20 Dec

Tick Saliva, Hope of Brazilian Scientists for Curing Cancer

first_imgBy Dialogo August 31, 2009 SÃO PAULO, 28 August 2009 (AFP) – Tick saliva contains a protein that could cure skin, liver, and pancreatic cancer, according to Brazilian researchers. Upon studying a South American variety of this blood-sucking parasite, Amblyomma cajennense, they discovered that this protein destroys cancerous cells and preserves healthy ones. “It’s a great discovery,” in the opinion of the study’s director, Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi, a researcher in molecular biology at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. “The substance contained in this tick’s saliva (…) could be the cure for cancer,” she declared to AFP. The researcher said that she discovered the virtues of this protein, baptized ‘Active X Factor,’ by chance when testing the anticoagulant properties of the tick’s saliva. These properties allow the parasite to ingest blood – including human blood – without it coagulating. The protein has characteristics in common with a common anticoagulant known as TFPI or as a Kunitz-type inhibitor, which also has an effect on cell growth. The hypothesis that this protein could have an effect on cancerous cells led to laboratory tests that surpassed all expectations. “To our surprise, it did not kill the normal cells,” said Chudzinski-Tavassi. “But it did kill all the cancerous cells in the test,” she added. In her modest laboratory at the institute, the researcher collects the saliva from rows of immobile ticks by placing straw under their heads. The saliva obtained in this way was used in tests on laboratory rats with cancer. The results have been more than promising. “If I treat an animal that already has a tumor, a small tumor, every day for fourteen days, the tumor does not develop and even shrinks. The tumorous mass diminishes. If I treat it for forty-two days, the tumor is completely eliminated,” the scientist affirmed. Producing a medicine based on this discovery, nevertheless, will require years of clinical trials and a significant financial investment, two things that Brazil cannot currently offer. Chudzinski-Tavassi has applied for a patent on the tick saliva and is presenting her team’s discovery in medical publications and at conferences around the world. However, she affirms that going beyond her laboratory “proof of concept” will be very difficult. “Discovering this is one thing. Turning it into a medication is something completely different,” she declared.last_img read more

28 Sep

Stretton house has lucky numbers for auction

first_imgPlace Sunnybank agent Jonathan Law said the property has been very popular with Asian buyers, with local Chinese buyers making up around half of all enquiries.“The second highest interest has come from interstate,” Mr Law said.“Two buyers from Melbourne flew over to look at the sale.” MORE REAL ESTATE STORIES The two-storey property on a 700sq m corner block is close to transport, local schools, and across the road from Min-Shan Park.“The 888 means wealth, a wealth complex, and everyone likes to live in this area,” Mr Law said.“What is also special about this home, is it is one of the few that has a drive-in, drive-out driveway, so you can park at the front of the house or in the garage.” The porte-cochere at 6 White Cedar Circuit, Stretton.It’s street address also holds significance in Chinese culture, with the number six linked with success.“The number six means to be successful with no hardship in the middle,” Mr Law said.The house has five bedrooms upstairs and a study or sixth bedroom downstairs.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours ago The master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe and large ensuite with a spa bath.There is a separate theatre, formal lounge and dining rooms and a large living area off the kitchen. The cinema room has surround sound.The outside patio has an outdoor pizza oven and looks over an inground pool. The inground pool at 6 White Cedar Circuit, Stretton.Ducted airconditioning has been added and the new chandelier in the entry foyer was made in Germany. “It has been a partial holiday home for the owners,” Mr Law said of the current owners who both own educational institutions and are relocating to the Gold Coast.Almost 50 groups have viewed the home ahead of Saturday’s 3pm auction.But the high interest from Chinese buyers comes with its own mystery.“They don’t let you know what they’re going to do,” he said. Dying wish sees charities benefit from top sale FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOKcenter_img Will the Chinese lucky number eight help sell this house at 6 White Cedar Circuit, Stretton?INTERSTATE buyers have flown in to view this exclusive Stretton residence that is steeped in Chinese numerology, ahead of Saturday’s auction.The original builder had the lucky number 888 emblazoned across the front fence of 6 White Cedar Circuit, Stretton and it has become a prominent feature in the exclusive Parks estate. The number 8 is the luckiest number in Chinese culture.Beyond the single digit, a triple eight means triple the fortune and addresses bearing the number are held in high regard. SEE WHAT ELSE IS GOING TO AUCTION IN BRISBANE ON SATURDAY Brisbane home prices to rise in 2020last_img read more

