White Privilege: 'Grey's Anatomy' star Isaiah Washington says Ellen Pompeo was secretly paid $5M 'to keep quiet about Patrick Dempsey's toxicity

Pompeo, Dempsey & Washington. Jon Kopaloff & Vera Anderson/WireImage

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Isaiah Washington said the "Grey's Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo accepted "$5 million dollars under the table" to keep quiet and "not tell the world how toxic and nasty Patrick Dempsey really was" on set.

During an interview on Tavis Smiley's radio show on October 21, Washington said Dempsey "was not a nice guy from day one." He also referred to Dempsey as "a total tyrant" who had a reputation for being "pilot poison," meaning an actor who represents a liability to getting a show picked up for a series.

Washington said Pompeo took "hush money" from unnamed parties around the time that the #MeToo movement was first making headlines before she signed a $20 million contract to continue on "Grey's Anatomy" and become the highest-paid woman on television.

The #MeToo hashtag went viral in 2017, largely inspired by reports about the now convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein from The New York Times and The New Yorker. Many women in Hollywood made sexual-abuse allegations and described gender-specific disparities.

Pompeo signed her $20 million contract with ABC "in late 2017," according to her January 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

"And you want to run around here like you are the keeper of all feminine women and the feminist movement," Washington said, referring to Pompeo.

The "P-Valley" actor said he never felt supported on the set of the medical drama because he "was never wanted there."

"Every single day, I was a problem that was being reminded, 'You're No. 4 on the call sheet,'" he said.

Washington said that around the time he exited "Grey's Anatomy," his own behavior on set was being used to cover up Dempsey's. 

Washington was at the center of one of the first controversies on the set of ABC's long-running medical drama when multiple witnesses said he used a homophobic slur to refer to his costar T.R. Knight during a fight with Dempsey. Washington issued an apology for his actions to People in 2006 and was fired from the show the following year.

Reps for Pompeo and Dempsey didn't immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

In "How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy," a recently released tell-all book about the medical drama by Entertainment Weekly Editor at Large Lynette Rice, the former "Grey's" executive producer James D. Parriott makes similar comments about Dempsey's behavior, saying the actor was often "terrorizing the set." 

"Some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him," Parriott adds. "He had this hold on the set where he knew he could stop production and scare people."

Dempsey has never directly commented about any allegations regarding his behavior on set. In his 2015 "Grey's Anatomy" exit interview with Rice, he said leaving the show "unfolded in a very organic way" but added that "it happened very quickly." 

In November 2014, Dempsey went on a "hiatus" from the show for six episodes for reasons he didn't explain to Rice.

"They tried to keep it secret as best they could," he said. 

Dempsey did say his erratic hours were hard on his family.

"It's 10 months, 15 hours a day. You never know your schedule, so your kid asks you, 'What are you doing on Monday?' and you go, 'I don't know,' because I don't know my schedule,'" he said. "Doing that for 11 years is challenging."

He added: "What I would like to do is focus on not being spread so thin."

The next episode of "Grey's Anatomy" airs November 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Read the original piece by Esme Mazzeo on Insider


Executive Overreach: Justice Mary Odili who is second most senior member of the Supreme Court declared missing after illegal raid on her home

Muhammadu Buhari's autocratic and dictatorial proclivities fully on display again

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Justice Mary Odili of Supreme Court is reportedly missing after security operatives invaded her residence in Abuja.

According to reports, the illegal raid was signed off on by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as well as the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba. Justice Mary Odili is the second most senior justice at the apex court and this action by the EFCC, in conjunction with the police is seen by many as being politically motivated and a sinister move by President Muhammadu Buhari to remove her from the court and replace her with another Fulani and Sharia indoctrinated Supreme Court Justice, ahead of the 2023 elections. 

The residence of the Supreme Court Judge in the Maitama area of Abuja (the Nigerian capital) was said to have been raided by fully armed plain-clothed security men for undisclosed reasons at about 5 pm local time on Friday. 

The security operatives were said to consist of soldiers and officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) who identified themselves as members of a joint task force.

Security operatives guarding the house were said to have resisted the takeover of the house without a court order as they insisted on staying around the residence, waiting for the occupants to surrender so they could take over the house. 

Justice Odili has yet to be seen or to make a public statement since the alleged invasion of her residence.

However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied the reports that its operatives carried out an operation in the Abuja residence of Justice Mary Odili.

