Weekly Roundup: biotechin.asia

January 25th – January 31st 2016

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Zika virus has ‘explosive pandemic potential’, says WHO

The Zika virus, according to the World Health Organization, is “spreading explosively” and could infect as many as four million people in the Americas alone.  The virus, which is strongly suspected of causing birth defects including the shrinking of foetuses’ brains and heads, has the potential to become an “explosive pandemic”, WHO also said. Click here to read more.

The Dawn of Open Source Insulin

Based on WHO (World Health Organization) reports on diabetes, in 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes and it is projected to be one of the leading causes of death in 2030. Rising to the challenge, a team of biohackers from California, USA, Counter Culture Labs- a community lab-are developing a protocol for open source insulin with hopes of making insulin accessible and affordable for diabetics worldwide thereby giving diabetics from low– and middle-income countries a better prognosis. Click here to read more.

Drug Delivery for Glaucoma Treatment

Glaucoma is caused owing to an increase in the intra-ocular pressure in the eye. The current gold standard for the treatment of glaucoma is consistent administration of eye drops that curtail the progression of the disease, by lowering the pressure in the eyes. This treatment needs to be continued through the life of the patient. The primary problem associated with the eye-drops is getting the patient to use the eye-drops on a regular basis. A group of scientists from Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) have come up with a novel solution, that could solve the problem. The scientists have developed a nanomedicine that can potentially deliver drugs for three months using a single painless injection. Click here to read more.


A*STAR and US EPA to co-develop innovative methods to do chemical safety testing without relying on animals

Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are partnering to develop new approaches to identify chemicals that could pose a risk to human health.

Click here to read more.

 Ovarian stem cells hold potential for ovarian cancer drug discovery

Ovarian cancer kills more than 150,000 women worldwide every year, but little is known about the molecular and cellular basis of this particular type of cancer. “We need to understand the normal cell biology of the ovary before we can begin to understand what goes wrong during cancer, for example,” says Dr. Nick Barker from Institute of Medical Biology, A*STAR , Singapore. However, the molecular mechanism of tissue renewal process as well as its abnormality during disease state remains unclear. Click here to read more.

 When Taste takes the backseat

Debunking popular assumption that sweet tasting and thereby high calorie foods are preferred by the brain, an interesting new study by Yale University researchers, has found that the brain responds to taste and calorie counts in fundamentally different ways.According to the study published in Nature Neuroscience, the inherent requirement for high energy food by the brain dominates our desire for sugars rather than their taste. Click here to read more.

Top scientific minds converge at the Global Young Scientists Summit 2016 in Singapore

Singapore hosted the recently concluded Global Young Scientist’s Summit (GYSS) (17-22 January 2016) which brought together some of the world’s most brilliant minds for a multi-disciplinary summit themed “Advancing Science, Creating Technologies for a Better World.” This year around 21 eminent scientists gathered in Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) along with 270 young researchers aged 35 and below who got a chance to interact with their research heroes and have meaningful discussions with them. Click here to read more.

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