PM series: human naïve embryonic stem cells

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In a short series, we will focus on various topics on personalized medicine in China. Third in this series: the on-going search for naive human stem cells. At a cellular level, controlling multiplication and specialization drives growth and development. The less a cell is specialized, the more directions it can develop into. For instance, once a cell has started to …

Endlessness in genetic info: circular RNA.

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Researchers at the Partner Institute for Computational Biology (PICB), established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the German Max Planck Gesellschaft, unraveled the existence and mechanisms behind circular RNA molecules. RNA usually carries information from cellular DNA. This information is used to produce proteins and to regulate all kinds of cellular processes. Historically, DNA and RNA are approached as …

PM series: Nanoporphyrin

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In a short series, we will focus on various topics on personalized medicine in China. Second in this series: personalized nano-medicine. A group of Chinese and American researchers recently published a paper in Nature Communications on a nano-particle with a high potential in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. The investigators designed particles, consisting of nanoporphyrins, to specifically target tumors in mice. …

Cystic fibrosis links to diabetes

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Researchers from Hong Kong, Chengdu, Beijing and Tokyo recently reported a functional link between diabetes and cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis occurs when mutations in the CFTR gene hamper the function of the Cystic Fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. This leads to a “tough mucus” secretion in the lungs, and its most acute symptoms are therefore shortness of breath. Indigestion is also …

BGI and Edinburgh start to synthesize

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Following a MoU (memorandum of understanding) earlier this year, the University of Edinburgh and the BGI in Shenzhen have now started a collaborative project on synthetic biology. This emerging discipline combines techniques in the sequencing and DNA synthesis fields to re-create and re-model entire chromosomes, that can replace the original chromosomes in host organisms such as yeast. As such, new …

Sinovac’s organized battle against HFMD

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Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) has become a serious childhood disease in Asia. The disease has a viral origin. The virus that is associated to the most severe form of HFMD is the enterovirus 71 (EV71). In most cases, infection does not cause symptoms or only leads to rash and speckles around the mouth, hands and feet, but the …

Bioclouds seminar on academic-industrial partnerships

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On Thursday May 29, NOST Shanghai hosted a Bioclouds seminar at the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Shanghai, on the subject “Limitations and possibilities for firms to work with Chinese academic institutes”. This meeting was organized in order to introduce the study towards academic excellence and potential for partnerships with the industry in Shanghai, carried out by …

Dutch gene therapy company uniQure went IPO

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The Dutch VC firm Forbion Capital Partners, investing in world-class healthcare technologies, announced that its portfolio company uniQure has closed its initial public offering (IPO) at a price of $17.00 per share. uniQure’s shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and began trading under the symbol “QURE“. Last year Sander van Deventer, partner at Forbion, was one of …

Tsinghua University develops new tumor detection kit

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Professors from Tsinghua University proved that Hsp90α can be used as a biomarker to test for lung cancer and have developed a Hsp90α quantitative detection kit. This method of testing is cheaper and more efficient than traditional solutions, all they need is a drop of blood. The kit for Hsp90α has passed the relevant clinical trials and has been approved …

CNY 1.12 trillion: total sales of Chinese pharmaceutical distribution industry

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According to the statistics from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), total sales of Chinese pharmaceutical distribution industry reached CNY 1.12 trillion. The figure is 18.5 percent higher than in 2011, but actually in 2011 the year-on-year was even higher: 23 percent. The income of 848 businesses monitored by the ministry increased 20 percent year-on-year to 794.2 billion yuan in 2012, …