The operatives of the anti-graft agency were alleged to have stormed the house of Justice Odili in the Maitama area of Abuja to execute a search warrant as part of investigations into her husband, Peter Odili, who served as Governor of Rivers State from 1999 to 2007.

However, the EFCC, while reacting via a statement on its official Facebook page, noted that its operatives did not carry out “any such operation as claimed by the media”.


Buhari admits to his own security failures as says 12 million Nigerian children afraid to go to school


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Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari said 12 million children are scared to go to school in the country, where jihadis and heavily armed criminals have kidnapped hundreds of students for ransom.

The first mass school abduction in Africa's most populous nation was in the northeast in 2014, when Boko Haram abducted 276 girls from Chibok, triggering a global campaign called #BringBackOurGirls.

Since then, attacks on schools "have grown in number and spread across the northern part of the country," said Buhari on Tuesday, addressing a conference on safety in education in the capital, Abuja.

Gunmen in northwest and central Nigeria have increasingly targeted schools, kidnapping more than 1,000 students since December.

As a result, Buhari said, "there are more than 12 million children currently traumatized and afraid of going to school." Girls were particularly affected, he added.

Young girls who leave school early are at risk of being married off, experts warn.

Save the Children said earlier this month that an "estimated 44% of girls in Nigeria are married before their 18th birthday, one of the highest rates of child marriage globally."

Most kidnapped students are released after negotiations with their captors.

But "even when the abducted students are released," Buhari said, "the trauma of the incidences remain long in their minds."

The retired general, first elected in 2015, said the government was "highly committed to prioritizing safety in schools."

"We have identified and put mechanisms in place … to ensure the safety and security of schools in Nigeria," he said.

But it "has been tough dealing with these security challenges and their effect," the 78-year-old added.

Military operations are underway across the country, but security forces are often described as overstretched and overwhelmed.



Long Covid in children 'nowhere near scale feared'

Biden (L) and Trump (R) have politicized and weaponized the pandemic - AP/The Atlantic

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By Nick Triggle

The risk of "long Covid" in children is much lower than many had feared, leading child health experts have said.

After the world's biggest study into the issue, the researchers, led by University College London, said they were "reassured".

They surveyed 11- to 17-year-olds testing positive for coronavirus in England between September and March.

The research suggests somewhere between 2% and 14% still had symptoms caused by Covid 15 weeks later.

The team said it was important those with persistent symptoms, which included headaches, tiredness and breathing difficulties, received support.

But there was little evidence huge numbers had sought NHS help for symptoms that had left them bedridden or unable to attend school.

The study, which has yet to be published in a medical journal, also gathered data from young people who had never tested positive, meaning more than 50,000 were surveyed in total.

And 53% of them had at least one symptom after 15 weeks, simply because they are common in the general population.

Among those who had tested positive, this proportion was 65%.

A more significant difference was seen among those 30% had three or more symptoms, compared with 16% of those who had never tested positive, suggesting 32,000 out of nearly 235,000 who were infected between September and March have developed long Covid.

But the numbers could be even lower.

Only 13% of those asked to respond to the survey did so.

Researchers believe those who are suffering ongoing symptoms would be more likely to complete the survey than those who are not.

If all those with long Covid were to do so among those who did so, that would suggest their actual number was just 4,000 or fewer than 2%.

The research team - including Prof Sir Terence Stephenson, from UCL's Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health infectious disease lead Dr Liz Whittaker, and Public Health England officials - will continue to follow the children in the coming months.

But Sir Terence said he was already "reassured" suggestions, at the height of the pandemic, that half of children could develop long Covid cases were wrong.

"It is nowhere near what people thought in the worst-case scenario".

Although, he said, the numbers were still "not trivial" and the issue needed to be taken seriously.

Most likely to report persistent symptoms were older girls who already had poorer physical and mental health.

Those struggling emotionally and mentally could be more attuned to even minor physical illnesses, the researchers said, and a positive coronavirus test could help trigger that.

Of all the children in the study, 40% reported feeling sad, worried or unhappy.

And the researchers said it was clear the pandemic had had a damaging effect on young people because of:

  • the closure of schools
  • not seeing their friends
  • concern about the risk from the virus

This showed how important it was to get "back to normal" and have schools open, Dr. Whittaker added.



Texas governor Greg Abbott signs Texas bill restricting transgender participation in school sports

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Jason Owens

A Texas bill seeking to limit transgender students' access to school sports is now law. 

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill on Monday that prohibits students in public schools from competing in sports that don't align with their gender listed at birth. The bill was passed by the State's Republican-led legislature earlier in October and sent to Abbott's desk for his signature. 

