOff

Zoos and aquariums across the United States are doing battle online for who has the cutest animals.

The hashtag #CuteAnimalTweetOff was created after the Smithsonian's National Zoo sent out a sweet photo of a newborn seal to announce its birth.

Radio host Sarah Hill then tweeted to her favoured Virginia Aquarium that the ball was in its court to up the ante on the cuteness factor and a Twitter battle was born.


Formula One: Lewis Hamilton challenges fans to design his new helmet

Triple Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has challenged fans to design his race helmet for the new season starting in March.

The Mercedes driver launched the competition on Instagram, declaring he was "on the look out for a dope new layout that evolves my current theme and features the candy apple red in my existing design."

The 32-year-old Briton, who has 3.7 million Instagram followers, said he would meet the winning designer at one of the race tracks to hand over the prize of a full size signed replica.