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The Weekend Pulse: Wonder-Materials, Pre-fab Factories, and Finding Answers for Dementia

This week in health, science and tech: the ‘factory-in-a-box’ that found fame, a vast reserve of Helium that was found in Tanzania, SPECT scanners catching up with the 21st Century and the world’s largest ever population study that was launched to find real, effective treatments for dementia. Get up to speed this weekend with this roundup.


Meet The Re-Inventors of Drug Manufacturing: Their “Factory In a Box” is Combating Deadly Diseases

TRANSPORT_CLEANIn 2011, in a small, hot, windowless room in Rio de Janeiro, a small team of scientists and engineers invented a new way to make medicines.

Working in the biopharmaceuticals industry, Johan Rosenquist saw a problem. Biopharmaceuticals, also called biologics, are the world’s fastest-growing class of medicines, helping to fight against some of the world’s toughest diseases. They are protein-based drugs that are isolated from natural sources—mostly microorganisms like bacteria and mammalian cells.

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The World’s Helium Just Ballooned: 10 Stats You May Not Have Known About This Chemical Element

helium-exchangeLast week researchers discovered large quantities of helium in the Tanzanian East African Rift Valley. Helium is found in much more than just balloons and the periodic table of elements. Here’s 10 stats you may or may not have known about this chemical element and why this discovery matters for healthcare.

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The Wonder-Material Giving Radiologists SPECTacular Images

Israel_PET_gif_1When gamma camera technology was first demonstrated in 1957, the combination of whole-organ imaging and three-dimensional scanning was a technological marvel of the decade, up there with color TV. Of course, TV has changed since then… but SPECT/CT has remained largely in the age of cathode -ray tube sets.

Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel recently installed the first in a new generation of SPECT/CT scanners that is dramatically changing the way scans could be carried out in future and that can reduce injected dose or scan time by up to 50%*. Another was unveiled at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, U.S., earlier this year.

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The world’s largest population study just launched. Can it help treat dementia?

DPUK6Established by the Medical Research Council in June 2014, the £53M Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) is creating the world’s largest population study, bringing together two million participants, from over 30 existing study groups within the country. The project aims to transform its scientists’ pioneering research into real, effective treatments for patients.

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Rowing for Gold: What it Takes to be an Olympic Doctor

getty_692698688066691910It takes a certain something to be an Olympic athlete.

The same can be said of Olympic doctors. As well as being the best in their field, they work just as tirelessly and relentlessly as the athletes themselves to deliver the best care they possibly can. After all, national glory is at stake. Few clinicians get the privilege to work with patients who are as passionate about succeeding as them.

Fewer doctors can claim to have been athletes themselves – and even fewer have won Gold for their country.

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