Weekly highlights: February 22, 2016 – February 28, 2016
Biohacking and the Do-It-Yourself Biology revolution
The term ‘hack’ evokes varied meanings. Some consider hacking as a sign of technical virtuosity, for some it is a ‘dirty’ word and to some it means danger and illicit activity. So what does it signify? A hacker in the classic sense of the term is someone who has a strong interest in understanding how ‘things’ work at a fundamental level and also enjoys modifying them or tinkering with them as a hobby or for convenience purposes.In the past decade, a new group of science tinkerers and risk takers known as Do-It-Yourself scientists or biohackers have arrived on the scene! These biohackers want to understanding how the biological processes/microbes/life manifests so that they can tinker and innovate. They want to apply the idea of hacking to cells and organisms! Click here to read more..
J & J to pay US$72 million for cancer death linked to talcum powder
A jury in Missouri has directed Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay US$72 million (S$101 million) to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer, which they claim was because of using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other products containing talcum for years. Click here to read more
Cell ageing is triggered by mitochondria
Mitochondria are double membrane-bound organelles found in most eukaryotic cells, and are also called as the “power houses” of the cells. The cell’s supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used as a source of chemical energy are mostly produced by the mitochondria. In a study published in the EMBO Journal by Dr. João Passosat Newcastle University, it was established that the elimination of mitochondria from the cells resulted in the ageing cells to become more similar to the younger cells. This implies that the mitochondria are major triggers of cell ageing. Click here to read more
New nanotechnology uses nucleic acid as biomarkers for cancer detection
Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a new technology that could theoretically detect disease biomarkers in the form of nucleic acids, the building blocks of all living organisms. In this study, they used microRNAs which are only about 20 bases long but can signal a wide range of diseases, including cancer. Click here to read more..
NUS scientists develop biodegradable packaging material that could prolong shelf life of food
Scientists from NUS have developed a new eco-friendly, food packaging material that could double the shelf life of perishable food like bread. It was developed using a natural biodegradable polymer called Chitosan, that is generally derived from the shells of shrimp and other crustaceans. It has immense potential for applications in food technology, owing to its biocompatibility, non-toxicity, short time biodegradability and excellent film forming ability. Click here to read more
Singapore-based startup RingMD signs MOU with Digital India to deliver healthcare to the masses
RingMD, a Singapore based startup with web and mobile-based app that enables patients and medical professionals of their choice to be easily connected for online video consultations, has just signed an MOU with Digital India to reach more patients in rural India. Click here to read more..
Building the right culture is key for patient safety
Medical errors are estimated to be the third leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer. As many as 440,000 people are dying each year from these mistakes which includes medication and diagnostic errors, surgical complications and a lack of follow-up on adverse lab results. At the Quality Forum for Healthcare and Safety in Hong Kong late last year, AIG conducted a survey polling Asian healthcare providers and patient safety specialists on their top patient safety concerns. Click here to read more..