The bill passed via a 76-61 margin in the House of Representatives and a 19-12 vote in the Senate. Abbott didn't publicly comment on the law upon signing it. It will take effect in January. 

The bill overrides a previous provision to state law that allowed students to obtain a court order to permit them to compete as the gender with which they identify. Republican state Rep. Valoree Swanson, a vocal advocate of the bill, argued that the new law's intent is to protect girls in sports. 

"We need a statewide level playing field," Swanson said while advocating for the bill on the House floor earlier in October. "It’s very important that we, who got elected to be here, protect our girls.”

LGBTQ advocates argue that the law's intent is to discriminate and further stigmatize transgender lifestyles with which its supporters don't agree. Ricardo Martinez, chief executive officer of Equality Texas, argued against the the bill while speaking with the Associated Press last week.

“This cruel and grotesque ban puts a target on the backs of transgender children and adults, erases intersex people and sends a clear message that transgender and intersex people aren’t welcome or safe in Texas,” Martinez said.

Republican-led legislators in more than 20 states have proposed bills limiting transgender participation in public schools. Texas joins Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas and Montana in passing such bills into law.

Critics characterize the bills as solutions without problems and argue that legislators can't point to instances in their states where girls have experienced unfair treatment or even competed against transgender athletes.

An Associated Press survey of legislators supporting such bills found that several couldn't cite an instance of a transgender girl's participation in sports existing or causing a problem in their states. Others pointed to a case in Connecticut that's received widespread attention and is often cited by supporters of bills limiting transgender rights. 

Monday's is the latest controversial measure approved Abbott in recent months. In May, Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 into law prohibiting abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Earlier this month, Abbott signed an executive order outlawing COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Texas, including those among private employers. 

Yahoo Sports


AK-47-wielding herdsmen revisit Nimbo, hack woman to death on her farm

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A farmer, identified as Cordelia Utazi, was allegedly hacked to death on her farm at Ugwujoro Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The deceased, popularly known as Oyee Eze, was weeding her farm with her daughter, Onyinye, when suspected herdsmen attacked them, leading to her death.

Vanguard gathered that her daughter drew the attention of her late mother to the presence of the herdsmen, but sensing they were going to be attacked by the fast-approaching herdsmen, the young girl took to her heels and alerted other villagers.

A source, who participated in taking the dead body of the victim to the Faith Foundation Hospital in Nsukka metropolis told Vanguard, “They were weeding in the farm when her daughter looked up and saw herdsmen with their cattle on their farm.

“The daughter, Onyinye, saw the herdsmen moving very fast towards their direction and took to her heels.

“The mother, Cordelia Utazi, also wanted to run but the herdsmen shot her. When they got to where she was lying helpless, they used cutlass to cut off her hands.

”They equally used something to smash her skull.

“It was the daughter who ran to the village to inform others of what had happened to her mother.

“In that state of confusion, the villagers rushed to the scene and discovered the woman in a pool of her blood.

“Before they could reach there, the herders had disappeared into nearby bushes with their cattle.

“It was a terrible incident in our community.

Confirming the incident, the spokesman of Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, said the command has commenced investigation to fish out the hoodlums who allegedly murdered a middle-aged woman on her farm.

“Investigation has been launched to fish out the hoodlums, alleged to have murdered a middle-aged woman in Ugwujoro Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani LGA in the afternoon hours of 18/10/2021. Further development will be communicated,” he said.

Also, in his reaction, the South East chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Gidado Siddiki, distanced members of his association from the attack, insisting that “there are no herdsmen at Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State as at today.”

While saying that those who carried out the attack are not members of his association, he added that not every herdsman seen in the bush is a member of MACBAN.



Hired thugs of Buhari administration assault social critic Sowore at Nnamdi Kanu's trial

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The Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, was attacked by hired hoodlums at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the nation's capital, on Thursday.

Sowore was denied access into the court by Buhari's secret police (DSS). But as he was talking to the security men, some hired hoodlums descended on him and to the surprise of everyone present, the DSS agents casually looked on (with many of them laughing) and did nothing to stop the assault, until there was a vociferous outcry from innocent bystanders.

Here is the video below:


Train riders held up phones as woman was raped, police say

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By Claudia Lauer - AP

A man charged with raping a woman on a commuter train just outside of Philadelphia harassed her for more than 40 minutes while multiple people held up their phones to seemingly record the assault without intervening, authorities said.

More than two dozen train stops passed as the man harassed, groped and eventually raped the woman, the police chief for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said at a news conference Monday.

