top of page
Business Meeting


May 2015 - July 2015

A practical gel that simply ‘clicks’ for biomedical applications

Hydrogels are commonly used in our daily lives such as contact lenses and it is made up of polymer chains that can absorb water which allow oxygen pass through in contacts. Biomedical engineers have found that turning the composition of shape and their physical properties can form other things. However, because hydrogels are easily damaged during the encapsulation processes, it is very difficult to form. Before, as it seen above, hydrogel was not biocompatible, but Wyss Core Faculty member Neel Joshi, Ph.D., developed biocompatible hydrogel, so it can now from without damaging them.


Global oncology spending reached $100 billion in 2014

Early cancer findings, treatments, and improvements helped on to the greater demand for oncology. Although in 2014, the cost of global oncology market reached $100 billion, the cost of global oncology increase was not significant as it compared with five largest European countries. However, the increasing of early cancer findings, treatments, and improvements helped on to the greater demand for oncology.


Global financial injection ‘needed to transform development of antibiotics’

Economist named Jim O’Neill, chairman of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistances states that the world needs to develop new antibiotics because no new antibiotics have been found for the past decades. Although many drugs are manufactured, not all drugs are treatments for diseases. He also argues that spending $100 trillion costs will save millions of lives. GlaxoSmithKline’s President of Pharmaceuticals R&D Patrick Vallance supports the economists the idea because it encourages people to research and show improvements on drug industry.


Investing in hepatitis C drugs could save the economy billions, researchers suggest

Researchers suggested that higher improvement rate and treatment of hepatitis C will have to save economies more than $3.2 billion a year of the U.S and five largest European countries, which include France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Although there are other treatments of hepatitis C, developing newer and improvement version would help not only patients, but also save billions of dollars and economy. If they develop newer version and help on curing hepatitis C could save $2.67 billion for the U.S and $556 million for five largest European countries.


Study in Nigeria finds 1 in 10 malaria drugs are poor quality

Nigeria is top one of people diagnosis malaria: 48 million malaria cases and 180,000 deaths annually. The research published by PLOS ONE found out of 3,000 antimalarials, 9.3% are poor quality. The problem is not only from the drug, it also comes from not giving correct treatment or dosage for those drugs that treat malaria. The poor quality drugs that are identified, they were mixed with other chemical ingredients that do not help to treat malaria. The reason why this is dangerous is most patients in Nigeria go to drug stores rather than pharmacies and these drugs are commonly found in drug shops. They are expose to dangerous situations.


Will ‘the female Viagra’ really help women?

UK – 92480 is treatment for angina and high blood pressure that Pfizer began developing during the 1990s. “The drug worked by inhibiting an enzyme that causes the inside of blood vessels to contract”. The theory behind this drug was if the process was interrupted, the cells would play lessening in their roles, while improving blood flow and relieving blood pressure. However, recent study found that the drug, UK-92480, is not working as it supposed to be because it causes blood pressure to fall too low. Moreover, there are side effects such as muscle aches and they are now looking this drug as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.


Eating nuts, peanuts daily could lower death risk from cancer, other diseases

The article talks about consuming peanuts and nuts may prevent from diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. According to Prof. Piet van den Brandt and colleagues from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, they stated, “Peanuts and nuts are a good source of omega-3, fiber, vitamin E, antioxidants and “good” fats. They had an experiment with 120,000 people and resulted that people who had 15g of nuts or peanuts everyday lowered the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. However, peanut butter had no effect because it contained other ingredients such as salt, vegetable oil and trans fatty acids.


The top 10 leading causes of death in the US

1,254,978 males and 1,260,480 females, in total of 2,515,458 people die annually. This article focuses on the diseases that leads to death: Heart disease, Cancer (malignant neoplasms), Chronic lower respiratory disease, Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases), Accidents (unintentional injuries), Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes (diabetes mellitus), Influenza and pneumonia, Kidney disease (nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis), and suicide. Top one death is caused by heat disease and it had the highest rate for both males and females. This article mainly focuses on major warning signs and symptoms and how to protect you from the disease.


Chocolate: is it really good for our health?

Average Americans take around 4.5 kg of chocolate each year. Chocolates taste delicious and it stimulates the release of endorphins. This article focuses on whether chocolate is really good for our health as what we have known for years. Researchers from United Kingdom stated earlier that consuming 100g of chocolate in a daily life prevent from having heart attack or stroke. However it contains questions from other people saying, how does chocolate actually prevent from diseases when they contain high levels of fat and sugar. Chocolate is made from cacao beans that are from Central and South America. These cacao beans include flavonoids and flavanols; they are known to be antioxidants that are to destroy free radicals in the body. They also contain dopamine, phenylethylamine and serotonin that are known to enhance mood and promote feelings of well-being. Most people recommend taking dark chocolate rather than white or milk chocolate because the darker the chocolate, the more flavonoids and flavonols are included. So far, chocolate has only positive effects, but it has also negative effects. The problem of consuming too much chocolate is from additional ingredients that are included in the actual chocolate bar. Since, these additional ingredients change the structure and component of flavonoids and flavanols that are in the chocolate. If they changed the structure and component, it lessens the effect and does not fully do its job.


