News archive
October 2008

Google awards $14 million for research using its disease prediction technology, the philanthropic arm of Google has awarded the grants to support partners working in Southeast Asia and Africa to help prevent the next pandemic.'s Predict and Prevent initiative is supporting efforts to identify hot spots where diseases may emerge, detect new pathogens circulating in animal and human populations, and respond to outbreaks before they become global crises. 27 October 2008

First transplantation of lungs using Steen solution carried out in North America
Swedish company Vitrolife has announced that lung transplantations using its Steen Solution technology have been carried out in North America as part of a study being carried out as a basis for the application for sales approval in the USA and Canada. 27 October 2008

IDEX Corporation acquires optical filter producer Semrock. 27 October 2008

Pfizer and UCB form new drug-discovery company with support of UK Technology Strategy Board. 27 October 2008

Philips adds Respironics to Moore microprocessor patent license. 27 October 2008

Active Implants enters UK distribution agreement with Joint Replacement Instrumentation. 27 October 2008 Deutsch Francais

Gates Foundation invests in 104 unconventional approaches to solving global health problems
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded 104 grants to explore bold and largely unproven ways to improve global health. The grants of US$100,000 each, announced in Bangkok this week, will be made to scientists from 22 countries and five continents. They mark the first round of funding from Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to help lower the barriers for testing innovative ideas in global health. 24 October 2008

The PML Nano WheelPML develops revolutionary miniature powered wheel
Hampshire based PML Flightlink Ltd has developed a revolutionary 15cm diameter motorised wheel that can power anything from scooters to wheelchairs and hospital trolleys. 24 October 2008

International effort to study role of body microbes in human health and disease
Scientists from around the globe have formed the International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC), which will co-ordinate research to characterize the relationship of the human microbiome in the maintenance of health and in disease. 23 October 2008

Optimized radiation for prostate cancer therapy
In a cooperative study with Innsbruck Medical University and the East-Vienna Center of Social Medicine, two physicists of Vienna University of Technology (TU), evaluated the mean deviation of radiation parameters for prostate cancers and compared various sources of radiation. 23 October 2008 Deutsch

Medical device markets to ride out economic crisis
Medical technology markets are resilient in times of economic downturn, providing shelter for investors worrying about drops in other, more volatile industries, according to Millennium Research Group. 23 October 2008

iMDsoft wins clinical data management contract in Norway
iMDsoft and ErgoGroup have signed a framework agreement with Helse Sør-Øst RHF (South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority) to provide integrated clinical data management services to the Health Trusts and related hospitals in southeast Norway. The value of the project is estimated to be up to 29 million. 20 October 2008

Philips and King's College London to collaborate on research into heart disease
Philips and King’s College London will develop new medical imaging research projects with a particular focus on cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology. An area of focus will be on combining different imaging technologies, such as X-ray, MRI, ultrasound and CT, to help doctors navigate their way through a patient’s heart during minimal-invasive procedures. 20 October 2008

NanoKTN and Bionano Consulting partner to develop bionano and nanomedicine in UK
The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), the UK’s primary network for Micro and Nanotechnologies, has announced a 20-month partnership with Bio Nano Consulting (BNC) and the creation of the NanoKTN’s fourth theme, Bionano and Nanomedicine. 20 October 2008

Unnecessary regulation harming clinical research in the UK
Increasing bureaucracy is the biggest single threat to clinical research in the UK and urgent action needs to be taken, argue experts in the British Medical Journal. 18 October 2008

Risk of leukaemia not greater for children living near powerful transmitters
Children living in the vicinity of powerful radio and television transmitters are not significantly more at risk of leukaemia than others, according to a study by the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. 18 October 2008 Deutsch

Nanotechnology gives insight into workings of antibiotics for fighting superbugs
Scientists from the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) at University College London (UCL) are using a novel nanomechanical approach to investigate the workings of vancomycin, one of the few antibiotics that can be used to combat increasingly resistant infections such as MRSA. 16 October 2008