29 Aug

Serena Williams beats Barbora Strycova to reach Wimbledon final

first_imgSerena Williams says getting match time in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray has helped herWilliams, whose season had been disrupted by injury and illness, teamed up with British former world number one Andy Murray in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon this week.And, as well as providing a crowd-pleasing partnership until their last-16 exit, it turns out it has also helped her singles game.“I promise you, when I hit a volley I was like, ‘would I have made that if I didn’t play doubles?’ I don’t think so,” she said.“I kept telling you guys I thought the doubles would help me. I really think it did. I don’t attack the net that much. I tried to and I want to.”Williams sets yet another recordWilliams is now into a Grand Slam final for the 13th consecutive year – and that includes being on maternity leave during that time.She pulled out of three consecutive tournaments this season because of injury or illness and this is the first major final she will contest this year, having lost in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January and the third round at the French Open.“It’s good, especially after my year,” she said.“I just needed some matches. I know I’m improving and I just needed to feel good and then I can do what I do best which is play tennis.”At 37 years and 291 days, she will on Saturday overtake Martina Navratilova (37 years 258 days) as the oldest Grand Slam women’s finalist in the Open era and remains as motivated as ever.“I love what I do, I wake up every morning and I get to be fit and play sport and play in front of crowds like here at Wimbledon – not everyone can do that,” she said.“I’m still pretty good at what I do and it’s always an amazing experience.”Williams won the most recent of her Grand Slam titles at the 2017 Australian Open when she was eight weeks pregnant.She returned to the Tour in March 2018, saying she had “almost died” giving birth to her daughter, and has reached three Grand Slam finals since.Having lost in last year’s Wimbledon and US Open finals, she will now hope it will be third time lucky on Saturday (14:00 BST). Serena Williams made light work of Barbora Strycova to reach the Wimbledon final and stand one win away from a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.The American was just too powerful for the Czech in a 6-1 6-2 win that set up a final against Romania’s Simona Halep.Williams, 37, said she tried to “tap into that younger Serena” in a dominant display that will make her the oldest Grand Slam women’s singles finalist.She took just 59 minutes to win and continue her bid for an eighth title.“It feels good to be back in the final,” said Williams, who was runner-up to Angelique Kerber last year and will be appearing in the grass-court showpiece for an 11th time on Saturday.Williams is aiming to draw level with Australian Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles and also win her first major title since becoming a mum in September 2017.In 33-year-old Grand Slam semi-final debutant Strycova, she was facing a player she had met three times before without dropping a set.And she was not going to spoil that record here, establishing breaks in the fourth and sixth games before taking the set with her 44th ace of the championships.While Williams is a firm favourite on Centre Court, the crowd wanted to see more of a match and cheered every half chance, net cord or winner that went Strycova’s way.But despite the support, the world number 54 seemed lost in the occasion and unable to turn to the serve-and-volley game that had served her so well in the dismantling of British number one Johanna Konta in the quarter-finals.She raised her arms ironically in celebration at winning a rare long rally for 0-15 when Williams was serving for the match but soon found herself shaking hands at the net after the American delivered a forehand winner on her first match point.Williams said she had thought back earlier that morning to her first Wimbledon triumph in 2002, when she beat her sister Venus in the final, and that it had inspired her.“I was trying to tap into those emotions. I was really calm,” she said. “[I was] just trying to tap into that younger Serena, trying to tap into how to win basically.”Playing doubles with Murray ‘helped my singles game’ Source: BBC Sportlast_img read more

14 Jan

Catholic Health Secretariat Gets Medical Supplies

first_imgThe Health Secretariat of the Catholic Church of Liberia was on Thursday the grateful recipient of critically needed Anti- Ebola medical supplies.According to the Citizens Alliance to Stop Ebola (CASE –Liberia) officials, the medical supplies comprising drugs and vital testing equipment valued at US$2,500 were acquired by donors and friends at home and abroad.Liberia Law Society Director, Attorney Samuel Kofi Woods, II, during the presentation, reminded Liberians to not be complacent about the Ebola virus.Atty. Woods, a former director of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC), also advised that the medical supplies should not be used for the anti-Ebola fight alone.“It is our hope and conviction that the medical supplies would be used to prevent and cure other illnesses that continue to affect Liberians in our country,” he stated.He also underscored the need for the government, its partners and Liberians to begin to consider the long and medium-range planning of the health system of the country.Atty. Woods also pointed out that some of the medical supplies will be donated to the ELWA Hospital outside Monrovia through its director, Dr. Jerry Browne.It may be recalled that a few months ago, Case-Liberia presented to Dr. Browne a laptop that has greatly enhanced his work at the ELWA Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU).The supplies were presented to CASE-Liberia’s senior staff Atty. Alfred Mabu Brownell who pledged that the entity will sustain its support to health facilities and communities in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in the country.He described CASE as a citizens’ initiative that is based on a two prong process which means working with local communities to ensure that they lead in realizing the goal of zero infection and transmission of the disease.He also disclosed that CASE-Liberia has worked in the country for the past four months and the entity comprises civil society groups such as Green Advocates.Atty. Brown warned that until Liberians and partners can do the best mobilization to sensitize citizens against religious and traditional practices that spread the virus, Ebola is far from over.In response, the Coordinator of the Catholic Health Secretariat, Mrs. Yah Wynngausi,  applauded “the dedicated, resilient and committed health workers that braved the storm and risked their lives to save the lives of many people during the height of the Ebola crisis.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more