Police do not believe a single witness on the train dialed 911. They are investigating whether some bystanders filmed the assault.

Both the man and woman got on the train at the same stop Wednesday night in North Philadelphia. Officers pulled the man off of the woman at the last stop. They responded within about three minutes of a 911 call from a transportation authority employee, authorities said.

“What we want is everyone to be angry and disgusted and to be resolute about making the system safer,” SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III said at the news conference.

Arrest records show Fiston Ngoy, 35, was charged with rape and related offenses.

The affidavit of arrest for Ngoy detailed times of the assault, including that during those 40 minutes the woman appears to repeatedly push Ngoy away.

Nestel would not give an approximate number of witnesses and it was unclear from the affidavit how many passengers were present for those 40 minutes. Authorities have not released the surveillance video.

“I can tell you that people were holding their phone up in the direction of this woman being attacked,” he said.

Elizabeth Jeglic, a psychology professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, researches sexual violence prevention. She said if people feel uncomfortable physically intervening, there are other options like calling the police.

“When we have multiple people, people don’t necessarily intervene,” she said. “However, more recent research actually suggests that looking at video footage of more extreme circumstances that up to 90% of cases we do see people intervening. So it was actually somewhat of an aberration in this case that somebody did not step forward to help this individual.”

Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt, of the Upper Darby Police Department, has said surveillance footage showed other riders were on the train and someone “should have done something.” Messages for Bernhardt were left Monday.

The New York Times reported that Bernhardt said that people who recorded the attack and failed to intervene could possibly be charged, but that would be up to the Delaware County District Attorney’s office to determine.

There were no calls made to 911 in Philadelphia. Nestel said police were still waiting for Delaware County 911, which covers the last two train stops, to determine if it received any calls.

Investigators said in the affidavit that Ngoy sat down next to the woman about a minute after he boarded the train car, shortly after 9:15 p.m. The video shows her pushing him away multiple times until he is seen ripping her pants down at about 9:52 p.m.

Bernhardt said officers arrived at the 69th Street terminal on the Market-Frankford Line, the busiest route on SEPTA, around 10 p.m.

A SEPTA employee who was in the vicinity as the train went past called police to report that “something wasn’t right” with a woman aboard the train, Bernhardt said.

SEPTA police waiting at the next stop found the woman and arrested Ngoy, who they had pulled off of the woman. She was taken to a hospital.

According to the court documents, the woman told police that Ngoy ignored her pleas to go away.

Ngoy claimed in his statement to police that he knew the victim, but couldn’t remember her name and said the encounter was consensual.

Ngoy, who listed his last address as a homeless shelter, remained in custody on $180,000 bail. His initial court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 25. Court records show he had not requested a public defender as of Monday.

SEPTA issued a statement calling it a “horrendous criminal act” and urged anyone witnessing such a thing to report it to authorities by calling 911, pressing an emergency button on every train car or using the authorities emergency safety app.

“There were other people on the train who witnessed this horrific act, and it may have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911,” the authority said.

AP journalist Ted Shaffrey in New York contributed to this report.


Allison Williams leaves ESPN over vaccine mandate: ‘I cannot put a paycheck over principle’

Allison Williams - (Reena Flores/POLITICO)

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By Katherine Wiles

The longtime sideline reporter said ESPN denied her request for accommodation to not receive the vaccine.

Longtime college football and basketball reporter Allison Williams announced over the weekend she is leaving ESPN over the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Williams made the announcement in a video posted to Instagram on Friday, saying that her “request for accommodation” to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine was denied by ESPN and its parent company, The Walt Disney Co. DIS, -3.01%.

“Ultimately, I cannot put a paycheck over principle,” Williams said, “and I will not sacrifice something that I believe and hold so strongly to maintain a career.”

Disney announced in July that all salaried and nonunion hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of its sites had to get vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days.

ESPN told MarketWatch via email that the company would not “comment on an individual,” but they are “going through a thorough review of accommodation requests on a case by case basis, and are granting accommodations consistent with our legal obligations. Our focus is on a safe work environment for everyone.”

U.S. employers can legally require their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If an employee is requesting an exemption to an employer mandate based on religious belief or disability, employers have a legal obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation — like allowing an employee to work remotely or go on unpaid leave. But an employer can refuse a requested accommodation if it poses an undue hardship, like a significant expense or difficulty.

For example, it might be challenging to accommodate a sideline reporter who cannot report from the sideline if they are not allowed in the stadium due to proof-of-vaccination requirements from schools, programs or stadiums.

