Omega-3 Fatty Acids- Goodness in a Capsule

Omega-3 Fatty Acids- Goodness in a Capsule

Due to hectic lifestyles, over-indulgent diets and increasing societal affluence, the trend of consuming supplements seems to be on the rise around the globe. People are seeking ways to enhance their well-being by taking supplements to bridge nutritional gaps and protect themselves against the lifestyles they lead. Biotechin.Asia is honored to have invited Ms. Jacqueline Wee, a pharmacist as well as the sole distributor of WHC Nutrogenics fish oil supplements, to discuss issues pertaining to fish oil supplements in the market; and the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, the main constituent in fish oil supplements. 

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Smoking During Pregnancy Affects Baby’s DNA

Smoking During Pregnancy Affects Baby’s DNA

Smoking during pregnancy has long been suspected to contribute to several birth defects in neonates. However, the exact biological effects of smoking have not been scientifically documented thus far. In a new study, scientists have uncovered that smoking induces methylation patterns in DNA that could possibly link to several birth defects. Researchers in the National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina conducted a population-based study to analyze the DNA methylation patterns of children born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy.

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Why do some cancers suddenly disappear?

Why do some cancers suddenly disappear?

It is hard to believe that some cancers miraculously disappear, but it does happen. Over 1,000 case studies document cancer sufferers who experienced spontaneous regression of their tumour. So why does this happen and is it possible to exploit it to benefit cancer patients? The earliest documented case of spontaneous regression was in the late 13th century. A bone sarcoma in Peregrine Laziosi spontaneously disappeared after a severe bacterial infection. In the late 1800s, William Coley observed that inducing a fever could result in tumour regression.

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Gene expression is affected not only by nucleotide sequence, but also by DNA folding

Gene expression is affected not only by nucleotide sequence, but also by DNA folding

Dutch researchers from Leiden University have found that how our DNA is folded is a programmed command present in our genes, and the command varies from life-form to life-form instead of following a generic standard. While traditionally we may think that genetic information is only present in the way that the DNA molecules G-A-T-C are combined, prevalent research shows that the way in which the molecules are bound into coils expose the outer molecules of the coil to express themselves while leaving the inner molecules as latent in expression.

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Onions are a part of Chinese beauty secret

Onions are a part of Chinese beauty secret

It’s time you know your onions. According to ancient Chinese medicine, you can reap a lot of health benefits by using onions. Apart from internal consumption, external application of onions too play a vital role. For instance, before going to bed, you can toss one slice of onion into your socks. The onion slice, positioned under your foot, will help heal the body.

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Clearbridge BioMedics partners with BGI to develop the CTC liquid biopsy market in China

Clearbridge BioMedics partners with BGI to develop the CTC liquid biopsy market in China

BGI, the world’s largest omics organization, has signed a partnership agreement with Singapore-based oncology research and diagnostics company Clearbridge BioMedics (CBB). This aims to develop the CTC (circulating tumor cell) liquid biopsy market in China, including Mainland China, HongKong and Macao. BGI will work together with CBB to solely distribute and market the ClearCell® FX1 solution and related products in China, extend this technology into clinical and cutting-edge research applications, and develop clinical products.

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Dads get postnatal depression too

Dads get postnatal depression too

It will come as no surprise that some new fathers will be anxious or highly stressed. However, most people believe only new mums suffer postnatal depression. This is not the case. The rate of depression for dads is less than that for mums but our best estimate is that about one in ten dads will be affected. If there is a birth somewhere in Australia every 1 minute 46 seconds, then every day about 80 dads are being added to the depressed category.

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Could the brain offer cues to gender identity?

Could the brain offer cues to gender identity?

Gender dysphoria, or the inability of an individual to mentally conform to the gender originally assigned at birth has been widely observed in children right from an early age. The knowledge about gender identity at such an early age has been widely debated to rely on biological factors that come into play much before puberty.

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Rice water helps in hair growth, research confirms

Rice water helps in hair growth, research confirms

Have you noticed that Asian women have baby-soft skin and shiny black hair? This beauty secret lies in their kitchen. Unlike the rest of the world, Asian women do not throw away the water in which they wash or boil rice. Instead, they make a concoction out of it and use it on their face and hair. This hair care beauty practice came into existence when women farmers in China, Japan, and other Southeast Asian countries bathed in the water used for cleaning rice.

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Cells carry ‘memory’ of injury, which could reveal why chronic pain persists

Cells carry ‘memory’ of injury, which could reveal why chronic pain persists

A new study from King’s College London offers clues as to why chronic pain can persist, even when the injury that caused it has gone. Although still in its infancy, this research could explain how small and seemingly innocuous injuries leave molecular ‘footprints’ which add up to more lasting damage, and ultimately chronic pain.

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How brain controls vision and why we leave things out even when in plain sight

How brain controls vision and why we leave things out even when in plain sight

Ever search desperately for something, then realize you were looking straight at it the whole time? Research indicates that vision is controlled by the part of the brain associated with thinking. And in sight, too, it can be absent minded. Dobromir Rahnev, a psychologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology leads a research team making new discoveries about how the brain organizes visual perception, including how it leaves things out even when they’re plainly in sight.

