Thursday, June 14, 2007
Straits Times reported 14 Jun that a team of researchers from the National Cencer Centre (NCC) have turned “engineered” silica nanoparticles into tools for anti-cancer gene therapy. The engineered nanoparticles were developed by a team from NTUC School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. Tests showed that the nanoparticles could carry and transfer pieces of DNA to the spleen, thus causing it to produce immune cells that recognise and destroy cancer cells. The tests also showed that such gene therapy could prevent a cancer relapse. According to NCC’s Prof Hui Kam Man, the result is a more targeted and effective cancer treatment with fewer side effects. It noted that the study was funded over two years by a grant of more than $250,000 from the NMRC and the results were published in the international journal Gene Therapy last month.
Monday, June 4, 2007
How is that for a dose of "Uniquely Singapore?"
Friday, May 18, 2007
It was reported in Straits Times that the new 550-bed general hospital being built in Yishun is to be named the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, in acknowledgement of the $125 million donation made by the late hotelier’s family. Of the total, $100 million will be used to fund part of the construction costs, and $5 million will be set aside each year for the next five years towards a welfare fund to help poor and needy patients. When ready in 2010, the new hospital promises to be at the frontline of technology, said Health Minister Khaw yesterday. Speaking to healthcare and information technology professionals at the first Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in the Asia-Pacific, Minister Khaw said the healthcare industry needs to use IT to improve services. The article also reported Minister Khaw as saying “We have seen how technology has transformed the other sectors of the economy…but healthcare unfortunately remains many steps behind other sectors.” In addition, according to chief executive officer of Singhealth Prof Tan Ser Kiat, there are three main challenges in implementing IT in hospitals: money, talent, and mindsets. The report added that some of the new ideas that could be featured in the new hospital include software that shows all available beds at the touch of a button and alerts housekeepers, porters, and nurses on their Wi-Fi phones when beds need to be made or when they are ready for patients.
Khoo Teck Puat was a Malaysian-born banker and hotel owner with an estimated fortune of $2.6 billion, who owned the Goodwood Group of boutique hotels in London and Singapore and was the largest single shareholder of Britain's Standard Chartered Bank, and who was ranked as the 137th richest person in the world by Forbes magazine (and the richest in Singapore), died Feb. 21 of a heart attack in a Singapore hospital at age 86.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Hoodia Gordonii is a succulent plant used for years by the San people in the Kalahari Desert as an appetite suppressant during times of hunger or long hunts. It contains a molecule that fools your brain into believing you are full, making it easier to lose excess weight and making skipped meals painless and easy. Hoodia has been reported as having no known side-effects, stimulant free, and will not give you the shakes, or make your heart race or raise your body temperature.
Hoodia Gordonii powder comes from South Africa where it is grown under commercial cultivation in compliance with South African Government laws. The only legitimate use is in 100% Hoodia Gordonii Powder. The plant takes years to grow and it is a rare and until recently only grew in the wild. Lately, a number of growers saw the commercial potential in this plant and set up farms whereby they began to commercially develop the rare plant. This proved to be the only way to provide sustainable quantities of the material to consumers.
Will update this once I find out where they sell this in Singapore!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Dutch creationist Johan Huibers built a replica of the blibical Ark, drawing a crowd of curious pilgrims and townsfolk to behold the wonder. Associated Press reported 29 Apr that reckoning by the old biblical measurements, Johan's fully functional ark is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That's two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house.
Life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold. Huibers did the work mostly with his own hands, using modern tools and occasional help from his son Roy. Construction began in May 2005.
On the uncovered top deck -- not quite ready in time for the opening -- will come a petting zoo, with baby lambs and chickens, and goats. And one camel. Visitors on the first day were stunned by its size. In fact, Noah's Ark as described in the Bible was five times larger than Johan's Ark. But that still leaves enough space near the keel for a 50-seat film theater, where kids can watch the segment of the Disney film "Fantasia" that tells the story of Noah. Another exhibit shows water cascading down on a model of the ark. Exhibits on the third level show ancient tools and old-fashioned barrels, exotic stuffed animals, and a wax model of an exhausted Noah reclining on a bed in the forecastle.
Perhaps it was only logical that the replica project would be the brainchild of a Dutchman: Fear of flooding is ingrained in the country's collective consciousness by its water-drenched history.
With the threat of global warming and rising sea levels, having the ark would be meaningful in the middle of Holland. Huibers said he hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands, where churchgoing has fallen dramatically in the past 50 years. He also plans to visit major cities in Belgium and Germany.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
"Sustained control is what we're trying to achieve," said Steve Valles, an entomologist in the Gainesville research lab. "Eradication is not going to happen."
Among them is the small phorid fly, which seeks out fire ants and lays its eggs on them. The eggs hatch into tiny maggots that bore into the heads of their host and feed on its brains.
The problem is no one knows how effective these phorid flies are going to be in North America.