An example simulation using the modelPandemic flu models help determine food distribution and school closing strategies
The 1918 flu pandemic killed more than 40 million people worldwide and affected persons of all age groups. While it is difficult to predict when the next influenza pandemic will occur or how severe it will be, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed models to help organisations such as emergency services and education authorities prepare emergency response plans. 16 October 2008

New catheter-less technique may ease pain and discomfort after prostate cancer surgery
An innovative and patient-friendly approach that eliminates the use of a penile urinary catheter can ease the pain of recovery following prostate cancer surgery. The new patentable technique, used in conjunction with robotic prostatectomy (the surgical removal of the prostate) eliminates the pain and discomfort associated with the standard catheter. 16 October 2008

Simple ultrasound test shows promise for detecting blood clots in leg
A comparison of two diagnostic methods used to detect deep vein thrombosis (DVT; a blood clot in a deep vein in the leg or thigh) of the lower extremities indicates that a simpler method, with wider availability, has rates of DVT detection that are equivalent to a more complex method, according to a study in the October 8 issue of JAMA. 16 October 2008

New study examines effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening tests
New findings from a Decision Analysis for the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) suggest that routine colorectal cancer screenings can be stopped in patients over the age of 75. The results are based on patients who began screenings at age 50 and have had consistently negative screenings up to the age of 75. 16 October 2008

A third of diseases in developing countries are potentially treatable by surgery
Researchers from Columbia and Cornell Universities (NY) have been studying whether patients in poor countries suffering from certain medical conditions could benefit from surgical treatment. The results of the study could potentially lead to the implementation of surgical infrastructure in countries where none currently exists. 16 October 2008

Optics meets medicine at US Optical Society meeting
A few of the many technical highlights to be discussed at the meeting: a new look at mini-strokes; a potential new tool for brain surgeons; new technique for mapping blood supply in retina increases safety and comfort of exams; the optics of alzheimer's disease; potential non-invasive optical detection of pancreatic cancer; the neuron microscope, treating bone cancer and futuristic lighting at FiO. 16 October 2008

Report: Nanobiotechnologies applications, markets and companies
Nanobiotechnology, an integration of physical sciences, molecular engineering, biology, chemistry and biotechnology holds considerable promise of advances in pharmaceuticals and healthcare. The report starts with an introduction to various techniques and materials that are relevant to nanobiotechnology. It includes some of the physical forms of energy such as nanolasers. Some of the technologies are scaling down such as microfluidics to nanofluidic biochips and others are constructions from bottom up. Application in life sciences research, particularly at the cell level sets the stage for role of nanobiotechnology in healthcare in subsequent chapters. October 2008. Read more ...

GE Healthcare and Boston Scientific collaborate on cardiovascular imaging
GE Healthcare and Boston Scientific Corporation have announced a collaboration that enables improved intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) workflow between the GE Healthcare Innova Cardiovascular x-ray system and the Boston Scientific iLab ultrasound imaging system. 14 October 2008

Landmark 20-year study to assess impact of personal genetic testing
A US consortium is undertaking a first-of-its-kind study to assess the behavioural impact of personal genetic testing on up to 10,000 people to see how it affects their health and to identify their potential risk for developing certain diseases. 14 October 2008

Caprion awarded $12.9M US infectious disease biomarker research contract
Caprion Proteomics Inc. has been awarded a $12.9 million contract by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), for research into biomarkers with potential for clinical use against infection from diseases caused by biodefense pathogens. 14 October 2008 Francais

LIFE Biosystems to deploy TEMIS' clinical text analysis solution Luxid
LIFE Biosystems has entered into a strategic software and services agreement with TEMIS to use TEMIS' Luxid for Life Sciences solution to expedite the analysis of clinical and molecular data from diverse textual information sources. 14 October 2008 Francais Deutsch

CaridianBCT initiates clinical trial of pathogen reduction technology for blood processing
CaridianBCT will test its Mirasol PRT system, a proprietary technology that uses riboflavin and UV light to reduce the levels of infectious pathogens and inactivate white cells from collected blood, improving the safety of transfused blood. 14 October 2008 Español Francais