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Rare human disease found in dogs

Rare human disease found in dogs

A rare, severe form of pulmonary hypertension, which up until now, has only been classified as a human lung disease, has also been discovered in dogs according to a Michigan State University study. “Our research is the first to document the existence of pulmonary veno-occlusive disease, or PVOD, in dogs,” said Kurt Williams, the lead author of the study and an expert in respiratory pathology in MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “PVOD is considered one of the most severe forms of pulmonary hypertension.”

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White rice is more potent than soda drinks in causing diabetes

White rice is more potent than soda drinks in causing diabetes

Singapore’s Health Promotion Board Chief Executive Zee Yoong Kang recently shared his concerns about the increasing burden of diabetes among Singaporeans and Asians at large. He stated that obesity and sugary drinks have long been identified as the major causes of diabetes in the West. Keeping this in mind he has decided to wage a war on diabetes, but with a specific focus on: white rice. That’s right! The beloved white rice! 

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Yoh Chie Lu: There is gap between research and commercialization in the biotech sector

Yoh Chie Lu: There is gap between research and commercialization in the biotech sector

Yoh Chie Lu (YCL) is the founder of Biosensors International Group Ltd. He has been its chairman and CEO from its inception to 2008. He retained his leadership position as chairman of the Group since January 2008. Mr. Lu has more than 30 years’ experience in the medical industry. As chairman, Mr. Lu’s experience, leadership and track record has proven to be critical. While serving as CEO, he was responsible for Biosensors’ business strategies and directions, the implementation of corporate plans and policies, and the general management of business.

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NTU Singapore pulls ahead of renowned universities for research in the latest Nature Index

NTU Singapore pulls ahead of renowned universities for research in the latest Nature Index

Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) has emerged as Singapore’s top institution in research for the second consecutive year. In the 2016 Nature Index, NTU is ranked No. 1 in Singapore among universities as well as among research institutions. Globally, NTU is ranked 32nd among universities and 37th among the global research institutions.

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HIV can adapt to CRISPR gene editing; in two weeks!

HIV can adapt to CRISPR gene editing; in two weeks!

A recent development brought much excitement in the scientific community. Researchers from the Francis Crick Institute in UK had announced that they had successfully removed HIV from human immune cells using a revolutionary gene editing technology called CRISPR/Cas-9 (CRISPR in short). CRISPR is a technology that works like a pair of molecular scissors to cut and paste DNA. Worryingly though, another study has reported that HIV can evolve to survive CRISPR attacks in just two weeks. In fact, the attack by itself might be introducing mutations that make the virus stronger, researchers say. 

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Study confirms BETADINE® efficacy in combatting rising Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) infection

Study confirms BETADINE® efficacy in combatting rising Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) infection

New research has highlighted the efficacy of BETADINE® products in the fight against Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), a viral infection that affects thousands of young children each year worldwide. There is a high incidence of HFMD in Asia. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recorded approximately 2.5 million cases in China, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong in 2015, with 2 million cases registered in China alone. The research, announced at CIP 2016 held in Xi’an, China demonstrates that BETADINE® products are more effective than the commercially available handwashes and disinfectants in killing the EV71 and CA16 viruses, the leading strains of HFMD, where prophylaxis and effective disinfection and can help protect healthcare professionals, families and patients during HFMD outbreaks.

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Screening for early stage stomach cancer with a blood test

Screening for early stage stomach cancer with a blood test

Early detection is the key to treating any cancer effectively, especially the deadlier ones that don’t show any symptoms while slowly creeping and taking over the body completely. Late diagnosis could be due to less awareness of the tell-tale signs, or because some people are worried about what the doctor might find or due to the procedure of detection itself. Invasive procedures such as endoscopy, in which a flexible tube is forced into the digestive tract, make quite a few people paranoid. Thus, a detection system that is simple and affordable is the need of the hour. Researchers from MirXES, have come up with a screening procedure which involves a simple blood test to detect early stage stomach cancer, a killer disease that affects more than 70,000 people every year in Asia. 

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NTU scientists discover way to improve effectiveness of antibiotics

NTU scientists discover way to improve effectiveness of antibiotics

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU, Singapore) have discovered that antibiotics can continue to be effective if bacteria’s cell-to-cell communication and ability to latch on to each other are disrupted. This research breakthrough is a major step forward in tackling the growing concern of antibiotic resistance, opening up new treatment options for doctors to help patients fight against chronic and persistent bacterial infections. The study, led by Assistant Professor Yang Liang from the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences (SCELSE) at NTU, found that a community of bacteria, known as biofilm, can put up a strong line of defence to resist antibiotics. The NTU team has successfully demonstrated how biofilms can be disrupted to let antibiotics continue their good work. The research was published recently in Nature Communications. 

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This bacteria can fully degrade and utilize PET, a widely used plastic

An estimated 311 million tons of plastics are produced annually worldwide; 90% of these are derived from petrol and the majority of these plastics are used for packaging (water bottles). However, only ~14% of them are collected for recycling. PET or polyethylene terephthalate is the plastic found in most disposable water bottles and also in polyester clothing, frozen dinner trays and packaging materials. “If you walk down the aisle in Wal-Mart you’re seeing a lot of PET,” says Tracy Mincer, a scientist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. Biodegradation is known as the chemical dissolution of materials back into natural elements by microorganisms. Why is it important, you may ask? Simply put, the more biodegradable a material is the more environmentally friendly it is. 

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