Australian government investment to make Melbourne “at the forefront of cancer research”

On Monday Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a landmark AUD$496 million (USD$350 million) investment in cancer treatment and medical research.

The funds include AUD$80 million (USD$56.6 million) to establish a national cancer treatment centre at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to offer treatments not previously available in Australia.

Prime Minister Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt said that the new Victorian Health and Medical Research Plan (VHMRP) would put Melbourne “at the global forefront of cancer research.”

Source: Xinhua News

Australian researchers develop new automated way to detect eye surface cancer

Australian researchers have developed a new automated non-invasive technique for diagnosing eye surface cancer. This technique developed by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics research facility may reduce the need for biopsies, prevent therapy delays and make treatment far more effective for eye surface cancer patients.

The new diagnosis tool custom-builds an advanced imaging microscope with state-of-the-art computing and artificial intelligence software, creating an automated system which can identify whether eye tissue is diseased in real time through a simple scanning process.

Eye surface cancer is a common malignancy of the cornea and conjunctiva parts of the eye which can be extremely hard to detect in its early stages, yet early detention is vital for effective treatment. By facilitating early detection, the new diagnostic tool is a major breakthrough in curing eye surface cancer.

Source: Xinhua News

African swine flu virus isolated in China

Chinese researchers have successfully isolated an African swine flu virus, which could contribute to better knowledge of the organism and may lead to new methods of prevention and control of the disease.

The virus was contained in a sample extracted from an animal at a farm affected by the swine flu outbreak last year in Jiamusi, Heilongjiang Province. Although the virus does not affect humans, it is deadly for pigs, with a mortality rate of nearly 100 per cent. This is a great threat to China as China is home to nearly half of the world’s pig population.

There have been more than 110 cases of swine flu in China since August when the first case was reported in Shenyang, Liaoning province. Tens of thousands of pigs have been culled in an effort to control the disease, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

There is currently no vaccine for swine flu, although the spread has been under control, with fewer outbreaks reported in China, the Ministry reported.

Source: China Daily News