Endovascular simulation at Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics symposium
Medical Simulation Corporation (MSC) has teamed up with Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC) to provide product- and procedure-based simulation experiences aboard two BSC Mobile Simulation Labs to attendees of the 20th annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium in Denver this week. 13 October 2008

Report: RNA interference markets
Since its discovery, the naturally occurring RNA (ribonucleic acid) interference effect has been acclaimed as the most exciting technical breakthrough in biological research in the last decade. Some industry analysts predict that RNA interference (RNAi) may even surpass PCR as a top technology. Read more ...

VWR International acquires Omnilab AG
VWR International, LLC, a laboratory supply company, has announced that it has acquired Omnilab AG, a Swiss scientific laboratory supply distributor headquartered in Mettmenstetten near Zurich. 10 October 2008

Deep Breeze announces latest results on vibration response imaging
Deep Breeze Ltd, developer of pulmonary imaging technology, vibration response imaging (VRI), has announced the latest study results comparing VRI to conventional procedures of assessing regional lung function measurement. 10 October 2008

Guidelines for characterization and qualification of commutable reference materials for laboratory medicine
The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) has recently published a new document, Characterization and Qualification of Commutable Reference Materials for Laboratory Medicine; Proposed Guideline (C53-P). 10 October 2008

NextBio search engine for life sciences shows rapid growth in users
NextBio, a life sciences search engine that enables researchers and clinicians to search and correlate public scientific data and literature, share their own research findings and collaborate with colleagues, achieved 150,000 unique monthly visitors to its website in September 2008.

Philips and STERIS in alliance to provide hybrid surgical rooms for minimally invasive procedures
The alliance will combine Philips' cardiovascular X-ray systems and STERIS HD 360° Suites technologies and design services to create a flexible environment where clinicians can treat patients requiring minimally invasive procedures, or those needing open surgery, within a single operating suite. 8 October 2008

Simbionix launches patient-specific simulation system for surgeons
Simbionix has launched the PROcedure Rehearsal Studio which creates a digital 3D model of a patient’s clinically relevant anatomy from CT and MRI scan data and enables surgeons to create practice scenarios based on their patient's unique pathology and anatomy. 7 October 2008

Carbon nanotubes improve electrical stimulation therapy
Researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have designed a way to improve electrical stimulation of nerves by coating electrodes with a coating of basic black, formed from carbon nanotubes. 7 October 2008

Website to help prostate cancer specialists make better treatment choices
A free online computer tool, the CaP Calculator, provides cancer specialists access to the latest prostate cancer research and helps them better individualise each patient’s treatment options. 6 October 2008

New imaging technique for rare thyroid cancer
A new imaging approach for identifying a rare form of thyroid cancer that is typically hard to diagnose has been developed by researchers at the University of Iowa. 6 October 2008

Bluetooth system orients blind and sighted pedestrians in urban environments
A new system based on Bluetooth wireless technology places a layer of information technology over the real world to tell pedestrians about points of interest along their path as they pass them. 5 October 2008

bioMérieux to develop non-invasive test for prostate cancer
French in vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux has signed a license and development agreement with German biotechnology company ProteoSys for its novel prostate cancer marker Annexin 3, which will be used to develop a urine-based, confirmatory diagnostic test for prostate cancer. 2 October 2008 Francais

First Arab human genomes sequenced
An international consortium consisting of Saudi Biosciences, Beijing Genomics Institute Shenzhen, and CLC bio have sequenced and analysed the first Arab human genome. The sequencing is part of a large project to sequence 100 Arab human genomes to map the unique genetic variations of the Arab population. 1 October 2008

Kit to design your own bio-feedback clothing
Textronics is offering a developer’s kit that includes the company’s textile electrodes for use by designers, researchers and product developers interested in creating their own interactive wearable prototypes. 1 October 2008

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