Blood pressure medication could prevent alcohol, drug addiction

Alcohol and drug addictions are the most problematic in the society and this article examines how high blood pressure treatment can prevent these addictions. The research team, led by Hitoshi Morikawa has suggested that the treatment of high blood pressure drug named isradipine can prevent alcohol and drug addiction. They had an experiment with addicted rats with rooms and gave a high dose of Isradipine and see whether or not the drug actually expunge the addiction memories. A few days later, behaviors in rats changed; they no longer went to the addicted room. The blood pressure medication named Isradipine is FDA approved drug that lowers blood pressure by blocking calcium channels in the heart and blood vessels.


Skin cancer risk linked with grapefruit and orange juice

The most dangerous form of skin cancer, these cancerous growths develop when unpaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations (genetic defects) that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. The most serious type of skin cancer develops in the cells (melanocytes) that produce melanin – the pigment that gives your skin its color. It can form in your eyes, rarely in internal organs such as your intestines. The exact cause of all melanomas isn’t clear, but exposure to UV radiation from sunlight or tanning lamp and beds increases your risk of developing melanoma. By limiting your exposure to UV radiation can help reduce your risk of melanoma. Moreover, by consuming large amounts of grapefruit and orange juice can lead to higher risk of melanoma. For those consume large amount of grapefruit and orange juice have higher chances of risking melanoma than those who consume less. 73,870 people will diagnose from melanoma and 9,940 people will die from skin cancer.


‘Over 184,000 global deaths each year’ caused by sugary drinks

Many Americans favor sugary drinks, but consuming too much sugary drinks can lead to death. Sugary drinks include sports/energy drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened ice teas, and any type of beverages that contain sugar. Over the past 30years, sugary drink consumptions haven risen. The death is caused by obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer and the study found out that 184,000 people die from sugary drinks annually. Moreover, the American Heart Association (AHA) is recommending people to consume 450calories of sugary drinks in a week, that would be about 2 cans of soda.


New study reveals dangers of opioid abuse for chronic back pain sufferers

Chronic back pain is treated with opioid, but this drug is leading to psychiatric disorders such as depression or anxiety. In Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), researchers stated that 55 patients who take opioids for back pain experienced psychiatric disorders. The danger part of this is that 46 people die from overdosing of prescription painkillers.


WHO says the international community must do more to take action against rabies

The WHO report, ‘The Control of Neglected Zoonotic Diseases: from advocacy to action’ states that it is possible to eliminate rabies by using our knowledge and techniques that are available. Dr. Louise Taylor from The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) said rabies can be eliminated by mass dog vaccination and other techniques and application that are available now will help those people who risk of rabies.


Anthem Nears Deal to Buy Cigna for $48 Billion

Anthem Inc. is planning to buy Cigna Corp. for more than $48 billion and expect to pay about $188 a share for Cigna. The companies are combining together for more cost efficiency and its scale because of the Affordable Care Act and other factors. The largest health insurer group by revenue would UnitedHealth Group. In 2015, UnitedHealth projected $154 billion while Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana projected about $115 billion. Although combining two companies together would rise up the revenue, the issue brought up: who will be running the combined company. However, the agreements have not been signed yet and it can be delayed and contracts may be changed. The final announcement will be made during Thursday afternoon.


FDA approve new daily pill for common skin cancer

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had an experiment with patients who cannot receive surgery or radiotherapy or recurrence of tumor and a new drug and it reduced tumors of 58 percent of patients. People who have locally advanced basal cell carcinomas do not respond to treatments. However, Odomzo, generic name is sonidegib, which is marketed by Novrtis AG works for those patients. The study showed that tumors reduced for 58% of patients who took 200mg of Odomzo a day and the effect lasted for 1.9 to 18.6 months. Moreover, for those who consume more than 200mg of Odomzo had similar response, but side effects such as hair loss, nausea, and headaches are shown.


FDA approves non-surgical temporary balloon device to treat obesity

There is a new balloon device that is used to treat obesity without surgery and the U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved it. The device is named as ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System and it mainly to lose weight and for obese adult patients. It works by occupying space in the stomach to feel fullness or other mechanisms. The procedure does not take long and it approximately takes 30 minutes. Moreover, once the device takes in place in the stomach, it does not change or alter the stomach’s natural anatomy.


Mindfulness meditation may help smokers quit – even those with no willpower

Experts announced that behavior training like mindfulness meditation may help smokers to quit smoking and this may be effective way even for people who are not planning to quit smoking. The review of addiction research, published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences states that “smoker’s intention to quit smoking is not always needed to reduce cigarette cravings:. It is always hard to motivate and influence smokers to quit smoking. Moreover, even if they try to quit, some smokers restart smoking again. However, experts say that behavior training will help to quit smoking because it makes you to control your brain and yourself. The article states that “Even though many of the students said they had smoked the same number of cigarettes before and after the training, for those who had received mindfulness meditation, an objective measure of carbon dioxide percentage in their lungs showed a 60% reduction in smoking in the 2 weeks after the study”.


Drone transport ‘does not affect blood samples’

The collaboration between pathologists and engineers published the journal, PLOS ONE, it said that drone transport does not affect blood samples and it could be a way to deliver. The study suggests that carrying blood samples with these medical drones could help health providers shorten the time to do lab tests that is needed for diagnoses and treatments. The main purpose of this study is to find whether using medical drone could be one of efficient way of transport blood and find out whether the blood samples arrive in good condition for diagnostic testing. The team found that if the common and routine blood test sample is carried on the hobby-sized drones will not be affected up to 40 minutes.



bottom of page