Williams announced in September that she would not be receiving the vaccine over concerns that it would affect her fertility.

“While my work is incredibly important to me, the most important role I have is as a mother,” she wrote at the time. “Throughout our family planning with our doctor, as well as a fertility specialist, I have decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time while my husband and I try for a second child.”

Williams again echoed that sentiment in her Instagram video, saying that women reached out to her after she made the announcement, some who had successful pregnancies after receiving the vaccine and some who did not.

“To the women who have reached out and shared their experiences of getting the injection and subsequent miscarriages, menstrual irregularities, periods after menopause — I am so sorry that that is your experience, and I pray for you. And I believe you,” she said.

Analysis done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed no increased risks of miscarriage for people who received at least one dose of the Pfizer PFE, -0.41% or Moderna MRNA, +3.28% vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The analysis found a miscarriage rate of around 13%, within the normal range.

The CDC has also urged pregnant people to receive the vaccine, as expectant women run a higher risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications from the coronavirus, including miscarriages and stillbirths.

“The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

Other experts agree that research shows the COVID-19 vaccine does not affect women’s fertility or ability to get pregnant.



Oyetola fetes Ooni of Ife at 47

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Osun State Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola on Sunday in Osogbo congratulated the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on the occasion of his 47th birthday anniversary.

He described the Ooni as a distinguished royal father and worthy ambassador of Osun State and indeed Nigeria.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, the governor lauded the traditional ruler for prioritizing the welfare of his subjects.

He also commended the traditional ruler’s commitment to the peace, stability and development of Osun State and Nigeria as a whole since he ascended the throne.

The governor also praised Oba Ogunwusi’s devotion to youth empowerment and development, noting that his various interventions in youth advocacy, entrepreneurship, agriculture and education had impacted young people in and outside Osun State.

Gov. Oyetola expressed appreciation of the first class traditional ruler’s support for his administration and for being a key partner of the state government on issues of governance, security and development.

“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Osun, I felicitate you on the celebration of your birthday.

“I pray Almighty God to continue to endow you with wisdom, good health and strength to continue to serve your people, our state and country,’’ Omipidan quoted Oyetola to have said.

Oba Ogunwusi was born on Oct. 17, 1974. He ascended the throne in 2015 as the 51st Ooni of Ife.


Okonjo-Iweala may resign as Director-General of the WTO but says she has no interest in 2023 Nigerian presidency

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With just seven months into her four-year tenure as the Director-General at the World Trade Organization (WTO), there are reports that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is growing frustrated with the workings of the organization and has floated the idea of resigning if no headway can be found on critical issues.

According to a Bloomberg report, five trade officials, who declined to be identified, reported that Okonjo-Iweala has fully grasped the frustrating reality of the WTO's historical inertia, and has considered quitting.

The officials said that she has repeatedly told ambassadors and staff that she could easily walk away from the job, and reminds them she hasn't bought any furniture for her temporary home in Geneva.

But in a statement to Bloomberg News on speculation that she wants to run in the 2023 Nigeria's presidential election, Okonjo-Iweala didn't comment about her threats to resign but denied any interest in running for the Nigerian presidency, calling such speculation "utterly ridiculous and not true."

She added: "I just got here. I am enjoying what I'm doing. It is a very exciting job and I am trying to have some successes here."

Okonjo-Iweala began her tenure with a plan to score quick negotiating victories that she hoped would help reboot the dysfunctional Geneva-based trade body.

Observers note that her early departure would add yet another layer of chaos to an organization suffering from an existential crisis that may lead governments to conclude that WTO is not a credible forum for addressing their shared challenges.

Deep divisions and a lack of trust are not new for the WTO, which requires consensus agreement among all 164 members to finalize multilateral accords.

The WTO's rigid negotiating structure and disparate interests of its diverse membership have precluded the organization from delivering anything substantial for the better part of the past decade.

Last year, Okonjo-Iweala's predecessor - Roberto Azevedo - cited the lack of progress at the WTO as his primary reason for resigning from the organization a year before his tenure was scheduled to end.

The true test of Okonjo-Iweala's leadership will come later in November when she hosts the WTO's 12th ministerial conference - a gathering of the organization's highest decision-making body.

To date, WTO members have failed to make significant headway on the three priority areas Okonjo-Iweala identified for potential outcomes at the biennial meeting. These are an agreement to curb harmful fishery subsidies; a pledge to reduce trade-distorting agricultural policies; and a framework to expand global trade in vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.