Healthcare & Lifesciences Talking Points | 09/12/2016


In today’s talking points: Australian Nobel Prize winner creates drug that reduces allergies and asthma; China’s scientists’ breakthrough could eradicate world’s deadly viruses; Smart phone app to help doctors access lung cancer risk; Swimming, cycling, aerobics offer “life-saving benefits”: research

Australian Nobel Prize winner creates drug that reduces allergies and asthma

Barry Marshall, a microbiology professor at the University of Western Australia and 2005 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine, is developing a drug named Immbalance that suppresses the an overactive immune system. Marshall said ‘This actually arose from work we were doing on heliobacter, the stomach bug, for which Dr (Robin) Warren and I won the Nobel Prize a few years ago… I can’t guarantee that it’s going to cure allergy sufferers… we think this kind of thing will bring people who are hyper reactive … down to a normal range’. Australia suffers from having one of the highest allergy rates in the word with food related allergic reactions increasing by five-fold in the last decade.

Read more at: ChinaDaily

China’s scientists’ breakthrough could eradicate world’s deadly viruses

Chinese scientists from Peking University have found the key to creating vaccines for the world’s deadliest viruses. Zhou Demin of Peking University stated ‘Now we have a new weapon…that can mow down nearly any kind of virus and their mutations. It can shift the battle.’ The breakthrough was discovered by creating a vaccine using a live, fully infectious virus and then by injecting the vaccine into infected animals dying of the same virus. The breakthrough discovery hopes to simplify the process of developing vaccines and even cure various viruses such as bird flu, Sars, Ebola and HIV within a few weeks of an outbreak.

Read more at: South China Morning Post

Smart phone app to help doctors access lung cancer risk

On Tuesday Cancer Research UK launched a new smart phone app designed to help doctors assess lung cancer risk in patients with pulmonary nodules. Developed in a partnership with the British Thoracic Society, this free iOS app aims to provide doctors with quick and easy access to professional guidelines and risk and growth calculators, so that they can use the mobile devices to accurately manage nodules. The app hopes to minimise the time currently taken up by CT scan analysis and the examination of patient records as with this new app, clinicians can quickly decide whether to discharge the patients, bring them back for monitoring in the future or to proceed with more tests to confirm a lung cancer diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment, according to the Cancer Research UK.

Read more on: Xinhua

Research explores “life-saving benefits” of certain sports

According to a recent international research project, led by the University of Sydney and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, research reveals that not all types of exercise offer the same benefits, and swimming, cycling and aerobics are specific sports and exercises that offer “life-saving benefits” compared to running and playing football. The new study also found that “death from cardiovascular disease was reduced in people who participated in swimming, racquet sports and aerobics,” according to a media release posted on online news portal Science Media Exchange.

A key point of the study is that the findings indicate that “it’s not only how much and how often, but also what type of exercise you do that seems to make the difference,” so its important to pick your sport-of-choice after considering the relative benefits!

Read more on: Xinhua