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December 2007

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Harvard's top 10 health stories of 2007
Drug safety, genome science and sleep are among the top ten health issues of 2007 chosen by the editors of Harvard Medical School's Harvard Health Letter. 17 December

Public safety at risk from FDA's lack of resources to keep up with scientific advances
A new report on the state of the US Food and Drug Agency says that the safety of the nation is at risk from the inability of the Agency to keep up with advances across a wide range of scientific fields. 17 December

Esaote and TechniScan enter technology and financial partnership
Italian medical imaging company Esaote Group and US ultrasound developer TechniScan Medical Systems have entered an agreement to share technologies and intellectual property, collaborate in the development of TechniScan’s UltraSound CTTM, and to co-operate in marketing. 17 December

Boston Scientific to sell two businesses to private equity firm
Boston Scientific Corporation is to sell its fluid management and venous access businesses to private equity firm Avista Capital Partners for $425 million. 14 December

First annual pan-Asian computerised tomographic colonography congress
Leading radiology experts from China, Korea, Japan and the UK have draw up plans this week for the first ever pan-Asia computerised tomographic colonography (CTC) Congress. 13 December

World Bank report says TB control would lead to massive economic gain for poor countries
A World Bank study has found that 22 countries with the world’s highest numbers of TB cases could earn significantly more than they spend on TB diagnosis and treatment if they implemented a global plan to sharply reduce the numbers of TB-related deaths. Highly affected African countries could gain up to 9 times their investments in TB control. 12 December

Ineffective action in controlling TB causing 1.6 million deaths each year
TB is treatable, but inadequate action by governments worldwide is leading to escalating cases of drug-resistance, of which only 2% are treated. TB is an avoidable human tragedy of 9 million infected people and 1.6 million deaths each year. 12 December

Varian image-guided radiotherapy selected for Portsmouth hospital
The new Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, UK, will receive four high-energy Clinac iX linear accelerators supplied by Varian Medical Systems. They will be equipped with on-board imager devices for advanced image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) treatments. 12 December

Dräger introduces anaesthesia system for MRI environment
Dräger Medical has introduced the Fabius MRI, its latest generation of  anaesthesia solutions designed specifically for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The system is also suitable for other applications involving magnetic fields such as a cardiac catheterisation laboratory or proton therapy. 12 December

Transatlantic rower's diabetic challenge
Transatlantic rower Neil Hunter faces the extra challenge of managing his diabetes through the 3000 mile race. This will be helped by using a compact blood glucose monitoring system, patient monitoring software on a laptop and transmitting data by satellite communications to a medical team back in Southampton, UK. 12 December

London neuroimaging centre boosts brain research with Siemens 1.5 Tesla MR scanner
The Birkbeck/University College London Centre for NeuroImaging (BUCNI) has boosted its research capabilities with the new scanner, which enables observation of activity in the brain non-invasively and will enhance understanding of human cognition and behaviour. 12 December

Rescue helicopter in the exerciseESA project tests health emergency management via satellite
A training exercise in Greece has shown the viability of a satellite system for early warning and management of health emergencies in disaster situations. The exercise simulated an earthquake hitting the island of Crete. 6 December

Kjaya Medical announces service for distributing high-volume digital CT images
Kjaya Medical has announced new managed services that combine powerful graphics processing units, computer hardware and proprietary software that allows quick distribution of CT images via standard high speed internet. 6 December

Berlin future fund grants €16m to medical engineering projects
The Technologiestiftung Berlin (TSB) has granted €2.2m to develop a new marker for use in diagnosing strokes. It is the eighth medical engineering project supported by the Fund and brings the total granted in this area to €16m. 6 December

The new ultrasound scanner designed by Plexus for SuperSonic Imagine has the potential to speed up cancer diagnosis.Plexus to develop breakthrough ultrasound system for SuperSonic Imagine
French start-up SuperSonic Imagine has contracted design and manufacturing services company Plexus to bring to market a novel ultrasound system that can measure the elasticity of tissue. 6 December

Glowing molecule detects prion diseases
An international team of researchers has developed a method of identifying prion and other defective-protein diseases using a fluorescent molecule that changes colour according to the disease present. 4 December 2007

Printed transistor breakthrough will lead to low-cost electronic devices
Silicon Valley company Kovio has introduced an all-printed high-performance silicon thin-film transistor (TFT). Low-cost printed transistors will make it feasible to integrate electronics into everyday consumer items and consumables, including medicine containers and hospital supplies.

Breakthrough in high sensitivity tuberculosis and malaria diagnosis
A new diagnostic system for detecting TB and malaria and suitable for use in developing countries and remote areas has been developed by German company Partec. The system combines Partec's battery-operated and mobile fluorescence microscope with dedicated test kits developed by Merck. 4 December 2007

Abbott supports Operation Smile medical missions in 25 countries
Abbott is supporting Operation Smile's global initiative to help children with facial deformities by providing treatment to an estimated 5,000 children in need of surgery. The initiative, which is part of Operation Smile's 25th anniversary celebration — World Journey of Smiles — consists of 40 medical missions across 25 countries. 4 December

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