Tag Archives: chinese

Catching cancer early by chasing it: Portable diagnostic device that can travel to the patient

As described in the journal Biomicrofluidics, which is produced by AIP Publishing, a team led by Gang Li, Ph.D., from Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is developing a portable device for point-of-care diagnostic testing to detect cancer at its earliest stages. It identifies cancer biomarkers, which are biological indicators of the disease that often circulate in the blood prior to the appearance of symptoms. The new device is based on microfluidics — a technology that has rapidly expanded over the past decade and involves miniature devices that tightly control and manipulate tiny amounts of fluids for analysis through channels at the micro- and nano-scales…

HPV’s link to esophageal cancer

In addition to causing cervical, anal and genital cancers, HPV has more recently been found to cause some head and neck cancers. "One of the main issues is this form of esophageal cancer is usually diagnosed quite late and so has a very high mortality," says the first author of the paper, Dr Surabhi Liyanage, a PhD candidate with the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Medicine…

Genomics and particle physics top the scientific charts

Genomics and particle physics - offering different perspectives on the fundamental nature of life and the cosmos - are the two hottest areas of scientific research. Eight of the 21 most closely followed scientists in 2012 studied genes and their functions, while the single most-cited paper last year covered the hunt for the long-sought Higgs boson particle, according to a Thomson Reuters survey on Wednesday. It was the third year in a row in which genomics researchers topped the rankings, in terms of authoring the most highly cited scientific papers, underscoring the central importance of genetics in biological science and medicine. “Genomics is a perennially hot topic as we learn more about how (DNA) sequences play out in the manifestation of disease,” said Christopher King, editor of Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch, which tracks trends in research. The relevance of the work in genomics was evident this week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) congress in Chicago, where key advances in cancer medicine on display hinged on understanding the genetic basis of tumors. The world's “hottest” researcher, as measured by the number of citations during 2012 for papers published between 2010 and 2012, was Richard Wilson at the Washington University School of Medicine, the survey showed. Wilson's laboratory was the first to sequence the genome of a cancer patient and discover genetic signatures related the development of disease. Formation of the universe Other hot genomics researchers on the list included Eric Lander of the Broad Institute of MIT at Harvard and Kari Stefansson, the founder of Icelandic biotech company Decode Genetics, which was acquired last December by Amgen. Papers related to the search for the Higgs boson accounted for nearly one fifth of the 51 papers published in the 2012 hottest research list. The boson and its linked energy field are viewed by physicists as vital in the formation of the universe and in giving mass to matter. No single scientists working on the Higgs particle, however, were identified in the rankings because of the highly collaborative nature of the particle physics research, with some papers involving upwards of 3,000 authors. Scientists working on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, outside Geneva received an honorable mention as a group. The survey also highlighted the growing importance of Chinese research in a number of fields, with institutions in the country producing four of the 21 hottest researchers, including Jun Wang from the Beijing Genomics Institute. “When you look at the quantity of papers published by various nations, China has sky-rocketed in the last few years,” said King. “That hasn't necessarily been commensurate with impact in the literature, as measured by citations, but this seems to be starting to change.”source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/05/genomics-and-particle-physics-top-scientific-charts/

France to ban electronic cigarettes in public

France will ban electronic cigarette smoking in public places by imposing the same curbs enforced since 2007 to combat tobacco smoking, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on Friday. Amid mounting global concern over the public health implications of so-called e-cigarettes, Touraine said they faced the same fate as traditional ones: a ban on smoking in public spaces and sales to minors and a blackout on media advertising. In a country where the pungent waft of Gaulloises and Gitanes once seemed an unassailable part of cafe culture, smokers have long been banished to outdoor terrace seats. The near-odorless electronic alternative - battery-driven devices that allow users inhale odorless nicotine-laced vapor rather than smoke - are gaining ground in no-go zones such as bars, cafes, trains, waiting rooms and offices. A government-commissioned report said this week that around 500,000 people in France had turned to e-cigarettes, which are designed to look like cigarettes although some come in different colors, and recommended a crackdown on public use. Health officials in many countries say the impact of electronic cigarettes on health needs further study. Another worry they cite is that the electronic alternative will increase the general temptation to smoke, including enticing those who have quit to start again, or that smokers may use them alongside rather than instead of regular cigarettes. “This is no ordinary product because it encourages mimicking and could promote taking up smoking,” said Touraine, who announced her plans at a news conference. In the United States, the number of smokers who have tried out e-cigarettes doubled to one in five in 2011 and the number of all adults trying it doubled too, to 6 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In France, a country of 66 million, the government says tobacco smoking kills some 66,000 people a year and another 5,000 are killed through passive exposure to smoke. The expert in charge of the French report advised against an outright ban on e-cigarettes, however, saying they still seemed safer than tar-laden tobacco. Electronic cigarettes, whose invention is widely credited to a Chinese pharmacist a decade ago, usually comprise disposable cartridges of liquid such as propylene glycol that is easily turned to vapor and can contain artificial flavors alongside concentrated liquid nicotine.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/31/france-to-ban-electronic-cigarettes-in-public/

New vaccine protects kids against hand, foot and mouth disease

Chinese scientists have developed the first vaccine to protect children against a virus called enterovirus 71, or EV71, that causes the common and sometimes deadly hand, foot and mouth disease. The new inactivated EV71 vaccine, made by Beijing Vigoo Biological, was developed for use in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for most of the serious cases of the disease that can cause potentially fatal meningitis and encephalitis. Since its discovery in 1969, EV71 has caused major outbreaks of hand foot and mouth disease around the world, affecting mostly children. According to the World Health Organization, outbreaks of HFMD occur every few years in different parts of the world. But in recent years these have occurred more in Asia. Places with recent large increases in the number of reported cases include China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. A large outbreak of HFMD infected about 35,000 people and killed 17 in China's Hunan province in June 2012. Symptoms of the disease include mouth sores, skin rashes and fever. Until now, there have been no effective vaccines against EV71. But in trial data published in The Lancet medical journal on Tuesday, researchers said Beijing Vigoo's vaccine gave 90 percent protection against EV71-associated hand, food and mouth disease, with 80.4 percent protection for at least 12 months. The trial took place at four sites across China - three in Jiangsu province and one in Beijing. It involved 10,245 babies and children aged 6 to 35 months who were randomly assigned to get two doses of the vaccine, or two doses of a placebo. Commenting on the results, Nigel Crawford and Steve Graham from the University of Melbourne and Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Australia said “the gains made in (this) trial need to be shared internationally.” This should include an assessment of potential cross-protection for other types of EV71 prevalent in other epidemic countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, they added. The Chinese researchers, led by Feng-Cai Zhu of the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control, said the vaccine was safe and well-tolerated and side-effects were similar in both the vaccine and placebo groups. But they cautioned that there was no evidence the vaccine would cross-protect against another virus called coxsackievirus A 16, which is often found circulating with EV71 and also causes hand foot and mouth disease. This and several other viruses can cause hand foot and mouth disease, they added, so using a vaccine against only EV71, even if it is highly effective, may have only a minimal impact on reducing the overall number of cases of the disease.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/29/new-vaccine-protects-kids-against-hand-foot-and-mouth-disease/

When oxygen is short, EGFR prevents maturation of cancer-fighting miRNAs

Under conditions of oxygen starvation often encountered by tumors, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gums up the cell’s miRNA-processing machinery, an international team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center discovered. "So when hypoxia stresses a cell, signaling by EGFR prevents immature miRNAs from growing up to fight cancer," said senior author Mien-Chie Hung, Ph.D., professor and chair of MD Anderson’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology and holder of the Ruth Legett Jones Distinguished Chair…